When comparing Emacs Org-mode vs Bear, the Slant community recommends Bear for most people. In the question“What is the best note taking app for Mac?” Bear is ranked 4th while Emacs Org-mode is ranked 17th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Files are usable anywhere at anytime
Users are not tied to one service provider, program, platform, or database engine.
Pro Ultimate flexibility
This app's flexibility is based on its minimalist approach, giving the user near-infinite freedom.
Pro Agenda views
Pro There are a lot of extensions, for exporting to html, bootstrap, js-reveal and much more.
Pro Absolutely free
Emacs with Org-mode is free as in beer and free as in speech – that is, it costs nothing and it’s totally open source.
Pro Incredibly extensible
There are many plug-ins for Org-mode, including Org-habits and Org-notify. If Org-mode lacks some piece of functionality, it is very easy to add it.
Pro Supports plaintext spreadsheets
Pro Efficient features for deadline organization
Pro Quickly add rich text
Pro Excellent unofficial Android app (orgzly)
Pro Easy to use
Pro Flawless sync
It's everything Dropbox Paper promised to be, but without the embarrassment. The notes are always in sync between devices.
Pro Easy tagging
For example: #tag/sub tag/foo/bar #tag2/foo/bar
Pro Beautiful interface
Pro Instant markdown preview in the editor while preserving original MD code
Pro Simple to back up/export entire note database
Notes are exported as plain text, not a proprietary format, along with all embedded objects.
Pro Lots of export formats
PDF, RTF, DOCX, HTML, TXT and MD.
Pro Hashtag support
Adding a hashtag with a keyword tags the note to make it easy to search.
Con Android app isn't very good
There are several user-created apps for Android, but none seem to offer the same level of functionality as other to-do apps.
Con By default, a hard-to-read display
The default way of writing an outline or checklist creates a very messy wall of text that's difficult to read with no vertical spacing. You can manually add vertical spacing, but the Org operations don't preserve it. There are pretty-display modes, but you need to remember how to enable them, etc. etc.
Con Unintuitive user interface
The key combinations are unintuitive and difficult to remember. This is probably because there are a lot of hidden "modes" depending on where the cursor is. Actions aren't paired with reversing actions like in other todo apps. For example, hitting shift-tab does NOT reverse the effect of hitting tab.
Con No Tabs - can only view 1 note at a time
Con No inline editing and markup of pictures
The only option is to open in an editor (thereby creating a copy) and saving it again.