I’ve lamented about my love/hate relationship with Evernote but I never followed up about my solution to this problem. For now, I’ve given up on my dream of a custom built solution in favor of Bear, a simple yet beautiful note taking solution. It even checks off many of the boxes from my wish list:

  • Powered by plain text.
  • Preview/rendering options.
  • Multi-media support.
  • Hand writing / drawing support.
  • Customizable organization (via tags).
  • Search.
  • Mobile friendly. There is apps for iPhone, iPad, & Mac.
  • Affordable and viable. Subscription pricing: $1.49/monthly or $14.99/annually.

Still missing from my wishlist:

  • Varied storage options. For now, iCloud is the only supported storage option. This is fine for now as I live in an Apple dominated world.
  • Text transcription. I can sketch and write on notes but can’t easily search this hand-crafted content.
  • Web service. There is no way to access this content from the web.
  • Customizable templates. There is not any template support.
  • Extensible. There is no way to extend bear with your own functionality.

The silver lining in all of this is that I ostensibly control the content and it is being stored in an easily transferable format. This app is also well maintained and will hopefully add many of the features that I’m looking for.