Scenes in Freeform is a significant boost in functionality

I am using Freeform on the iPadOS 18 beta. The scenes feature is an excellent addition. It’s tremendously helpful. What I like the most about it is that you can have different zoom levels for each scene. That way, you can frame each part of the board exactly like you want it. One scene might be at 60% another at 45% and the board moves fluidly to each scene and zoom level as you navigate your scenes.

This feature is great for a number uses, but three caught my attention. 1. Using Freeform boards for giving presentations. The presenter can set-up the board almost like a slide show and move around fluidly. 2. Using the board as a device to communicate some message to someone; thus, allowing the recipient to flow through the information like an interactive storyboard. 3. Maybe this is the most obvious, you can uses scenes to organize the board, that way you can get around to various sections efficiently.


After reading your post, it is evident that I am (to use a weird turn of phrase) profoundly underutilizing FreeForm. Looks like I have some catching up to do. :rofl:

I don’t use graphical/artistic tools very much, but I really took to Freeform. I tried using it once to create the equivalent of a keynote/PowerPoint show for a training presentation that I was giving to a group of people over Zoom. It worked so well I used it for all presentations in my training series. I was hooked and it was a lot of fun. Trip planning is fun in Freeform, too. My wife and I collaborated on a board to plan our Paris trip last December. Scenes would have been very useful for that board because it sprawled out. I recently created a Bible study board for a topic we were studying. It’s essentially (in this case) a high-level graphical outline of the topic. This one I also shared as a collaborative board. I made my 2024 vision board using Freeform. I’d never done a vision board before. I used two boards. One for my scratch notes, and one for the final product. Then I made the vision board my wallpaper on my iPad, Mac, and even my phone. A skilled artistically oriented individual could easily do that other programs, like Canva, of course.

Freeform has become my “visual word processor.”


I recently got back into mindmapping and visual brainstorming. The quality of my outputs is much higher when I have the opportunity to lay out my thoughts, move them around, add to them in a non-linear fashion. I was using text outlines for this, but doing it visually is both more effective and much more fun! I’m producing a booklet for my church and it’s opening up new lines of thought.

I’m mostly using Obsidian Canvas with a mind map plugin as it allows me to embed notes, YouTube videos and so on. However, I’m tempted to try Freeform for presentations and for collaborative diagrams. Thanks for sharing.

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I’m not trying to be snarky. Genuinely, have they fixed the performance issues? My iPad always gets quite hot to the touch and the battery drains extremely fast when I use Freeform (even on the M4 iPad Pro). I’ve shifted to Concepts for my workflows and that’s far better from a performance standpoint.

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I have noticed no performance issues; however, that may be because my graphical usage is quite rudimentary. I paste in text and graphics, sometimes documents, and links to websites. I use the writing/drawing/mark-up tools. I know how to make one image go behind or on top of another, I figured out how to group objects, but beyond that I don’t think I do anything really intensive.

I just sketch! But sometimes for a while, and on very large canvasses. My understanding is that each pencil line is grouped in with other pencil lines on a big layer and treated as one ginormous object in memory, so I think my RAM usage just goes up. The area where the CPU is (dead centre) really gets hot too.

Did you mean to say “Freeform”? We’re talking about Freeform, right? I haven’t experienced any performance issues with Freeform, yet, even on very large boards.

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Yeah, I absolutely meant to say Freeform, but live in Figma on my Mac. My brain’s autocorrect must have taken over. Apologies for my error. I’ll edit the post.

Have they added folders to iOS18?

It’s my main limitation now in Freeform. I use it for so much but I’ve got 62 boards now and am on the verge of giving up because without any file management it’s becoming a headache to navigate quickly. (I use a naming convention which helps a bit, but it’s not an elegant solution and it’s 2024 - I shouldn’t have to scroll through a big list of files :joy:)


Unfortunately, Freeform has no folders or tags to organize your files. Once you have a lot of them it get be difficult to navigate the long list of files. No folders in iOS 18. Send feedback to Apple. The more of us will, the higher there probability that they may notice the request.

I really love how Freeform can be done on note taking during lessons/conference, and even good easy sketching.

During lessons or conferences:

Tidy up after the conference:

For one who has Procreate, I use Freeform for quick sketching or draft before using Procreate. (Quick sketch for collecting ideas) For slow sketching or final products I use Procreate.

Alternative is Concept but after deleting their iCloud folder, I no longer have the sync function.

At first I found Freeform consumed a lot of battery or too slow, but I realized I easily made a sketching too large. After starting from very small drawing everything will be smooth.

I also faced sync issue once, but duplication of every canvas can fix it.

Whatever which Apple apps you are using, make sure attachments like images won’t be too large, or sync will be less reliable.


I wish I could sketch! Yours look great!

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