Getting Your Bear Notes Productivity to the Next Level Using Alfred

Combining the superpowers of Bear and Alfred will let your productivity skyrocket.

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Getting Your Bear Notes Productivity to the Next Level Using Alfred

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:

Searching within your entire Bear database is a piece of cake with this Alfred workflow

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.

Tools Mentioned

Streamlined note searching and creation for Bear using Alfred - drgrib/alfred-bear
Bear - Write beautifully on iPhone, iPad, and Mac
Bear is a beautiful, flexible writing app for crafting notes and prose.
Alfred - Productivity App for macOS
Alfred is a productivity application for macOS, which boosts your efficiency with hotkeys, keywords and text expansion. Search your Mac and the web, and control your Mac using custom actions with the Powerpack.
Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.
A new tool that blends your everyday work apps into one. It’s the all-in-one workspace for you and your team
Roam Research – A note taking tool for networked thought.
As easy to use as a word document or bulleted list, and as powerful for finding, collecting, and connecting related ideas as a graph database. Collaborate with others in real time, or store all your data locally.