Nick Ang profile picture

Nick Ang

Bear app, I’m ready for you

bear app screenshot nick ang blog

You’re the one I’ve been looking for. After years of trying to beat Evernote into the shape I want, I have failed. And look, now I’m falling for you.

Bear app vs Evernote

Here are a few problems that Evernote has that you, Bear, don’t:

  • It takes ages to launch. You’ve launched in under a second so far each time, on all devices.
  • Searching has now become extremely slow, possibly due to the amazing but not-so-often-used in-document search feature, or maybe because I have thousands of notes in it by now. You, on the other hand, are lightning fast. I hope you can keep this up when you’re bogged down by thousands of notes.
  • Changing notebooks is slow and clunky. You don’t need me to create notebooks and instead, you create them on the fly for me with simple #hashtags.
  • No support for writing in Markdown in Evernote. But you? You handle Markdown beautifully with rich previews that get out of the way.
  • No support for code syntax highlighting in Evernote. You? Rich previews with syntax highlighting with simple backticks. You even provide auto-complete for language selection. I’m still getting to terms with this wonderful new reality.

bear app nick ang blog

Now, having said this, I’ve only signed up for a week of your Pro plan. I’m still keeping you under close observation. You know how troublesome it is to switch from one note-taking app to another, despite the import/export, right? No sane person would like to transfer data from one format to another if it can be avoided.

Real world test drive

I figured I’ll bring you for a test drive in the real world for two weeks and then either ditch you or marry you, and it all boils down to whether you do these things well:

  • Sync data among my devices reliably, including images and videos. That’s 2 MacBooks, 1 iPhone, and1 iPad.
  • Search, among other means, body text quickly and easily.
  • Convince me that your hashtag folder sorting system is actually a smart thing and not a gimmick.
  • Pasting things from the web or elsewhere leads to a consistent and considered behaviour.
  • Continue to work as quickly as you do now when I add more notes.
  • Allow me to copy your contents into Wordpress in raw Markdown without formatting issues for quick writing here and publishing there.
  • (Bonus) If I have the ability to download all my data off your server so that I’m assured that I don’t get locked into you like a co-dependent lover, I will pledge my allegiance to you, no further questions asked.

I’ve said what I needed to say. Please know that I’m ready to love you, Bear. Now show me what you’re made of!

Nick Ang profile picture
Senior software engineer, dad, writer-thinker type. Big on learning something everyday and trying to have fun before the lights go out.
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