I’m what you might call an iThoughts fan. It’s on all of my home screens on iOS and almost always open on my Mac. iThoughts is my playground for ideas. Many of my longer articles start in a context map and many of my expansive projects live in that form permanently.
That means I can’t silo my data on one device. iThoughts provides a couple of reliable ways to sync data and make sure it’s portable to any other application I need. Here’s a brief overview of syncing iThoughts data between devices using Dropbox.
The first step is to create a new cloud folder in the iOS version of iThoughts. From the “Maps” view, tap the sharing icon and choose “New Cloud Folder”. Then add a Dropbox connection. iThoughts will next ask what formats you want the folder to automatically create for each file you sync.
This is one of the best things about iThoughts. You can work on a context map in the app but have it automatically create several different representations of the information. For example, I like to automatically create the native file format, Markdown, OPML, and Freemind. iThoughts will dutifully create and update each file type on dropbox when it syncs. No need for a separate export later. Any iThoughts file you place in the cloud folder will obey the synced file settings.
If you ever want to go back and change the settings for the folder, just tap the cloud icon and then “Sync Formats”.
Due to sandboxing on the Mac, iThoughtsX does not automatically do this. You must manually export each file type.
However, if you edit the iThoughts file on a Mac and then sync on iThoughts iOS, you will once again automatically create and update the various sync formats you previously selected.
This seems like a minor feature, but it makes it very convenient to get at the data from other applications. It’s the best of a proprietary file format with a generic format combined in one place. One of the reasons I constantly use iThoughts is that it is full of little details like this.
iThoughts for iPhone | $8
iThoughts for iPad | $10
iThoughts for Mac | $60