If you're totally new to mind mapping then it's worth having a quick look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map - but basically it's a great way to visually organise your thoughts and ideas in a broadly hierarchical format.

 

Terminology

Some terms used throughout the app and this website:

  • Topic = one of the 'bubbles' or 'nodes'  on screen. A topic can contain text, images, icons etc. and can have a shape and colour.
  • Parent topic = topic which has child topics. A parent topic can have multiple children but a child topic can only have a single parent.
  • Child topic = see above.
  • Sibling topic = a topic which shares the same parent as another topic.
  • Cousin topic = a topic at the same 'level' as another topic (i.e. when both topics have 3 levels of ancestor then they are considered cousins.)

 

Creating a map

To create a new map, tap on the 'Bookmark' button #1 and then on the + button #2 in the lower right corner of the map list window. You will be asked to supply a name and the new map will be created and opened.

 

Anatomy of an iThoughts screen:

  1. Bookmarks button. Tap on this to reveal the list of your maps and folders. TIP: Press and hold this button to forcibly close the current map.
  2. Options button. Tap on this to reveal a menu of options which apply to the current map and system as a whole (e.g. change the map background canvas and link styles.)
  3. Search button. Search for text within the current map (or across all maps.) Tap on one of the results to open that map.
  4. Undo/Redo buttons.
  5. Share button. Tap on this to share the map via email or upload to the cloud etc.
  6. Create Child/Sibling buttons. Tap on these to create new child or sibling topics (of the currently selected topic.) TIP: Press and hold one of these buttons for more options.
  7. Create Callout. Tap on this to create a 'callout' topic. A callout is intended to be used like a sticky note to annotate a map. TIP: Press and hold this button to set the default colour for callouts.
  8. Relationship button. Create a link line between two related topics (see #15)
  9. Boundary button. Create a boundary around a branch to emphasise the grouping (see #22)
  10. Inspector button. Use this to set the attributes for the selected topics (e.g. colour, shape, icon etc.)
  11. Notes window. Attach long textual notes to a topic.
  12. SHIFT button. Press and hold this whilst tapping on topics to multi-select. Press and hold this whilst dragging the canvas to create a 'selection marquee' to select multiple topics. TIP: Press and hold SHIFT whilst dragging a selected topic to duplicate it.
  13. Notes window button. Tap or drag this to show/hide the notes window.
  14. Word and character count for the text in the notes window.
  15. Relationship link line (see #8)
  16. Edge icon indicating that the topic has a hyperlink attached to it. Tap on this to reveal the link details.
  17. Edge icon indicating that the topic has a note attached to it. Tap on this to open the notes window.
  18. Resize grab handle. Drag this to resize the topic. Drag left/right to adjust the size of the topic and up/down to adjust the text font size.
  19. Task details. Progress, start/due date, effort and resources will be summarised here.
  20. Expand/collapse button. Tap on this to show/hide a branch. TIP: Press and hold this for more options (such as show 2 levels deep.)
  21. Icon attached to a topic.
  22. Boundary. This helps to emphasise a group of topics.
  23. Image attached to a topic. This can be a 'stock image', photo or finger draw doodle.
  24. Full path for the map (name and folder)
  25. Full screen mode. This will hide the toolbar and place the map into 'read only mode'. Good for presentations.
  26. Word and topic summary counts.

 

The inspector

The inspector is used to assign attributes (colour, shape etc.) to the currently selected topic(s)

  1. Toolbar button to show/hide the Inspector window.
  2. Icons page
  3. Colours page
  4. Shape page (rectangle, oval etc.)
  5. Text attributes page (font, colour, numbering etc.)
  6. Task attributes page (start/due date, progress etc.)
  7. Attachment page (image, hyperlink etc.)