I started using Evernote and it was pretty good for a few years until they crippled their app by forcing you to have a 2 device restriction for FREE basic accounts. I then switched to OneNote which offered the freedom I desired however I found the app to be quite bloated and it does not support markdown syntax at all. This is a major drawback as OneNote is propriety so if the app were ever discontinued you would loose all your notes. Plus having markdown means that you can save code snippets. So this is when I switched to Bear and it was beautiful! Full markdown support, beautiful UI, sleek and fast. One thing its missing though is notifications which is why I used another app called Tick Tick alongside Bear. Tick Tick is amazing when it comes to notifications they even show up in the calendar. I have considered using Apple Notes instead of Bear but because it lacks Markdown support I am yet to truly adopt it.
For a period I was even using Trello for my GTD workflow and it was working pretty well. However Trello is basically all Kanban boards and nothing else. I kept hearing people talk about Notion though and for a long time I avoided using it because the notifications did not work that well in my opinion. But one day I just finally converted because Notion is truly a powerhouse and it uses markdown. But it has a major drawback which is why I still kept Bear for normal note taking. Notion has these blocks for writing content it makes it difficult to copy and the overall writing experience is poor. If I had to choose between Bear and Notion for writing a document then Bear wins every time it even has a focus mode.
Fast forward to today and I have new workflow that I am using for note taking. Bear is cool but I have decided to replace it because it is only available in the Apple ecosystem and there is no web version plus you have to pay an annual subscription to get the best value out of it. And Tick Tick while great I found it hard to complete the tasks I had on there and it was not getting enough usage which is where habitica comes in.
So I am using Notion for my overall productivity it is like my command centre. And I am using habitica because of its gamification it makes note taking more fun and your more likely to complete tasks. And then I have Simplenote which is basically a free version of Bear but multi-platform. Lastly I have Typora and Notable which allow you to have all your notes locally and saved in markdown files. This is truly amazing because it means that you have 100% control of your notes and they can be synced to other devices if you put them in the cloud like using Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or something similar.
Its quite a few apps but I am currently testing a new workflow and its likely that some will go. For example Typora and Notable are more a less the same I just could not decide between them so I am trying them both. So far Typora is wining I have been using it to write all of my Dev blogs the writing experience is amazing and of course it has a focus mode as well. However Typora and Notable don't currently have mobile versions which is why I am using Simplenote too.
Top comments (4)
Oww, so many tools :)
Anyway, I have the same problem. I can't decide what app use. I've used Linux, so it's a little bit harder to choose one good.
Actually i've been using Notion, but i'm insecure because I feel that I don't have 100% of control of my data, even that i can export all notes, but it's the price to be payed if you want mobility.
I've been thinking that the most important is the process as David Allen describe in your book Getting things done
I am a firm believer in being a minimalist which is why this is still a work in progress. It takes time to find a process that works well for you. Yes I was quite undecided about Notion too I still don't think its the perfect solution but at the moment I am yet to find something that comes quite as close.
Three primary elements in my workflow.
1: My bullet journal
This is right under my monitor at my desk, and is for quick notes before they leave my mind.
This is where I keep my "Big Picture" board, along with any other boards for individual big projects. Also lets me keep track of admin, life errands, etc
3: MS OneNote
I gotta admit, I love this for any "save for later" stuff. I have a ton of resources and tabs saved here, so my bookmarks don't get too cluttered.
I guess I also use Notes for when I'm outside the office, since it's way faster than any other app for its purpose.
I do also use Day One for journaling too. At the moment I’m using it for gratitude and monthly goal tracking. I used to use Pocket for save later when bookmarking content. Now I’m using Notions web clipper I just save the articles into a database called brain dump.