If you do a lot of writing or note-taking on your Mac and have been looking for a new way to handle it all, you may be interested in taking a look at Shiny Frog’s new Bear (free / $1.50/month). It’s a writing app that supports a wealth of advanced features while maintaining a very clean and accessible user interface. It’s designed for everything from quick notes to in-depth essays or even code snippets — syntax highlighting is supported for over 20 programming languages — and you can use hashtags to organize your work and easily link notes to each other, while still ensuring that everything remains stored in plain text for maximum compatibility and portability to other apps.
There are also even more advanced features waiting under the hood, including rich live previews, the ability to quickly add to-dos to notes, smart recognition of links, emails, addresses, colors, and more: a Focus Mode for hiding extraneous controls and zeroing in on your writing, and an advanced search feature, including smart search tags. The basic app is free, but Shiny Frog also offers a set of premium features with a “Bear Pro” monthly ($1.50) or annual ($15.00) subscription, which adds the ability to sync across multiple devices — including the companion iPhone and iPad app — as well as the ability to export documents to PDF, HTML, DOCX, and JPG, and a choice of eight different themes. A limited-time free trial of Bear Pro is also available when initially subscribing.