v5.4 a shapely update

Just released v5.4 on all 3 platforms. The headline feature in this update is the addition of 6 more shapes - as below:

The shapes work best when used as floating topics interconnected using relationship link lines (configured for right angles) - as below:

Some tips:

  • CMD + double click (on Mac) will create a new related floating topic
  • CMD + ALT + Arrow (on Mac) will create a new related floating topic
  • Same on Windows on replace CMD with CTRL
  • On iOS press the SHIFT button and then double tap the canvas
  • See also the section on Relationships


...as always, any questions, suggestions or issues just email me.

Posted on February 19, 2018 .

v5 Released

I'm pleased to announce that v5 of the iOS, Mac and Windows apps are now live (there wasn't a v3 and v4 of the Windows app - you didn't miss anything!)

The headline feature for this release is Encrypted, Password Protected maps. You can now assign a password to a map and the resultant ITMZ file will also be encrypted using AES-256

This means that you can email your ITMZ files and be sure that no one can read the contents without knowing the password. It also means that you can keep your most secret plans in systems like Dropbox without fear of prying eyes.

Encryption is available on all 3 platforms (Mac, iOS and Windows.)

You must remember your password. There is nothing I or anyone else can do to recover a map without knowing the password.

Please see here for more details.

As part of the work to support encryption, the whole (iThoughts) file system (on iOS) was updated. A by product of this is that it now works much better with the built in Files app.

As always, I also discovered and fixed a ton of bugs on all 3 platforms. Any questions, suggestions or issues just let me know.




Posted on December 28, 2017 .

iOS11, Drag/Drop and Siri

iThoughts for iOS11 is now live. The short video below gives a quick demo of the Siri integration, Drag/Drop and a new way of marking tasks as 'complete'.

There is also a feature called focus lock. Previously the 'Focus on Selected' feature would dim out all topics that weren't selected. With focus lock, you can now keep a bunch of topics 'in focus' regardless of which one is selected. To enable this, select the topics then enable 'Focus on Selected'. To have it work the old way, enable the feature with no topics selected.

There is a new button in the top corner. If you drag/drop a topic onto it then the topic will be marked as 100% complete - great for check lists.

Mindmeister (.mind) and SimpleMind (.smmx) mindmaps can now be imported.

The Doodle feature now supports a 'resize' option to resize selected parts of your doodle (see the +/- button in the toolbar.) Doodle also has better support for Apple Pencil. If it detects an Apple Pencil it will then ignore any attempts to draw with your finger. This removes any accidental drawing when your palm rests on the screen. It also means you can scroll using a single finger.

Finally - this update also works with the forthcoming iPhoneX - even allowing for its 'ears'.


As always, any questions, suggestions or issues just let me know

Posted on September 20, 2017 .

Windows 2.9 Released

Just pushed out v2.9 of the Windows app. This version now imports Mindmeister (.mind) and SimpleMind (.smmx) format files. It also supports 'Focus Lock'. The idea with Focus Lock is to select a topic then check the focus checkbox (bottom left corner of the screen.) The selected topic(s) will remain visible and all others will be 'dimmed' (regardless of which topic is selected.) If you want the focus to follow the selection then ensure that no topics are selected when you first enable Focus.

iOS/macOS support for the above is coming soon (when iOS11 is out.)

As always, any questions, suggestions or issues just let me know here.

Posted on September 8, 2017 .

Compressed Layout and Costs

Just a quick note to announce the latest update to the iOS (4.8), macOS (4.12) and Windows (2.6) versions.

Maps now have a new Style option called 'Compressed'. This will trim back the margins at the edge of topics and also the inter topic spacing in order to present more information on the screen. See below for the difference (the largest effect is seen with 'no shape' topics.)


There is a new task attribute called 'Cost'. This is a simple floating point number that can be attached to a topic. The Cost field also supports 'rollup' which means that the sum cost for immediate child topics is calculated automatically (similar to effort.)

The 'units' of cost can be set for the map in the Style settings. Typically this will be a financial symbol ($£€) but could just as easily be 'bananas'!

In addition to the headline features above, there are a bunch of minor tweaks and fixes as below:

  • Spell Check (in Windows version)
  • Triple click text to select all (in Windows version)
  • Keyboard Shortcuts to open/close/edit the notes (in Windows version)
  • CMD/CTRL+B to set Markdown bold (and italic) is now a toggle. Press it once to enable then again to disable.
  • The iOS Clip to iThoughts now places the information on the clipboard in addition to pasting it into the Quick Thoughts map.
  • External KB shortcuts for fast access to the Cost/Effort settings (C or E)


So, next up is integrating some of the new iOS11 technologies - namely Drag/Drop (https://youtu.be/ARXSGUUQcPo)

Posted on June 19, 2017 .

Flashcards and TextPack

Just pushed out an update to the iOS, OSX and Windows apps with 2 new features. The first is .textpack export support. This is basically a ZIP file containing the map text in Markdown format and any associated images. The format is defined by www.textbundle.org and is becoming a 'standard' way to pass around Markdown type documents. The main use (today) is probably to get your iThoughts map into Ulysses for further processing. See below for an iThoughts map and how it might appear in Ulysses.

Click to enlarge:

iThoughts (Mac)

Ulysses (Mac)

The second feature is Flashcard export. This enables you to collate all your information in a Mindmap then export that into a Flashcard app and from there (hopefully) into your memory :-)

Flashcards are a simple way to learn information. Each card has a question on one side and an answer on the other. You work your way through the cards attempting to answer the questions (flipping the cards over to verify the answer.) There are many different apps/websites that enable you to do this 'digitally'. iThoughts will export in a format that is supported by many (quizlet.com, cram.com etc.)

The following short video demonstrates exporting to Quizlet.com



Posted on May 12, 2017 .

Windows v2.3 released

I'm pleased to announce that v2.3 of the Windows app is now live. Hit Help -> Settings -> Check for Updates to get it.

The headline feature for this version is Presentation Mode. See below for a demo. For more details see here.

In addition this version also includes:

  • Freemind/Freeplane Export
  • TextPack export (good for exporting maps to certain Mac apps.)
  • Auto Zoom (with animation)
  • Show/Hide Status and Toolbar
  • Better integration with Marked on OSX


As always, any other questions, suggestions or issues just let me know and I'll do my best to help.

Posted on April 27, 2017 .

New Release (iOS4.6, Mac4.10, Win2.2)

I'm pleased to announce the latest update to iThoughts on all platforms (Windows, iOS and macOS)



One of the new features is 'hugging'. This is a per topic (and Style) setting which dictates whether the topic shape should 'hug' the text or not. This enables you to force all topics to have the same width regardless of the length of the text. See below:

Hugging can be used in conjunction with the 'align levels' setting in Styles to make everything line up (horizontally and vertically) as follows:


The default width for topics (and images) can now be set in the Style settings.


Topic Count Tooltip

Another new feature (on the Mac version) is topic count tooltips. Surprisingly useful! These enable you to quickly count up the number of descendent topics - as below:


The iOS version now integrates with the 'Share' system. You can select text, images or links in other apps and Share them with iThoughts. The shared content will be placed in the Quick Thoughts map (either in the root of the map picker or in the root of iCloud Drive.) It will create this map as necessary.



The iOS app now supports 'Places'. This enables iThoughts to Open (and Save) maps stored in other services. This is an improvement on the previous approach where copies of maps had to be manually downloaded and uploaded. 

NB: Whilst testing I found support for this a little 'sketchy' amongst some of the services. However it seems to work well with Box.com and for maps in iCloud folders other than the default iThoughts folder.



Remaining Effort

Where a topic has both effort and progress, the topic will now calculate a 'remaining effort' value. This works on individual topics and on 'rollup' topics. Calculate values can be identified by the [square brackets] surrounding them. See below:



A few of the other tweaks included in this update:

  • iOS Only:
    • Use Dropbox v2 (much faster and more resilient)
    • Full sync more frequently (every 2 minutes)
    • No more 'Checking for Updates' message to distract.
  • All versions
    • CMD/CTRL + Arrow Key will now move topics up/down the hierarchy
    • CMD/CTRL 1-5 will now toggle the Priority
    • Default Effort unit (hours, days etc) is now a setting
    • Applying a progress or effort attribute to a topic will make it's parent have a 'rollup' progress/effort automatically.


As always, any questions, suggestions or issues - just let me know.

...and remember, if you're interested in iThoughts for Windows or Mac, there are discounts available.




Posted on April 7, 2017 .

iThoughts for Windows is live

After over a year in the making, I am pleased to announce that iThoughts for Windows is finally here !

It will install on Windows7 and later. It is designed primarily for the desktop/laptop (keyboard mouse) environment - but it does also work with touch.

The goal in developing this has been to enable people to work seamlessly between iOS, macOS and Windows. To that end, you can use either iCloud or Dropbox to keep your maps all in sync.

Maps will look pretty much identical across all devices (subject to installed fonts etc.)

Functionality-wise, all three platforms share a common set of core capabilities (see here for a detailed list)

Just like iOS and macOS, the Windows version is an additional purchase - but there are some hefty discounts available for existing customers (see here for more details.)

There is a free 14 day trial available from here.

This is the first public release of the app on Windows. There will be many more in the future (most will be free updates.)

Please do let me know if you have any questions, suggestions or issues at the usual address.

Posted on February 27, 2017 .