Bear is a fairly new application. Its been around on iOS for several months but I never really took interest in it until the macOS application was released.
So what is Bear? Well its a note taking application and a beautiful one. It is everything I need Evernote to be in a light weight package and did I mention it is beautiful.
The big pull for me was the recent news that All Evernote employees get access to all your notes by default. Well I keep some very sensitive information in Evernote and don’t want just anybody to be able to go and read that. Bear on the other hand don’t even store my notes on their server so there is no way the staff can can read it. Bear handles sync via iCloud which I’ll admit has its own issues with privacy and security but the thing here is I trust Apple more then Evernote.
The other thing Bear does right is not formatting. They support Markdown like syntax as well as attachments, linking to notes and hashtags instead of notebooks, folders, tags and everything else Evernote has going on.
The best comparison I can make is Evernote is the Swiss Army Knife of note taking applications it doesn’t everything and none of it very well but people use it and put up with it because nothing comes close – until now.
Because Bear supports Markdown I enjoy writing in the applications, in fact this blog post was drafted in Bear. I also picked up on the Markdown tweaks and additions very quickly and now I can take notes on a phone call faster then ever.
Bear has almost replaced IA Writer for me and will replace it completely once I find the time to copy over my current drafts.
Sync uses iCloud so if you only have a free iCloud account you are going to be limited to only having 5GB of notes at any one time but this is a huge limit if you are mostly keeping text based notes. I already pay for a 50GB iCloud account to house all my personal email so this is no issue for me.
I almost instantly paid for Bear Pro to get the syncing across devices and export to different formats. Exporting a PDF to email clients a copy of my notes is one of the surprise features here. I don’t care to much for the themes as the default theme is just simply gorgeous.
Bear has replaced Evernote for me as is also proving to be a good to do list manger are the same time. Bear provides everything I needed Evernote for with no monthly upload limits and at a fraction of the price.