IThoughts for iPad

I made the small investment for this little app and figured I would use it for flowing my novel. Not sure I am really getting the most out of it as I find it a little difficult to work with. Anyone else use this app on the iPad? Any tips on getting a little more user friendliness out of it?

I also have this app. I’ve found it pretty easy to work with. The help/release notes explain things well. Are you having very specific problems?

The key issue for Scrivener is making sure you export as OPML. Then you can drag that OPML file to your new/existing Scrivener project and, voila, the structure of your mind map will now be reflected in Scrivener via new pages and subpages. It seems to me that iThought is one very nice way to create a structure for Scrivener projects that’s easy to use via OPML drag and drop simplicity.

How about getting an existing project into iThoughts? Can that be done, or is this a one-way process only?



As far as I know there’s only a one way process: going from iThoughts to Scrivener.

iThoughts is not a word processing app per se, so I don’t think it has any way to handle written text from Scrivener in the ways that SimpleNote, PlainText and others do.

Since iThoughts really handles a variety of mindmapping formats, plus OPML, then the opportunity would be if Scrivener had someway to export its structure via OPML. I can’t find anyway to do this in Scrivener (and it would be a bit strange if it did).

So I would think of iThoughts only as a way to create an initial structure (files/folder names and subfiles, etc.) for Scrivener. It really is a colorful outliner and the ability to save as OPML is useful for use in Scrivener, OmniOutliner, Tree and a number of other programs.

Ok, going to have to admit that when you mentioned OPML, you surpassed my techeneez vocabulary.

'Splain me, Lucy. :neutral_face:

From what I gather of your lingo, there is a way to import what I do in iThoughts to Scrivener? If there is then that would be boss because my love of Scrivener’s new chattiness with other platforms has set up a small craving to get everything interconnected.

OPML means “outline processor markup language” (or something close to that). It is a kind of universal format that any software which uses outlines can understand. For example, if I create an outline in OmniOutliner then other programs can’t recognize the OmniOutliner format. However, I can export my OmniOutliner work as an OPML document and several other apps can now read my work. There’s a cost to doing this—in the case of OmniOutliner I will have lost any text styles I’ve applied to the outline (for example).

How does OPML docs play with Scrivener? It seems the only way they work with Scrivener is by adding to the binder area (not to the text itself, with an exception I’ll mention). So if you create a mindmap in iThoughts (which is really a “graphic” outline), export as OPML, then drag from finder into the binder area of Scrivener then you’ll magically see new files and sub-files based on the outline created in iThoughts. However, you won’t add any text, just more structure to your binder area.

What iThoughts does that is great is create files, sub files, and sub sub files. It can create a full structure for the binder area in a new Scrivener project. Everything will be a file, so if you want some of those “things” to be folders in the Scrivener binder then you’ll have to manually convert to a folder within Scrivener.

However, as I mentioned, iThoughts has no way (at least currently) to include any text within those files.

Another alternative is Index Cards—also a fantastic app. What Index Cards will do is allow you to create a basic structure (based on the card order) plus it will import the text from each card! (It also does this via OPML if I remember correctly.) Sounds perfect, eh? Maybe. The limitation with Index Cards is that it only can handle one level (or a top level) of an outline—so it will import files (i.e. the index card names) into the binder area and any associated text for a card into the text area for that file. But you can’t create sub-files and sub sub files, etc.

Put differently, if creating a complete binder structure is important, then iThoughts is a better companion for Scrivener. If you only want a basic flat binder structure (or one that you’ll tweak and refine in Scrivener later) but also have the ability to import some text then Index Cards is a better companion for Scrivener.

You can see where I’m going . . . it would be ideal if we had an app that would provide a complete structure (like iThoughts) combined with the ability to import text notes (like Index Cards).

I hope this helps explain things a bit better.

I need to correct my previous post and apologies in advance for some incorrect statements.

First, and foremost, iThoughts will let you embed notes within nodes (or boxes) of a mindmap. The developer Craig just sent me instructions about how to do this. If you have iThoughts tap on a particular node (or box), use the “i” button on menu (far right), then choose “note.” Type what you want. When transferred via OPML to Scrivener the text in any note will show up as text in the body of a specific Scrivener page. Very nice! (Currently there’s a little glitch in that any carriage returns show up funky. I think mainly people would write short notes anyway, but also the developer is aware of this issue and I’m sure will fix pretty soon.)

Second, I was wrong about Index Cards. It is indeed a great app, but it exports to RTF not OPML. I got it mixed up with carbonFin Outliner. carbonFin however is a “regular” outliner and will export via OPML and includes the ability to attach notes to any particular outline heading.

Very interesting news about iThoughts. I’ve used the program and it is a great way to layout a book, especially a text or manual where the structure is more apparent from the beginning. For me, it is a more intuitive way to develop an outline and then flesh it out.


Ok, I tried it just to see what would happen. I pulled in an OPML file that I had created in iThoughts into a trial binder just to see how it would pan out.

Yeah. That. :mrgreen:


Sorry if I’m a little slow on the uptake, but does that mean that it worked and you love the results?


Yes. :mrgreen:

I love that I can use one… let’s say epistemology because it is a visual way of mapping things out and bring it directly into a different mode of discourse. I am not a techie person at all. I am an end user, not a creator or modifier. I don’t crack firmwares or jailbreak devices. I want things to work smoothly and silkily without fuss. I want drag and drop. I want plug and play. I want sync and go. I want no cables or silly programs to translate one file format to another. I want things to work as if by magic.

Yes, by magic. :slight_smile:

And I dragged and dropped that OPML file and everything worked like magic.

OK, great news. The only thing better would be to have two-way capability… Scrivener back to iThoughts.


Agreed. If there were a way to have it both ways to view it as I needed it, one way or the other, would be ideal.