I searched high and low for a replacement to the Mac OS default Notes app, which is incredibly limited in functionality and insufficient for my needs. I had one twist - I needed to find a note taking app for Mac that did not sync or store notes in the cloud. Bear does just that and it happens to be great. I really enjoy the hashtag categorization system and ability to have multiple tags on a note. It's a twist on Evernote style tags, but with a lighter-weight style of notebook organization and management.
Overall I love Bear. It is beautifully designed. I love the simple interface and the ability to tag notes is amazing. It makes searching for old notes so much easier. This is better than Apple Notes and I love it so much more than Evernote.
- For iOS and Mac users, Notability is probably one of the better stylus-supported note taking apps available. They've been around a very long time and have always iterated on their app to match the new features introduced in iOS. Definitely worth a look if you have an ipad.