Praise the developers

I’m new to Bear and I am considering to make Bear my No.1 note taking tool. I got some small orientation difficulties primarily I got some problems with the tag-only structure and would be a fan of some folders but back to Panda:

I really appreciate the new functions because they fit perfectly to my workflow.

1.) PDF highlights as markdown from DEVONthink are looking nice now because the heading can contain links.
2.) Markdown exports from Mindnode looks nice because four spaces if front of a list does not leads to a code block but to a perfectly structured list. GREAT!
3.) Tables are looking great.
4.) Image resizing is working great and is very helpful for me.

Cant test drawing on iPad but I think it will be great too.

All in all im very happy and I cant wait to see this version to be released.

Nethertheless I got some minor wishes but with absolutly no priority:

1.) Notebook structure on top of tag structure
2.) Changing order inside node (picutre, text, tablet) could be a bit snappier. Maybe a drag and drop preview not only showing the new position as cursor with translucent images but with the real view of the new ordered elements.
3.) WebDAV sync

But for now: Fantastic work so far. Nice holidays and happy new year :slight_smile:


Hi Alex,

thank you for your feedback on Bear/Panda, we’re working hard to make it a good app.

We’re now trying to push the iOS editor out, so you’ll be able to test the drawing really soon :wink:

As for your minor wishes:

  1. that’s not out of the table, but we’re trying to keep a single/simple way to organize stuff, and tags are our choice for now.
  2. I understand what you’re proposing and I agree that would be better, but technically that’s very challenging so it’s not a real priority for us
  3. Bear will remain on CloudKit for the sync, but Panda is file-based and you can already use any cloud file system to sync your files.

Happy new year!

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Hi matteo,

thanks for your reply.

It would be great to test the new features of the iOS app :slight_smile:

Concerning #3:

I get you point. But Panda is only the “beta” Bear or is it planned to release Panda as a standalone Editor?

If leaving CloudKit is not an option are there any possibilities to including some kind auf encryption to all notes as default? I really don’t consider Evernote as an alternative because of the “only on our server” policy. iCloud is (for me) some of in between unknown server and self-hosted (WebDAV). But encryption would let me sleep better :slight_smile:
It is only me with my paranoia. Nothing to be worried about if it is not planned. I think it is maybe interesting to get some information about the current encryption status and any possible improvement while continue using CloudKit.

Best regards,


PS: Toady, I realized again what a joy the UI of bear is. Please stay tuned.

@Alex, @matteo is the true source of info here, but I have been hanging around for a few months so I will attempt to answer your question.

I believe the goal is to release Panda as a standalone editor on both MacOS and iOS. AND, eventually the Panda editor functionality will make its way into Bear, while the other features of Bear will remain the same (largely).

As for encryption, with Panda since it’s just utilizing a filesystem, you could always create an encrypted disk image and store all of your files in that image. This disk image could be saved anywhere. Though this option may only be practical using MacOS.

I for one am extremely excited and am slightly impatient for the Panda editor functionality to make its way into Bear. But being a developer myself I know that solid development takes time and is not worth rushing. I love the back-end design of Bear, and it’s a huge part of why I choose to use it instead of Notion or Roam (local vs. cloud). Table support is a feature I’ve been wanting for a long time, and Panda already executes the feature extremely well.

As for Bear-specific functionality, I’m just waiting for backlinks :wink: The backend seems to easily support it … it seems to be more of a matter of getting the UI design right, which is extremely important. I’m really excited about this and am curious to see if Bear grabs a bunch of users from Notion and Roam if/when this happens.

Hi @Alex @justajot,

in the beginning Panda was just meant to be a throwaway app for testing the “editor 2.0” for Bear, but the feedback from our community changed this a bit.

The plan still is to integrate the new editor into Bear first, then we’ll probably release Panda as standalone editor.

Bear will remain 100% on CloudKit, keep in mind that’s end to end encrypted by Apple (in transfer and at rest) and you can add another layer of encryption using the one we provide.

Panda will be file based, so you can use almost any cloud file system you want to sync your data.


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Thank you @matteo . I have been an ardent Bear user since day one. I use it as a scrapbook—solely for things I should revisit (marketing tips, inspirational quotes, etc.). It’s my library for everything that matters. I don’t really write much in it. But I am reconsidering that since a standout feature of Bear is that I’m not confined to a document limit like Notion or whatever. Being that docs are stored in iCloud is such a huge selling point. Need more room? Bump up the iCloud storage plan. Anyone paying for a cloud writing app should consider Bear for that reason alone.

Can’t wait until Panda is fully released because then I can keep using Bear for scraps and use Panda entirely for writing. Thanks for the great work.

Very much in favor of using folders to manage documents instead of tags.

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Another vote up for backlinks. I think a combination of always-available TOC–my main wishlist item, with backlinks sounds like a dream feature set. A huge request for the TOC, for me, is that there should be a mode that does not require an additional click or scrolling to the top to use it. Perhaps adding an optional “Sections” column so that the main screen has four panes: Tags, Notes, SECTIONS, Content.

I agree relying solely on tags instead of adding folders, but, I would encourage a manual tag organization capability that is beyond automatic alphabetical or recent so that one can have the functional equivalence to creating folders (customizable organization) using only tags. I currently have tags that start with ~ and ~~ in order to sort them at the top. It’s an ugly workaround.

Thanks for this update! I would love to be able to use Bear/Panda to edit local MD files, so that standalone release sounds so exciting! Just to clarify:

  1. Once Panda is released as standalone, is the intent to keep working on it as a separate product? Or the release would basically be the end of development on Panda?
  2. Are there plans to open a folder of files, rather than a single file?

Thank you!

Hi there,

The first goal is going to integrate the Panda editor inside Bear and release the 2.0 version of it. After that, we’ll decide if we want to keep Panda as a separate product, but I think that it will be very likely.

Not at the current state of things, but if Panda will be released as a standalone product a lot will change :slight_smile:



This is great news!
I have been using iA Writer for ‘writing’ for the primary reason that it uses and accesses any txt/md file in my iCloud folder structure. Being to able to use Panda in this manner has been amazing.
I would happily pay for Panda as a stand-alone editor.


Haha, I actually find tags to be one of my favourite features of bear’s organisation; i guess a case for making separate bear and panda apps!

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I want to have both folders and labels.

Note to the Shiny Frog team, if I may make a suggestion.

Instead of maintaining two products, how about making an enhancement to Bear to include a special tag like “untagged” or “locked” and call it “file system” or “Panda” or something like that. Behind that tag you would have to allow a user to select their folders to save their MD files and it would have limitations such as no tagging (ignored) or syncing simply to keep it simple and not muck up the rest of Bear. Syncing a file system would not be a good idea anyway and they usually have their own backup/sync methods. I also don’t think asking you to build Finder inside of Bear is the right option but selecting those parent folders might make it easier to navigate the “panda” folders for reading/writing.

This way you won’t have to support two products with minimal shared code because invariably Panda will have it’s own feature set, schedule, maintenance, etc. and overall you’ll have to maintain more code than just enhancing Bear.

This will also add another option for those not wanting to use iCloud for all their notes and puts it into the users hands on how they want to secure some of their notes. Supporting the file system will have to come with whatever constraints you feel necessary to support it and not break all the other goodness in Bear. This way the editor and the other two panels can be leveraged because you know you’ll ultimately get Panda feature requests that are similar to what you already have in Bear. Maybe it’s a Pro feature and maybe the Pro version will have to see a incremental price increase.

I suppose this has already been discussed and it’s not something new but I hadn’t seen anyone mention it yet. Many wanted both apps, Bear and Panda and maybe you can, just all in one. I think as you go through all the feature requests related to the benefits of Panda, you might be able to check-off many of them.

Then again, having a second product that shares lots of code will provide you with another revenue stream. :slight_smile:

Anyway, I thought I’d just tack on to this thread which was titled, “Praise the developers” which to that I say, YES 1000%; thank-you team for putting in the hard work.

In upcoming macOS the apple notes which is based on folders also will offer tags. imo so there is no need for a strict seperation between folders and apps. when you mix tags and folders then the tags have a different function than providing the whole organization of notes. while i do not want to say that such a mixture of tags and folders cannot be a pretty concept, on the other side i fear that it would break the elegant and minimalistic approach of bear app. maybe that could be an approach for a file and folderbased panda


I’ve actually moved away from Apple Notes and am not planning on going back but I do get your point and is a concern. Keep Bear simple and clean, my idea could make it a mess depending on implementation. I’m just concerned about the impact on the team having to support two apps with very similar features, could be great, could be a distraction.

The editor will be the same, but that doesn’t mean that both apps will be similar when and if the devs decide to build further features for organisation of apps around panda.

I am eager to hear if the developer plan to release the standalone panda app how it is now (just editor) or if they plan to add further features with a different approach than bear 2.0

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