Notion vs Obsidian: Which Productivity App Is Better

These days, the productivity market is booming. On the one hand, modular solutions such as Notion, Airtable, and Coda are available. Startups like Roam Research and Obsidian, on the other hand, are experimenting with graphs and back-linking notes to explore the second digital brain concept. Notion and Obsidian are two of the most popular among early adopters. If you’re having trouble deciding between the two, read this article to know about the details of Notion vs Obsidian.

You may also check out: 10 Best Notion Templates for Power Users

Notion vs Obsidian

The comparison is based on cross-platform compatibility, user interface, features, sharing, note-taking capabilities, and price, among other factors. Let’s get this party started.

Cross-Platform Availability

Obsidian loses to Notion in this round. On Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and the web, Notion is available. Push notifications and iOS 14 widgets are among the software’s platform-specific features.

Obsidian is a new kid on the block, so it doesn’t have a mobile app. The app is only available on Windows, Mac, Linux, and the web. A select group of users is currently beta-testing the company’s mobile apps.

UI and Organization

You’ll notice differences in the user interface and later when organizing notes in Notion and Obsidian. You create a workspace in Notion and begin adding pages to it. Furthermore, you can also create sub-pages within pages and create backlinks from one page to another.

There’s also a section for favorites. You can save a page or a sub-page as a favorite and access it from the left sidebar. Notion supports both light and dark themes when it comes to theming.

Notion home

Vault is a term used by Obsidian. You make a vault and start filling it with folders and notes.

You have the option to save the Vault on the device by default. Obsidian has a light and dark theme support, as well as the option of a translucent effect. With the default dark theme, it certainly stands out.

Obsidian home

Fundamentals and Note-Taking

Let’s go over the fundamentals of both note-taking apps before we get into the details of each feature. So you’re aware of what you’re getting yourself into with either of them.

The notion is best used as a personal database for keeping track of notes, projects, class notes, meeting notes, and other information. You can always use Notion templates to make a mini subscription tracker, finance app, or habit tracker in Notion.

Templates in Notion

Obsidian acts as a digital second brain for you. The entire software is based on the concept of “linking your thinking.” It basically works in the same way that the human brain does to connect thoughts in the mind.

Obsidian note taking

When it comes to taking notes, you can use all the standard editing options to create a note. Obsidian supports markdown, but you’ll need to be familiar with markdown tricks to get the best results.

Do you know How to Embed Google Calendar in Notion?


To get started, Notion uses templates. To improve the appeal of the Notion page, you can use the built-in as well as community-created templates. You can also use third-party Notion widgets to create a custom page that suits your needs.

The notion can be used as project management or task management tool. It’s completely customizable, so you’re in charge of making the software work for you.

Features in Notion

A basic Notion page will look better than Obsidian’s with the use of emojis, banners, and blocks. Users can also view pages in a variety of ways, including List, Timeline, Calendar, Boards, and more.

Obsidian has two nifty tricks up its sleeve. Back-linking is the first. You can link a page to another note by using the [[page name]] bracket while adding notes. This is game-changing, and the execution is flawless. One of the reasons why writers and researchers prefer Obsidian to Notion is because of this.

Obsidian back linking

To quickly look at the content of a note, simply open it, press the Command or Ctrl key, and open the backlink in a small pop-up window. The software will create a digital graph for you to view later as you link notes together.

Obsidian’s ability to view two notes side by side in both horizontal and vertical views is fantastic. When working with multiple notes on a large screen, it makes a huge difference

Simply open the Graph view from the sidebar after adding and backlinking all of the notes, and Obsidian will amaze you with all of the connections. When you move your mouse pointer over any note, the software will highlight all of the notes that are linked to it.

Obsidian graph view

Sharing and Collaboration

There isn’t any competition here. A note can only be exported in text or pdf format in Obsidian. There’s no way to invite others to work on the vault with you.

Sharing in Notion

Notion allows members to work together in a seamless manner. You can invite people to your workspace and assign them tasks and other project details.

Looking at Future

The notion is currently working on the much-desired offline mode. Native apps for iOS and Android are also on the way, according to the company. Notion APIs were recently released to allow third-party apps to integrate with the software.

Obsidian is currently in private beta for mobile apps. It has also added a useful plugin store to improve the software’s functionality. We’re excited to see how Obsidian expands on the experience.

Price: Notion vs Obsidian

The notion is available for personal use at no cost. The Pro version costs $4 per month and includes API access and advanced collaboration features.

Obsidian is also unrestricted. Add-on packs such as Sync and Publish are available for $4 and $8 per month, respectively. We found the pricing structure to be a little confusing, and we hope Obsidian will simplify it in the future with a single pro or premium plan.

Read also: 5 Best Notion Alternatives for Modular Productivity in 2022

Wrapping Up: Notion vs Obsidian

For Notion and Obsidian, the primary distinction is as clear as it can be. When it comes to project management, task management, and personal wiki databases, Notion is the way to go. The graph menu in Obsidian is the best for viewing your second digital brain. It also outperforms Notion with an offline mode, backlinking, and native Windows and Mac apps.

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