No, I am not talking about teddy bears or the mighty Slavic bear cavalry of yore. Although that would be nice. There are no bears. Instead, Bear is a delightful writing and list making app available for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Bear has a sleek and simple design, and consists of three main workspaces: the sidebar, notes list, and the editor.
The sidebar is a home for any and all tags you add to your notes, essentially taking the place of the traditional folder. The notes list is a nice little home for all your notes and take their place based on date modified. If you are particularly fond of a note you can conveniently pin it to the top of the list. Finally, you have your editor, where you can write and make your beautiful, perfect, flawless lists.
This is the fun part, where you can italicize, bold, underline, strikethrough, create headings, and delightful little checkboxes. The little checkboxes are my favourite part, because when you click that little box something magical happens. Not only is your list one step closer to completion, but, it strikes through that item on the list, and there is delightful status bar at the bottom of each note in the sidebar. As you check things off that sidebar moves to the right and towards completion. Bear also allows you to link notes together. This allows you to move quickly and quietly between your different notes.
Perhaps the second-best feature (as first-best goes to the checkbox/strikethrough option) is the save feature. There isn’t one. Bear automatically saves for you so you don’t have to worry about losing a thing.
For those with a passion for type face you have your choice of Helvetica Neue, Venir Next, and Menlo.
The basic version of Bear is free. However, Bear Pro offers additional features which allow you to sync between your different devices, provides you with different themes (which all look really cool), and exporting options. Bear Pro is available in the form of a subscription service. There are two options. First, you may pay a monthly fee of $1.99 which includes a one week free trial. Second, you can pay a yearly fee of $19.49 which includes a one month free trial, and savings of 15%. I cannot tell you how much I love this app, everything about it makes me happy, which in turn contributes to my productivity.
Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 21, February 7th, 2017.