iPhone and iPad

10 Reasons to prefer Bear Notes over Apple Notes

Apple Notes is the most popular note-taking tool among Mac and iOS users. Notes in iOS 9 have evolved into an excellent note-taking app. Because of this, everything from Siri to the Apple Pencil can now be used in conjunction with iCloud sync.

There are certain limits, but it’s an official Apple app. Checklists, shared notes, and formatting are all present, but nothing more. No organisation tag functionality, no level of customisation, and no robust export alternatives are included.

There’s an alternative to Apple Notes called Bear that’s accessible for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users. Consider the reasons why Bear Notes prevails over Apple Notes.

1. Taste and Design

What is it about Bear that makes him so unique? In a nutshell, taste. There is a lot of care that went into this app, and it looks and feels like an Apple product. With Bear, the focus is on the note-taking process rather than the features. It’s difficult to come across a well-thought-out design. The user experience isn’t even a top priority for well-known programmes like Evernote and OneNote.

If you look at Bear from the outside, it’s not much. However, you’ll be surprised by how large Bear really is if you start looking beyond the options. Tags and other basic features are included, but the programme also includes a superior drag-and-drop action bar, support for automation, and much more. There are certain people who will not enjoy spending time with a bear. The only way to grasp it is if you share Bear’s design philosophy. To find out, you must give it a go.

2. Native Markdown Support

The Markdown writing format is likely to be familiar to anyone who has looked at enhancing their writing process on a serious level. Markdown is a straightforward formatting system that eliminates the need for distracting toolbars. Instead, you format text using modifiers that are available directly within the text editor itself. For example, encircling text with two asterisks makes it more prominent.

If you’re new to Markdown, Bear really makes it simple to get started with the language. When you click on the Pen icon, you’ll be presented with a list of all of the formatting choices available. The Markdown shortcodes are located on the left side of the screen, while the keyboard shortcuts are located on the right. That Bear will allow Markdown’s syntax highlighting in the editor regardless of whether or not you use keyboard shortcuts is a huge plus.

3. Tags

bear notes tags

Instead of folders, Bear has a tagging system. Anywhere in the note, just type the pound sign (#) and write your tag. Something like #work is a tag, for example.

4. Interlinking Notes

This handy tool allows you to convert Bear into your own personal wiki. Begin by typing double brackets, followed by the note to which you wish to connect. Once you’ve input a few letters, autocomplete will assist you. You may also achieve the same effect by pasting the link to a note inside the text.

5. Themes

Bear Pro users can choose from a selection of 10 themes. For dark mode lovers, this might be worth the price of the upgrade itself as Bear has some great dark themes. There’s no OLED black theme for iPhone X users, but Dieci comes close.

6. Formatting Bar on iPhone and iPad

As you might imagine, writing Markdown on an on-screen keyboard is not a particularly seamless experience, which is why Bear’s formatting bar comes in so useful. On the top of the keyboard, there is a row of formatting shortcuts that may be scrolled horizontally. Using one tap, you may create a checklist, paste a Markdown link, or even input a tag using an autocomplete option to make your life easier.

7. Easy Exporting

Bear Pro users can choose from a selection of export options. Currently, you can export a text note as HTML, DOCX, RTF, PDF, Markdown, and even JPG.

As you would expect, the PDF that Bear generates is beautiful (although separate styling options for PDF export would have been nice). You can even export text as an image.

8. Smart Extensions

Bear has its own native extension for iOS devices. The extension allows you to instantly add any text or image to a Bear note without having to open the app. But that’s not all: Bear’s addon is also intelligent when it comes to the stuff you share. Consider the following scenario: you send a webpage from Safari to a Bear note.

Additionally, in addition to being given the choice of whether to prepend or append a note, you will be given the option of include both the title and link to the page in the note. In fact, you may copy and paste the whole contents of the page into a new Bear note. It’s surprisingly effective in this situation.

Even though you’ll miss out on the photos, you’ll still receive the text, complete with all of the links and properly formatted. Bear also provides browser extensions for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, making it much easier to import data.

9. Supercharged Drag-and-Drop

Bear is iPad ready. Not only does it support Split View and drag-and-drop between apps, it even has its own drag and drops feature. When you drag one or more notes from the list, you’ll see a new Actions bar appear at the bottom of the screen.

Drop the notes in there and you’ll see a list of actions you can do with the notes. These include pinning the notes and moving them to trash, as well as duplicating, merging, sharing, and exporting.

10. Workflow Integration

Workflow, an Apple automation software, now has support for Bear. It now supports six activities, including searching in Bear, opening a Bear note, adding to a Bear note, and retrieving the contents of a Bear note, among others. You may construct your own processes based on your own requirements by combining these activities.

Do you find yourself opening a Bear message several times a day? It should be added as a shortcut to your Home screen. The opposite end of the spectrum allows you to design a process to extract material from a specific Bear note and send it to task management or email app without ever having to visit Bear.

Alternatives to Bear Notes

As you’ve hopefully seen, Bear is a simple, focused, plain text note-taking app. This means it’s not for everyone.

If you’re looking for something with folder structures, lots of customization, and smart features like speech to text or handwriting recognition, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Try out Evernote, Zoho Notebook, or Google Keep instead.

Final Thoughts on Bear Notes vs. Apple Notes

If you just need to use Bear on a single device, you may keep it for free indefinitely. However, if you want to make use of the synchronising function (which you will most likely do), you’ll need to subscribe to Bear Pro. This will cost you $1.50 per month or $15 per year.

You may also try Bear Pro for free for a week to see whether it’s a good fit for you before purchasing it. Because everyone’s workflow is unique, there is no single optimal note-taking programme. Whether you use Bear or another note-taking app, you may benefit from our suggestions for improving your note-taking efficiency.

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