Until recently I used Evernote for my notes, web clippings and document drafts, I was a subscriber going on 14 years and had over 3000 notes.

However in recent years Evernote has gone downhill to the point it could be considered hostile to it’s users.

The native macOS app was replaced with an Electron Javascript webframe and like almost all Electron apps I’ve tried it was plagued by poor performance, memory leaks and aggressive idle CPU utilisation and above all else it now lacks the low latency feeling the native application had.

With the release of the updated client, Evernote has removed offline note functionality - tough luck if you’re travelling or don’t have reliable internet access.

This year I finally decided I had enough and have spent several months testing out alternatives including Bear, Notion, Ulysses, Simplenote, IA Writer and several others.

Selection Criteria

I assessed the options based on the following criteria:

  • Web clipper for clipping the content of blogs, forum posts, comments etc…
  • Offline note usage
  • Cross device sync
  • Markdown support
    • Code block support
      • Syntax highlighting would be a bonus
  • Attachment support
  • Native application performance
    • Low latency interface
    • Doesn’t leak memory or churn CPU when idle
    • Doesn’t excessively drain battery
  • Performant, full text internal search


I finally settled on Bear which I’m having a great experience with and would happily recommend.

It provides clean interface that really is a pleasure to spend time working in, is a native application and performs excellently and is relatively affordable at $15USD a year.


Image courtesy of Bear

Image courtesy of Bear

Example of a note clipped from this webpage:

Example of a PDF stored inline: