Alexito's World

A world of coding 💻, by Alejandro Martinez

BearTodo, a menubar app to manage your tasks

After writing about my perfect notes app and comparing the available options I decided to move to Bear. My tasks from Todoist were one of the first things that I moved, and with that change I immediately noticed that in some occasions I really needed a quick way of seeing my tasks.

Bear has a Todo filter that displays only the notes with a task item in them. This is somewhat useful but it's far from ideal to see your tasks. The fact is that the app is a note taking app, so this is a filter for notes, there is no special view for tasks.

Bear filter

But I was decided to keep using Bear because so many of the other features are really good. So, as an alternative, I just decided to program my own solution for this specific problem.

This is how BearTodo came to be.

Bear todo screenshoot

BearTodo is a menubar app that helps visualise and manage the tasks from your notes in Bear.

I've worked on it on my spare time, so it's not a high quality polished mac app, but I've been using it for a while and it works perfectly fine for my use case. As I wrote on my post about the perfect notes app, some task management features would be pretty amazing to have, and I may tackle some of them in the near future.

Ultimately I'm not sure how much time I will spend on it so I decided to share a build with the current feature set, as it is. If it can help somebody else apart from me it would be great.

The app doesn't keep it's own list of tasks, it reads them from Bear using the official x-callback-url API. I thought about reading directly from the sqlite database but that seemed too dangerous and fragile.

The biggest inconvenience with the url scheme API is the fact that it forces the app to become active and its window to be on the foreground. I've contacted the devs and this is a limitation of macOS, so it doesn't seem likely that is ever gonna be fixed. The workaround is to minimise Bear, the app would still become active but won't show up on the foreground. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Here are the implemented features:

  • Displays all tasks from your Bear notes.
  • The tasks are grouped by the originating Note, which you can expand and collapse.
  • Mark a task as done/not done and it syncs that change back to the original note.
  • Filter to focus on your current tasks.
  • Quickly add a new task to an Inbox note or
  • quickly add a new task to a specific note if it's the only note being displayed by a filter.


The first thing you need to do is set a Bear token in the settings screen.