Bear 2.0 Review (2022-11-01)

I’ve used 2.0 for over a week now. Here are my current issues, thoughts, and praise from my latest sweep.

Migration (using v9735)

  • Migrated using Bear Version 2.0 (9735)
  • All 1205 notes imported in ~20 seconds
  • All tags, TagCons, code blocks imported
  • YAML not recognized; some lines turned into headings

For Bear Version 2.0 (9780)

Tag Pane

  • Top-level pinning is fine. I think adding any more pinning here (e.g., second-level) is a slippery slope
  • Editing TagCons even easier with search


  • Markdown hiding and better completed todo formatting makes task lists look much better

  • Info popover with stats and TOC and styles bar looks great

  • Tables and folding working as expected after recent bug fixes

  • Editor window much cleaner with no popover options in the writing area

  • Wiki-links with no notes look the same as ones with notes. Can the link color be subdued for links with no internal notes?

  • Link preview - can TagCons be used in place of some links with no images (e.g., Twitter)?

  • ⌘⇧K for opening links in new tab is nice addition

  • YAML front matter - is this just for syntax highlighting and removing the divider? Or is the YAML front matter block supposed to hidden by preference settings and/or in file exports?

  • Entering code blocks crashes Bear during code type lookup after backticks

  • Tags disappear after pressing :leftwards_arrow_with_hook: upon completion for notes with links. If the note does not contain a link then the tag completes. Adding a space resolves the issue temporarily.

  • Footnotes - no renumbering after adding between footnotes; only two lines of a footnote displays on jump requiring scroll for longer footnotes

  • Tables - adding internal link to heading of another note caused popover to stick then crash on edit. Could not reproduce after crash.

Notes List

  • Popover - hide subtags, preview styles, sorting, hide attachments look great. You don’t need the tag pane open as much.


  • The @untitled operator is a nice addition

  • Still some initial typing latency when executing searches, like in Bear 1.

Shortcut Actions

  • In Bear 1, some of the functioning Bear shortcuts/actions are not invoked by Siri. “Bear says, ‘Note not found’” Manual execution of same shortcuts work fine. What’s the overall status on some of these shortcut actions for Bear 2.0?

And finally…

As new features are added, it’s clear that you all are holding sacred the minimalist principles that make Bear so special. Now, when are you going to sell shirts? I’ll take a polo-style with embroidered bear logo on left chest and contrast stitching on the placket, hem, and sleeves :smile:

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Also, some possible search highlighting issues

Overhighlighting in the notes preview with quotes around braces

Partial highlighting in the Editor

I would genuinely buy Bear merch if it were accessible :innocent:


I think you are referring to something that’s supposed to be a YAML front matter in B1 and it’s not converted into B2. The problem here is B1 doesn’t have support for YAML so it’s translated to what results in B1. If this is not what’s happening to you, please report an example.

This is a possible enhancement we will eventually explore in the future but comes with some issues related to querying the database each time to note loads or is edited.

Cool fine touch, I’ll see what we can do.

Yes it’s for syntax highlighting (I don’t understand the “removing the divider” part). YAML is not supposed to be hidded inside of the editor but it’s not displayed in the exports. The HTML exporter replicate the YAML data in the .

Yes, we are in the process of fixing this for the next update.

Can you please make a quick video about this issue?

Yes, this is going to change and renumbering will be added.

I’ll try to reproduce this issue myself.

B2 Shortcut actions should be functioning but mind it’s tricky to understand if the B1 or B2 actions are triggered if you have installed both.

We have some ideas for the new merch :sunglasses:

Good catch.

Thanks a lot for the detailed feedback.

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Don‘t laugh at me, the coolest merch for me would be a ball pen of good quality :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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Just to clarify, the following is the YAML format, correct?



Typing the first new tag disappears on :leftwards_arrow_with_hook:; new (i.e., non-existent), secondary tags don’t disappear but have some highlighting issues.

The shortcut in question executes correctly from the shortcuts app - just not by Siri. It doesn’t seem like an issue with the actions within the shortcut but instead a problem with Siri invoking the “Get note” action in the shortcut.

That’s a code block with the YAML syntax highlighting and if it’s closed after migration should result in the same code block in B2.

The YAML front matter has the syntax shown below and should be placed on top of the note to be recognized.

That’s odd because the we don’t have direct Siri support for macOS so the same Shortcut action should be called. Are sure you are not trying to get a note you have in B2 but not in B1 and Siri is using B1’s actions? macOS release?

Very good catch. Something really odd is happening here.

My formatting error. I got it now.

I have a simple shortcut that gets the current date’s note (i.e., my daily note) and appends text. These daily notes are only in B1. Manual execution of the shortcut using the Shortcuts app is successful; executed via “Hey, Siri” is not successful on both iOS and MacOS.

I had a look at the code and the Note not found error is triggered by Bear when is not able to find a note using get note parameter as a unique identifier or a title. Can you please share your Shortcuts with me for debugging? You can pass me the iCloud link or a screenshot (if it’s not too complex)

Shortcut: Log This

Daily note title format: yyyy-MM-dd

Ok, apparently no title is passed to Bear’s Get Note action when is triggered by Siri. No idea why this is happening but sounds like a Siri bug honestly. I’ll run more tests and eventually report to Apple.

I overcome by using the Search instead if you are interested.

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Thanks for the mod.:+1:

They’ve been selling merchandise since forever. I have a couple Bear t-shirts at home.

That there be a 404 error, partner. :cowboy_hat_face:

Not for me. I can open the shop:

Did you click on one of those shirts to buy it? :point_right::computer_mouse:

oh, tried it now. Indeed 404. That’s a bummer.

We will do another round of shirts soon, we’re already doing some internal testing for some new design :wink: