Joplin Vs. Obsidian Which is the Best Note-Taking App for You?

Joplin Vs. Obsidian | Which App Is Right For You

There are lots of Note-Taking apps available today.  How do you know which #note-taking app is right for you?  I will go over #Joplin and#Obsidian and tell you what I like and don’t like about each app.  Then at the end of the audio, I will tell you which app I would use.

Hi, it’s Nancy.  Today, I am going to go over Joplin and Obsidian.  The goal is for you to make an educated decision on whether you want to try one or both of these apps.  As always, I will be providing you with my opinion on both of these apps.  Just remember that what works for me may not work for you as we all have our app requirements.

Must-Have Features

The first step you must take when deciding which is the best note-taking app for you is what features the app must-have for the way you work.  Some things to consider are web clipping capability, sync across devices,  integration with other tools like Google Drive, Outlook, Salesforce, and export capabilities.  It is best to spend some time thinking about using the app and what you want the app to do.  Please make a list of the things you want from the app and then compare them with them.


One of the best features of Joplin is that it is open source software which means it is 100% FREE. But just because it is free does not mean that it is not a great app.  In fact, Joplin was created as an Evernote replacement. 


Joplin is available for Windows, Mac, Linus, Android and iOS.   Now, Obsidian is not available for any mobile devices.  That for one was a show stopper.  I sometimes and am out and about when a great idea will pop into my head.  I want to be able to jot it down before I forget about it.


Joplin offers end-to-end encryption for your data.  This is an excellent security feature that costs extra for many apps including Obsidian.  Yes, Obsidian offers end-to-end encryption but it is an added expense.

Note Version History

Another excellent feature in Joplin is it lets you access your note version history for free.  In fact, it saves your last 90 days of history by default and can be changed to a maximum of 750 days.


Joplin does support templates but it does not provide any to start with.  You need to create your own templates then save them as a template in order to use them.  I did not try to import any templates so let me know if that works for you in the comments below.


Since Joplin is a free app it does not offer any support other than those offered in the support forums.  However, when comparing the support offered by Obsidian it too is limited.  Obsidian offers support through email and forums.

Web clipper

Joplin does offer a browser extension to save web pages and screenshots from your browser.  Where presently Obsidian does not offer this support.  However, you can use a third-party add on to get the web clipper working with Obsidian.


Obsidian is a note-taking and knowledge management app created by the same people who made Dynalist. Unless other note-taking apps with Obsidian, you control where your data is stored. Obsidian’s data stores your information on your hard drive in a folder of Markdown files.  Obsidian allows you to access your notes using any text editor or Markdown app.  You can also elect to store your information in the Cloud using iCloud, Google, Drive, GitHub, and more.

As you can tell, Obsidian lets you decide where to store your data, and therefore you are ultimately in control of your security.  Just be sure to check out how secure your data is if you elect to store your information on the Cloud.


Obsidian says that it supports templates but they are not the templates that I am used too.  It allows you to input a date, time and location only. 


Let’s look at the pricing structure for Obsidian.  Like Evernote, Obsidian offers three tiers of pricing for their product.  The first is Personal, the second is Catalyst, and the third is Commercial. 

Personal (Free Version)

The free version of Obsidian is known as Personal Plan.  It is 100% free for personal use and does not require you to sign up for an account.  Wow, I like this!  You have access to plugins and API along with community support.


The Catalyst plan contains four tiers.  Depending on the tier you select will be what access you have to the community.  For example, Obsidian offers the Insider plan for a one-time payment of $25, allowing you early access to Insider builds and insider badges in the community.

For a one-time payment of $50, you receive the Supporter Plan, which allows you early access to insider build, access to exclusive development channel, and supporter bade in the community. Next up is the VIP for $100, which provides early access to Insider builds, access to exclusive development channels, and a VIP badge in the community.  Lastly is the Obsidian Unlimited.  You gain no additional benefits for your most generous donation.  It would be best to upgrade to the VIP before you can go for the Unlimited plan.  Obsidian states that the monies will help them stay independent.


Obsidian also offers a Commercial Plan for $50 per user per year.

You will notice that Obsidian does not provide a Synchronization of your notes.  That is because they offer this service as an add-on feature.

Add-on Services

Now, Obsidian does offer add-on services which I will discuss next. 

            Website Push

The first add-on service is the ability to push your notes onto a website.  This website push-on service is available for $8 per month paid yearly or $96 per year.  If you want the monthly option, it will cost you $120 per pear or $10 per month.   As of this video, these were special pricing offered by Obsidian.  They are presently offering it at a 50% discount for future pricing.  Plus, if you sign up now, you get this pricing for a lifetime.

I know what you are thinking.  But Nancy, what about syncing my data? Well, that is the next add-on service offered by Obsidian.

Sync Add-On Service

For just $4 per month billed annually ($48 a year), you can get syncing, including end-to-end encryption, build-in version history, and priority email support.

Web Clipper

Obsidian does not provide a web clipper for their app; however, you can use a third-party add-on like Markdownizr, a Chrome Extension.    I am sure that eventually, the Obsidian developers will create their web clipper extension as an app enhancement.


As I said at the beginning of this video.  Which app will work for depends on what you need the app to do.  So, please start by writing down the things that you want the app to do before you review these apps.

I must say that my comparison of Joplin vs Obsidian was an eye opener for me.  As Joplin provides a lot of features that you will have to pay extra for with Obsidian.  I also like the way Joplin works better than Obsidian.  So, if I had to choose between just these two apps I would go with Joplin.

Let me know in the comments which app you liked and why.

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