Bear

A beautiful, flexible writing app for notes and prose

#5 Product of the MonthJune 2016
+2

Bear is a beautiful, flexible writing app for crafting notes and prose. It works on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, so you can write wherever inspiration strikes.

Reviews

  • Justin DeardorffHunter/Gatherer of Ideas
    Pros: 

    Clean interface, markdown editor, link to other notes, unique hashtag categorization system, one of the few note apps that doesn't need clou

    Cons: 

    note linking process is a little clunky, can't customize or pin favorites in tag folder order

    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.

  • Pros: 

    Clean interface, really fast sync, right amount of features

    Cons: 

    iOS app/extension works wonky when trying to add multiple pictures to a note (order is incorrect, some pictures need minutes to appear)

    I love it =)

Discussion

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Matteo RattottiMaker@matteorattotti · Shiny Frog
Hi everyone! We're Shiny Frog from Italy and we love to make beautiful, useful apps. We created Bear because we wanted a beautiful way to write, easily organize our notes, and publish or share in various ways. This has been a labor of love for nearly two years, and we're releasing the beta today because we'd love to hear what you think! To try Bear, please visit our beta site linked above and enter your email address so we can register you on TestFlight. The Shiny Frog team is myself, Matteo Rattotti, Konstantin Erokhin, and Danilo Bonardi. Comment here with any questions or feedback and we'll do our best to respond!
Cesare D. Forelli@cdf1982 · Indie developer
@matteorattotti Congrats Matteo and all the team for shipping Bear! I've been using the beta and I love your unique approach and design, and sync between devices is lightning fast and absolutely reliable. I wanted to leave Evernote for a while, and Bear is the multi-platform solution I was waiting for!
babygau ヽ(ヅ)ノ@babygau · Indie Developer
@matteorattotti Are you planning to work on Evernote Sync?
Matteo RattottiMaker@matteorattotti · Shiny Frog
@babygau no, but we have an Evernote importer :)
Halyna Zhyrko@galeriks · Growth hacker/Marketer
@matteorattotti Any chance it will be available soon for Android users? :)
Matteo RattottiMaker@matteorattotti · Shiny Frog
@galeriks at the moment we have no plan for Android, but if the app will go really well we might consider.
J. Alexander Curtis@_jacurtis · Co-Founder, Yagi Telecom
I have to admit I sort of rolled my eyes when I saw "another notetaking app" on product hunt. But after giving it a look I have to admit now that i am really excited to try it out. It might just be the app I have been looking for. Currently I am using Evernote, but it is by no means an ideal solution. I like that its cross platform and integrates with everything. However the rest of it, to me at least, is a terrible experience. Evernote feels clunky at times for such a basic thing, and organization tools are available (tags, folders, etc) but the UI doesn't implement them very well. They have a good search which is what I have found that I need to rely on most often when searching for a note. I would love to turn this upside down and find something that works. I really like the idea of markdown and I love the design and simplicity with how it appears to be implimented. Last thought: The variation of Markdown you are using is slightly concerning. Just because it strays from the norm. For example in traditional markdown you would add an asterix around *italics* and double asterix around **bold**. However in your implementation a single Asterix will cause bold and not italics, which is confusing for someone used to traditional markdown. Also in traditional markdown a single underscore would also make text italics while in your version it will make it underlined. I am not sure if this is a problem or not. I would have to try the app. While I will be honest that if we were redo-ing the markdown spec today I would give you two thumbs up for your version (it is more intuitive) but my concern is that I will have to remember that I am using the Bear Markdown which is different than traditional markdown. I fear it will cause me to make errors in Bear or errors in other markdown apps that i use because I have to consciously remember which version I am using and remember two syntaxes. While the traditional markdown is seemingly inferior to your version of markdown, I would still lean towards using it because it is consistent across other markdown apps. Maybe you can have an option in settings that would allow you to switch between the two version. I am excited to try the beta and maybe after trying it for a while I will realize that this markdown issue isn't a problem. I just bring it up as an initial concern. Best of luck with the release and the beta!
Andrew Wooldridge@triptych · WebDev
@_jacurtis I agree - hopefully you offer configuration options to allow folks to use standard markdown as well.
Belle Beth Cooper@bellebcooper · Co-founder, exist.io
@_jacurtis I've definitely noticed this when using the beta. I use Markdown constantly, for everything, so I'm a lot slower at doing any markup in Bear because I have to remember the different syntax.
Matteo RattottiMaker@matteorattotti · Shiny Frog
@_jacurtis we are aware of the concerns about the Markdown variations, we discussed a lot about this, and we still have doubts. But this is the first public beta, things can be changed :) We really want a lot of feedback about our variations, and if they are a problem we'll change them (we'll try to not be stubborn about this). I really like the @_jacurtis comment, because it highlight the problem, but it keep the door open to the new possibilities, I'm pretty sure that with this mindset we can make something beautiful <3 Thanks again for all the support!
Wagner Bonfiglio@lamagrabr · CTO, Já Entendi
Windows/Android versions please, I really need to use your great app!
Julien Ricard@jarnix · CTO, Webedia
@lamagrabr waiting for a web version too, so much easier to copy/paste and use everywhere
Λiza C. ⚡️@aizanity · Saas Email + Content Copywriter, EMF
@lamagrabr @jarnix I'm also hoping for a web version. I do a lot of note taking on my laptop.
Simon Keane@keanetweets
Any ETA on the beta launch? 😄
Matteo RattottiMaker@matteorattotti · Shiny Frog
@keanetweets a day or two, we're 99% ready :)
Simon Keane@keanetweets
@matteorattotti Awesome, looking forward to trying it out! :)
Ernie Smith@shortformernie · Editor, Tedium; journalist
Hey, why the nonstandardized implementation of Markdown? The bold and italics in particular is not how that tends to be used in most apps.
Matteo RattottiMaker@matteorattotti · Shiny Frog
@shortformernie Hey! The standard Markdown has many limitations and in particular bold and italic are non-intuitive/mnemonic, we tried to come up with a variant that's more user friendly and that allows us to implement new features with ease. However, we'll listen to our users feedback and we'll try to take the best direction :)
Ernie Smith@shortformernie · Editor, Tedium; journalist
@matteorattotti For me, it's a literal "I won't use it" thing. I worry it would introduce a compatibility issue with the other Markdown files I use and messes with the muscle memory. I wouldn't be able to copy and paste my words from this into Ghost, for example. New ideas are welcome to the Markdown spec (the approach certainly isn't terrible), but I think you should put this decision in the hands of users. At this juncture, it's almost like messing with the HTML standard. Not trying to be a wet blanket here, but that immediately stood out to me as a potential problem.
Seb Jachec@iamsebj · Student, coder, gamer.
@matteorattotti @shortformernie Seems like this just makes notes partially incompatible if you export them elsewhere. Having to spend time going through and changing bold and italics to the syntax that's accepted on most sites and in most apps isn't fun. Almost goes against the "no lock-in" data storage philosophy too.
Matteo RattottiMaker@matteorattotti · Shiny Frog
@iamsebj @shortformernie We have a markdown importer/exporter, so you don't need to do this by hand. I get that's not ideal and we might change direction at some point, but as now we really want to try this approach. We don't want to exclude the Markdown users, but we want to improve everyone else experience. The public beta is made to highlight this kind of problems, we'll change course if our users feel that this is a big mistake :)
Andrew Wooldridge@triptych · WebDev
@matteorattotti @shortformernie folks are learning markdown so they can use it across apps. if you are going to offer a non-standard markdown, please at least have an option for folks to use the standard instead. As they've already gotten that habit :)