We normally write our articles using markdown either directly within Ghost (the platform that powers this site) or within the Ghost desktop app. However, markdown can be used everywhere to produce elegant, clean writing without the need of a fancy, expensive word processing application.
Bear is a beautifully designed app for macOS and iOS that uses markdown within a simple but effective interface that can then be used to either store your notes within Bear itself or exported elsewhere.
Bear was awarded with Apple's 2017 Design Award: Even after just a few minutes of usage, we saw why.
The core version of Bear is free for iOS and macOS. We installed it on an iPad, iPhone and MacBook to test how the app behaved across the different devices. Needless to say, we enjoyed it the most on our MacBook but it was still quite easy to use and the controls fairly intuitive even on the iOS devices.
Most of the formatting tools needed are selectable via the pen icon on the bottom-right of the app. This means that you can type your formatting directly in markdown or use the built-in tools to just click-to-format.
One of the features we hoped was part of the free version of Bear was syncing of notes across devices: sadly, this feature is only for Bear Pro, the subscription based version of Bear. However, Bear Pro is priced at $1.49 month or $14.99 per year. We think that this pricing structure is more than reasonable especially if you are a regular note taker or write quite profusely. The Pro version of Bear also includes exporting to additional formats as well as application themes to make Bear fit your particular visual style.
We loved the clean interface of Bear and the easy to use tools. It made writing a pleasure and made the choice of upgrading to Bear Pro a no-brainer.
We would love for Bear to support exporting directly to Ghost in the future since this would improve our workflow tremendously. We highly recommend Bear to anyone that wants a simple note-taking app and love the ease and simplicity of markdown.
What app do you use for writing notes?