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IthoughtsHD – IOS Mindmapping App of choice

Here we review iThoughtsHD, an IOS app that has become an almost de-facto standard for mindmapping. Lets’s see why this mindmapper has become the app of choice for many.

Review 0
9.7 Reviewer
• Excellent Integration with other apps
• Usability
• Good feature set
• Cloud sync with Dropbox
• None
Bottom Line
It is difficult to find a flaw with iThoughts HD. For brainstorming or taking bullet point notes, it is the app of choice. Available from the iTunes store.


Mindmapping is the process of adding notes, images and concepts to a central theme or topic. The central topic is usually denoted by a big circle in the middle of the page and the concepts related to that added as orbiting circles. Each orbiting circle can also have further sub topics. It is a great way to brainstorm and map out ideas related to any given theme. Since their original inception by Tony Buzan the techniques have come of age and have branched out to other areas such as for taking notes or even project management as the task hierarchy formed within the mindmap can also be aligned to project outline planning or even mindmap derived Gantt charts.

The arrival of handheld devices such as tablets has played to the strengths of mindmapping tools. The concept of dropping ideas into a mindmap diagram go hand in hand with the ability to do that wherever and whenever one wishes – now made possible with handheld computing devices. Which brings me to iThoughtsHD, for many the standard bearer of such mobile mindmapping devices. This app, designed for the IPad has siblings also covering Iphone and also OS X, so essentially spanning the Apple landscape. Let’s review the Ipad variant and see how it enables the process of getting stuff from your brain into a legible format.


iThoughts HD Interface

The user interface is clean and clear with several buttons at the top for the various functions,

  • Add new mindmap
  • Search
  • Options
  • Export
  • Add a sub topic
  • Add a topic
  • Add a comment
  • Link topics
  • Attach files
  • Formatting and topic options


Within options there are various formatting options that can be pre-configured as shown in the screenshot below. In general everything was easy to use and easy to access, so no complaints on this front.

IthoughtsHD Options

iThoughts HD Features and Functionality

If only for brainstorming a mindmap app need only the most rudimentary of features. However, as noted in the Introduction their application scope has broadened. Here are a few noteworthy features in iThoughts HD that cater towards those needs.

Adding Images

The ability to add images directly into the mindmap is a great asset to iThoughtsHD. The usual application I have for this feature is to be able to copy images from E-Books into the mindmap to complement notes I have taken from them. Furthermore, when the mindmap is exported to some other Mindmapping applications such as Mindmanager, the images go with them. So, this useful data is maintained across different mindmapping apps which for me is also critical.

IthoughtsHD Image Attachment


Task Details


It is possible to add task data into iThoughts HD such as,

  • Start and due dates
  • Resource names
  • Percent complete

So, in theory you could use it as an app for task tracking. I don’t think this feature is iThoughts HD forte but neither is it in vain. If the mindmap is exported then to other apps custom designed for task tracking then the task information entered in iThoughts HD could be utilized. Personally though, I would not use it for such purposes but I am sure some might!

IthoughtsHD Task Details


This function takes the words entered in any given topic and uses them as web search terms. So, click the topic, hit the research button and it enters those terms in a browser window and up pop the related internet related items. A nice touch for those who use mindmaps as a basis for internet research.

Linking Files

I don’t use this function much but it is possible to link files used in other IPad applications to iThoughts HD topics.


One feature I use a lot is the Notepad. This is viewable simple by dragging it down from the top menu bar. Often it is insufficient merely to have a few word topic entered. In many cases I wish to elaborate on the topic or paste additional comments and for that, the notepad comes in very handy.

IthoughtsHD Notepad


Import and Export to other formats is an area where iThoughts HD really excels. Not only can you export to standard fare such as images and MS Office, but also other Mindmapping applications so that you can continue editing on that other app or platform. The screenshot below shows the myriad of options available.

IthoughtsHD Export Formats


Another nice feature I like about it is the syncing feature it has for Dropbox. Mindmaps can be created in iThoughts HD, exported to whatever format you want and synced to Dropbox, then you can open another application and access those files in with another application in their native format. In my case I do it with Freemind and it works wonderfully.


You can get iThoughts HD at the iTunes store at a very reasonable $11.99. (Affiliate note)

Final Words

You will have to search hard in this review to find a negative comment about iThoughtsHD. It is very difficult to find fault with this excellent app. Recommended and deserves a place among my preferred productivity apps.

For other mindmapping apps, check out the mindmapping resources page.


Affiliate Note:

If you purchase those items through my links I may earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

Brendan Toner

Let me welcome you to this alcove of the internet. In this little productivity blog, I detail the trials and tribulations of trying to use my time more effectively utilising the latest productivity tools and techniques. I hope you enjoy the articles, cheers! Brendan Toner, author of Done Before Brekky

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4 Responses

  1. November 28, 2015

    […] Here we review IthoughtsHD, an IOS app that has become an almost de-facto standard for mindmapping.  […]

  2. December 12, 2015

    […] IthoughtsHD – IOS… […]

  3. October 10, 2016

    […] MS Word/Powerpoint, OPML and csv just to name but a few of the options.  You can check out a full review of iThoughtsHD.  The way that I personally use iThoughtsHD is in conjunction with Dropbox and Freemind.  So, I […]

  4. July 30, 2017

    […] mindmapping tool for iOS devices and the latter is free. You can check out my detailed review on iThoughts for iOS devices and iThoughts for Windows later if you are interested in applying such […]