I’ve always used a note taking app in some form in my workflow. I started with Evernote and later OneNote. I was introduced to Markdown when I rebuilt my blog using Jekyll and frequently found myself writing all my notes in markdown. OneNote doesn’t support markdown, enter Bear.
I spend a lot of my time in my note-taking app, whether it’s writing blog posts, or jotting down something related to what I’m working on, or something to look up later.
My Criteria for a notes app:
- Great writing experience
- Linking and Tagging
- Capture tool
Bear is one of the best designed and polished apps I’ve ever seen. Visually it’s beautiful and clean, but more importantly, it’s fast and has never crashed on me or had any sort of issue that required troubleshooting.
I actually enjoy writing in Bear because the notes looks so great. It’s the motivator that I never thought I needed.
You cannot fix the perfection of a blank page.
― Neil Gaiman
Focused mode clears out all the navigation, tag and notes view and presents with just a blank note editor. Distraction free writing. The editing controls are tucked away to the bottom corner. Already familiar with markdown, I start writing and the formatting updates in real-time.
OneNote was organized in a hierarchical style with Notebooks and Pages, borrowed from my days of using Evernote. Bear doesn’t have multiple notebooks, every note is a top level note. I created a tagging system to provide hierarchy and help track down notes by topic. The search functionality has been proficient in finding any note that I needed.
My workflow is not just split across multiple apps, but also across multiple devices. Seamless syncing of notes between devices almost feels like magic. I often use the mobile app to capture thoughts and ideas and then work on the notes from my laptop.
Templates. Bear currently doesn’t support templates. As a work around, I have a pinned note that’s always at the top of the notes list that I duplicate. I’m hoping this feature makes it into one of the future updates.
The team is also at work on their next generation editor appropriately title Panda. I've been following its updates and eagerly looking forward to using it one day.