Notion vs. Obsidian Notes: Which Application is the Best Fit for you?


In this article, you will learn about two note-taking applications: Notion and Obsidian Notes. We will compare the features of these apps to help you make a decision as to which app is best for your needs.

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Let’s get started!

What is Notion?

Notion
Notion

Notion is a note-taking application that has been designed with business people in mind. It can be used as an information hub where you can share files, documents, and folders across your team members easily. This application also integrates well with other tools such as Google Drive and Slack to provide more features for its users.

If you are looking to master Notion, you should check out our Beginner’s Guide to Notion. This guide will get you from newbie to productive in Notion quickly.

You can also embed web content into Notion from services like Google Calendar and Google Sheets.

What is Obsidian Notes?

Obsidian Notes
Obsidian Notes

Obsidian Notes is a note-taking application that was designed to be as minimal and straightforward as possible. It provides users with just the basic functionalities without any distractions, allowing them to focus on the task at hand. This app can also be used across multiple platforms such as Windows, iOS, and Android so you will never have trouble accessing your notes from anywhere.

Beginner’s Guide to Obsidian Notes

Notion vs Obsidian Feature Comparison Table

FeatureNotionObsidianComments
basic note-takingYY
markdown supportY*YNotion supports markdown
for markdown-supported
functions but some additional
functionality, like databases,
boards, etc. that are not defined
in Markdown are not
supported.
spell checkYY
Web clientYY
Windows clientYY
MacOS clientYY
Linux client(s)NY
Android clientYY
iOS clientYY
Sync across devicesYY*Notion is web-based and sync is
enabled by default. Obsidian has
its own syncing service. Obsidian
supports Dropbox sync on all but
iOS devices. Users wanting sync
across Apple devices should use
iCloud Drive Sync or Obsidian
Sync
Database SupportYN
Kanban Board SupportYY*Obsidian supports but requires
third-party community plugin
Knowledge GraphNY
API supportYY*At the time of writing this guide, Obsidian
has an alpha version of its API available
on GitHub
Custom Theme SupportNY
Backlink SupportYY
Programmable Hot Key
Support
NYWhile Notion supports keyboard
shortcuts, you cannot create your own
programmable hot keys
Ability to embed web
content from third-party
services
YN
Ability to publish notes/
pages as web pages
YY
Native Calendar supportYY*Obsidian requires third-party community
plug-in for calendar
Template supportYY*Obsidian requires third-party community
plug-in
Ability to display notes
in Mind Map view
NY*Obsidian requires third-party community
plug-in
Notion vs Obsidian Feature Comparison Table

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Notion Strengths

The core strengths of Notion, when compared to Obsidian Notes, is it’s:

  • Flexibility
  • API for Third-Party Integrations
Notion API page

Notion is a great application that offers users an array of different functionalities. The core strength of this app revolves around the fact that it has been built with flexibility in mind, allowing its users to build their own workflows and processes according to what works best for them. In addition to this, Notion also provides a rich API that can integrate with automation services like Zapier and IFTTT, allowing users to connect with other tools they may be using.

Obsidian Notes Strengths

The core strengths of Obsidian Notes, when compared to Notion, is that it:

  • Lightweight Interface
  • Minimalism and Simplicity
  • Knowledge Graph

Obsidian Notes is a minimalistic note-taking application that can definitely get the job done. This app provides its users with a lightweight interface where there are no distractions and unnecessary menus to navigate through, allowing for increased focus on what matters most – taking notes!

Knowledge Graph
Knowledge Graph

In addition to this, Obsidian provides a knowledge graph to can be used to visually represent relationships between various notes. Obsidian leverages back-linking to create relationships between notes. Notion also supports backlinks but does not currently have a knowledge graph view.

Obsidian Community Plug-ins
Obsidian Community Plug-ins

Obsidian also has a vibrant community that builds themes and plugins that greatly extend the functionality of Obsidian.

You must turn off Safe Mode in order to access community plugins in Obsidian
You must turn off Safe Mode in order to access community plugins in Obsidian

You must turn off Safe Mode in order to access community plugins in Obsidian. There is some risk as these plugins have enhanced permissions to access your account as Obsidian prompts you in the message below:

Obsidian warning message regarding third-party community plugins
Obsidian warning message regarding third-party community plugins

As referenced by the prompt, if you are going to use third-party plugins, it is a good idea to make regular backups of your Obsidian vaults to protect against data loss.

Use Cases for Notion

Notion is a good choice if you are looking to create a central hub where all of your data can be collected and shared, as well as being able to access this information across multiple devices. It will also provide you with integrations with other applications such as Slack, Google Calendar, and others.

Notion can be used for:

  • Note-taking
  • Calendaring
  • Project Management
  • Task Management
  • Database Management
  • Hosting Web Content

The list of use cases Notion can support underlines its flexibility and versatility.

Use Cases for Obsidian Notes

Obsidian Notes is a good choice if you are looking to move away from all of the distractions on other note-taking apps and just want a simple, straightforward solution.

Obsidian can be used for:

  • Blog writing
  • Note taking
  • View relationships between notes
  • Publishing content to web via Obsidian Publish
  • Task Management

Which Application is Best for Your Needs?

Both Notion and Obsidian Notes are good applications depending on the needs of each individual user. If you want an information hub where you can share files, documents, and folders with your team members easily across devices, Notion is the app for you. However, if you are looking to move away from all of the distractions on other note-taking apps and just want a simple solution that will allow you to focus on your task at hand, Obsidian Notes might be the better choice.

It can be difficult to manage all of your tasks, projects, and notes in one place. That’s where Notion comes into play. Notion gives you an overview of everything so it’s easy to see what needs attention next. For those who prefer note-taking apps instead, Obsidian Notes is the perfect tool for organizing thoughts by linking related ideas together across different documents with backlinks between them.

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