Could Bear 2.0 be a new approach to manage my Second Brain ?

Stéphane Sulikowski
PKM Playbook
Published in
5 min readJul 24, 2023


An exploration of note-taking and knowledge management apps for the modern user

As a content producer and an avid user of Obsidian, I have explored various note-taking apps in search of the optimal tool for managing my knowledge workflow. I had the chance to participate to the beta of the newly released Bear 2.0, and it has caught my attention and made me reconsider my choice.

Obsidian: A Robust Tool for Knowledge Management

Obsidian has been my go-to tool for a significant period, offering a powerful platform for managing my knowledge workflow. However, Obsidian can sometimes looks complex and I would expect more streamlined solution. This is where Bear 2.0 comes into play.

Bear 2.0: A Simplified Approach to Note-Taking

Upon my first interaction with Bear 2.0, I was impressed by its sleek interface and user-friendly design. It seemed like a promising alternative to Obsidian, offering a range of features that cater to my needs:

  • Seamless User Experience: Bear 2.0 offers smooth navigation and an intuitive design, enhancing the overall user experience.
  • Markdown and Wikilinks Support: Bear 2.0 supports markdown and wikilinks, making it easy to write and link notes together.
  • Shortcut Actions: While Bear 2.0 does not offer templates, it provides shortcut actions that help streamline the workflow.
  • Simplicity: Bear 2.0’s simplicity is a refreshing change from the extensive features offered by Obsidian.

It’s important to note that Bear 2.0 is available exclusively within the Apple ecosystem. This means it’s accessible on devices like the MacBook, iPad, and iPhone, ensuring a seamless experience across all your Apple devices. However, this is a strong limitation for those who use other operating systems.

Evaluating Expectations: Obsidian vs Bear 2.0

As I continue to explore Bear 2.0, I am reminded that our choices are often influenced by our expectations. While Obsidian offers a feature-rich environment, the simplicity and user-friendly approach of Bear 2.0 present an appealing alternative.

A Closer Look at Bear 2.0

Bear 2.0 has a range of features that may enhance my note-taking experience:

  • Improved Editor: The updated editor in Bear 2.0 offers a clean, frictionless markdown experience.
  • Functional UI and UX: Bear 2.0’s user interface is really well designed and offers a great user experience. It is very functional and intuitive.
  • Tagging: Bear 2.0 has no folders based hierarchy, everything is organized with tags.
  • Tables and Footnotes: The addition of tables and footnotes in Bear 2.0 helps me to manage data in a new way.
  • Customized Keyboard: The new customized keyboard in Bear 2.0 enhances the note-taking experience, offering a range of shortcuts for formatting.
  • Sidebar: The redesigned sidebar in Bear 2.0 provides key information and statistics.

Comparing Obsidian and Bear 2.0



  • Powerful features for advanced users
  • Extensive range of templates and plugins
  • Markdown support and bidirectional linking
  • Graph view for visualizing connections
  • Available on all platforms (Apple, Windows, Linux)


  • Complexity can be overwhelming for some users
  • Steeper learning curve
  • May require more time investment to fully harness its potential

Bear 2.0


  • Sleek, intuitive interface
  • Seamless user experience
  • Markdown support and wikilinks
  • Simplified workflow with shortcut actions
  • Tags based structuration


  • Limited features compared to Obsidian
  • Lacks DataView and Graph View (at least for now)
  • May not be as customizable or extensible for power users
  • Apple ecosystem only

Data Accessibility: A Key Differentiator Between Obsidian and Bear 2.0

A significant distinction between Obsidian and Bear 2.0 lies in the way they handle data storage.

In Obsidian, all files are stored locally in their native markdown format. This means you have direct access to your data, and you can manipulate it outside of the application if needed. This approach aligns well with my number one rule for future-proofing: always have direct access to and control over your data.

On the other hand, Bear 2.0 stores data within the application itself. While this might streamline the user experience within the app, it restricts your ability to directly access and control your data. This is a considerable drawback for me.

However, it’s worth noting that Bear 2.0 does offer a workaround. The application allows to export notes in various formats, including PDF, markdown, text, Word, …

While this isn’t as flexible as the level of control offered by Obsidian, it does provide a means of accessing and preserving your data outside of the application, mitigating some of the concerns associated with in-app data storage.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Tool for Your Needs

As I evaluate Bear 2.0, I realize that the choice ultimately depends on my expectations and priorities. While Obsidian offers a powerful and feature-rich environment, Bear 2.0’s simplicity and user-friendly approach present a compelling alternative.

The exploration is not over yet. I’ll be delving deeper into the world of Bear 2.0, eager to see if it can truly become my new second brain. But remember, the best note-taking app is the one that suits your needs — whether that’s a powerhouse like Obsidian or a streamlined solution like Bear 2.0.

Stay tuned for updates on my journey, and may your own quest for the perfect note-taking app be successful!

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Happy note-taking!!!



Stéphane Sulikowski
PKM Playbook

Digital Product/Project Manager, I write about productivity, knowledge management, code and no code | | mastodon: