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Preslav Rachev
Preslav Rachev

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Getting Your Bear Notes Productivity to the Next Level Using Alfred

Originally published on my blog

A tool is great if it:

  • does one thing, but does it well
  • mixes well with the other tools in one’s toolbox

Bear is one of the greatest note-taking applications, available for the Apple ecosystem. A big part of what makes it so great is its clean and simplistic user experience. I have tried switching to other tools such as Notion, and lately, Roam Research, but I always come back to Bear. The simplicity of writing in plain Markdown, combined with the intuitive organisation of notes thanks to nested tags, make for a powerful combination. One that allows anyone to start with a simple note, and expand it to a complete digital map of their brain.

Simplicity means that a tool won’t always be able to answer 100% of one’s specific needs. But that’s totally OK, as long as achieving what one needs is possible through other means. Since I am using Bear as my go-to knowledge database, being able to get quick answers is crucial. While Bear does have an integrated search functionality, switching back and forth between applications can be a serious context switch.

Thus, I was super happy to find out about this Alfred Workflow, which allows for searching one’s entire Bear database directly in Alfred:

One can search for anything, including filtering by hashtags, or any of the special @ -style tags in Bear (@today, @todo, etc). Additionally, one explicitly start a new note, by typing bn and follow with the note’s title.
More than anything, the workflow is completely 100% open-source, built in Go, and by a helpful developer (Chris Redford), who is always open to new contributions, ideas, and feature suggestions. I hope to have been helpful (and not too annoying) to Chris in the development of this workflow, if not on the coding side, at least, with suggestions and feedback.

If Alfred and Bear are two apps you use on a daily basis, you absolutely must download this. It will let your productivity skyrocket.

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