Bear 2.0 Feedback/Questions

Hey Bear team!

Like so many others here, I’ve loved yall for a long time, but found myself trying out other apps, and meanwhile, keeping an eye on the development going on here. I am beyond thrilled at what has already been achieved and to know I can come back home to where I belong. :slight_smile:

Here is my feedback, broken down into pros, improvements, and questions:


  • Pinned Tag: LOVE this feature. As I tend to use the tags as folders, I love having that ability built in versus workarounds (using an emoji, for example)
  • Tables: Even though I played around with the tables in Panda, having them in the familiar Bear interface has quite nice.
  • Standard Markdown: I love being able to use the syntax I’m most familiar with.
  • Resizing Images: chef’s kiss :man_cook:t4:
  • Filtering out subtags: SO useful! I love that it gives the user the flexibility to treat that top layer tag as either a filter or section overview.
  • Stats/TOC: Both look great, and the TOC is gorgeous.


  • A seemingly minor suggestion, but perhaps not as Bear is renown for its UX. With 2.0, titles of notes in H1 are much thicker than in the previous iteration:

Bear 2


The font in Bear 2 looks much more clunky, while in the original it’s so much cleaner and elegant. I thought it might have to do with Bear 2’s removal of Markdown elements, but when I exported the note from Bear 1, it retains that same elegant font:

I am sure there’s a reasoning behind this, but Bear’s elegant UX is such a part of its appeal, that I wanted to bring this up.

  • Echoing another user’s comment, the BIU bar at the top opening at the bottom feels a bit odd. Clicking on it, it would feel more intuitive to watch it drop down underneath it, or, if you wanna get real crazy, have it mirror Bear’s current version where it’s vertical.

  • Keyboard Shortcut for note link: It would be very nice to be able copy and paste the note’s link to the clipboard with a keyboard shortcut. In my journeys around note apps, Evernote does a nice job of this. For those who want to link to their notes external to Bear, this would be invaluable and save a few clicks.

  • Formatting within tables: this might be a limit of Markdown itself, but it would be nice to have bullets that can indent, tasks, etc, within tables. I do this a lot for work with Evernote, and it’s been a game changer. I’d love to see that with Bear, with possible.


  • Right now in the beta, what happens to our notes in 2.0 once the iOS beta goes live? Specifically, I obviously would love my beta notes to sync across devices; however, as of right now, I’d have to keep two different databases. Will the notes we make in the beta merge with Bear proper once it’s officially gone to 2.0? Or will we need to Export them from the beta database and upload them into the “proper” one?
  • When I go into the beta to check for updates, I keep getting this:
    Screenshot 2022-10-23 at 4.55.16 PM
    Any suggestions as to how to fix this?
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I was just about to post about this. The Bear 2 titles are noticeably chunkier and less clean, especially in the Notes List using dark mode. I like the font, but I think the weight is too thick.

Bear 1

Bear 2

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I think the header problems reported will be mitigated when you can pick custom fonts for the editor (including B1’s Avenir Next).

Yes, some seem to have a problem with the style panel opening at the bottom. Eventually, we’ll change either the button or the style bar position.

You can customise your shortcuts in macOS, check this guide

MD Tables are limited and I can’t think of a good solution to make lists work inside cells.

We don’t plan to automatically migrate the beta notes into B2 when it goes live but users can rely on the exporters/importers.

Moving outside your Downloads folder should allow you to update.

I’m not a super advanced user that knows how to navigate the back end (notes storage) all that well. I have a question regarding the comment below:

We don’t plan to automatically migrate the beta notes into B2 when it goes live but users can rely on the exporters/importers.

Will there at least be steps listed on how to make the beta notes go into the official version? I genuinely like Bear 2 much better than Bear 1 and don’t want to switch back to 1 until the official release of 2, but take dozens of notes a day and would love for them to be there when the official app comes out. I’m fine with taking the 2 out of all of the external links, which seemed to be the only issue I would have to do prior to reading this comment.


Yes, I think it might be good to provide some guidance for migrating notes from B2 beta and B2 official. I think we can make use of the @lastXdays special search to get all the notes edited from the beginning of the beta, export them as .bear and re-import them.

Thanks! I know I would appreciate that. I plan on using the Beta as my primary until the Official comes out.

This is still unclear to me. So, when B2 official is released, users currently using B1 and B2 beta are supposed to first import all B1 notes then new notes from B2 beta? The install guidance for the private beta says “Any notes copied from B2 to B1 should import like normal.” This makes it sound like we should be importing all new B2 beta notes back into B1 first. Then, importing everything into B2 official when it’s released.

At this point, I’m reluctant to use B2 beta for anything other than testing in order to avoid having to deconflict a bunch of duplicate notes when B2 official is released. If you have a simple to sync everything once B2 official is released, some guidance is appreciated.

This phrase is meant to explain why we can’t sync notes across B1 and B2 installations but I get is this is not 100% straight forward.

No, this is not required. When B2 will be released everything in your B1 will be automatically moved to B2. New notes you have created in B2 beta will not be moved but, if you want to have them in B2 (released) you can export them from the beta as .bear and import in B2.

Thanks, @trix180.

However, if a user exports notes found using @lastXdays then they’ll be moving modified B2 beta notes which will already be imported from B1 which will require the user to find and delete the older B1 version in B2 official. It seems easiest to just stay using B1 until B2 official is released and only use B2 beta for testing and not daily use, especially since the iOS version isn’t available yet.

This is how I use Bear 2 mostly actually. Since after every update I check how migration is done, it is not worth it to constantly back-up or move about my notes within 2.0. After use, I always copy that note to Panda or Bear 1.

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Gotcha. Thank you for the clarification Eleanor!

Yes, we don’t suggest relying on Bear 2 beta (or generally speaking any beta) even if the current version is stable. However, we can’t forbid people to use it for something they want to keep.

You are right about @lastXdays, possibly using @cdate() with each month the beta was active is a better way.

I really like what you’re doing with Bear 2. A few questions:

First, will there be an option to show MD or will Bear 2 always hide it? I like seeing the MD inline as in Bear 1, especially with headers. I thought Bear 1 did an excellent job of showing the formatting and the MD in a very elegant and non-distracting way.

Second, about tables (love the tables!). Currently, you can’t create a table using MD–you must use the styles bar. Will Bear 2 support typing MD code for tables? (See example below)

C1 C2 C3
D1 D2 D3
E1 E2 E3

Third, I really like footnotes. I notice the footnotes at the bottom of the document are ordered in the order I created them, not in the order they appear in the document. For example, if I create a footnote Y in paragraph 3, and then later add a footnote X in paragraph 2, the order of footnotes at the bottom of the editor is Y, X, even though X is in paragraph 2 and Y is in paragraph 3. They do sort and number themselves appropriately on export, but it would be great if they sorted themselves in the editor. However, this is not a significant issue.

Bear 2 looks to be awesome and I can’t wait for the official release!

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@asfuqua You can already use markdown for tables, like this:

|   |   |   |   |   |
|   |   |   |   |   |
|   |   |   |   |   |
|   |   |   |   |   |

I’m no MD wizard, copied from:

We are conflicted about adding a way to turn off markdown hiding at the moment. We think MD hiding is the solution for many non md-savy users but we don’t know how many require to see the markers. I registered your vote.

Yes, we want to change how footnotes numbering works following the order they appear in the document.

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Non md-savy users becom savy users when they see md and learn it by seeing. That’s how i learned it. Once learned i prefer the autohiding for aesthetical reasons. Pandas option in main menu to autohide markdown could be enabled by default

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Agreed. I have the same experience–learned MD by seeing it. I also agree that hiding MD could be the default setting, with the option to show MD in the preferences. It works well in Panda.

Thanks. Yes, I tried typing that into Bear 2, but it didn’t render as a table in the Bear 2 editor, nor did it export as a table when I exported the note.

Hmm strange. When I copy the info from my code block above and paste it into Bear 2 it gets turned into a table immediately.

@kaassouffle That is strange. I tried pasting what you had above into Bear 2 and it rendered as a table. Then I typed it in and it did not render as a table.