I have never liked Apple Notes because I have found it to be unreliable in several ways. But a few months ago I thought I would give it a try because I kept reading and hearing good things about it. So I copied all my notes from Bear to Apple Notes. After doing so everything was running along smoothly. As a fall back I kept my notes up in Bear and I’m glad I did.
So, here we are with iOS 13 and iPadOS and Notes is having sync issues. After reading a few support forums I found this to be a common problem among Apple Notes users. Notes fail to sync, or at best, some notes randomly sync hours later. I don’t have the patience for this.
I’m back to Bear for notes and short-form writing. I have over 500 notes and never had a sync issue. Another great thing about Bear is that I can backup my notes just in case. I also missed the ability to export a note if I wanted to.
Goodbye Apple Notes never again.
I’m on a mission to eliminate all my subscription apps. I only have two more to go. Those would be Bear and Ulysses.
Why? I just don’t want to pay for an app over and over year after year especially when I already have other free and paid alternatives that work just as well for me.
Bear moving to Apple Notes
I’ve been using Bear as my notes app since leaving nvAlt a couple of years ago. Back then the Apples Notes app was very basic at best. Over the last couple of years, it’s been much improved. Don’t get me wrong, Bear is a great app. But, I’ve come to realize that I can do all that I need to do in Bear in Apples Notes. For now, I’m running both apps parallel until I’m absolutely positive Notes is going to work for me.
Ulysses moved to iA Writer
I’ve written about Ulysses a lot over the last few years. In my effort to eliminate subscription apps I recently moved all my writing to iA Writer and deleted Ulysses from all my devices and I will not be renewing my subscription.
Brett Terpstra released a nice upgrade to Marked 2 yesterday with some improvements for Bear integration. I purchased my copy of Marked a couple of years ago through the App Store. To preview what I was writing in Bear in Marked was a bit tricky. I always wondered why. In fact, it took me a while to figure out how to do it. Well, Brett answers why it was tricky.
Before I start talking too much about Bear, there’s one issue to note. Bear writes its preview files out to a system temp folder that Marked can’t permanently access from the sandboxed Mac App Store version, so users are constantly asked for permission. If you’re using Bear with the Mac App Store version of Marked, I offer a free crossgrade to the unsandboxed direct version. If you use the Help->_Report an Issue_ feature and just send me the top part of the report section (above the
---), I’ll consider that enough proof to provide you with a license. You can also contact me through the support forum.
I took Brett up on his offer for the crossgrade to the unsandboxed version Marked. Now viewing what I’m writing in Bear in Marked works as it does in my other apps.
If you’re using the App Store version of Marked I suggest you also take Brett up on his offer. You’ll be glad you did especially if you use Bear.
You’ll want to delete the App Store version of Marked and then install the unsandboxed version.
There’s a Mac and iOS app update for Bear out today. I ran the update on my iPhone, iPad and iMac without a hitch. On my MacBook, the update wasn’t showing up in the Mac App Store Updates section on my MacBook. I knew it was available because as I already said I had run the update on my iMac.
In the old App Store, when you went to the Updates tab it would automatically look for all new updates. In the new App Store it appears to not do the same. Anyway, I closed the App Store and relaunched it, went to the Updates section and the Bear update still wasn’t there.
If this ever happens to you there’s a way to force the page to reload. Here’s what you do. Open the App Store > Updates > Store in the Menu Bar > click on Reload Page. After doing that my Bear update showed up.
I was ticked off this morning after updating Bear on all my devices. All my notes were looking a little strange. I first noticed it in my todo lists. The checkboxes didn’t look right and bold was no longer bold.
Here’s the solution. Go into Settings > General and turn Markdown compatibly mode back on and everything will be okay. You’ll need to do this on each device that you have Bear installed on.
This is a bad move by the developer. They should know better.
There’s a new notes app out called the The Archive. If you have used Brett Terpstra’s nvALT this app will look very familiar to you.
Gabe Weatherhead at MacDrifter
The Archive is designed around what Notational Velocity and later nvALT brought to the Mac: Fast, reliable search with ease of creation. As both of these applications lost their luster as macOS advanced, I left them behind in a favor of less buggy and more versatile tools. The Archive is the first application to come along that is really making me reconsider moving my note collection out of Dropbox.
macosxguru at Bicycle For Your Mind.
The Archive owes a huge debt to nvALT. The developers acknowledge that debt explicitly. The Archive is nvALT improved.
I downloaded and played with The Archive for a few days. I found it to be a very nice and an improvement over nvALT. If I hadn’t moved my notes from nvALT to Bear last year I would definitely consider using The Archive as my notes app. For now, I’m too invested in Bear to change.
Macosxguru wrote a nice review of The Archive. I suggest giving it a read.
If you’re using Alfred and Bear I want to share a workflow with you that I use to search Bear notes or tags and open the result from Alfred.
Here’s how it works.
Searching and opening results
- bs — Search for a note by title and open it in Bear.
- bst — Search for a tag (a group of notes) by tag title and open it in Bear.
You can also create a new note from Alfred.
Creating a new note
- bn — Create a new note with input as title. Tags optional.
- bn I love notes! — Creates a new note with the title and text “I love notes!”
- bn I love notes! #love #notes — Creates a new note with the title and text “I love notes!” and the tags “#love” and “#notes”
This saves some keystrokes if I’m not already working in Bear.
Download the workflow.