The Week: 23rd September 2019

Late weeknotes again – sorry! My heavy cold has been hitting me hard – struggling to shake it off. So not the best week.

Projects: what I’ve been up to

I’m still working my charity microsite build. I also did two hosting moves and worked on some updates to another client’s site. Not a hugely exciting week to be honest. But that’s my bread and butter.

Posts: things I made

  • No real posts this week as such, but I was inspired to try and get my Press Ups project back up and running a bit, so I set up an Instagram for it and started trying to revive social media around it. There’s Twitter and Facebook too. Deciding to revive what is essentially a video tutorial project when fighting off a heavy cold wasn’t my best idea ever. But we’ll see where it goes.

This week I learned

  • Descript exists! An amazing audio and video editor that works by transcribing text and letting you edit that text – as you edit the text, it edits the video/audio for you. I tried it out. It seems legit and has a free plan. Really incredible tech. Their intro video is AMAZING. (Note: I’m not an ambassador or on commission or anything)


Let’s talk about Bear Notes.

I write EVERYTHING down. I’m data-hoarder. And so I need a good note-taking app. One that lets me write quickly, sync to the cloud, organise and search my notes. I want:

  • Either cross-platform, or good ability to export should I need to. MacOS and iOS apps with cloud sync are a must.
  • Tagging – I prefer this to simple folders.
  • Search – fast with relevant results
  • Markdown editing – this is my fastest way to write, I want to stay on my keyboard and am willing to learn shortcuts or formatting tags to make this work.

Importantly, I do NOT care about:

  • Publishing or sharing notes. I’ll use other tools for this.
  • Fancy user interfaces and text formatting tools
  • Import from other tools or integration with other services

For a long time I dabbled with Evernote and SimpleNote.

Evernote was always WAY to complicated and expensive. I couldn’t fathom the user interface which got in the way, and folders, tagging and search were somehow confusing. It should have been the bomb and I know some people put their whole lives in it, but it just didn’t work for me.

SimpleNote was great – it did tagging and search brilliantly, let me JUST WRITE NOTES, but its text formatting fell short. I don’t want too much, but SimpleNote had too little. I could write Markdown in it, but it didn’t help me to do so.

Then, about three years ago, Bear launched. I think I got on board with the Beta, but then was more than happy to pay for a pro subscription. It’s AMAZING!!!!

  • Native Markdown editing
  • Sync across Apple devices
  • Fast, decent search
  • Clever tagging and tag indexing
  • Brilliant apps
  • A clever formatting toolbar that helps you write Markdown
  • A whole host of other neat little touches

The only real downside is that it only really works on Apple’s platform. There’s ongoing talk of a web-based version, which would be cool if it happened. I would miss it if I ever ditched my Mac and iPhone though.

A super tool. Not for everyone. But perfect for me.

Time Machine

A while ago I wrote a post that did a critique of a fairly well-known “Uncle” Bob Martin post. It took me ages to write and publish it, partly because…well…who am I to critique someone as legendary as Uncle Bob? But I felt my background working in safety-critical software engineering game me an alternative view. And I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

What do you think?

Pins: things I read and remembered

Here’s what I bookmarked this week:

(Brought to you with and my Sync Pinboard plugin)

Have a great week!