Getting Started

Polar is an advanced document management and knowledge repository for people very serious about their education.

It provides tools to manage documents, annotations, and includes flashcards and incremental reading powered by spaced repetition.

Document Repository

The first thing you will see when using Polar is the document repository.

Document Repository

This holds all your documents in one place, supports tags, folders, filtering the view by flags or showing archived documents, etc.

You can also sort by any column to build reading queues and mix and match the above to build powerful views of your document repository.

Annotation Viewer

When reading your documents with Polar you can create highlights (either text or area highlights) and manage them using the annotation viewer.

Document Repository

Like the document repository, the annotation viewer allows you to filter the view, sort by columns, etc.

Pick the Right Platform

Polar supports both desktop and web and supports cloud sync and storage and sync of your across devices.

    full feature set offline support
desktop   yes yes
web   yes no
mobile   flashcard review only no


Mobile includes both tablet and phones running iOS and Android. We don’t provide native apps but instead have a mobile webapp (or progressive webapp) that can be installed just by visiting the website (and logging in) on your phone.


We have desktop apps for Windows, MacOS, and Linux which you can download here.


The web version of Polar runs on Chrome, and Firefox [^1] and supports almost all functionality as the desktop app except for offline support which will come in the future.

Local or Cloud

The desktop app supports a local-only version which does not use cloud sync.

If you’re in China (which blocks our cloud provider) you will need to use this mode.

Otherwise we recommend using the cloud version which is used automatically if you’re using the web version of Polar or if you login to cloud sync on the desktop app.

Cloud sync also allows you to use the mobile versions of Polar as well.


  1. May not actively work with Safari as of Nov 2019 and our web extension is not available for Firefox.