Obsidian Review: Features, Pricing And Alternatives

obsidian-review:-features,-pricing-and-alternatives

Obsidian Review: Features, Pricing And Alternatives

We may earn from vendors via affiliate links or sponsorships. This might affect product placement on our site, but not the content of our reviews. See our Terms of Use for details.

Obsidian is a note-taking app designed for productivity and organization. Learn more about its features, pricing and more in this in-depth review.


Obsidian review


Rating: 4.7/5


Starting price: $50 per user per year


Key features:


  • Links

  • Graph view

  • Work order management

  • Canvas feature

  • Plugins





Obsidian merges the flexibility of note-taking with the power of a personal knowledge base to blur the boundaries of how we organize and connect ideas. And its unique markdown approach and graph view feature cater to a wide audience, including writers and researchers.

In this Obsidian review, we dissect its capabilities, pricing and alternatives to offer a fresh perspective against traditional tools like Microsoft Office and newer platforms like Notion.

1 Wrike

Employees per Company Size

Micro (0-49), Small (50-249), Medium (250-999), Large (1,000-4,999), Enterprise (5,000+)

Medium (250-999 Employees), Large (1,000-4,999 Employees), Enterprise (5,000+ Employees) Medium, Large, Enterprise

Features

Agile Development, Analytics / Reports, API, and more

2 Quickbase

Employees per Company Size

Micro (0-49), Small (50-249), Medium (250-999), Large (1,000-4,999), Enterprise (5,000+)

Small (50-249 Employees), Medium (250-999 Employees), Large (1,000-4,999 Employees), Enterprise (5,000+ Employees) Small, Medium, Large, Enterprise

Features

Agile Development, Analytics / Reports, API, and more

3 monday.com

Employees per Company Size

Micro (0-49), Small (50-249), Medium (250-999), Large (1,000-4,999), Enterprise (5,000+)

Any Company Size Any Company Size

Features

Agile Development, Analytics / Reports, API, and more

What is Obsidian?

Obsidian is a markdown-based note-taking application that excels in building a networked knowledge base. It allows users to create, link and organize notes in a highly customizable environment, which makes information retrieval intuitive and efficient.

Hands-on Obsidian review results

CriteriaScore
Features4/5
Pricing4.9/5
User experience5/5

Obsidian pricing

Score: 4.9/5

Pricing PlanCost/month (per user, billed monthly)Cost/month (per user, billed annually)
Personal use$0$0
Commercial use_$50 annual fee
Sync add-on$5$4
Publish add-on$10 per site$8 per site

Personal use

For personal use, Obsidian is free, including all app features such as themes, plugins and API access. There’s no need for an account or sign-up, and users can enjoy community support.

Commercial use

Priced at $50 per user per year, this plan is tailored for commercial users, offering a commercial use license with a 14-day free trial and priority support.

Add-ons

Obsidian also provides add-on services to enhance the user experience:

  • Sync: At $5 per user per month, billed monthly, this service includes syncing notes across devices with end-to-end encryption, version history and priority email support.
  • Publish: For $10 per site per month, billed monthly, users can publish notes to the web easily, featuring graph view and outline, with no technical knowledge required and priority email support.
  • Catalyst program: It’s a$25+ one-time payment for the Catalyst program, which is for users who wish to support Obsidian’s development further. It offers early access to beta versions, special community badges and access to a VIP channel.

Core Obsidian features

Score: 4/5

Links

Obsidian’s linking feature allows for the creation of direct connections between notes, enabling users to easily reference and navigate related content. You can keep track of text passages by linking them together. Teams will be able to revisit ideas and see other needed information. They will also be able to go back and connect ideas they realize fit together later on. It’s like reference links in a research paper, but on a larger scale.

Learning to create links. Image: Collins Ayuya/TechRepublic

Graph

The Graph view in Obsidian provides a visual map of your notes and their interconnections, offering a unique perspective on your knowledge base. It’s a web of connected notes linked together. This is great for seeing relationships, organizing and mapping ideas for brainstorming. The maps are interactive and highlight relationships for each note when you hover with your mouse.

Connection of all my notes in graph view. Image: Collins Ayuya/TechRepublic

Canvas

Canvas in Obsidian is a flexible space where users can visually organize their thoughts and notes. The interface is similar to Figma, where you can arrange text boxes and images any way you conceive. You can visually organize and connect your notes in any layout. Teams can manipulate audio, video, images and PDFs in Canvas and use the workspace as work views for notes, as well as nest canvas views inside canvas views.

Setting up a canvas in Obsidian. Image: Collins Ayuya/TechRepublic

Plugins

Obsidian supports a wide range of community-developed plugins that extend the functionality of the app. Currently, there are over 1,000 plugins to choose from, and there’s quite a variety. They have plugins for all sorts of exporting, working with HTML, software integrations, AI assistants, annotating and many more.

Some of the core plugins available to Obsidian. Image: Collins Ayuya/TechRepublic.

Sync

Obsidian Sync is a premium service that offers end-to-end encrypted synchronization of your notes across devices. It ensures that your data is securely updated and accessible, whether you’re working from your desktop, laptop or mobile device.

For an additional $4 a month, you get end-to-end encryption, work offline features, version history for each note and cross-platform functionality. If you’re looking to maintain a consistent workflow across devices, then you should consider Sync.

Sync in action. Image: Obsidian

Publish

With Obsidian Publish, users can share their notes and knowledge bases with the world. This service transforms your Obsidian vault into a publicly accessible website where you can share ideas and information on a personal or professional platform.

It starts at $8 per month per site, and with it, you get hosting for up to 4 GB, customizable theme and domain, priority email support and SEO and mobile performance. These are alongside features like hover previews, graph views, stacked pages and backlinks, and a variety of authoring and collaboration options.

A publishing example in Obsidian. Image: Obsidian

Obsidian user experience

Score: 5/5

Obsidian’s visually appealing user interface is easy to pick up and use without much guidance. It also has native mobile and tablet apps for iOS and Android, so users can access and edit their notes seamlessly across devices. While its core functionality focuses on markdown-based note-taking, its expansive plugin ecosystem allows for significant customization, including the addition of automations to streamline workflows.

Obsidian pros and cons

ProsCons
Easy, intuitive and clutter-free interface.Too simple for data-heavy projects or teams that need more features.
Ability to use it locally, by subscription and on mobile devices.Security is personally maintained aside from the sync add-on.
Extensive variety of plugins.The plugin community comes with risks and no support.
Multiple, flexible pricing options.Customization can be time-consuming.

Best uses for Obsidian

Obsidian’s versatility makes it great for a wide range of applications, from personal note-taking to complex project management. Here are some of the best uses for Obsidian.

Writing and research

Obsidian shines as a writing tool, especially for those who prefer Markdown for formatting, with the ability to link notes and sources and simplify the organization of research materials. Its seamless integration of writing and note management makes it perfect for authors, journalists and researchers.

Project tracking

With features like the Kanban board plugin, Obsidian can be transformed into a powerful project management tool. Users can track the progress of various tasks and projects, moving items through different stages of completion, opening it up to freelancers, project managers and anyone needing to keep tabs on multiple projects.

Personal knowledge management

Obsidian’s linking and backlinking make it quite useful for building a personal knowledge base. Users can create a web of interconnected notes, making it easier to store, retrieve and connect information. This comes in handy for students, academics and lifelong learners.

Digital gardening

For those interested in digital gardening, Obsidian offers a canvas where ideas can grow and evolve over time. The graph view and customizable links empower users to see how their thoughts intersect, cultivating creative exploration and idea development.

Obsidian alternatives and competitors

ObsidianEvernoteOneNoteNotion
Markdown supportYesNoNoYes
Graph View for note connectionsYesNoNoYes (with limitations)
Plugin supportExtensiveLimitedLimitedModerate
Starting priceFree or $50 per year for paid planFree or $7.99 per mo. for paid planFreeFree or $4 per mo. for paid plan
Ease of useModerate learning curveUser-friendlyUser-friendlyIntuitive and user-friendly
Real-time collaborationVia pluginsYesYesYes

Evernote

Image: Evernote

Evernote is an effective tool for web clipping and cross-platform note access. Its straightforward UI and organizational features cater to both personal and professional note-taking needs, making it a solid choice for capturing and organizing information from various sources.

For more information, read our Evernote review.

OneNote

Image: Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote offers a flexible digital notebook experience, which is great for users embedded in the Microsoft ecosystem. Its freeform canvas and deep integration with Office tools make it suitable for detailed note-taking, project planning and collaboration, especially for students and professionals.

For more information, read our OneNote review.

Notion

Image: Notion

Notion shines as an all-in-one workspace capability, combining notes, tasks, databases and wikis. If you’re looking for a highly customizable platform to manage work and personal life with strong support for collaboration and organization, you should shortlist Notion.

For more information, read our Notion review.

Obsidian review methodology

Our review of Obsidian was focused on three key categories: core features, user experience and pricing. Each category had a maximum score of five, of which Obsidian scored very high.

We tested the tool to understand how Obsidian approaches features like links, note-taking and more. From the first moment, it was straightforward, aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. From our hands-on experience, we got to understand the use cases of Obsidian — its strengths, weaknesses and, ultimately, its alternatives in case a user isn’t impressed by Obsidian.

Also Read

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  • Telephone Interview Cheat Sheet: Project Manager

We may earn from vendors via affiliate links or sponsorships. This might affect product placement on our site, but not the content of our reviews. See our Terms of Use for details. Obsidian is a note-taking app designed for productivity and organization. Learn more about its features, pricing and more in this in-depth review. Obsidian…