Scratchpad for collecting random things

It would be nice if there was a small scrolling window attached or detached so you could move it around or keep it open like a sticky note to jot random stuff down. For context, I have a bunch of untitled tiny notes because I’ll start a new note each time I have to jot something down. For example a info from a voicemail message, phone call, or anything else that is something you would just grab any piece of paper to jot it down quickly.

You can already replicate that functionality simply by opening a note in a new window.

But you would need to leave it open at all times. Yes? The idea of a scratch pad is so you wouldn’t need to keep it open but you could get to it with one or two clicks (or a keyboard shortcut). The purpose being that you’re able to jot done a thought idea or message in seconds and have all the random notes compiled. Maybe adding a button next to the new note one that would open the scratch pad, allowing you to add random notes to it continuously. As opposed to making a new note each time. I guess this could effectively be done by using a note titled scratch pad and star/ favorite it so its easily opened when needed (assuming that’s an option, Im not sure if there’s a way to star or favorite specific notes).

You could easily get the deep link to a specific note and then automate the opening of that through the myriad tools available on Mac.

Here are two shortcut I made that may be of help:

BearScratchPad - Shortcuts

  1. Before running make a Note in Bear called “Scratch Pad”
  2. Shortcut can be added to Home Screen on iPad and iPhone
  3. On Mac it’s pinned in Shortcuts on Menu Bar
  4. Select text from any app or Browser URL and use Share … to this Shortcut and text or url will be added to Scratch Pad and opened… (although copy/paste is probably easier)

For Panda: here is another Shortcut:

Panda Scratch Pad - Shortcuts


In Bear you can also pin any note to top of note list. This should also become available for Panda when it gets integrated with Bear 2.0 (or beta) …

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My favourite ever solution for this kind of need was in an earlier version of Write Monkey (Windows/Mac, no iOS). It had a ”Repository” that used to work like this:

1.You are writing in your document (that, say, has black writing on a white background like this) and get a quick idea you want to jot down before you forget it.

  1. Using a keyboard shortcut (it also could be an icon on a touch screen toolbar for iPad if Bear implemented this) the document would suddenly become reversed in its text/background colour orientation. That is, using the above example, it would now have white text on a black background. This tells us we are now in the Repository. It is really the equivalent of flipping over a page to scribble a quick note on the back before it gets forgotten. The colour reversal is a visual reminder that we are not on ”the front page” of the document but scribbling our ideas in ”opposite world” on the back.

  2. The same keyboard shortcut/icon click takes us back to the front page of our document with our original text/background choice restored. We can repeat this process as often as we have quick ideas to get down not immediately related to our main writing.

Yes, other apps like Ulysses (and indeed the current version of Write Monkey) use a “3rd pane” approach to the right of the main screen for such scribblings but the “flip to the back of the page” metaphor with visual, colour feedback so you always knew where you were is a feature I miss to this day. It felt fun and fast and then just flipped out of sight till you needed it - something very in line with Bear’s design philosophy.

So…I’d vote for that…:slight_smile:

This isn’t a complete solution in itself, it’s a bash script written to be used with any one of the productivity utilities - Alfred, BetterTouchTool, Raycast, etc. It accepts text on its command line which it appends to a Scratch note. Maybe you’ll find it useful

# BearScratch
# Use BearScratch text to add

TEXT="$*"				# text to add, taken from the command line
NOTE="Scratch"			# title of note to add text to

# Encode TEXT argument
urlencode() {


    local length="${#1}"
    for (( i = 0; i < length; i++ )); do
        local c="${1:$i:1}"
        case $c in
            [a-zA-Z0-9.~_-]) printf '%s' "$c" ;;
            *) printf '%%%02X' "'$c" ;;


TEXT="$(urlencode "$TEXT")"

open "${URL}"