Farewell Bear, hello … OneNote?

In December of 2016, I discovered Bear Writer. At the time, I had been using a number of different solutions for note-taking and organisation, none of which had really done the trick for me. That all changed with Bear. Arriving to critical acclaim, Bear is certainly a very pretty app, and its iCloud sync feature has served me well enough. There has just been one issue; it is only available on Apple devices.

While I still use a Mac at home, and my preferred phone remains an iPhone, I use Windows computers at work. As I like to be able to access my notes regardless of whether I’m at home or at work, having a solution which lacks cross-platform accessibility is simply not acceptable. I have been playing around with a few alternative platforms, including Google Keep, and the Notes app on my iPhone (which can be set up to sync with GMail – the solution I used before moving to Bear).

Surprisingly, to me, the winning offering was Microsoft OneNote, the note-taking app that comes bundled with Microsoft Office. It exists on all of the platforms I use, as well as Android (though neither Linux or BSD applications are available). While most people get it as part of their Microsoft Office subscription, it is available free of charge from Microsoft, and syncs using OneDrive or OneDrive for Business.

The main reason I’m switching, besides the cross-platform compatibility issue, is the simple fact that it is the platform I have slowly been finding myself defaulting to. Should Bear ever get cross-platform compatibility (even if that is simply in a browser window), I expect to be revisiting this, but in the mean time, I am a very happy OneNote user.






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