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Joplin vs. Obsidian

Joplin vs. Obsidian

Note-taking is a productive task and can help an individual in many situations. With lots of tools, it’s hard to pick one. Joplin and Obsidian are two such apps that serve as your diary and maybe your second brain.

What are the features that make them unique? This is the Joplin vs. Obsidian debate to help you choose the best program.

What are both?

Joplin

Joplin Notebook
Joplin Notebook

Joplin is an offline-note taking app that helps writers to pen down their thoughts, feelings, important reminders, and to-do lists.

The free app is offline, but you can use cloud storage devices like Google Drive and Dropbox to sync between devices. Joplin offers a Joplin Cloud subscription that enables the cloud feature to sync without needing any cloud storage program.

Obsidian

Obsidian Overview

Obsidian is a note-taking, brainstorming, and knowledge-based app. It can be considered your second brain. It helps you link notes and create knowledge graphs to generate new angles to your thoughts and ideas.

Like Joplin, Obsidian is offline, so you must carry your files from one location to another if working on multiple devices.

Note-taking options

Rich-text-vs-Markdown-in-Joplin
Rich text vs. Markdown in Joplin

Along with text format, both support Markdown language.

Using Markdown, you can convert plain text to rich text using keyboard symbols and markdown guides. Although the basic idea is the same, you can check out the language guide on Joplin and Obsidian websites.

Obsidian thoroughly relies on markdown format, so we don’t have any special editing tools.

On the other hand, here are the tools that Joplin supports:

  • Bold
  • Italicize text
  • Highlight
  • Strikethrough
  • Underline
  • Hyperlink
  • Code block
  • Fire attachment
  • Code writing
  • Bullet and number lists
  • Checkboxes
  • Headings and subheadings
  • Tables
  • Horizontal lines
  • Quotes
  • Alarms and reminders
  • Date and time

Related: Obsidian vs. Notion

Platforms

Joplin and Obsidian are available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. You can download them directly from the official websites or through app stores.

Joplin also comes with a web clipper extension for both Google Chrome and Firefox browsers.

Joplin vs. Obsidian: Templates

Like some other sections, both follow the same nature in terms of templates. Neither have any templates, but you can create templates from your notes.

Joplin supports installing a free plugin. The plugin then lets you create templates. The plugin page on the GitHub website guides on creating templates.

Obsidian also offers a plugin, but the job can be done without a plugin. To create templates, one must go to settings from your notes. A nice guide is available on The Sweet Setup website.

Integrations

Installing Plugins in Obsidian
Installing Plugins in Obsidian

The section covers both integrations and plugins. Joplin has both plugins and integrations. In total, it supports nine integrations listed below:

  • Amazon S3
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Adobe Acrobat DC
  • Dropbox
  • Nextcloud
  • Fastmail
  • Zimbra
  • Seafile
  • DriveHQ

Obsidian does not have integrations, but it offers plugins. It has almost 600 plugins that you can download from the settings.

Collaboration features

Joplin’s free version doesn’t offer collaboration and sharing of notes. Like syncing, users can use cloud storage platforms to collaborate, but still, that won’t be real-time.

Like Joplin, Obsidian does not support collaboration. You can subscribe to the Sync plan for $8 per month, which allows syncing between devices, but that’s about it.

Related: Joplin vs. Notion

Note exporting options

Joplin allows the export of notes and notebooks in different formats. Here is the list of supported formats:

  • JEX- Joplin export file
  • RAW- Joplin export directory
  • MD- Markdown
  • MD- Markdown + front matter
  • HTML- HTML directory
  • PDF- PDF file

Obsidian, on the other hand, only supports exporting to PDF files.

Pricing and plans

Joplin vs Obsidian Pricing
Joplin vs. Obsidian Pricing

Joplin does not limit the editing tools. You can use the app as long as you like. The Joplin Cloud has a few options.

The Basic subscription costs 1.99€ monthly or 17.88€ per year, which offers a 10MB attachment limit, 1GB cloud storage, and unlimited device syncing.

The Pro subscription has a couple of extra options, a 200MB upload limit, and 20GB cloud storage. The main option is the collaboration with other Joplin users. You pay 5.99€ per month or 57.48€ per year.

The Team plan costs 7.99€ per creator per month or 80.28€ per year, and along with extra storage limits, you get features to manage multiple users.

Obsidian comes with three paid plans. The Personal plan is free and requires no account or sign-up. You can access plugins, API, and community support.

The Catalyst plan is a one-time payment of $25. It includes early access to insider builds, special badges, and access to an exclusive dev channel.

The Commercial plan is for $50 per user per year, supporting commercial rights and priority support.

Obsidian, as mentioned, also has a Sync plan costing $8 per month, allowing you to sync between devices.

Joplin vs. Obsidian: Links

Conclusion 

Joplin acts as a note-taking and to-do list app. Its built-in editor and easy-to-use features are manageable for many users.

Obsidian is more of a brainstorming platform perfect for critical thinkers. Connecting your thoughts and ideas, Obsidian helps you find new patterns and construct new thoughts.

Its total reliance on markdown format can be confusing for many people.