Thoughts is a desktop notebook app for Mac OS X, designed to look and behave like a real world paper notebook or journal.
When you open the app you see a shelf where all your notebooks are stored. Notebooks open in a separate window and come complete with a turning-page visual effect.
The basic layout of every note page is the same; there are title and date fields at the top. The main note editing space has a nice-looking toolbar at the bottom where you can access all the formatting controls you’re likely to need.
One feature you don’t see in many rich text notebooks is the ability to insert links to almost anything, and this is something that Thoughts does nicely. The Links toolbar control lets you add a link not just to a web page, but to any file or even any individual email message stored on your Mac.
There’s a decent export function (to RTF, PDF, DOC, DOCX and ODT formats), and support for gestures if your computer is equipped with the right hardware.
The only big disappointment, though, was speed. The animated visual effects are cool the first time, but it would be nice if we had the chance to switch them off. Worse still was that Thoughts sometimes struggled to keep pace with my typing speed. Sometimes I found myself pausing my fingertips while the text display caught up with me. True, it was never very far behind, but when you type for a living even the smallest delay is very noticeable.
Thoughts is a notebook, not a layout editor like Pages. The formatting features are basic but fine for the sort of tasks you might expect of an app in this category. Visually it has some nice touches, but in use there are some strange behaviors that will hopefully be ironed out in forthcoming updates. Thoughts has potential, but it’s not quite there yet.