Bear App Reviews

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Perfect for writing!

This is the perfect writing app, especially if you juggle multiple writing projects at once. The hashtag support is superb. The only issue I have is that I like to use it to store some snippets of code and the hashtag support will pickup some code snippets that use the # symbol. Other than that, the app is absolutely perfect for me. Unfortunately, I usually have to export it to another program to format it how it needs to be presented, but it is formatted perfectly for how I like to write.

I should have swtiched months ago

I never thought that I would like using a mac app so much, it simply fits my style. I am coming from Ulysses that had some great features that Bear doesnt have, but the simplicity here makes it so that I don't have to fight with it. This is a note app and its a better tool for the job that I want to do. 2 things that I want are typewriter mode and export to epub option. Everything else is simply fantastic!

The installation logs show “베어”, which is Korean for Bear! Why???

Before this post gets strange, I’d like to point out that Bear is an awesome product. Perhaps the best feature is that it allows you to import notes from other commonly used apps, and it does so well. The reasons this is such a great feature is that it helps people compare Bear to other apps, something that is difficult do until this type of app has enough user created content to assess all its features. I repeat, Bear is great as is Apple for making the best products on the market. The issue I point out below did not detract from my five star rating, but it will hopefully save some users from pointless worry when they turn off the lights that their computer has been hacked. Now, the weird part: For reasons unknown, I made the mistake of taking a look at the installation logs using the system information tool, to determine when I installed an app, and found that one out of 98 apps on the computer for some reason was labeled “베어”. Turns out, the app was bear, which was installed simultaneously with several other apps from the App Store, none of which use Korean names. I checked the actual installation logs in console and it’s bit more disturbing because everything about the app’s installation looks fine but for the one line that refers to it by name in Korean instead of English. I’m not an expert on Apple computers or Bear, but I have enough of a background using Macs to know that they can occasionally display dates in odd languages and it’s not a big deal. You simply make the change in System Preferences and wonder whether it’s time to get some sleep. Apple products are the best and I have no doubt that Bear is a great program. Sadly, I read the articles about malware (note I did not use the term “virus”), because I found out too late that ignorance is bliss when it comes to a problem you can’t beat. There are articles about North Korean hacks all the time that I know do not apply to this problem, which is the reason I’m taking the time to write this review, for the benefit of anyone else who comes across this oddity. I hope the explanation does not imply that it is an issue with how I have configured this computer since it is the same on each of the computers I installed it on regardless of the date, etc. Nothing I did caused this, nor did any third party software, or choice of language setting in preferences. I see that the app is offered on the Korean App Store and that that the U.S. site mentions Bear’s compatibility with Korean, but that does not explain this issue. Hopefully, this will be posted with the reviews since it is meant to provide feedback for other users' benefit as opposed to a question I should address directly with the developer or Apple. If it will help, I can provide logs. This isn’t the support community so please don’t treat it like a support community post, e.g., requesting I load Etrecheck. This is a common problem I now know.

I've tried so hard to love this app

I've come back to this app time and time again since it was released, and I always end up removing it from my Mac shortly thereafter. I apprecaite Markdown support, but sometimes I just want to hit the old Command-B, type something in bold letters, hit Command-B again, and move on. As far as I can tell, in Bear, it just doesn't work that way. As far as I can tell the only way to move on to the next word is to move the cursor beyond the closing markdown character with the arrow keys (or mouse, I suppose), which is just a huge inconvenience. Speaking of markdown, why on earth do I have to see the markdown symbols cluttering up my page? It makes zero sense for so many people who otherwise love the clean lines and minimalist appeal of Bear. Finally, I do wish I had the option to use folders if I wanted to. Frankly, as of October 2018, Apple Notes, with its shortcomings, is good enough for me.

In Love

I am totally in love with this app. Best note/text app out there and so awesome between my MacBook Pro and iPad Pro! Themes look amazing and markup features are great! Great work on this app and please keep the updates and feature rolling!

Simplistic and easy to use!

I tried to use microsoft onenote to do history notes for class and found it extremely frustrating! I didn’t want to watch a 30 minute how-to video, so I ended up finding this lovely app. I didn’t experience any issues with Bear, however I do ask that the developers add color options for the highlight function. As a student, it would be much more convienent when referring back to my notes. Also, it would be good to add more options for the numbering/list systems available. I find the “Ordered List” system to be very confusing when everything, even the sublists, start with only arabic numerals. Maybe throw in an option for roman numerals and/or and english letting system. I’d suggest the developers look to microsoft word for just this one thing.

nearly perfect!

I wanted to say "perfect except for the subscription fee" for Pro and then thought of another hting. perfect except for the subscription fee and the difficulty of importing notes from Yojimbo, the note-takig app which I had used before. the cutesy bear theme took me a while to get used to, but once I did, I did not look back. a really marvelous program but if you could only just pay for it outright and not have to get a subscription!

Really happy with this Evernote Replacement App

It may not be an Evernote replacement for everyone, but for my needs it is. Great note-taking and information gathering app. Great eye candy kind of interface, easy-to-use navigation, and great cloud-based sync between macOS and iOS platforms. Definitely recommend trying it for yourself to see if it meets your needs.

Awesome until I realized you can't hide markdown symbols

What I love most about Bear are the beautiful themes and the simplicity. The fact that there's an iOS app that syncs seamlessly with it is awesome. What has turned me off is that your document will have ugly, distracting markdown symbols if you decide to use formatting (bold, italics, etc). There's no way to hide these symbols, and I don't get that the developer sees that as a priority in looking at one of the support threads on it. To be clear, I understand the value of markdown and that this app is built on it. But, from the viewpoint of the user, the symbols kill the elegant, distraction-free writing experience. There are other editors using markdown that can hide the symbols or make them less distracting by lightening them, making them smaller, etc. I don't know why Bear can't do the same. UPDATE: With the last update, a new theme was added (Dark Graphite) which makes the markdown symbols quite light. This is good and makes the app more pleasnt to use. I still wish there was a way to hide them completely.

Does everything really well! Wish they added math print

Love the todo feature and how clean it all looks. On their website they’ve said for a long time now that Math print with latex, etc was coming soon, but hasn’t arrived yet. Would love to see them keep their word, as that’s an awesome feature!

Gorgeous App

Bear is an elegant note taking app, with several gorgeous light and dark themes. It is cross-platform that syncs via iCloud, so I can use it on my Macs, iPhone, and iPad. Best of all for programmers, Bear can format text as code blocks. Amazingly, Bear also has syntax highlighting for several languages. Other great features include markdown support, tags for organizing your notes, Siri integration, linking to other notes, linking to specific sections via headers in other notes, and the ability to export your notes in multiple formats. Without a doubt this is my favorite note taking app, and I am happy to subscribe for the pro features.

Auto Capitalization

Why don't characters capitalize. A very basic feature.

Some people need folders

I cannot function with just tags. When it comes to a note-taking app, I need folders. The lack of such a feature, makes Bear useless to me. Otherwise, it looks good (apart from the fact that the Markdown characters are visible).

The app I love to tell people about.

It's fantastically simple. Great out of the box features, with minimal configuration necessary. Once you're ready, the keyboard shortcuts, pro themes and hashtagging take it next level. I love Bear.

1.6.1 Cursor and Scroll: Thank You!

I appreciate the update. Split view in the works? Bear is best.

Massive improvement over Apple Notes

This is the best notes app on the market, I use it every single day for personal and work related stuff, it’s just incredible and well worth the pro membership. Works seamlessly across devices, provides tons of great organization methods, and has lots of smart features packed in to move things along faster. Just a fantastic and clean application I love it!

Great productivity tool!

I use Bear daily for both work and person note taking across iOS and macOS devices. I've had nothing but a great experience with this software and I'll happily pay the annual subscription for software that makes my life a little better. The only request I really have it to support tables, especially when exporting to Markdown.

phenomenal app

This is a phenomenal app. I bought iA Writer a week before discovering bear and I regret I did. Bear is beatiful for writing. It has simple, yet intuitive ways of marking up the text for editing. It’s simple, unlike Evernote, which rocks many different features. Aside from using Tables on Evernote, I am comfortable switching to Bear full-time. The app can store files and is easy to use. The typeface and edit mode is stunningly pleasing to use, and switching between themes (dark or light) is a breeze. I would love to see two features added: note reminders (now I use Things App to intergrate this lacking functionality) and support for tables. Otherwise, the app is really fun to use.

I love this

I’ve been using Evernote since 2009 or so, and I was always frustrated that you *had* to hit return /twice/ just to create some visible spacing between paragraphs! When I would mention this on a forum, someone came back and said “er, why don’t you just hit return twice, you don’t need no stinking paragraph spacing!” <Insert Beavis and Butthead voices here>. I’m so happy that Bear devs are sensitive enough to provide paragaph spacing and line spacing settings, and overall have a lovely feel. I’ve been using it for about 2-3 weeks for everything, and it’s so light, and fun to use. Intuitive. Pretty. Simple. Doesn’t get in the way. Love, love, love it. Guys, consider any feature additions carefully! — Keep it simple, and weigh them carefully ;-)


Absolutely beautiful, out of the way, perfectly organized, and reasonably priced.

Could be great

Very clean, easy to use. I’m moving away from evernote because it’s too expensive. BUT, unfortunately my company laptop blocks icloud, so I wish there were some alternative sync options. I lauched the app and it just makes sense how to use it, and that’s how you write a winning app.

No spotlight index on Mac, and attachments not searchable at all

Love the app (the #hashtag tag format/function on Bear is sooo great) but it can’t replace Evernote for me unless it can search attachments and unless they can make spotlight indexing work on both mac and ios. Even better would be to have the same OCR capacity as Evernote.

not worth the price

I was a paid user of Bear for almost 2 years...bottom line, it is decent but it is not offering enough value to warrant the price. At the time of writing this review, it has been almost a quarter YEAR from the last time this app was updated. I have submitted many DETAILED, comprehensive feature requests to the developer with no response on implementing.

Beware - Customer Service Lacking

I purchased the Pro version of this app in order to have it sync across all my devices. The FAQs say that it will automatically show up as PRO on all devices, but it does not. It asks me to purchase the Pro version again. I checked to make sure it showed up in my subscriptions, and it is there. I have reached out to Bear Support with no response. I will not trust a premium app with non-responsive support.

Customer Service?

Downloaded the apps across all my devices (Mac, iPad and iPhone). Purchased Bear Pro. Could not get the Mac to sync. Tried everything. Followed instructions, etc. Reached out via their homepage 3 times for support. No reply, no acknowledgement of email, no follow up. Frustrating. Not worth it.

Migrated and never looked back

Highly reccomend. I’ve been using this app daily for 6 months now and I’ve never even considered going back to Evernote. Pros: * Fast and clean interface * Code blocks and syntax * Markdown * Effective search engine Cons: * No image resizing (the only feature I really miss from Evernote) * No way to disable markdown visualization. You always see the *’s, /’s, and `’s, which can make notes confusing and polluted (and I imagine it's off-putting for less tech-savy people). Even with the cons, I still think it deserves 5 stars.

Bear and I

For as long as I can be sure there are still people out there capable of producing things like this application, life clearly feels worth living. Bear makes the world a better place. Bear is art. k.

All software should be built this well

I used Evernote for years until it became a bloated, unusable mess and only seemed to get worse, not better. Bear is an unbelievable breath of fresh air. I manage my entire life on it and miss exactly 0 things from Evernote. To the Bear creators and developers, thank you so, so much for delightful, easy to use, and fast software that makes my life meaningfully better every day. Keep it up and never let Evernote-style bloat hamper your application. Thank you!!!!


Bear is my favoite App in the App store. The Bear way of doing things, but I fell in love with the Bear way of doing things. The organizational system is complete and robust. You can orangize in hashtag heirarchies—one reviewer mentions wanting to have different notebooks. I found this wasn’t necessary for me at all. Note taking is pretty much all I use it for. If you want a WYSIWYG word processor like Word you’re going to be disappointed. It does the one thing it’s meant to do remarkably well. If all you want to do is jot down a single note Bear might be overkill. But if you want quick, easy access to your thoughts in a structure you can generate quickly on the fly—or even go back and add later—then it’s a real powerhouse. It is an App that once you learn a few simple markups—which takes no time at all—just gets out of your way and allows you to take notes.

I never review things but…. I LOVE THIS APP

Bear makes everything cleaner, faster, and easier. Paste a link and it hyperlinks the title of the site, easily cross-reference multiple notes, and make as many tags as you want. Write in code, embed pictures, make lists with pre-programmed keyboard shortcuts. Bear has all the features you want with none of the BS. It is cost-effective and lean. It takes no time to learn with instant returns. I can’t tell you how much I love this app. It’s the note app I’ve always wanted. Thank you to the developers, y’all are amazing and I hope I can use all of your products.

Almost perfect, needs scanner

Excellent design, great interface, great sync. It has convinced me to switch from evernote, which i have used for a long time. 4 stars because i think it should include some kind of document scanner. great work !

Evernote feels lonely

Evernote was the notetaking app I used for the longest time. I tested this and Agenda app. I think they’re somewhat different. However, I really enjoyed using Bear. It’s easy to change the format of my text on the phone. I think I might like the iOS app more than the desktop. The syncing of notes is perfect. Also, it’s easy to categorize my notes by just typing in a tag or sorting notes with folders. I use my Bear app to write blog posts, create my meal plans, create my shopping lists, take notes in meetings. Once I found out I could change the color themes, I was pleasantly pleased! I can write better, longer when there’s a darker background vs white.

Quickly Became #1 App in my Workflow

- Bear's Intelligence and power are hidden in its simplicity - Complicated document manipulations are now easy with Bear - It gives me options to do what I want without following any opinionated ways

So upset - what happened??

This app used to be my central hub for writing, but as of 2 weeks ago, it’s completely gone wack. I have nothing else but a text screen, and I can’t see anything else but that. Not my old files, not my tags - nothing. Have no idea what could have happened, but um… I need it fixed. Someone please help?

Great App, Great Support

While the merits of the app can be found in the other reviews, I just wanted to write a quick word on the customer support, which is awesome. I had a syncing issue between the Mac and iOS versions (which was probably my own fault) and received a reply from their customer support within the day, fixing my issue. Glad to give my support to a company that’s eager to do the same!

Works the best with long notes that have lots of images

I tried Apple Notes but there is a random limit on images it can hold. Gave Evernote a shot too, but they have limits on the size of the note can be as well as how many folders and other controlling things. I also did not trust Evernote security and privacy because they need to be able to see inside the notes to OCR images. While OCRing images sounds nice I found it made searching harder in my journals because random stuff from images would show up. That and Evernote is so bloated and slow and would change folders and settings for some reason made me want to leave it. Then I gave Bear Notes a try and fell in love with it. It can handle my long notes and journals(10k to 20k words with about 50 images each note) with no issue and is far faster at loading then Apple Notes or Evernote. The only limit I could find for Bear Notes is a limit of 250mb for a single attachment, but just means it won’t sync which is fine by me. I didn’t know if I would like using tags but its no big deal and feel more free flowing and easier to just jump in and write. Its by far the best way to keep a journal and the yearly cost is very reasonable too! The only thing I wish it had is sharing like Apple Notes has but the fact that its lean is perfect and it should stay that way. And the Markdown is just perfect and better to use than the other options. I also love how they have many export features like HTML and TextBundle which helps to future proof my writings. The little things like how they do the export to HTML is the best, it keeps the margins and images scale down just like how it would look on Bear Notes unlike Evernote export to HTML created a mess of madness. Its a very well thought out app and recommend it to everyone who wants to write long notes with tons of images, or if they just want a simple program for notes. You can’t go wrong with it!

Simply the best

Effortless syncing and beautiful and useful markup all while keeping it minimal.

Easily the best notes app available

This app is incredible. It’s made me write so much more. I use Bear for so many things it’s incredible. I could go on forever, but here’s a short list of my favorite things about Bear: * It’s gorgeous and this makes me want to juse it. * It’s cross platform support is bar none the best I’ve seen. The iOS app is just as good as the Mac app and the iPad app. * Tags work well and are autocompleted. * Markdown support is THE best out of any notes app, including great support for todos, links, and images. * Bear allowing for floating windows, which are critical to having a great writing workflow. * Search is blazing fast. * Excellent keyboard shortcuts. * 100% bug free since I’ve started using it well over a year ago (2 years now I think). * Many more! If Bear shut down, I’d offer to buy it from them. Like, the whole business. I can’t live without this incredible app. Thanks Shiny Frog! You all rock.


Recently I installed bear and so far it is good. But I believe it needs more features. First, I noticed that I could't able to change texts color, and secondly it would be great if we can creat different notebooks because it will help me to organize my notes better.


Can’t even import a clipping with any success.

I always come back to Bear

For pure writing, Bear is fantastic. It’s fast, so it’s easy get ideas down when I’m on the go. The use of tags makes it easy to interconnect ideas and notes withouth having to worry about digging though folder structures like other apps (Ulyssees, iWriter). Bear is also beautiful and synchs quickly and flawlessly between my iPhone, iPad Pro and MacBooks.



Almost There

This is a great app for note taking and the iOS sync is super fast. I love everything about this app except the optinionated organize-by-tag feature. I much prefer folders for individual projects so that my other notes get out of the way. Manual reordering would be nice as well. That said, this app has great potential so I’ll support it as long as I’m able to.

Was nice, no longer syncing with Mac OS

No longer syncing, and not into digging for file logs to send. Back to stock note app I concur.

Don’t Waste Your Money-The Programmers Are Lazy

I see hundreds of complaints about it not syncing between iCloud devices. What it needs, and they know it, is a “sync now” button. Kind of a no-brainer. But rather than put one in, like all my cross platform apps have, they just write you and tell you to send them your logs. How lazy are they? I’m not their tester. There are far better products than this. Especially if you need Bear Pro. It just doesn’t sync. All my other apps have them. These programmers are just dumb and lazy as F***

Excellent, excellent, excellent

It’s fast, and it has a great mix of features. The way that tags and subtags work and appear on the sidebar is super useful. Sync is fast and reliable with Pro. No complaints or suggestions for improvement.

Best Note Taking App By ar

I've been looking for a simple, beautiful, but well organized note taking app. This is the one, without a doubt. Not only has it helped me to get the things I wanted done, but it also encouraged me to begin journaling, something I've been thinking about doing for years, but always found inconvenient. This app makes it enjoyable and easily organizable. Pay for it - these developers deserve your money.

Best app in a long time

I don’t write app reviews, but this app… This app is simply delightful and beautiful. Beyond looking incredibly elegant, IT JUST WORKS! It’s so, so hard to come across an app that requires no sign in, no hassle, very little learning, and just works beautifully. Great job guys! I wish I could make an app this well - I know because I try and come nowhere near this level of polish.

Indispensable Application

Like many other reviewers, I have used Evernote and Apple Notes for several years. However, as my note database became unwieldly large, I found myself in needs for note taking app that can synchronize instantenously and show search results quickly, even if it meant sacrificing some features. Bear is perfect for such needs, if you are invested in Apple-only environment. Synchronization among 2 Macs, iPhone, and iPad has been flawless and super-quick. This is my go-to place to jot down any daily decisions I make at work, takeaways from any meetings, and just a great depository for any information. However, if you prefer fancy notes with handwriting and many photos and audio or if you need cross-platform capability, this isn’t the right solution for you. However, if you need flawless and instantenous syncrhonization of notes across all Apple devices, this application is worty trying.

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