Bear - Markdown Notes

4.7 (6.4K)
69.9 MB
Age rating
Current version
Shiny Frog Ltd.
Last update
1 month ago
Version OS
14.0 or later
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User Reviews for Bear - Markdown Notes

4.69 out of 5
6.4K Ratings
3 years ago, flyeaglesfly2020
Best Notes App Ever!!
TLDR: Bear is an impressive notes app that functions very well on all Apple devices, and has everything you’d want in a notes app without the issues seen across it’s competitors. This is hands down the best notes app I’ve ever used. I’ve tried them all; OneNote, Evernote, Apple Notes, you name it. None are as clean and minimal as Bear. No intrusive UI; No head-scratching organization structure; Bear allows you to jump into your notes quickly and organize them with ease using an extremely flexible tagging system. The text editor is of such good quality, it almost feels like the Notes app merged with Microsoft Word to create a perfectly balanced app for both simple and sophisticated use cases. It’s easy to import pictures, create checklists, and export to other formats as well. It comes with plenty of themes to customize to your liking, and the app is available on all Apple devices. The Apple Watch app is icing on the cake! You can craft and view entire notes from the app, and it even retains it’s structure and readability. It’s so good that I could be fine studying lecture notes on my watch if I wanted to!
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1 month ago, Velvet.Thunder.
What happened to our tiny image thumbnails?
I've been using Bear since 2021. I use it for pretty much everything—from research notes, to shopping & to-do lists, to Pinterest-styled mood boards—and I had zero complaints up until this latest 'revamp.' I opened my app up one day to find that all of my uploaded images had been resized to a HUGE SIZE, and the only way to get them to be smaller was to go back and resize them all INDIVIDUALLY? Why? They won't even let me pick a default size. I have hundreds of pictures. I have to scroll endlessly just to find one picture now, when before, they were so small that I had them all listed in rows and could pick any one of them out instantly. I needed a note-taking app that allowed me to upload pictures right next to my writing, and I liked this feature in Bear because its tiny thumbnails didn't take up too much of my writing space. After all, if I needed to see the picture better, I could just click on it to enlarge it. I love Bear—I really do—and I can deal with all the other changes, but the image thing is really what does it for me. Please don't fix something that isn't broken... I don't know why they would go and change this up, but I can't go back and resize everything now. :'( Is there a way to revert those changes back? Or could you at least give us the option to pick? I hope you well at least consider this.
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6 years ago, dtemple11
Most Transformative App
I have been using Evernote heavily since 2009. In recent years, as it has become incrementally more bloated and more expensive, I’ve been looking for a replacement, but everything I found was missing some particular feature that I needed. Bear, while much simpler, and ostensibly less powerful, does absolutely everything I REALLY need for organization, writing, business tracking, and creative thought. It does it in a visually beautiful way, with a markup language that really makes the tool fade into subconscious and lets me record thoughts without distraction of too many buttons and gimmicks. Tagging, note linking, formatting, and organization are completely intuitive. The cost is far less than Evernote Premium, and there are not restrictions with using on all of my Apple devices. I hope they can implement note sharing without messing with their formula, and I hope they expand to other platforms so I can share with friends, coworkers, and family, but if it stays just as it is today, Bear will continue to be the foundational piece of my workflow and creative and business processes.
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4 years ago, DavieMustard
Great app, but lack of search is increasingly frustrating
I switched from evernote earlier this year and on every level besides one, bear is an almost perfect note app. The markup, the speed, the tagging, and the search for notes is all exactly what i was looking for in a note app. However, the long-requested feature of searching within notes is still not present. I am seriously considering going back to evernote, as i use these apps at work for finding quick information, and in-note searching is a nearly critical feature. If not for bear’s exemplary performance (and i strongly prefer its interface to other apps), i would probably have bitten the bullet and gone back to evernote, but i might have no choice if they don’t prioritise the in-note search feature. It’s frustrating because on all other areas it’s such a fantastic app, but that one feature is remarkably necessary. Imagine being unable to search for words in a word processing app!? It significantly reduces the usability of this product, even though the rest of it works so flawlessly. Please add this feature! I know it’s been requested for years at this point
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2 years ago, Platooon12457
Been using for years, still no basic search functionality
Title says it all. I’ve been patiently waiting for years for an update that would finally allows us to have some basic search functionalities to no avail. I admire bear for it’s simplicity (that’s what prevented me from deleting it altogether despite competitors like evernote and onenote offering search and so many more features) but when even the most rudimentary tasks such as being able to find and jump to a phrase in a long note is not possible, I consider that just too simple to allow for any serious use cases. Having been a developer myself, I simply cannot understand why it is so hard for these devs to create a simple search function which has been requested over and over by hundreds of bear users. It certainly wouldn’t take lot of coding knowledge to add this basic feature so again I cannot understand why they still can’t seem to figure it out after years have come and went. That being said, I regret to say that my patience has worn thin and I can longer just hope that the issue will eventually be resolved. So I am officially deleting the app and would end by recommending Evernote, onenote, or heck even the already included apple notes app over Bear if anyone reading this cares about basic search functionality.
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3 years ago, manthehelm
Intuitive and powerful!
I've been using Bear Pro for a few years now and am never going back to Evernote! I love the simple and intuitive UI that has some serious features underneath. I use it for my work, freelance, and personal notes. I'm always running in a million different directions, and the ability to rapidly jot down a note or idea and file it with the hashtag system in seconds is a game-changer. If you're a user with multiple Apple devices, I would definitely recommend going for the Pro. Being able to sync notes between my devices instantly is awesome. The ability to make urls to your notes is also great because I can drop them into my project management software to quickly access relevant notes outside of Bear. Lastly, I know some people complain about lack of collaboration but I think that the current simple but powerful philosophy is the way to go. Otherwise, I fear they would go the way of Evernote and become an overcomplicated experience. Keep up the great work Shiny Frog!
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4 years ago, Seanbhappy
Needs some more work
Very impressive in so many ways but has some major problems for note taking. 1. It has some irritating multi minute delay when using the share to bear notes 2. It does not have the ability to search within a note, so if you have long notes and are looking for a phrase it will get you to the note but not to the actual place where the phrase is in the note. Apple note, Evernote, simple note and nearly all other note taking apps can do these two things well. I really want to use bear notes as my main note taking app but these issues must be resolved. The sync issue is so slow I can not continue working with the shared note until is “shows” up in bear notes. I have tested this with iPhone and iPad and both are multiple minutes slow, adding a sync button might help this but what is strange is that all the other note apps can do instantly without fanfare or help from me. The search feature within long notes is a must, I just don’t know why this has been so long in coming with Bear, naturally I am assuming it is coming to Bear? I am using the premium features and it was the same with basic free as well. Please fix, this would be an instant 5 star app.
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3 years ago, spccdt
A rock-solid note-taking app for those who find the “notebook” construct limiting
What stands out the most to me about Bear is how rock solid its fundamentals are: it’s clean, fast, reliable, and equally powerful on macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. The watchOS app is also nice, supporting dictation. Every feature the app supports is apparently done to a high standard of quality. Where I feel Bear could improve is on two fronts. First, I do feel that they “gate” smaller improvements behind huge ones (like their editor overall, currently in Alpha, and their web app workstream). Making some small feature-level improvements would go a lot toward making the app feel tended-to rather than being maintenance, especially with the super stiff competition in the note-taking market these days. Second, a big feature that to me is lacking is the ability to separate workspaces/profiles/repositories within your notes. As it stands, there is no good way to separate work and personal notes inside of Bear. This really limits how I can interact with Bear from my work machine. Another feature that I would love to see in an option to completely hide Markdown control characters once they are typed, because I think they really make the note look visually cluttered/noisy. Overall a very solid “alternative” note-taking app that can be trusted with your notes, even if it evolves *very* slowly relative to its competitors. I still recommend Bear over many others.
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11 months ago, dioti_ma
Makes Note-Taking Like Moving Through Water
I’ve moved through every writing and notes app there is and at last I’ve found my stopping point. 1. The usefulness of tagging is completely realized by this app. Instead of having a hundred individual tags, you can nest them, almost like folders. Unlike a folder system though, a single note can exist in several “tag folders” at the same time. This means that instead of having to make arbitrary decisions about where to place a note (always with the danger of “losing” the note somewhere in your system) you can put important notes everywhere they need to be. 2. The linking feature between notes is perfect. Unlike Roam, this app is not constantly forcing you to make connections that may or may not really be there. Instead, it’s easy to make connections where *you* want them, and easy to forget about the links when you don’t need them. 3. This hidden markdown idea works perfectly. You get the best of both world: when your reading, the annoying markdown symbols are invisible, but when you want to edit them, they’re there. 4. I actually use the charts feature, and it works well! 5. You can make text fold up under headings when you don’t need to see it. Also, it’s very easy to jump around your note using the automatically generated table of contents. All of these things are realized so well here! Using the app is like moving through water.
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7 years ago, hcgchica
SO glad I found this app!!
Oh my gosh- coming from the apple notes app, this is like a dream come true. I was getting so frustrated with the apple notes app once portions of my notes just started DISSAPEARING- yes, that’s right- paragraphs and paragraphs of text just started not being there. So frustrating!! So I went on google to research best notes app for ipad/iPhone and came across Bear- it’s FANTASTIC!!! The hashtag that makes folders? Brilliant. The check mark boxes for to do lists- that I can actually check off and have a strike through go through that to-do line item? Brilliant. I LOVE this app. So glad the other one started losing my data so I could find something WAY better- the Bear app. Everyone should use this it’s awesome. I upgraded to the $15 plan per year which is nothing for what it achieves for me with the cross syncing with my devices- I’m constantly switching between my pad and phone so that’s a must for me. Thank you guys you really thought about things intuitively for your users. You guys rocks.
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5 years ago, hendricksmd
It’s like gravity
I think bear is the perfect level of robust, and simplicity as far as note apps go. I have been obsessed with trying to find the perfect writing and notes app and I just keep coming back to Bear. The main drawback for me is that I have a windows PC as a gaming computer that I can’t run it on being an iOS/macOS exclusive but they supposedly have a web interface in the works. I switched back to Evernote for a while just because of the cross platform issue but I just felt myself missing Bear and the syntax highlighting and simple tag and search system and I decided to stop fighting it and just enjoy it. Because it’s so great and the team is very transparent about their plans and care about their users. When I was spending time switching apps from bear to Evernote or OneNote, bear was always the easy one to work with when exporting and importing as well. It’s just a pleasure to use all around for me. Minor complaint that I have is when sharing on IOS to the app, it’s very difficult for me to put the new note in a specific place. I can just tag it in a location so I can find it later but I think little pop up share window could have some more navigation options. Thanks devs and designers for the steady quality updates and this wonderful simple app! Maybe one day you’ll find some way to make this cross platform or have a good web interface but I like it enough to stay.
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2 years ago, drblind
I’ve been missing out…
I have been trying to get a good notes/journal and logging my time/work/life/adventure system. I was done searching… I don’t like subscription model usage. I have been working all my notes through markdown and pushing the changes to GitHub with a weekly branch. Sounds easy, and it is, but there is a lot of messing with the git process real fiddley and sorta tuff to go back and fix. I got a good flow and it was working until I had a crazy week then a crazier week then a crazy week and I started thinking, why am I doing all this crazy stuff, just find an app that does mark down and you can just take notes. On my iPad (type, pencil, screen), on my MacBook, on my iPhone, these all work and this is only $1.50 a month. That’s way worth my time that I have been busting through the git process. I’m glad I found you and you aren’t crazy expensive. Thanks,
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6 years ago, jtc2762
A wonderful app that is slightly inferior to the Mac version
I use Bear to take notes on school and often access it from each of my devices (MacBook, iPad, and iPhone). While I’ve had a wonderful experience with it on all these devices, there’s one specific area where the iPad version is crippled in comparison to the Mac version, and this is the “find” functionality. On a Mac, you can easily search for keywords within a particular notebook (or hashtag, or what have you). Once you locate the note where the keyword is located, you can then search within that note. On the iPad, this is somewhat different. You *can* search within a notebook, however you can not search within a particular note. This is such a small thing, but it has made the iPad version significantly less useful for me. I’d love if I could have the same functionality on both devices and I’d up my review to a 5/5 if a future update addressed this. Otherwise, this is a wonderful app and I recommend it to everyone.
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4 years ago, Jared White
The best note taking app
If you just want to jot down quick bits of info and save them into an archive you largely forget about, Apple Notes works just fine. If you want to journal and keep a diary of your life, maybe give Day One a try. But if you want to take notes, write in robust Markdown syntax, save outlines and concepts, refer back to past insights, cross-reference relevant topics, organize everything by incredibly flexible tags, and import and export documents with ease: then Bear is hands-down the best tool for the job. I've tried a ton of different editors over the years and used a variety of different storage systems. Only Bear has proved to be the most flexible, visually appealing, and performant for everything I need out of a Markdown-based document workflow (on both iOS and Mac). I'm slowly weaning myself of all other note/writing apps and making Bear the center of my content world. I highly recommend you investigate doing the same!
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6 years ago, Grumpkid
Love It! Is it for non-Apple phones too?
On my iPad-where I type out this review-I own the app and use it pretty much all day, everyday! It so useful, and the mechanics are so well done; however, I have a bit of a gripe. Maybe about a some two weeks ago, I downloaded this app for my phone. (The phone isn't an Apple device.) The phone version was very glitchy and seemed to have adds. The normal one on my iPad doesn't, so I wondered why this could be. So, a few days pass after deleting, it and I wanted to see if my phone or the app fixed itself in the time I was gone. To do that, I went back to the PlayStore on my phone, looked it up, and didn't see it. Every couple of days, I would check time and time again, and it stayed that way. Just nowhere. I don't know if it was a bootleg, but no matter the case, please release this on phones! I know the format is smaller, but this is only so I could reedit while I'm on the go.
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4 years ago, 386728
I love my shortcuts!
I’m a stickler for efficiency, so when I use PC apps, I like to use keyboard shortcuts. I write my class notes digitally, but doing so on an iPad’s Notes app is difficult when I can’t use keyboard shortcuts. Bear makes it easy to *italicize*, **bold**, ~underline~, and ::highlight:: without breaking my typing flow on an iPad, in addition to easily being able to make headers and lists with keyboard shortcuts on MacOS. In addition, you can easily switch between typing on MacOS and drawing diagrams on your iPad! Even though I am not subscribed to the Pro version of Bear, it is possible to inter-convert from Bear to Notes by exporting as RTF. Then you can save the notes as PDF from the Notes app. The only complaint that I have is that there is a bug when trying to import files from within the Bear app where I cannot exit from the file browser window. Other than that, Bear is an incredibly efficient and functional app. 👍
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5 years ago, Tjstar2099
Amazing app!!!
When I first downloaded this app, I wasn’t sure what I could with it... now, almost a couple of years later, I’ve crafted my first book on it I hope gets published. Once I bought the yearly version, it made everything to keep writing, even when I feared I couldn’t use my Mac anymore!!! But, the seamless transition between my iPad and iPhone more then made up for the lack of my Mac. I can’t speak highly enough for this app. The one wish I have for it, if and when it gets another update, is to simply register different pages, so it doesn’t run on and on, like a waterfall. To be able to do that would make this a game changer as far as composition goes! Other then that, awesome execution and definitely big props for the idea. I’ll use it to keep writing my stories, no matter what. Thanks for this tool, and hopefully those that read this will use it going forward!!! Excelsior!!!
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7 years ago, SweetKuni
Great app, needs better search on iOS
I originally began using Bear as a replacement for Evernote, which I'm still very glad I did. I love the quiet, elegant UI, and I'm getting used to markdown and tags as methods for styling and organizing, respectively. I really love Bear on both desktop and iOS. However, on desktop you can search all your notes, or search for a string within a single note, both of which I find essential functionality for a writing app. On iOS you can only search through all notes. There is no way to search within a single note, and there's no way to jump to the result of any given search. So when you search for a tag or any string in Bear on iOS, the best it can do is say, "Your string was found in the following notes." But if those are of any significant length, you still have to manually scroll and scan the note to locate your string. This is my one feature request. As soon as they get this figured out, the app will be perfect.
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4 years ago, jbeach4
My favorite app, so close to five stars
This app is truly amazing. I had tried probably close to a dozen list/to-do/notes apps during my time in gradschool and many worked alright but I never fell in love. But ever since I have had Bear, I am nearly perfectly content. It looks great, it syncs perfectly and instantly between all of my devices (iPhone, iPad, Macbook). The tagging system works really well for my feild of work. I use this app for both work and personal, and it is so great. My only complaint and it will continue to plague my experience is that I cannot collaborate on any notes. It seems simple enough to add a feature so that my wife and I can collaborate on a grocery list or "movies we want to rent." But alas, this app will continue to gets lots and lots of run in my life (I use it extensively every single day!), however it will still make me disappointed everytime I have to use some other sub-par app just to make a collaborative note... Developers, hear my cry!
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5 years ago, Meron A.
Amazing app!! Use it every single day
And patiently waiting for the desktop version as well!! Everything about this app from the user interface, the features like the ability to categorize notes with a simple method using hashtags -makes life SO much easier when you don’t have to go back and reorganize/rearrange your notes all you have to do is add hashtag anywhere in the file and it’s automatically categorized to whatever you decide to name it. That is just one of the many small features I love. The note taking style is great as well with the ability to add quotes, bullets, heading, highlighting etc etc I could go on. I use this app to store recipes, personal thoughts, ideas, any information I need to remember, and eventually would like to use it to take notes for my classes if and when the desktop version becomes available. Hopefully 🤞🏾🤞🏾Thanks for this all around amazing app!
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11 months ago, pricewayne
Bear is my favorite tool in my life’s toolkit.
I’m a creative writer and technologist that also has ADHD. Bear is the first and only digital writing product I’ve found that works for me. And I love it. Both on my iPhone and on my Mac—I use it every single day. I treasure this app in my life. Every feature feels helpful and preciously designed to be easily found and not distracting. It *helps* me focus on my writing. The UX to keep my writing organized is wonderful. There’s so much delight in the UX (stumbling upon the feature that turns this “->” into a cute little arrow is a perfect example). Creating tags and nested tags (and more nests of tags within those nested tags) to file and folder my notes is actually fun to create and see every day in my left-side menu. It’s like getting to build my own little library. Loving the latest version’s updates!
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2 years ago, Brittani-92
Enjoying the app a lot save for one big annoyance
I love this app, the use of nested tags and linking while maintaining the lightweight feel of the app is wonderful. My one complaint that prevents me from giving it 5 starts is something that I’ve encountered dozens of times in my short time using this app on my ipad pro. When I open the app, the app opens to the last note I was working on. When I try to continue working on it, I have to leave the note entirely and go back into it otherwise it constantly makes the page jump down to blank space after all the text. And when I click my cursor where I want to continue typing, it continues jumping the page down, making it near impossible to continue using the note. So I have to leave the note and go back in to get it to stop. Sounds minor but extremely annoying when you’re working frequently within one note.
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8 months ago, Needsleepyghosts
The best iOS note taking app, but I do have suggestions!
I love this app, moved from Obsidian to it and it works so nicely on mobile where I take 90% of my notes. It syncs through iCloud too! So no work arounds or account. The subscription price is the best on the market, but even if it wasn’t it would be worth it. Devs are extremely active :> Now though, my suggestions: 1. Spaces- separated spaces would be awesome as one of my specific projects does require it. I currently keep said project elsewhere due to bears lack of spaces but it would be cool to add it. 2. Under the ‘notes’ section there is specific views/filters- I think this should be expanded upon and a bit more customizable. I think a filter for media and links would be the best! You can work around this with tags, but it would be nice to have a gallery view of media & links. I would also like to toggle off the ‘todo’ section personally. 3. Calendar view- this would probably be my most used feature if you added it!! It would go under the ‘today’ heading. I’m thinking of calendar being at top of tab and you scroll down to see todays notes- click on different day and see that days notes (IM BEGGING FOR THIS FEATURE PLEASEEE) 4. This one is a bit more unnecessary and for for fun, but a graph view :>
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10 months ago, secular_surfer
Best notes app, and I've tried ALL of them.
UPDATE: I took a break from Bear for a couple years and primarily used Agenda, Craft, and UpNote (which are all also excellent for slightly different use cases), but the new Bear 2.0 is phenomenal. I'll be using it much more again moving forward. Beautiful formatting and themes, intuitive UX, smart design decisions, excellent tagging system, and strong privacy features. Also seamless syncing. Grateful to these developers, and I don't even mind that they raised the price slightly with this update! --- Original Review: Excellent UI, very affordable yearly subscription price, tons of useful features without being bloated, nice watch integration -- just download it. I just have two recommendations: 1. Allow the user to drag and drop items on the edit bar above the keyboard so that we don't have to scroll as far over to use certain common features (like indent). 2. Add a togglable option to disable markdown mode from showing up in the editor. In other words, sometimes I don't want to see the asterisks around my bolded text -- I just want to see the bolded text. I don't think there's currently an option to do this, unless I've just missed it. Overall, fantastic app though -- blows others out of the water!
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6 years ago, monstak
I could kiss the developers of this app, if I could <3
I spend all day writing ideas for games like characters, places or stories and when I'm not at home this app allows me to write my ideas the way I want to do it (for now). the app has a clean and simple interface, it has MANY options and is also intuitive. Even though it is very good, it is not perfect. I think that it lacks the ability to edit the size and position of the images that are imported and the drawings that are made in the application. It has not been a problem for me, but I see it as a necessary function, for example: to illustrate an idea that I am writing in a single space (and not with the huge image above or below the paragraph). Anyway, I will give it 5 stars because the app fulfills in a great way its purpose and I have not noticed any kind of problem related to the app.
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11 months ago, Talix79
Version 2.0 adds all the missing pieces 👍🏻
I’ve been using Bear for years, and have a Pro subscription to add syncing between devices. I love it’s simple but useful UI and use of markdown, and I enjoy the light-hearted nature of the app presentation / identity. For a long time there has been minor but noticeable missing functionality, such as back-links and searching within notes. For this reason I’ve occasionally tried other apps such as Notion, OneNote, and Craft, but they either had a UI design paradigm that didn’t click with me, and/or were much more expensive subscriptions. As of version 2.0 Bear has added all of the functions I’ve been missing, plus a ton more. I now have no reservations about whole-heartedly recommending it above any other note-taking app. 👍🏻 Great work, Bear team!
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3 years ago, Oden the Red
The King of Notes!
I have tried and tried to leave Bear many times, because I haven’t felt that it could handle organizing the copious notes I take and link and organize and…. And every time I think I’ve found a better app (think Evernote, Roam Research, Notion, Obsidian, Craft, Ample…..), I have found myself wanting; wanting to come back to Bear. While I could go on about the multitude of benefits and features I like about Bear, there are two main reasons I keep coming back; 1. Simplicity that works! - Nearly anything I’ve needed my ideas organization system to do, I have discovered Bear can do. Even with the other applications, I’ve found that I was say something like, “if I just did this in Bear, I could make it work just like App A.” Plus, it’s simple. At times it’s too simple, but Panda (Bear beta app) is painting a very bright future for this platform to organize all of my notes and thoughts and stuff! 2. Universal To Do’s! - Do NOT underestimate the power of having this available. It allows me to create the task in the context of my daily notes, which I can reference later, and my recall is so much better because of the context I have of what I was doing at that time of the day.
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4 years ago, HeresMyTwoCents
Could easily be five stars!
This app provides a beautiful, distraction-free writing environment, which is much appreciated. But for the life of me, I can't understand why these developers won't let us sort our folders/tags in the left-hand column MANUALLY. This may come as shocking news, but being forced to sort things alphabetically or by date DOESN'T WORK for everyone! These are OUR folders... we should at least be able to structure them the way it makes sense to US. And WHY does it require so many unnecessary taps to create a new note? Whenever the sidebar is open, there is NO WAY to create a new note! Can't be done from there. You have to — for some unknown reason — open an existing folder first, and then the New Note button will appear at the bottom of the screen. Sheesh! Talk about inconvenient. I guess that's why I keep sticking with Ulysses. I prefer Bear's visual environment, but until they fix these issues, it just won't work at all.
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11 months ago, CubicleNinjas
Frustrating Bugs in 2.0
I love Bear. It was a breath of fresh air after bloated alternatives like Evernote. It seems that the lure of cross platform money at the cost of iOS focus has struck again. When they announced 2.0 I was hesitantly excited, as years of use had built trust. They wouldn’t release this without some heavy testing…right? Sadly ever update since the major has made me think of Evernote. A forced upgrade to a more bloated system? Check. Adding tutorial notes on every device on upgrade? Check. Making quick text edits a chore? Oh yeah. As an example, I have a massive note I use for a project. The scroll bar no longer is accurate making navigating it impossible. After a minute plus of navigation I click on an area to add text and I’m teleported to the very bottom. Yay. The formatting is somehow more cumbersome. Does it at least sync well still? No. For the first time ever I now have duplicates that I have to merge. Ever benefit of the old Bear is gone. I’m not anti change. I get that these exist for a reason. But taking a focused, fast, accurate app and making it into slow and inconsistent means I’ll be swapping over to another tool until the app is functional again. When Google Docs feels faster you know that whatever text engine foundation isn’t something to build a business on.
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2 months ago, WaxBil
Experiencing lots of bugs in outline mode for version two
One of the most annoying bugs I found is when I paste a link into a list the URL is lost. This is almost always the case. The workaround I have is to paste it once and then paste another and surprise surprise, the second link has retained your URL. An alternative solution is to type a space or letter and then paste the link. Particularly insidious is there is no visual indication that the link is missing, I just have to find out the next time I go back to the notes say three months later. Another problem showed up with lists today, where I went to the end of a bulleted line hit return and then switched to another keyboard and started typing. Surprise surprise, there was no text in the new bullet I have just created, but the text showed up at the very top of the page in front of the head or title.
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2 months ago, JQKY
Annoying to use.
Thought I would give it a try. Downloaded and played with it for 20 minutes. The markdown styles up is painfully aggravatingly to use. I don’t like the light style font, so I switch to bold. Don’t want to show the Markdown notes, so I switched them off in Settings. Nope… must need a double secret set of 6 step instruction to make that happen. I also want the bold text for the entire note. Nope! Must reset with Markdown for each line. I’ll just stay with Things3. Thanks for the free version before requesting payment. That was a nice touch. Update: 20 more minutes later Figured out how to change the font. Doesn’t appear that I can edit the default font on a previous note. Can’t seem to group my notes in any way, but that might take some more working with the app. Still not convinced it’s for me, but to be fair, I’ll bump up my review a couple of stars.
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4 years ago, buckle2
I really enjoy this app!
I wish I could get a second chance to try out the subscription again! It would be awesome! I don’t know if the developer could help me subscribe again to test out the same reason why I LOVED it and was surprisingly enjoying it almost or close to in the middle of Evernote or this other Microsoft notebook app I have had. But wow I just love how simple and easy to navigate the app and also it’s very simple even the website for support / help Bear website is very easy to find what you might want to know or what you have a question about! Great job Bear! The other apps I use to save my notes just has to much features in my face at once some times it gets annoying and that’s why I am so happy to have found my long lost app!!!
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5 years ago, Riz 75
Best note taking app on Apple ecosystem
I've used Evernote since 2013 and had over 5000 notes on it. Its a great app but the problem is that they use their own cloud services for syncing (I don't trust anything but iCloud for privacy reasons), full of useless features (at least for me), and the design is not very aesthetically pleasing. Then I came across Bear. Its such a beatufil app with great desgin and typography. Importing notes from Evernote to Bear was remarkly quick on Mac. I had previously tried to move to OneNote by MS and it took several days to upload to their cloud. It took just 20 minutes to migrate from Evernote to Bear as everything happened locally on the Mac. Then it took couple of days to sync all documents and picutures via iCloud. Since then, all the syncing happens almost instantly and seamlessly via iCloud. iOS versions of the Bear app are also gorgeous and just a pelasure to use. They look great on both iPhone and iPad. Bear has all the features I need and nothign that I don't need. I love this app and look foward to using it everyday. What can be improved? I think Bear extension for both Mac and iOS can be improved with more options to copy just text, just images, PDFs, or "reader" version of the web pages on safari.
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2 years ago, cjmusto
It was great… at one point.
This app was top-of-the-line (and could be compared) to the likes of Evernote, back when this app originally released. Back when the competitive market all had less features. But after 4-5 years, it seems Bear still hasn’t added any new features that matter to the user. It also seems likes they only respond to 5-star reviews, so overall just not a great look and really makes you feel like the developers gave up on the app and are just now milking it. I truly wish they would have added more support for it. I loved the elegancy, the aesthetic, and just how great it felt to use. I even use Avenir Next for almost all fonts that I can change haha, but the sudden halt in innovation for the app is what ultimately helped me move on from it. Haven’t touched this app (properly) in a long time. Hopefully they realize they may still have a chance here before their, soon, demise.
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4 years ago, booberdoopers
Great App, Very Useful and Creative!
I got this app a few months ago I believe and haven’t been dissatisfied or disappointed yet with it! It’s easy to use and navigate, wonderful and creative things you can do in it, and it’s just awesome! I’m very into writing stories and this app helps me to organize the plots and main points for the story. I also use it for lists as well and it works perfectly! I’d recommend this to many people if I knew many writers or just people who like creativity in note taking or lists but, sadly, I really don’t know anyone that would use it. When I meet someone who would though, this is the first things I’m bringing up in the conversation! I hope, if the developer(s) see this, that you keep it up and don’t ever shut down the app or take it off the App Store.
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11 months ago, N e s s i e _
We love to see it✨
I had previously rated Bear at 3 stars when the initial update first came out as it caused some rather frustrating issues. But now, I’m bringing that bad boy back up with this latest update because now my previous problem is no longer a problem! Everything feels so much nicer—scrolling doesn’t lag as much and it also looks smoother, if that makes sense. Definitely at a better quality now than it had been a couple days ago. Of course, some of the other reviews make a good point in having a better sorting system for tagged notes and/or adjusting the UI for other users, but those are things I don’t mind waiting for as overall, Bear feels so much better now! Thanks to the creators/devs or whoever for fixing some things up, definitely worth it👌🏼
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6 years ago, smr111
One teeny tiny complaint
I adore this app. I tried a bunch of different writing apps and I chose this one to be the one where I collected all of my personal writing and brainstorming. I love pretty much everything about it. I use EverNote and Scrivener for other applications, but Bear is the only one that makes me feel happy when I use it, so that's why I use it for personal writings. One complaint: on my 2017 iPad, when I press and hold in order to move the cursor to an exact spot, I have to make sure my finger is EXACTLY halfway between the top of the screen and the keyboard, because if it's above or below, the app thinks I am trying to scroll up or down and it scrolls SUPER FAST. It is so jarring and strange and annoying. I checked other writing apps and none of the other ones have this behavior.
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3 years ago, an guly rat 🐀
flexible and simple
This is perfect for chaotic organization. The tag system is really easy to use, especially if you're the kind of person who starts typing before you know what you're writing about, or like to have things in multiple folders. Notes link to each other and that's lovely because you can have something spread out over different notes without them getting lost or confused! Tags and links are the main selling points for me. The aesthetics are also very customizable; you can even change the color of the app icon for dark mode! I would highly recommend this for things like creative writing or keeping track of complex webs of information. It's limitless. I feel powerful >:3
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6 months ago, Eflyy
Love the Bear App!
I was looking for a notes app that was better than the default notes app on my iPhone. I saw the Bear app and I couldn’t be happier. It is easy to use and sync across devices but what really does it for me is the customizations you are able to do across the app. It makes want to organize your notes and customize it while you’re at it such as adding hyperlinks and images. I will continue to use only this app and just hope that the Bear app continue to make more app icons and themes. That’s my favorite thing about the app. I would recommend that they somehow make an option where we can input our own colors for themes to really take up the customization just a notch. Great app overall!
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11 months ago, sheepguy4
Best Notes App
Really organized, clean, clicking around isn’t slow! The look and feeling that it gives me is better then all the other notes apps. I love the app icon! The in app settings button, new note button, and hashtags etc are all in the perfect position and very comfortable . Everything is just well placed ! ( I hope it doesn’t change)I also think about how you can slide on any individual note or from the right into the menu. It’s smooth. I could say it again that this app gives me a great feeling. Very simple in a good way and the best notes app -better then the regular Apple one for me. I love the dark mode option- this is what I use. All what I have was without using the upgrade.
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6 years ago, Im_Adopted
Good app for notes
I used Bear for several years on my iPhone 6 Plus, and it was great for keeping my notes better organized and with additional styling options that are missing in the Apple Notes app. This app has a monthly subscription for premium features, one of them being cloud saves for your notes, but I didn’t feel like spending a MONTHLY payment for these features. Unfortunately, I forgot that I needed to manually save my notes before upgrading to my new iPhone 8 Plus, so when I got Bear downloaded again I found that all my notes were gone. With the outrageous subscription plans for premium features, and my own ignorance of not backing up my notes, I’ve decided to pass on Bear for now. I’d rather have my notes automatically synced to the cloud without having to pay money each month.
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4 years ago, jcotney17
Simple and Beautiful
I’ve used Scrivener in the past but it was daunting to get into. The complexity made getting started seem like an uphill battle. I love it and I’ve used it for years (along with the genius Scapple). Bear, however, is simple and easy to get started. That simplicity is paired with a flat-out beautiful interface that makes staring at a screen for hours not seem like a chore. Don’t get me wrong, I will still use Scrivener for long-form content because it’s research and export functions are great but Bear’s smooth beauty and iCloud sync are really gaining a foothold in the market share of my mind. Perhaps as Bear becomes more fully-fledged (if they are going that direction) they will gain more. I strongly suggest everyone on the fence try this out. I think you’ll be impressed.
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6 years ago, vamp007
My favorite general note taking app [revised]
Awesomely simple and powerful, well thought out UI. One of its most powerful features is its search. All notes apps do search but being really powerful and fast in search is key. I am a long time Evernote user and I could use apple notes but it falls apart in search. Once you have lots of notes you need to be able to find what you are looking for easily and flexibly. For example notes that have two words you are looking for but you want to enter those words only partially for whatever reason. Evernote is also very powerful in this area but overly complicated and overly feature rich in others. I’m going to give Bear 4/5 because it has no web or androide app. Notes are not something I am comfortable tying myself to without being platform agnostic. A++.
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4 years ago, KSnijy
This app has become my everything
Bear has replaced every note taking app and productivity tool I’ve ever used. Omnifocus, Things, Simplenote, Evernote, Wunderlist, Todoist, I’ve used and tried them all. Over time they’ve all become frustrating and anxiety inducing because of being awkwardly convoluted or overly prescriptive. Bear manages to combine extreme power into something elegant and simple. It can basically be whatever you want it to be and gets the hell out of your way. It evolves with you as your methods and use cases change. I use it as a home brew hybrid GTD solution in conjunction with TextExpander to provide a basic templating structure for the processes and flows I’ve designed for myself. I’ve been a paying customer for almost 2 years now and my love for it increases every day.
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7 years ago, cmsteahly
A Beautiful Notes App - One Request
I’ve tried just about every popular notes app to ever grace the App Store, and Bear is my current favorite. It’s become my go-to for all notes, PDFs, writing, etc. The incredible themes and typography really sold me on the app. It makes writing and engaging your notes enjoyable - something the Apple Notes app has never achieved. My only issue with the app is that notes to which you add a number of images are difficult to scroll through. Scrolling up and down on a note which contains a handful of images is very choppy and lags. This seems to be true for only the mobile version of the app. The desktop version of the app works very smoothly. If this choppy issue would be addressed, I would provide five stars. Other than that, I think this is the best notes app for the iOS/MacOS ecosystem.
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6 years ago, The Curt Jester
Near perfect
As someone who has used integrated systems for saving documents for decades, I am never quite sastisfied with the current system I am using. So I have used Evernote, OneNote, Apple Notes, markdown files in Dropbox, etc. Bear has been pretty close to perfect for me, especially as a Markdown user. Tagging and being able to use multiple tags along with directly linking your notes in other notes, makes this like a personal wiki. The synching across macOS and iOS has been flawless. I also really like the support for keyboard shortcuts in both macOS and iOS. Theming is also excellent. Embedded PDF files are easily viewed in both macOS/iOS. To get me to switch over to a new system is a high bar. Bear meets that bar and exceeds most of my expectations. High quality app. Now since no app is perfect, these are the main features I wish for. + Support for Markkdown tables. + Inline search for intances of matches in a single note on iOS (is supported on macOS already) + iOS, icon to show Sidebar when you are in the full editor view. Keyboard shortcut also. Sure it is only two clicks to get back to this view, but I find myself doing this navigation a good deal.
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3 years ago, mjsd5
Love this app
Apple Notes app “dark mode” is far too dark, Bear offers a few options that make a default for people that need more refined dark mode options. Main complaint is the inability to keep cursor at the middle of the screen. Currently, while typing. the cursor continues down to the bottom of the screen and my eyes are forced to stay at the bottom of the screen. This is terrible for posture and eye health. Having a typewriter option where the cursor stays in the middle at all times would be amazing. Smaller complaint is the tagging system. Currently tags are unprotected all the bottom, really getting in the way. Having them default at the top would be great to avoid accidental deletion or having a fully protected “tag” section would be optimal.
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5 months ago, Adair Worlie
Bear beautifully written and works flawlessly.
I experiment and download - and delete - lots of apps. Of all the apps I have tried and even kept and used, Bear is the only one that I call perfect. It doesn't crash. It doesn't interfere with other apps and services - like even Adobe does.(I personally object to Adobe's practices, but it's the next best written software I use.) It works sometimes in spite of Apple. Bear does more than I can ever use and all of what I want. The developers are creative, clever, resourceful and responsive. For their sake, I hope Apple buys Bear. For my sake, I hope Apple doesn't. Full access with syncing for a year costs less than lunch at Chick-fil-A. Don't waste time testing it. Just buy it.
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11 months ago, some sad anonymous kid
New update is a bit frustrating
I’ve been using this app for over two years now, and the new update is a bit frustrating. Everything is a lot harder to navigate and in general not a smooth to move around in (if that makes sense). If you try selecting a group of text this very annoying little magnifier pops up on top of the text and also is in front of the options for the selected text I can’t touch anything basically and I have to leave the whole and close the app to get rid of it. I would demand change but in this day in age corporations have mastered the art of making the worst possible changes/updates to their stuff and pretty much never listen to their consumers about how mad/sad they are over it. I really don’t see this being anything different. 🤷
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6 years ago, The Real Angry D
Not “in-app” purchase. SUBSCRIPTION based!
I am sick and tired of all these apps that claim to be free with “in-app purchases” that you think will be a reasonable $3 or $5 price tag for something simple like the basic ability to sync your writing across two devices (something Google notes does for FREE) only to discover after you’ve installed it that it’s SUBSCRIPTION based and will charge you $20 a year for something that should be a standard feature in a writing application! No, I will not subscribe. I will leave you negative feedback, delete the app, and avoid your company in the future until you catch on that users are NOT interested in paying multiple times for software. I’d have BOUGHT THIS APP OUTRIGHT if your prices were reasonable, but a $20 annual fee is absurd. After two years your app will cost TWICE what Scrivener does and have fewer features! Uninstalled and a complaint has been filed with the Apple Store that they stop showing subscription apps as “in-app purchases” and start showing them as “subscription-based fees” so I know not to waste my time downloading them. PS: Scrivener, which has about twenty times the features of this app, is a one time fee of $25. Less if you get it during National Novel Writing Month. I bought that software without complaint on two platforms at full price because they were UP FRONT and HONEST about their pricing structure and it is WORTH it.
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