So a lot of us are wondering what to do now that Toketaware has announced the sunsetting of the iThoughts mind mapping app for Mac and iOS. It’s very sad to see it go, but I expect the current version to continue working for a few years to come. That said, I tend to favor software that has at least somewhat of a future. So I’ve been testing the waters with some other contenders. The short story is I’m moving over to MindNode.

Why MindNode?

I’ve always appreciated MindNode (and even added support for it to Marked), but there were some things that made me prefer iThoughts over MindNode. After testing the latest version of MindNode, I can no longer remember what those things were. It’s not as feature rich as iThoughts, but for 90% of my mind map purposes, it looks like MindNode will do just fine. I think the last time I made the comparison, MindNode was lacking some of the features it has these days. I’ll miss Presentation mode, boundaries and grouping, and things like task completion and priority, but MindNode will work.

I’m not going into nearly the depth that Allison Sheridan did over on Podfeet with her mind map comparison, but I’ll list some of the pros of MindNode for my purposes:

  • Looks great
  • Actively developed
  • Mac and iOS versions
  • Opens iThoughts (.itmz) files, so I don’t have to fret about losing old mind maps
  • Imports Markdown files
  • Can create tasks from nodes (can’t do much with them other than check them off, but it’s handy for packing lists)
  • Exports Markdown and OPML, among other formats
  • Outline mode
  • Works with Marked (File->Advanced->Preview in Marked)
  • Good keyboard navigation with some customization options
  • Quick entry from tool bar
  • It’s on Setapp

Other options

If you’re an Obsidian user, there are some mind mapping plugins available. The “Enhancing Mind Maps” plugin is a decent option if you’re in Obsidian all the time anyway:


  • Built into obsidian
  • Basic keyboard navigation
  • Transparent layer over plain Markdown files, easily portable and future-proof
  • Works great with Marked using the obsidian-md-filter processor (via Conductor!), and you can easily connect the two with my plugin (which is still waiting for acceptance into the Community Plugins…)


  • Lacks a ton of features compared to MindNode

I would also point out that the mind mapping built into Curio is pretty good, and has the benefit of fitting into the crazy cool integrations that Curio provides, linking to other notes and objects, and fitting into an overall project management system.