Thoughts debuts an app designed to inspire you, not distract you

Instead of scrolling mindlessly through a social feed of updates, a new app called Thoughts offers a way to scroll through and collect inspirational content. Created by indie developer Henri Bredt, Thoughts is described as a “focused inspiration manager” that’s designed to help you remember things that inspired you, whether that’s hand-picked quotes, famous sayings from great thinkers, or even your own ideas you want to recall.

In addition, the app offers a way to browse inspirational stories through a Discover tab, where you can find new quotes to add to your library through curated collections — like quotes from stoic thinkers, lessons from mother nature, quotes dedicated to self-confidence, or those from a notable individual, like Mahatma Gandhi, for example.

Though a simple, single-purpose app, Thoughts has a polished design that begins with an onboarding process where you select a few quotes that inspire you. As you add more, you can scroll vertically through a card-style feed to re-read your collected quotes, edit them or remove them if they no longer serve your current goals. Meanwhile, the app’s Library section also allows you to add your own quotes to your feed or build a thematic collection — like quotes pulled from a book, podcast, newsletter, conversation or something else that led to your inspiration.

Image Credits: Thoughts

Naturally, these quotes won’t serve you if they remain buried in an app you may forget to open and browse, which is why Thoughts also includes a Home Screen widget in varying sizes so you can place the inspirational quotes and phrases in a more prominent place on your phone’s screen.

The iOS app was built by Bredt, a 22-year-old student from Germany, who was among the winners of Apple’s Swift Student Challenge from 2021 through 2023 and this year was able to attend WWDC23 in person and show off the app to Tim Cook as part of the award program. He said the idea to create a dedicated app for saving inspirations in an app came after reading the book “The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman. Bredt remembered there were passages he had liked from the book, but couldn’t remember them. In addition, he would often encounter inspiring thoughts while browsing social media, but didn’t have a good place to collect them.

Image Credits: Thoughts

Though dedicated to collecting quotes, the app does have some competition. Other apps like I Am or Motivation also offer Home Screen widgets for displaying inspirational thoughts and ideas, and offer built-in, categorized collections and tools to add your own, as well as customizable widget backgrounds and fonts. However, Thoughts adds a few additional touches for those who want to maintain their own library of quotes, including the ability to use Tags as organizational labels, in addition to organizing selections of quotes into specific collections.

It also supports iCloud sync across devices and support for creating entries with Shortcuts and Siri.

Thoughts is ad-free and offers up to 20 entries with the free version. To unlock the full version, you can pay for a subscription ($1.99/mo or $8.99/yr) or a one-time fee ($26.99) for a lifetime unlock.

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