Notion Vs. Obsidian | Which App Is Best For You?

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Notion vs. Obsidian | Which is the Best Note – Taking App

Notion is one of the most discussed #productivity app on YouTube.  The new kid on the block is called #Obsidian.  Let’s compare these two apps and figure out which might work well for you.   

Hi my name is Nancy and I am going to go over two of the best note-taking apps available today.  Notion vs Obsidian.  Now remember that there is no such thing as a “perfect” note-taking app.  What really matters is finding apps that match the way you think about productivity.  That could be just one app or it could be a few apps.  Just remember not to build a Taj Mahal of a productivity system.  Remember the acronym KISS.  Keep It Simple.

Notion

Notion was designed to be an all in one workspace for your notes, databases, tasks and wikis. It allows you to share your workspace with your team where you can write, plan and get organized. You can take notes, add tasks, manage projects and more with Notion.  It provides the building blocks and you can create your own layouts to get work done.  Notion also provides free templates that you can use to get started or just develop your own template.  With Notion the only limiting factor is your imagination.  If you can imagine it then with Notion you can create it.

Obsidian

Obsidian is a note-taking and knowledge management app.  You can turn a collection of plain text into a network of linked data.  In other words, Obsidian wants to be your second brain. It lets you capture your ideas and take notes in Markdown text files just like Notion.  In Obsidian, the file explorer is visible by default and can become awkward as your notes grow.  Therefore you many want to think more about organization before you start writing. Now, if the work that your are writing is more structured or linear such as documentation or coursework then Obsidian will work for you.

Customization

Your personality will help make the decision for you in regard to Notion or Obsidian.  Try both apps and within a few weeks one of them will stand out more than the other. Obsidian provides more control as you can decide on how many panes you want open, how you want to align each pane and you can write your own extensions as Obsidian’s written in plain javascript. You can easily link notes by placing two brackets ([[) in a note and using the note of the note you want to link. After you have linked all your notes you can get a visualization of the notes. This visualization reminds me of the movie “The Matrix”. Whereas, Notion does not provide the same insight into linked data that Obsidian does.

Plugins

Obsidian is built to be extensible. With 22 core plugins and 182 community plugins, set up your own toolkit and get running in minutes. You’ll even be able to install third party plugins or build your own. Whereas, Notion does not accept plugins from what I can tell.

Markdown Language

Notion and Obsidian both use Markdown language to format text. Now, my age is going to show here but I don’t like Markdown language. Let me rephrase that, I don’t know how to use it. Therefore, I tend to use Word to format the text then paste into either Notion or Obsidian. I guess, I need to take the time to learn how to use Markdown language but for me it is faster to do it this way. Especially, when I am in a hurry.

Templates

Both apps allow for the use of templates. This is where Notion shines as it is easy and fast to add templates to your app. Now with Obsidian I found that it took quite a few steps. You first have to go into the settings and click a button to activate the templates within the app. Then scroll down until you see the templates. You have three choices you can add file location, date and time. I was confused at first because that was what I was not expecting. As I was expecting the templates to be more than a file location, date and time. I was looking for more of a typical template. I must say Notion has Obsidian beat in this matter.

Security

Now let’s move on to security.  Notion uses TLS everywhere within the data center and out.  TLS stands for Transport Layer Security and is used by the majority of developers in the world today.  This includes Google, and Microsoft.  Notion runs 100% on the cloud using AWS within a virtual private network that cannot be accessed via the public Internet, except through Notion’s public-facing proxy servers.  However, as I have discussed in previous videos TLS is not the most secure option out there.  If you really want your data to be secure you need to use End to end encryption. Now, let’s see how secure Obsidian is.

Obsidian delivers a simple yet powerful security solution for SaaS applications built around unified visibility, continuous monitoring, and security analytics.  Obsidian security teams are able to protect against breaches, detected threats and respond to incidents in their SAAS applications.  Also, Obsidian offers end to end encryption,  which is the most secure data protection offered today.

So, if you are concerned about security or want your data protected from potential security breaches then Obsidian is the way to go.

Price

When deciding which productivity application to use sometimes is just boils down to price.  Notion has a free version that I have been using for a year now.  You can have unlimited pages and blocks, share your Notion with up to 5 guests, and it automatically sinks across all devices. It this plan does not work for you, you can upgrade to the Personal Pro plan for just $5 per month or you can pay $50 for a year.  Need to share Notion with team members?  They you will need to upgrade to the team account.  It costs $10 per month for each person on your team. 

But how does Notion’s pricing compare with Obsidian?  Well, Obsidian also offers a free account for personal use.  However if you want your data sync across devices then you will have to add-on to your free account.  This will cost you $4 per month which is billed annually.  However this is a special price and may soon go up to $8 per month.  If you need to upgrade your account it will cost you $25 one time payment.  This is known as the Catalyst.  There are three levels inside the Catalyst.  Insider which is the $25 one-time payment, Supporter for $50 or VIP for $100.  I think this payment structure is okay because you are buying a license to use the product.  I personally like this method versus leasing a product monthly.  If you need a commercial account then it will cost you $50 per user per year.

Notion or Obsidian, Which App Is Right For You?

Both apps are a pleasure to you.  As for which app should you use it will depend on what you want to prioritize.  You may want to use Notion to get your thoughts down on paper (per se) and then once you have them organized refine them in Obsidian.  

Either way you cannot go wrong with either app.  Let me know in the comments which one you like

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