Manage ideas, lists and more with Bear
1 Meet Bear
When you first launch the Bear app you’ll see this welcome screen. It’s a Bear note: to change the note just click on it in the middle section. You’ll see Notes, Trash and a welcome hashtag at the lefthand side of the interface.
2 Get going
ç+N creates a new Bear note, and from there it’s just a matter of typing. Bear applies the H1 heading style to your note’s first line, and you can use familiar shortcuts such as ç+B and ç+I to style your text.
3 Add a link
Bear knows about two kinds of links: web links and links to other Bear notes. Here we’ve pasted an address straight from the Safari address bar and Bear has automatically turned it into a clickable link.
4 Add an image
Unlike many notes apps and text editors, Bear can show images inline instead of making them attachments or thumbnails – although you can specify thumbnails if you prefer. Just drag and drop the image.
5 Get tagging
Tags make Bear a happy bear. To use or create a tag just type a hash and then the tag, for example #macformat. You can assign as many tags as you like to notes; they’ll all appear in the black navigation panel.
6 Find things again
Tagging makes notes easy to find at a later date. By default, the navigation shows top-level tags, but you can have tags within tags such as #macformat #issue317: you’ll see a clickable arrow if a tag has sub-tags.
7 Insert media
In this example we’ve dragged and dropped a drawing of guitar chords, but you could embed a music file or video if you prefer to. If it can be previewed by OS X’s Quick Look it can be previewed inside a Bear note.
8 Make a to-do
One of our favourite features is Bear’s instant to-do lists. Select the section you want, tap and each line gets a check box next to it. Clicking the box places a cross and draws a line through that item.
9 Get information
In the very top-right corner of the main window you’ll see an information button. Clicking this shows you the word count and other vital statistics, and enables you to pin notes so they stay at the top of their tag.
10 Export your notes
Export options are limited in the free version of Bear: you can’t generate PDFs, DOCX or HTML without a Pro account. But you can still export in a range of standard formats including text and Markdown.
11 Share your stuff
Bear also uses the macOS systemwide share sheet, which enables you to send content to specific apps or services such as Messages, Notes, Facebook or Twitter. The list depends on what apps you have installed.
12 Cut the clutter
If you prefer a really minimal writing environment you can switch between three, two and one-panel layouts with the little icon at the bottom right of the main window. Full screen is an available option too.