Mindmaps visualizing ideas

An introduction to mind maps: why use them, how to create them, and how to go from mind map to written text document. In essence mind maps are visual outliners that show connections and relationships between ideas.

Making Progress!

Why Mind Maps?

Mind maps, or concept maps, or knowledge maps ... they are all great tools for making sense of things. The more complex a topic, or paper to be written, or project to accomplish then the more useful mind maps become.

More content in August 2019. However other sections already have some starter content and videos.

Why iThoughts?

I use iThoughts mainly because ... :

  • it is quick and keyboard centric
  • many different styles are possible
  • easy export to markdown
  • ability to create slideshows

iThoughts is $50 for regular folks, and $25 for students and educators. It comes in Mac, Windows, and iOS flavors.

The video below gives an overview of iThoughts:


iThoughts offers great flexibility in terms of how you style a mind map. What's great is that you can save a lot of different custom styles to iThoughts. In the video below I show students how to set a common "style" for a course I was teaching. Note: I did this as novices to mind mapping can spend way too much time perfecting their style and not enough on creating content. You can safely ignore the specific style created, but you'll get all the steps and ideas you need for creating your own style from the video.

Viewing Options

iThoughts offers a variety of ways to view your mind maps with easy shortcuts for transitioning from one view to another. Understanding the viewing options available is important for taking full advantage of iThoughts' power to create content-rich mind maps.

If you aren't using mind maps to store notes or links then you are only using about 20% of the power of mind mapping. The video below shows how notes and links work in iThoughts.

Export Options

Mind maps are not that useful if they are a dead-end. For many mind maps are the beginning stage for creating a structure for a written document, or a presentation, or creating web content and more. This video takes you on a tour of the various iThoughts export options and why they are important.


iThoughts can also be used to create decks. These are presentations similar to PowerPoint or Keynote, but which are mindmap-centric!

Groups & Boundaries

Boundaries have been with iThoughts for a long time. Groups were introduced in July 2019. The video below shows you the advantages of each approach to enhancing your mind maps.

Video will be created in August 2019


iThoughts has always provided a few different numbering schemas for mind maps. In July 2019 a new version was released that greatly expands the versatility of the numbering options. See the video below for details.

Video will be created in September 2019

Other Apps

There are a number of other apps that do mind mapping. Clearly iThoughts is my favorite, but I'll try to highlight the advantages of some of the other options.

  1. Cool
  2. MindNode
  3. other stuff
© 2019 Mathew Mitchell Contact Me