Bear: The Most Complete Writing App Available

Jun 18, 2017
Productivity
bear

It seems amazing, given how long smartphones and tablets have existed, just how few ways there are of writing and sending notes and documents. The Microsoft Word app is an obvious example, but aside from that and the notes and reminders apps, there aren’t many options when it comes to writing on one device and sending to another. Perhaps not the first to do it but certainly the most complete, Bear allows users to write in notes or prose before easily exporting to other platforms.

Bear organises everything you need in three columns: sidebar, notes list, and editor. The former includes every word or phrase you tag in your notes, acting as an easy access to your keywords. Your notes list is where every separate document you create lives, and is ordered by the date you last modified it; you can bring up every one of your notes in the column, or just search for ones with a specific tag in. The editor is brought up when you create a new note or modify an existing one, and provides you all the writing tools necessary to write in note form or prose.

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If you want to export your document to a particular format, Bear gives you the opportunity to do that. The free version allows you to export to TXT, MD, or RTF, whereas the Pro version will also include exporting to PDF, HTML, DOCX, and JPEG. When complete, you can then share the document via email, AirDrop, Notes, or any social media apps that you might have. Alternatively, if your notes aren’t quite finished but you’re perhaps on the move, Bear supports Handoff, which means your documents can immediately switch from device to device.

What’s most striking about Bear is its simplicity.

What’s most striking about Bear is its simplicity. It takes just three short tutorials to explain how everything works, each taking just over a minute to read – each note gives you the number of words, characters, paragraphs, and read time too. Opening up each column is as easy as tapping the right or left-hand side of the screen, and that’s all there really is to navigating your way around. Its bright white background with faded, cartoon bear drawings in the tutorial all make the whole process of writing feel calm and relaxing, and that’s exactly the intention. It doesn’t just want to be a blank page for you to write anything on, but a well-designed space in which your creativity can flourish.

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IMG_3998Of course, the artistic side of the app would be nothing without any content. Luckily Bear offers a multitude of tools to choose from, including some only professional writers might use: hyperlinks, separate heading formats, attachment capabilities. Then, of course, there are the basic tools used more for note-taking: bullet points, bold, underling. No matter what your style of writing is, it’s more than likely that Bear will cater for it.

The key feature that sets it apart from the competition is its use of tags. They provide such an easy option to searching for keywords, and allow you to keep a sort of order within what could quite possibly end up being several hundred notes. If you need to work out when your next review for Appolicious needs to be in by then keep the name as a tag, and finding out what notes you’ve written for it is as easy as checking through the tag column. It’s an extremely useful feature on an already-great app, making Bear even more essential for writers and note-takers.

Available on iOS.

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