Joplin Vs. Obsidian |Updated Review
Hey, it is Nancy and welcome to my channel. Today, I am revisiting two of the best note-taking apps – Obsidian vs Joplin. Be sure to stay to the end as I will give you my feedback on which one you should consider.
Before I dive into the video, please consider sharing this video, and leave me a comment below.
Note-Taking App Market
Note-taking apps are big business. Ness Labs estimates that the market will reach $1.35B by 2026. (https://nesslabs.com/how-to-choose-the-right-note-taking-app). With new apps being released all the time it can be difficult to find the right app. Also, since competition in note-taking apps is fierce, companies are continually improving their apps. That is why I am taking a second look at Joplin and Obsidian. But first, let me tell you a secret. “Don’t be afraid to combine multiple apps to optimize your productivity.” However, do not fall into the trap of continually changing apps. [Squirrel]. In fact, remember that it is best not to create a giant productivity system! Remember, when it comes to taking notes and turning them into a productive output, the simpler the system is the better!
I am going to evaluate each app based on the following criteria:
- Web Clipping
- Text Editors
- File Attachment
- Email Forwarding
- Mobile Scanning, OCR, and Handwriting recognition
- Overall Ease of Use
Let us start by looking at the Joplin App. Joplin is an open-source note-taking application that lets you capture your thoughts and securely access them from any device. In other words, the app is FREE. With Joplin it supports multimedia notes that contain images, videos, audio, and PDFs as well as math expressions and diagrams.
Whereas Obsidian is a powerful knowledge management system that works on top of a local folder.
Joplin has a Chrome extension available through the Chrome Web Store that allows you to clip web pages and take screenshots while you are browsing the Internet.
Obsidian also has a web clipper that is available on the Chrome Web Store. Just search for “Obsidian Clipper” and add it to your browser. However, if you see something useful online you can simply just select the text, click copy, and paste into Obsidian. Obsidian will convert it to Markdown. If you only wish to copy the text with the formatting just hold down the “Ctrl-shirt-v” on Windows or “Cmd-Shift-V on mac”.
With Joplin you have your choice of text editors. You can use either Markdown language or Rich Text. Rich text is a common formatting option that is usually available on a Ribbon and the Mini Toolbar. Also, Joplin also lets you customize the app using plugins, and custom themes. In addition, if you feel creative you can create your own scripts and plugins using the Extension API.
Now, Obsidian stores your data using Markdown language. Markdown language allows you to add formatting elements to plaintext documents. If you want to use Rich Text for formatting, then Obsidian is not the app for you.
Now, Joplin does let you add attachments to your notes. For instance, you can attach a Video, PDF, or any other document in Joplin. Your attachment will be copied to the resource’s directory of the Joplin app.
With Obsidian you can attach markdown files, images, audio, video, and PDFs. These can be embedded inside a note. Since Obsidian uses Markdown language you can also create a link to any file using standard Markdown language.
Joplin allows you to use not just Tags but also notebooks. Notebooks are like folders in which you group similar notes. You can also use tags to organize your notes. Tags are just keywords. It is great to find a particular note fast as you just click a tag, and all related content will be shown.
As I said before tags are very useful way to group multiple notes together so that they are easy to find. Essentially Obsidian uses tags as a clickable search term.
Joplin is free. However, if you elect to store your data using on an online service like Dropbox then you need to add that to the total cost. Now Joplin does offer a cloud based plan that will costs you about $20 a year.
Obsidian has three tiers: Person which costs $0; Catalyst for a one-time payment of $25; and Commercial for $50 per person per year. However, if you want to be able to sync your data then it will cost you $8 a month or $96 a year. If you want to use the Publish feature that will set, you back $16 per month which is billed annually or $192.
That pricing model seems a bit steep to me. In fact, you will find a discussion on this on Reddit’s website. People believe that the Obsidian app is too costly. For those Obsidian users, “How do you feel”. Leave me a comment down below.
If you want to be able to collaborate with Joplin, then you will need the Joplin Cloud service or setup your own Joplin server. GitHub does discuss this but it is not something I am interested in doing. However, if you need the Joplin Cloud service than that is going to cost you. Check out the Joplin website for more information
Obsidian does not support multi-user live collaboration currently. So best option for continuous collaboration is to sync an entire vault via a sync service, then have your collaborators use Obsidian. I want to thank Ryan JA Murphy for providing this answer in the Obsidian forums.
Presently, Joplin is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. There is also a terminal app available. You can access your notes from your computer, phone, or tablet by syncing them with various services like Joplin Cloud, Dropbox, and OneDrive.
Just like Joplin, Obsidian is available for Windows, macOS, Linus, Android, and iOS.
Joplin and Obsidian both offer End-To-End Encryption. End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a system where only the owner of the data can read it. It prevents potential eavesdroppers – including telecom providers, internet providers, and even the developers of Joplin from being able to access the data.
Obsidian also offers managed encryption which means you will never have to remember another password. It will even manage the encryption password for you. While Obsidian stores your encryption password on their servers, they only use it to offer a more convenient way to manage your vaults. Obsidian states that they will never access your vault without your explicit consent.
Yes, Joplin does offer email forwarding to the Joplin app. This will be done through a 3rd party app available at GitHub.
You can also forward your email as a note into Obsidian through If This Then That. (IFTTT). I am sure there are other ways to do this.
Overall Ease of Use
Both Joplin and Obsidian are easy to use. I would suggest that you try either app for a few weeks and see which one meets your needs.
Either app will be a good choice for anyone wanting a secure note-taking app. I found it easy to use the interfaces of both devices.
Both apps are great for note taking and offer end-to-end encryption which other apps do not offer. If you are familiar with Markdown language then you can use either app however, if you want to use Rich Formatting then you will need the Joplin app.
Both apps are easy to use, and you really cannot go wrong with either one. To select the app best for you, you must figure out what features you need from your note-taking app. It is best to try each app for about a month and see how it works for you.
Remember, it may take multiple apps to meet your needs. Let me know in the comments section below which app you use for notetaking. Also remember to subscribe to the channel so you do not miss any of my videos on productivity and product reviews.
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