Please Explain Bear to Me

Bear is beautiful, but at what cost? Everyone seems down on Evernote, but anything and everything I want to capture I can capture seamlessly into Evernote no matter where I am - Apple Mail, Safari, Chrome. I can easily put any kind of file or type of information I want into Evernote.

Want to make a PDF out of an Apple Mail and get it into Bear? Sure you can make a PDF, save it, then open Bear and then link to the file. Not very handy. With Evernote I can just forward the email to my Evernote email address.

Please explain the attraction of Bear other than it’s looks? I also have and use Ulysses, which works fine for text and Markdown. For text and Markdown I can just use Ulysses.

There is just too much friction involved with Bear when it comes to capturing information in multiple formats and from varied sources. Evernote may not be as pretty, but it just kills Bear for capturing information.

Bear is an app I want to like, but I just don’t seem to get.


I think it’s ok not to like it or resist it. I’m back to Evernote, because I like capturing the things you listed, and tables. I love Bear because

  • It’s simple
  • It is automation friendly,
  • it is more lightweight than the other apps.
  • cheaper that Evernote
  • uses Markdown if you’re into that (a good starting spot for ideas)
  • exports well to many formats
  • stores coding languages very well

If you like just text and the occasional image and attachment, then Bear is amazing.


I am all in Evernote…it’s an important part of my life and work. So a year ago I tried Bear, and I decided to run this trial for few weeks. Trial stopped the next day when I arrived work and logged into my Windows workstation.


I think there is always room in the barn for different implementations / software.

Evernote is and will remain my most used program. Yes it could be better at this or that but it is stable and packed full of great features.

I hear a bunch of people complain about the cost. Personally, they could charge me double and I would pay it given the deep integration in my life-flow.


I’ve gotten to the point where I feel this way about a lot of 3rd party apps and services especially if they’re subscriptions. They need be really fantastic, they need to offer me things I can’t get from Apple stock apps.

I tried both Bear and Evernote and my conclusion was that they are both subscriptions I don’t need. I most often see Bear praised for it’s simplicity, attractive design and markdown support. Evernote praised for how much and easily it can capture from any source.

In my case Apple Notes was the easy winner. I wrote a whole post about using Notes and Files instead of 3rd party apps.

Apple stock app favorites: Files and Notes

The impression I have is that it’s just the cool thing to dismiss Apple stock apps because they’re not as pretty as third party apps and I suspect many people never give them enough time to really learn all the features. Notes has a pretty deep feature set. True, it’s less useful if you also use Windows at work. But if you’re all in on Apple and don’t need cross platform access it’s pretty fantastic. It lacks the tagging and markdown Bear has. But the features it does have compare very well to both Bear and Evernote combined… something I explored in the above linked post. I’m still sometimes surprised by how much I can do with it.

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If only you could change the create or edit date on Apple Notes I would be tempted to switch. I often send something to Evernote and change the note date to reflect when that document was created. It’s a small thing, but a deal breaker right now.

Thanks, very helpful article. I am beginning to move in that direction.

Yes I wonder why everyone is down on Evernote. It is hands down my most used tool and it think good value for how much I use it.