Evernote adds some nice functionality but isn't as nice as a writing app. Scrivener is so powerful that you spend all your time tinkering with it. But it's ideal to track the development of your new novel. iA Writer is a very nice writing app, but syncing inconsistencies with my Mac drove me to Byword, which is similar.
You would think that the writing app had been done to death. Then you stumble across Bear. You are only interested because your current favorite, Byword, sometimes has a syncing issue bringing your Mac up to speed.
So you try it. The free version leaves out some stuff, primarily syncing and exporting, but you easily can see how it works. And you notice that the features aren't just bells and whistles, but really helpful, easy-to-use stuff. Take a look.
My Favorite Features
Looks. Bear is really nice looking.
Hashtags for organizing notes - after spending twenty-five years organizing files in folders and sub-folders, it turns out that tags are much better, and Bear uses hashtags.
Photos are a part of lots that I do. Bear lets me add photos in the document instead of making a reminder to "add graphic here".
Links are a common aspect of my blog posts. You can 'write' a link in any app. Bear's links are live.
Checkboxes. Nearly everything I do involves a checklist as part of the planning. Bear has you covered. You can even search for them Evernote-like, @todo or @done.
Pins. When you want a file to be handy, say notes for a coming meeting, you can pin it so that it appears at the top of your list of files. Very handy. Un-pin later.
Trash. When you trash a file it goes in a Mac-like trash can. It's not gone, just out of the way. Search for it by name or tag to get it back. Perfect. All my other writing apps actually delete the file. So I have had to add an Archive file to put the clutter in - but searching is problematic.
Exports. Bear exports to PDF, text, HTML, RTF, JPG, DOCX, and Markdown. There is also a preview. So in my case after writing is complete, I am actually finished. No additional formatting. You wouldn't believe how much of my blogs are written on my phone with Bear.
Titles. The first line of your file is the title. Copy the title to another file and put it in double brackets - [[title]] - and it becomes a live link between the two files. This has endless uses:
- Assemble an outline spec by starting with a list (checklist) of spec sections, each of which is linked to your standard description in its own file. Make the decisions (in or out) quickly. Then delegate the spec assembly or save it for when you need a 'no-brainer' task.
- Build proposals the same way.
- I am writing HELP articles right now for MyCorbu using this technique. One file is my to-do list. A connected file is each article.
These features lift the Bear app head and shoulders above anything else I have used. And it is all in one app. That means that Trello, Evernote and sometimes Scapple have all dropped out of my blogging workflow. Replaced by Bear.
I started a trial of the Pro version which gave me a month to try it out before deciding. I jumped the gun after four days. $1.59 per month as an iTunes subscription is insignificant compared to the benefits.
Take a look at Bear here.
And check out the Italians that developed Bear here. Shiny Frog - Interface design & App development
Oh, BTW Bear can import Evernote files if you would like to sweep everything into one app.