What Is Obsidian?
Obsidian is a powerful knowledge management software.
With a local folder of plain text markdown files and note publishing ability, Obsidian provides knowledge building blocks.
Who Uses Obsidian?
Individuals, teams, and companies seeking custom-built solutions.
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Reviews of Obsidian
The best note taking app - hands down
Word's cannot express my gratitude to the Obsidian app and the amazing community built around it. I use this app daily on my desktop and mobile with cloud syncing. It has allowed me to take notes on anything at any time, and most importantly, made it easy to review my notes so I can learn from them.
Obsidian is unique in that there are new plugins being built all the time by the community. That help the app be more intuitive and feature rich. However I still feel their graph view has a lot of potential for improvement. I think the graph view right now is visually interesting to look at, but not nearly as effective as it could be. I'd like to be able to manipulate it more, and see more clearly the patterns between links, right now it becomes overwhelming as there is too many interlinked notes. It's difficult to gleam insights from them.
The best knowledge management software
Comments: I have been looking for years for a good (not even great) note-taking / knowledge management system. I have tried many different apps (like Evernote, Simplenote, Gnome Notes, Google Keep, etc.), but I did not like anything. I started considering writing my own app and was taking some notes. Then, Obsidian arrived and blew my mind. I increased my efficiency 100-fold after starting to use it for basically everything (from my notes on string theory and machine learning to my cooking recipes). I would never go back to any other system.
The fact that it's very fast to take notes (simple markdown format, Latex included…) and to retrieve quickly something (through the fuzzy filename matching, full-text search or tags). That it's possible to sync across various devices (with an excellent mobile app) is outstanding. The extension system is very helpful to supplement features. Also having an open file format is reassuring in case the creators stop updating the app.
The single most annoying aspect is the lack of proper bibliography / citations management. There is a plugin, but I don't like too much how it works. Otherwise, there is no default.
Comments: I did like Obsidian and how full it was. I stored notes and segments of legislation that I needed to reference frequently. I could find any note with the open display.
Notes are stored in Obsidian "Vaults", this certainly makes me feel more secure! Obsidian asks if you'd prefer internal or external storage, notes can be read offline too. Notebooks aren't displayed in a grid pattern like apps on your phone, they're displayed as dots and can be moved as you'd like. I like this and it's really ideal for a large number of notes. Obsidian can actually function as a knowledge base too. When clicking on a dot, a text preview is displayed. The background is dark and text is white, if your eyes strain easily or you have a lot of screen time during your work day this is great. Obsidian has quick access to most format options and text tools, I like the quick access reference tool.
I found it to be confusing, using it certainly wasn't effortless. The icons are very light grey and most of them don't connect to the action you'd expect. I spent a lot of time looking and I deleted notes without meaning to.
A must have for anyone who wants to retain and structure their knowledge
Comments: As a computer science student, I've found Obsidian to be a really helpful tool for knowledge management. Its features are super versatile, so it's great for organizing all sorts of information.The note-linking feature is one of my favorite things about Obsidian. It lets me connect notes and create a web of knowledge that helps me understand how different concepts relate to each other. The backlinking feature is also helpful because it shows me which notes link to a particular note.Obsidian's graph view is another cool feature. It gives me a visual representation of the relationships between notes, which helps me identify key concepts and how they're connected. And I like that I can customize the graph view to fit my specific needs.Obsidian's support for Markdown is also great. It makes it easy to format my notes and include images, tables, and other media.Overall, Obsidian's knowledge management features are really useful for my studies as a computer science student. It's a powerful yet easy-to-use platform for organizing and managing information.
Note-Linking: Obsidian's unique note-linking feature allows you to establish connections between notes, creating a web of knowledge that helps you better understand the relationships between different concepts. This can be especially useful for computer science, where there are often many interrelated concepts that need to be understood in order to fully grasp a topic.Backlinking: Obsidian's backlinking feature shows you which notes link to a particular note, further enhancing your understanding of the connections between different ideas. This can help you quickly identify related concepts and ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of a topic.Markdown Support: Obsidian supports Markdown, which enables you to format your notes in a clear and concise manner, making it easy to read and understand them. This can be especially useful for computer science, where there are often complex concepts that need to be explained in a clear and concise manner.Customizability: Obsidian is highly customizable, allowing you to tailor it to your specific needs. This can be especially useful when integrating Obsidian with other services, or extending its capabilities.
Learning Curve: Obsidian has a bit of a learning curve, especially if you're not familiar with Markdown or haven't used a similar note-taking app before. It can take some time to learn all the features and figure out the best way to use it for your specific needs. The onboarding process is one of the easiest compared to other similar solutions, but sometimes one is tempted to spend time on perfecting the obsidian enviroment instead of taking notes.Collaboration: While vaults can be accessed by multiple users, obsidian has no inherent support for collaboration, and therefore can be problematic in team settings.PDF ANnotation: Obsidian has no good solution to annotate, only link, to specific parts of a pdf. This can be frustrating, but is a technical limitation at the current time. However, there are workarounds using different services like readwise.
Great tool, although not very attractive to use
Comments: The interface is quite unpleasant and takes getting used to. There is a lack of detailed tutorials from the company, if it weren't for its disinterested community that shares tips and videos on YouTube it would be very difficult to learn how to take advantage of this tool. But, on the other hand, it is getting better every time, since it is updated frequently. I hope you continue to invest in this tool as it is the best in its field in my opinion. I've tried Logseq, Notion, etc., and I'm sticking with Obsidian.
I love that it allows markdown and hosting all your notes on your own computer. It has a large number of plugins and a community willing to help each other.
If you want synchronization between devices you will have to pay (there is a free option through Google Drive but it is not very effective). And the payment option is quite expensive per year.