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Obsidian VS Notion: Which is the better note-taking app?

Domantas Alosevičius

The main purpose of both Obsidian and Notion is to provide an improved note-taking tool. They both succeed in this, but they have the key differences that set them apart. I decided to compare these two note-organization tools to see which is better.

Obsidian vs Notion

What is Obsidian?

What is Obsidian?

Obsidian is a versatile writing application designed for personal use. It adapts to your thought process, ensuring a seamless writing experience.

Obsidian is a popular choice for people who want a powerful and flexible note-taking application that can grow with their needs. However, it’s worth noting that it does have a bit of a learning curve, especially as it uses Markdown and doesn’t have a super-intuitive interface. 

Obsidian is more than just a writing application. It’s a tool that adapts to the way you think, offering privacy, customization, and powerful organizational tools. Whether for personal reflection or public sharing, Obsidian is equipped to meet a wide range of needs.

What is Notion?

What is Notion?

Notion is an all-in-one workspace for team collaboration and individuals. It offers a range of productivity and organization tools. Key features include AI integration, document handling, wikis, project management, and calendars. 

The platform also has an extensive template gallery and numerous collaboration tools. Users can connect their existing tools to Notion for a seamless experience. 

Available for both web and mobile devices, Notion can be scaled for different team sizes and functions. With a focus on ease of use, Notion aims to centralize knowledge and streamline project management.

Obsidian Key features

Obsidian Key features
  • Local Storage of Notes: Obsidian prioritizes privacy. It stores your notes on your device, ensuring fast access and privacy. This means your notes are always within reach, safe and secure.
  • Customization Options: Personalize Obsidian to your liking. With numerous plugins and themes, it adapts to your thinking style. This makes Obsidian a flexible tool for anyone’s writing needs.
  • Data Longevity: Obsidian uses open, non-proprietary files. Your data remains accessible and secure, with no risk of being locked in. This ensures the longevity and safety of your information.
  • Creative Tools: Obsidian enhances creativity. Use features like links, graphs, and canvas for brainstorming and organizing ideas. These tools help visualize and connect your thoughts effectively.
  • Plugins and Community Contributions: Enhance your experience with community plugins. They range from calendars to task trackers, offering a variety of options. This community aspect keeps Obsidian dynamic and user-focused.
  • Secure Syncing Across Devices: Obsidian ensures your notes are available wherever you go. Syncing is secure, with end-to-end encryption for peace of mind. This feature is ideal for people on the move.
  • Publishing Platform: Share your notes easily with Obsidian Publish. Turn your notes into a public wiki. This feature is perfect for those who want to share their ideas with the world.

Obsidian drawbacks

Obsidian, while powerful for note-taking and knowledge management, does have some drawbacks to consider:

  • Learning Curve: Obsidian is designed for flexibility, but that can come at the cost of initial complexity. Features like backlinks and advanced plugins require some investment in learning to use them effectively.
  • Maintenance: Unlike some structured note-taking apps, Obsidian relies on you to create and maintain your organizational system. This can be a great strength for customization, but it also means you need to put in an ongoing effort to keep your notes organized and accessible.
  • Security and Collaboration: By default, Obsidian stores your notes locally. While this gives you control and offline access, it also means you need to manage backups yourself. 
  • Limited Features for Specific Needs: If you need a note-taking app with built-in features like data visualizations or project management tools, Obsidian might not be the best choice.
  • Plugins and Customization: While a strength, the vast plugin ecosystem can also be overwhelming. Compatibility issues can arise, and some plugins may require coding knowledge to use effectively.

Notion key features

Notion key features
  • AI Integrated Assistant: Notion’s AI helps answer questions and streamline work. It’s like having a smart assistant in your tool.
  • Document Handling: Create and manage documents with ease. Notion’s document tool is simple, powerful, and user-friendly.
  • Wikis for Knowledge: Centralize your company’s knowledge. With Notion, finding information is quick and easy.
  • Project Management: Handle all your projects in one place. Notion makes managing complex projects simpler.
  • Calendar Integration: Keep track of time and tasks. Notion’s calendar helps manage both with efficiency.
  • Template Gallery: Get started fast with ready-made templates. Notion offers various setups to kickstart your projects.
  • Easy Connectivity: Link your existing tools to Notion. This feature allows for a seamless workflow integration.
  • Broad Applications: Notion is great for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, Notion fits your needs.
  • Free for Individuals: Notion is accessible to everyone. Individuals can use it for free, making it a great personal tool.

Notion drawbacks is a popular all-in-one workspace, but it does have some drawbacks to consider:

  • Steep learning curve: Notion supports a lot of features and customization, which can be overwhelming for new users. It can take time to learn the ropes and set up your workspace efficiently.
  • Mobile app limitations: The mobile app isn’t quite as powerful as the desktop version. Some collaboration features are missing, which can be a pain point for users who rely heavily on their mobile devices.
  • Integration limitations: Notion doesn’t have as many integrations with other apps and services as some other productivity tools. This can be a disadvantage if you need to connect Notion to other parts of your workflow.
  • Table functionality: While Notion offers tables, some users find them clunky or not as powerful as what you might get in a dedicated spreadsheet program.

Notion integrations

Notion integrations
  • AI Integration: Enhances productivity with AI assistance. Useful for automated tasks and data analysis.
  • Docs Integration: Facilitates document creation and editing. Offers simple yet powerful tools for various document types.
  • Wikis Integration: Centralizes knowledge management. Ideal for organizing and sharing information within teams.
  • Projects Integration: Suits all team sizes and types. Helps manage and track project progress efficiently.
  • Calendar Integration: Combines time management with work planning. Useful for scheduling and keeping track of deadlines.
  • Template Gallery: Provides ready-to-use templates. Assists in quick project starts and standardized workflows.
  • Customer Stories: Showcases real-life use cases. Offers insights on how different teams utilize Notion.
  • Connections: Links Notion with other tools. Reduces the need to switch between apps and simplifies workflows.
  • Download Options: Offers easy access across devices. Ensures Notion is always available, whether on mobile or desktop.

Obsidian integrations

Obsidian integrations

1,564 plugins Obsidian plugins made by the community and a lot of integrations. Here are some key integrations:

  • Phone to Roam to Obsidian: An Obsidian client for
  • Plotly: Obsidian plugin, which allow user to embed Plotly charts into markdown notes.
  • Pocket integration: Access your Pocket reading list entries and create notes for them easily
  • Power Search: Searches Anki Notes based on current line
  • Readwise Community: Sync Readwise highlights into your notes
  • Readwise Mirror: Mirror your Readwise library directly to an Obsidian vault
  • Readwise Official: Official Readwise <-> Obsidian integration
  • Things Logbook: Sync your Logbook with Daily Notes
  • Todoist Sync Plugin: Materialize Todoist tasks within Obsidian notes.
  • Toggl Track Integration: Manage timers and generate time reports using Toggl Track without leaving Obsidian.
  • Tressel Sync for Obsidian: Official Tressel plugin to sync/export your tweets and threads into Obsidian
  • Tweet to Markdown: Save tweets as Markdown files, along with their images, polls, etc.
  • URI Commands: Execute URIs from the Obsidian command palette.
  • Wikipedia: Grabs information from Wikipedia for a topic and brings it into Obsidian notes
  • Youglish Plugin: Use YouTube to improve your pronunciation. YouGlish gives you fast, unbiased answers about how words is spoken by real people and in context.

Obsidian vs Notion pricing

Obsidian pricing

Obsidian pricing

Free for Personal Use

  • Always free.
  • No account needed.
  • Download anytime.
  • Full access to app features.
  • Choose from themes and plugins.
  • API available.

Commercial Use

  • Costs $50 annually per user.
  • Includes a commercial license.
  • Try free for 14 days.
  • Get priority support.

Sync Add-on

  • Yearly cost: $8 per user.
  • Monthly cost: $10 per user.
  • Sign up to start.
  • Sync notes across your devices.
  • Enjoy end-to-end encryption.
  • Access version history.
  • Receive priority email support.

Publish Add-on

  • Monthly cost: $10 per site.
  • Easy sign-up process.
  • Publish notes online easily.
  • No technical skills required.
  • Use graph view and outline.

Catalyst Program

  • One-time payment of $25.
  • Support Obsidian’s growth.
  • Get early beta access.
  • Earn special community badges.

Notion pricing

Free Plan 

  • Organize your work and life. 
  • Cost: $0. 
  • For individuals. 
  • Start Now Unlimited blocks for individual use. 
  • 7-day page history. 
  • Invite up to 10 guests. 
  • Basic page analytics. 

Plus Plan

  • Great for small groups. 
  • Monthly: $10. Annually: $8 per user. 
  • Start Now Unlimited blocks and file uploads for teams. 
  • 30-day page history. 
  • Invite up to 100 guests. 
  • Custom notion site domain with public home page.

Business Plan 

  • Connect several teams and tools. 
  • Monthly: $18. Annually: $15 per user. 
  • Start Trial Advanced page analytics. 
  • 90-day page history. 
  • Invite up to 250 guests. 
  • Private teamspaces. 

Enterprise Plan 

  • Contact sales for pricing. 
  • Request a Demo Unlimited page history. 
  • Workspace analytics. 
  • User provisioning (SCIM). 
  • Advanced security controls. 
  • Customer success manager. 
  • Audit log.

Notion AI 

  • Monthly $10, Annually $8/member. 
  • Get Started Includes unlimited Q&A use. 
  • Autofill from pages. 
  • Writer for brainstorming.

Does Obsidian have AI?

Obsidian does not currently have AI, but this may change soon. With all tools trying to implement as much AI as possible, this can be seen as a drawback, but Obsidian sticks to the basics by just being a great note-taking tool.

Does Notion have AI?

Yes, has a feature called Notion AI that uses artificial intelligence to help you with your work. It is available to all users, even on the free plan, with a limited number of requests per workspace. Notion AI can help you with a variety of tasks, such as:

  • Summarizing existing content
  • Brainstorming ideas
  • Writing different kinds of creative text formats
  • Improving your writing by suggesting rewrites and synonyms

Is Obsidian better than Notion?

Notion has a more user-friendly interface and has AI that you can use and share with other people. Obsidian on the other hand is an offline platform with more freedom to customise.

Is Obsidian better than Notion?

I would also add that Notion has changed its way from being a note-taking app to being more of a project management app with the tools to do so. Obsidian is an improved note-taking tool that is useful in a similar way.

In the Obsidian vs. Notion question, you should choose what better suits your needs, in the end, Notion just has more features than Obsidian, but both have great community support.

If you are looking for similar tools consider checking out some AI project management tools or AI meeting managers


Domantas Alosevičius

Domantas Alosevičius

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