Hi, it’s Nancy. Welcome back to my channel. I’m so glad that you stopped by today. Over the last several weeks, I have been comparing Obsidian with most of the top note taking apps available today. Now it’s time that I went ahead and showed you how to get started with Obsidian, go over some facts about it, and what it actually costs to own the app. Since security is on everyone’s mind these days, I’m going to also go over the security level given to Obsidian by its creators. Be sure to stay to the end of the video as I will show you how to [inaudible] your notes to create those wonderful graphics.
Since Erica and her team were already in quarantine, it gave them a chance to create an app that would suit her. Before Erica and her team could develop the app, they needed to sit down and do some thinking, and they came up with three fundamental directions for Obsidian. The first, it has to be a local first employing text. Next to it has a link as a first class citizen. And lastly, it had to make it super extendable.
Created For Software Developers
Now this app was written with software developers of mind. The problem with most note taking apps from a developer’s point of view is it feels like you’re writing code without any syntax highlighting, a code auto complete, or get integration. I must say that I value the direction that the developers wanted to take the app. Keeping the data local and plain text allows a lot of flexibility for the end user.
The ability to link within the notes also enables expansions of thought processes, and the app is super expandable. After all, there is no use bloating in app with so many features that you don’t need or use, allowing you, the end user, the ability just to add whatever add ins that you want is a great help overall. Obsidian is available for Lennox, Mac, and Windows, however, there’s no mobile edition currently present, but they are doing a beta test for the new mobile apps, but that is a private beta only.
Notes Are Saved As Markdown Files
Obsidian stores your data in folders of mark down files that you can access your data as long as you’re at that computer. Since obsidian uses the mark down files, you can use any text editor or mark down app to open and edit the files. This means that your existing folders of mark down files can be open within the app, or you can store it on iCloud, Google Drive, GitHub, or anywhere that you want to store your data.
Who Is Obsidian For?
Who is obsidian for? Well, obsidian is perfect for an offline user and those individuals who are already have a ton of mark down files. I’ve not yet touched on Obsidian security, so I’m briefly going to discuss that here. Obsidian offers end encryption just like Joplin. These are the two most secure note taking
Obsidian offers a personal version that is 100% free, and get this, it doesn’t require you to create an account in order to use.
Personal, Catalyst and Commercial Plans
With the free version, you get full access to plug-ins and API. What is an API? An API is an application programming interface. In other words, it’s a programming code that enables data transmission between one software and another. The Catalyst has a one time payment of $25 and you can get access to insider builds with special badges inside the community. Lastly, it is the commercial plan. It presently costs $50 per user per month. For volume discounts and [inaudible] inquiries, please contact Obsidian directly.
Now if you want the ability to sync your data or to push your notes to a website, then you’re going to have to use Obsidian’s add on services. For $4 a month, which is billed annually, you can sync your data across devices. If you want to push your data to your website, you need to get the push add on as it allows your notes to be published directly to your site. This feature currently costs $8 per month.
Now these are introductory pricing and they may increase in the future. In fact, if you go to the Obsidian’s website, you can see that it has the future pricing already listed. If you want to find people that are using Obsidian, go to Twitter because you can do a search and it will show you all the different people that are presently utilizing the service.
As you can see, I went ahead and I opened Obsidian. This is the first screen that you’re going to get. You can open a vault of you already have a vault, and a vault is basically a folder where you’re storing all your data, or you can create a new vault, or you can open the help. If you want to create a new vault you’re going to create a new vault and you’re going to put a vault name. Then you’re going to pick your location, so if you want to store it on your local hard drive, you can choose where you want to store it. I have a default folder called Obsidian, and that’s where I’m storing all my data.
So here’s a quick start, and I really liked this because you can come in and look quickly at how to create a note, how to do mark down, how to embed files, working with multiple notes. So it gives you all these different choices that you can do, which I found very beneficial. These help topics, it also has advanced topics, which I like because it says accepted file formats so you know which files are accepted, and it goes into drag and drop and third party plugins. If you want to add plugins, here’s one for developers so that you can add your plugins.
So let’s go down to settings and look at settings because there’s going to be some things you want to look at. Readable length, you can set the readable length. You can put strict line breaks, formatting, pair brackets, all these are choices that you can have. Files, appearance. The basic theme is dark, but I actually have the light theme chosen. I actually like the light theme better for my eyes, but you can talk about your font size. How large do you want the font? Plugins that are available, file explorer, you’re going to want that so you can actually explore the files. Search, back links. You can even put outgoing links if you want, tag.
I’m going to go back and open the one that I’ve already created, and it’s going to come back and do that. So now here I can see books, books that I want to read. Here’s what I was … The books that I want to read that I have here. And so I can come here and I got untitled, my ultimate set up, anything I want to have put about these. These are just titles of things that I’m eventually going to come back and actually put in notes in here, but for now I just wanted to build them up while my mind was thinking about it. I linked them together so that you can actually see the mind map.
So if you come down here … If you come here, you can see the graphical interface, which is really nice because let me blow this up, because you can see this. You can drag and drop and you can see, these are all the ones that are attached to this one, and these are … Each one of these is just an individual, it’s not attached to anything, but I can drag these all around and make them do whatever I want, which is really kind of nice that they give you that user interface, especially if you’re writing a book and you have all these links.
Linked and unlinked
But these are some other ideas that you have that you haven’t got into the form or maybe you haven’t written the chapter yet, then you would link it back over here. That gives you an idea. For me, these are all the topics that I thought about doing as far as my YouTube channel goes. And so that’s what I’m using this for. Testing it out, seeing how well I like it, if I’m going to give up Notion that I’m currently using as my note taking app.
So say you want to go ahead and link this little note here to another note. All you have to do is hit the bracket twice and it pops up all your different notes that you have available, so you can link it to any one. I can link it to this one, I could link it to whichever one. And that’s so simple. I really love this feature of just going tap, tap, and right there, I get the choices to link.
Now this was just a quick overview of how to use the app. I didn’t go into detail as there’s thousands of YouTubers out there already who have gone into detail on how to use the app. I just wanted to give you a view of how I’m using it presently and some of the features that I like and what I don’t like about the app.
That I like that you have the option of where to store the data. To me, that is really a plus that I wish a lot of other note taking apps gave you that ability. What I don’t like about the app is that you have to pay extra to have sinking costs, and to me, I don’t understand why because I’m not using your server, right? I’m storing the data on a server that I probably already pay for so why do I need to pay $4 per month for that sinking capability? It just doesn’t resonate with me at this point.
Also, I travel a lot so the mobile app is really a downside to me because if I’m sitting in an airport, I want to be able to grab that app and my phone and to be able to put a note in while I’m thinking about it. Or maybe I’m on the phone with a client, I want to have the capability to be able to use another device like my iPad, for instance, to do that.
The pros for it is I do like that you have the option of where to store the data. I really enjoy the fact that its security is top-notch, its end to end encryption. You can’t get any better than that these days. And the use of mark down files, I really see the benefit. It’s growing on me as they’re moving more and more towards that mark down file capabilities. It really depends on what you want to use the app for as to whether this is going to be a good fit for you, and that’s something that only you will know.
Well, that’s it for this week’s video. I hope you enjoyed it and until next time, as always, please be safe. You can find more articles by clicking this link.