Obsidian is a knowledge base and project visualizing program to see how your project is connected.
Notion has many usages. It has been here a long time. How do both compare? This is the Obsidian vs. Notion comparison to find the ideal program.
What are both
Obsidian is a knowledge graph app that lets you create pages and link them with others to create a web and help you visualize a project (above video).
Obsidian is your second brain because it visualizes the project so you can make changes beforehand.
Obsidian can work both offline and online. You can save notes in a local folder or online storage such as OneDrive and Dropbox. The paid Obsidian Sync plugin lets you sync vaults on multiple devices.
Notion is a block-based note-taking, database management, and project management app that lets you create and share notes with your teammates.
The power of Notion is its views. You can create spreadsheets, calendars, documentation, kanban boards, and resumes.
For example, if you add a page inside a page and add a date property, you can create a calendar view to see that page on the set date.
It can also work like Obsidian, where you link pages together, but what’s missing is the knowledge graph.
Notion supports both rich text and markdown formats.
In Obsidian, we can type in the plain text or the markdown format. In markdown format, we use keyboard symbols for formatting. There is no direct way to get to editing tools.
In Notion, you can type “/” to see all editing tools and “@” to refer to people or pages. Here is a list of options in Notion.
- To-do list
- Lists with bullets, toggles, and numbers
- Quotes and dividers
- Link to an existing page
- Date or reminders
- Inline equations
- New and existing databases
- Add images, audio, video, web bookmarks, and files
- Embed various integration services
- Text and background colors
Here are some of the examples of markdown symbols used in Obsidian. The complete markdown guide is available on the official guide page.
|*text* or _text_||Italic text|
|**text** or _ _text_ _||Bold text|
|_entry 1_entry 2||Creating list|
|[[||Internal links (page links)|
Both apps are available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. Notion comes with a web clipper extension that lets us save a whole web page or just a part in our notes.
Related: Joplin vs. Obsidian
This round of Obsidian vs. Notion goes to Notion. If you want to see the full potential of Notion, the template library will be the best place.
You will find hundreds of templates from project management, investment, and habit tracking to HR.
In Obsidian, there are no built-in templates, but we can create our text fragments and insert them into pages as templates.
Collaboration is a strong suit of Notion because, without it, it’s weak. You can invite up to ten guests for free.
Obsidian does not support real-time collaboration. However, we can share the stored markdown files with others.
We can also benefit from its cloud storage options, store files online, and share them with anyone who can access Obsidian.
Another potent nature of Notion is that it supports integrations, including Google Drive, Zoom, and Jira. Additionally, Notion offers to view and edit their API, so a company’s developers can create their integrations.
Obsidian lacks integrations, but we have plugins. With its 621 community plugins available on the plugins page, you will find several free plugins to extend its power.
We can open any plugin in the Obsidian desktop app by clicking the “Open in Obsidian” link below any plugin’s name. Then we can install this plugin on our desktop app and use it.
Also, the markdown files created by Obsidian are editable with any tool that supports markdown editing, such as Visual Studio.
Related: Nimbus Note vs. Notion
Page exporting options
Obsidian can only save notes in markdown format, which can also be opened in a text viewer or editor. Notion, on the contrary, lets us export notes as PDF, HTML, Markdown, and CSV files.
Obsidian is free to use along with its plugins, API, and community support.
The Catalyst plan costs a one-time $25 that lets users support development, earn special community member badges, access the development channel, and get early access to inside builds.
The Commercial plan costs $50 per year, gives you priority support, and lets you use Obsidian for commercial purposes.
The app also has a separate paid plugin, “Obsidian Sync.” Its monthly package costs $10, and its yearly package costs $96. With the help of this plugin, we can synchronize our vaults across multiple devices.
Notion’s free plan has options for individuals and small teams. Some of its benefits include:
- Unlimited notes and blocks
- Collaboration with up to ten guests
- 7-day page version history
Its Plus plan supports up to 100 guests, unlimited file storage, and version history for up to 30 days. It costs $8 or $10 per user per month on the monthly plan.
The Business plan supports up to 250 members, private team spaces, and bulk PDF export options. The package charges $15 per monthly member if paid yearly or $18.
Which one is for you?
Use Notion for note-taking, documentation, meetings, interviews, wikis, tasks, and other ordinary stuff.
If you have a project, such as game development or web development, where objects are connected with things, you must use Obsidian. It will give insights into the future of the project.
Obsidian vs. Notion: Links
This is the end of the Obsidian vs. Notion guide. I hope the article helped you choose the right app. Please let me know what you think in the comments and share it with your friends to help them decide.