Categories: Note-Taking


Bear Icon
Bear is a beautifully-crafted note-taking and writing app for iPhone, iPad and Mac. It can be a handy place to keep notes about your OmniFocus actions, projects and reference information.

App Description

Bear is a text-based Markdown editor with iPhone, iPad and Mac apps. Bear’s has a polished user interface, in-line support for images and photos, and an innovative tagging system.

While you can use Bear free of charge, you’ll need to subscribe to Bear to sync notes between your devices. Bear Pro also includes a collection of beautiful themes, a variety of export options and more.

Taking Notes in OmniFocus

While taking notes in OmniFocus is possible (and sometimes helpful), the note field available for OmniFocus projects, action groups, and actions has limited formatting options. Note entry, editing, and viewing are also confined to a small text box. It typically makes more sense to store this information externally, especially for more detailed notes you may want to reference.

When It Makes More Sense to Use Bear

An alternative to using the note field in OmniFocus is to store more detailed information in Bear and link to it from OmniFocus.

Each note in Bear has a unique link that can be pasted into the note field in OmniFocus. If you’re using a Mac, select the note in Bear and choose Note > Copy Link To Note or use the keyboard shortcut ⌥⇧⌘L. On iPhone or iPad, long-press on the note and choose Copy link to note.

These links can also be automatically generated using Shortcuts. For example, you might have a Shortcut that creates an OmniFocus action to prompt you to prepare for an upcoming meeting and automatically creates a new note in Bear linked to this OmniFocus action.

Linking from Bear to OmniFocus

When you’re reviewing and updating your notes in Bear, it can also be helpful to access related OmniFocus actions and projects. Fortunately, this is easily accomplished. Each OmniFocus project, action group, action, and tag has a unique URL.

In OmniFocus for Mac, right-click or long press on the item you want to reference outside OmniFocus and choose Copy as Link. This places a link to the corresponding item on the clipboard. On OmniFocus 4.0 or later for iPhone and iPad, long press on the item you want to link to and choose Edit > Copy as Link. You can paste this link into Bear.

Examples of Use Cases

You can create a note in Bear to take notes about a project you’re working on in OmniFocus. Add a link to the Bear note in the project’s note field for easy access. You could also have a repeating task along the lines of “Review: projects notes” that includes this link to make sure that you’re giving what you’re regularly reviewing what you’ve captured in Bear.

Bear can also be a great place to store things like Someday/Maybe lists. Repeating actions in OmniFocus can help ensure that these lists are reviewed regularly. For example, you could have a repeating “Review: blog post ideas” action in OmniFocus that links to a note in Bear that contains ideas for blog posts. Once you’re ready, you can write the post in Bear and use OmniFocus to guide the writing, editing and publishing process.

Learn OmniFocus Resources