Writ­ing on Mac made easy

How Bear can man­age your ideas, lists and much more Bear is a com­bi­na­tion of two kinds of app: to-do lists and dis­trac­tion­free writ­ing

Mac Format - - APPLE SKILLS - Gary Mar­shall

it will take

15 min­utes

you will learn

How to add, or­gan­ise and ex­port notes in the Bear app.

You’ll need

Bear, free from the Mac App Store.

How many dif­fer­ent bits of in­for­ma­tion do you need to carry around in your head or on

your Mac at one time? If you’re any­thing like us, it’s a lot; shop­ping lists and to-do lists and things to re­mem­ber and things to down­load later and things to look up and things to find out about and… we’re tired just think­ing about it. Wouldn’t it be great if you could shove all of that into a sim­ple app that en­ables you to find what you need when­ever you need it? That’s Bear.

Bear is a com­bi­na­tion of two kinds of app; it’s a note-tak­ing/to-do app, and it’s a writ­ing app too. It sup­ports Mark­down for­mat­ting and can ex­port in a wide range of file for­mats, and it comes with a gen­er­ous se­lec­tion of im­port and ex­port op­tions to get in­for­ma­tion from and to your ex­ist­ing apps. There’s a com­pan­ion iOS app for both iPhone and iPad, although if you want to sync be­tween dif­fer­ent de­vices you’ll need a Pro sub­scrip­tion. That also gives you Hand­off, so you can start typ­ing a note on one de­vice and it’ll ap­pear in­stantly if you switch to an­other.

What makes Bear a bril­liant app is the way it makes every­thing ef­fort­less. As we’ll see in our how-to, it doesn’t mat­ter whether you’re writ­ing a book or jot­ting down a shop­ping list: Bear en­ables you to get things done with a cou­ple of key­strokes.

It au­to­mat­i­cally in­serts images and for­mats links, and you can even link Bear notes to­gether for easy cross-ref­er­enc­ing or doc­u­ment man­age­ment. It shows you word counts and av­er­age read­ing times, and its use of tags makes it easy to file con­tent and find it when you need it in a hurry.

Should you go pro?

Bear’s de­vel­op­ers have taken an un­usual ap­proach; they’ve put al­most all of the im­por­tant fea­tures in the free app. How­ever, a Pro sub­scrip­tion does un­lock some re­ally use­ful good­ies – you get the abil­ity to use themes to change Bear’s ap­pear­ance, ad­vanced ex­port­ing in PDF, HTML, DOCX, JPG and RTF for­mats, and sync­ing be­tween mul­ti­ple Mac and iOS de­vices.

That’s just £1.29 per month or £13.99 for a year, and you get a month’s free trial too. That sounds like a bar­gain to us, but in this tu­to­rial we’ll stick with the free ver­sion to dis­cover what you can get with­out pay­ing a penny. Take a look at the fol­low­ing steps and see what you think.

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