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Obsidian vs Notion: Your Ultimate Guide to Slicing Through Digital Chaos

Dive into our detailed comparison of Notion and Obsidian — two dominant names in digital note-taking and organization. Explore their capabilities, and differences and determine which best suits your needs.
by Chris Allmer | Nov 23 2023

In our digital age, information management is as crucial as complicated. We’re overwhelmed with data in many forms – emails, documents, presentations – and our productivity can often hinge on how efficiently we capture and organize them.

That’s where note-taking and organization apps like Obsidian and Notion come in. These digital tools enhance our ability to juggle multiple tasks, projects, and ideas all at once, making our digital world a less chaotic place.

Opting for the right note-taking or organization app isn’t just about going for the popular choice – it’s about finding an option that seamlessly aligns with your individual or team workflow.

This article compares Obsidian vs Notion, two leading apps that promise to declutter your digital workspace.


Obsidian vs Notion: The Overview

Assuming the center stage in this article are Notion and Obsidian. But how do they stack up against each other?

How do they channel their unique strengths? And who exactly are they perfect for? Let’s take a deep dive and discover, once and for all, whether Obsidian or Notion is your ideal productivity partner.

Notion, often hailed as the all-in-one workspace, is an incredibly versatile platform synonymous with structure and uniformity. What sets it apart? It’s a multifaceted app that allows you to take notes, build databases, manage tasks, and, essentially, map your life digitally.

It embraces an easy drag-and-drop interface and nifty templates, making Notion the ideal companion for the organized and systematic and an absolute godsend for project managers.

In contrast, Obsidian is the perfect tool for those who love to explore unformatted and free space. Its most appealing feature is its ability to interlink notes.

This feature, known as “linking your thinking,” is revered by learners and creators alike. Imagine your notes forming a web of connected ideas — That’s Obsidian for you.

It’s like having a second brain that organizes and stores all your thoughts! Obsidian is the perfect choice for researchers, writers, and lifelong learners who love seeing the bigger picture beyond isolated notes.

While both Obsidian and Notion prove to be compelling note-taking applications, their key differences lie in their usability and main features. Notion is your organized, template-loving app, perfect for project planners, content calendar keepers, and task list tickers.

On the other hand, Obsidian is your free space navigator, ideal for free-flow thinkers, creators, and individuals who thrive between interconnected thoughts.

So, are you a structured Notion enthusiast or an open-space Obsidian explorer? Whichever path you choose, know that both apps have been designed to help you conquer the world of organization and note-taking, one note at a time!

Obsidian vs Notion: The Facts

Obsidian Notion
Rating on Apple Store  4.0 / 5 ⭐ 4.6 / 5⭐
Rating on Google Play 4.6 / 5 ⭐ 4.6 / 5⭐
Rating on Capterra 4.8 / 5 4.7 / 5
Key Features Linking Notes, Graph View, Plugin supports Task management, Databases, Kanban Boards, Wiki creation
Pricing Free and Payment plans (for synching and commercial purposes) Free and Payment plans (for teams and business)
Collaboration & Synching Limited only to Obsidian Publish users  Real-time synching
Mobile App
Information Storage Device Cloud
Availability MacOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS Web, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS


Obsidian: The Haven for Free Thinkers 

Obsidian stands tall when it comes to a note-taking app that promotes free thinking and exploration. Its key strength? Its ability to weave a web of thoughts and notes in an interconnected manner.

And that’s just scratching the surface! Let’s delve deeper to unearth the qualities of this impressive application.

So, what exactly does Obsidian bring to the table? Quite a lot! Imagine this – an app that allows you to forge a network of ideas, where every note isn’t just a static entry but a dynamic part of a wider knowledge base, and this is where Obsidian shines.

Its unique backlinks feature lets you link notes together, building a network of interconnected thoughts that offer insights you might not glean from isolated notes. This feature provides a holistic view of your work, an essential asset in today’s information-dense era.

Obsidian also maintains an intrinsic respect for your data. Unlike many cloud-based tools, all your notes in Obsidian are stored locally on your device.

That makes for an added layer of data security while also making your messages accessible even when you’re offline. Additionally, Obsidian offers seamless markdown support, allowing for rapid note-taking, easy formatting, and flexibility in exporting and interoperability.

Who does Obsidian perfectly align with? It’s the ultimate tool for researchers, writers, creators, and learners!

Obsidian is undoubtedly your match if you thrive in an environment brimming with ideas and love exploring their connections. It is tailored for individuals not constrained by traditional linear thinking and, instead, daring to venture into the labyrinth of interconnected thoughts.

Scholars and life-long learners will especially appreciate diving deep into subjects and seeing the connections across various concepts and theories.

So, if you envision your ideas and projects not as isolated to-dos but as parts of a broader web of knowledge, Obsidian could be the springboard to your next big breakthrough. After all, it brings the power of an interconnected second brain, mapping relationships between ideas and forging a pathway to deeper understanding.

Notion: The All-in-One Workspace Master

Notion emerges as a potent catalyst when there’s a demand for comprehensive functionality and orderly organization. Its power feature? It’s so much more than a conventional note-taking application – Notion is an all-encompassing platform that facilitates task management, databasing, and excellent note-taking! Ready to breeze through the highlights of Notion? Let’s go!

The notion is lauded for its unprecedented versatility. It is a feature-rich tool that allows you to create, manage, and track virtually anything – from your daily to-dos to your most significant projects. It all starts with an easy-to-navigate interface where you can create page upon page of neatly segregated content in unique blocks – text, tasks, images, or embedded files.

Notion’s ability to organize complex operations most effortlessly makes it stand out. Want to track your workout regime or need a content calendar for your blog?

It’s all a drag-and-drop away with Notion. The key to this ease lies in the nifty templates Notion offers. These templates are pre-built structures that you only need to populate with your content – saving you time while maintaining a uniform, professional look.

And then there’s the collaborative aspect. Notion takes team collaboration to a new level with its shared workspace feature. You can assign tasks, set deadlines, transfer documents, and edit in real-time with your team – all within a secure and managed workspace.

So, who does Notion resonate with the most? It’s a boon for professionals in different fields, startups, and corporations.

Project managers, CEOs, writers, students, and virtually anyone who desires a better-organized digital life will find Notion indispensable. It caters to avid planners who love keeping records, managing tasks, and structuring their workflow using pre-defined templates while fostering team collaboration.

If the idea of maintaining a structured, unified workspace and managing every angle of your projects or personal life appeals to you, Notion is the tool that can make it happen. Whether tracking personal goals or scaling up a business, Notion helps you navigate the complexity with an enviable command of organization.

When it comes to a complete, integrated workspace, Notion takes the cake. From jotting down quick reminders to managing team projects, Notion does it all.

Its standout features include the ability to create databases, kanban boards, wikis, and calendars. The notion also sports a streamlined, user-friendly interface – making it easy for beginners. Also, the real-time collaboration and sharing abilities make it perfect for team workspaces.

Obsidian vs Notion: Features 


When it comes to security, both Obsidian and Notion have their unique approaches. Obsidian wins the cause of data security by storing all your notes locally, right on your device.

This fact negates the chances of unwanted data breaches that can sometimes plague cloud-based tools. As for encryption, while Obsidian does not provide in-app encryption, your notes’ privacy is mainly under your strict control, given the locally stored aspect of the data.

On the contrary, Notion stores data on secure servers. It is protected by 256-bit encryption while at rest and in transit, coupled with regular data backups.

This robust encryption standard ensures your data is unreadable to anyone attempting unauthorized access. Notion’s commitment to security also extends to compliance with GDPR, marking another high point on the application’s security profile.

So, who comes out on top in the security duel? It largely depends on personal preferences.

If having complete control over your data and where it resides is a priority, Obsidian’s local storage model stands out. However, if you value cloud convenience coupled with strong encryption and adherence to global data privacy standards, Notion makes a compelling case. 


Obsidian and Notion cater to different styles of work. Obsidian allows you to create a mesh of notes and ideas interconnected by backlinks.

This “linking my thinking” feature will enable you to create references within your notes, making navigating a vast pool of information easier. Hence, in Obsidian, you’re architecting a web of ideas and knowledge, wherein every note is an integral part of this network.

On the other hand, Notion presents the organization as its superstar feature. It provides structured, template-driven layouts that can map virtually anything.

Keeping records, managing tasks, setting calendar reminders, or tracking your fitness regime, Notion allows you to handle them all in one place. The collaborative workspaces in Notion provide a seamless platform for team tasks, project monitoring, and real-time editing – making project management a breeze.

User Interface

In terms of user interface and ease of use, both Obsidian and Notion present distinctive design philosophies. Obsidian has a minimalistic interface that primarily focuses on note-taking and creating a network of ideas.

Initially, it may seem daunting to people new to the concept of ‘interlinking notes’, but users appreciate the simplicity and focus it provides once familiarized. Obsidian doesn’t include much customization in terms of visual appearance, adhering to a clean and distraction-free workspace for users to connect their thoughts.

On the flip side, Notion triumphs with its visual appeal and flexibility. Its sophisticated and intuitive UI allows users to create pages and subpages, using blocks for different sorts of content, from text and images to databases and more, which can easily be moved or edited.

However, the overload of features and configurations can feel intimidating at the outset. Because to its steep learning curve, new users might find handling Notion challenging.

But, once you cross this hurdle, Notion’s capabilities to manage and organize content feel truly rewarding. Notion scores high on customization — you can choose from different views like grid, list, timeline, etc., in databases, and even change icons and cover images of the pages to make the workspace more personal and visually appealing.

Team collaboration

When it comes to team collaboration, both Obsidian and Notion offer a variety of options. In its essence, Obsidian is primarily built for individuals and their needs.

However, Obsidian Sync, the app’s paid service, does offer opportunities for syncing and sharing notes between different machines, thereby offering a basic level of collaboration. It falls short in interactive team collaboration as it does not allow simultaneous editing and real-time collaboration.

Contrastingly, Notion shines brightly in the team collaboration arena. Notion provides shared workspaces that foster collaborative work in real-time.

You can easily assign tasks to team members, set reminders, share comprehensive databases, and manage a project together. It even allows for simultaneous editing of documents, enabling a smooth workflow amongst team members. Moreover, Notion features integrations with other popular tools like Slack, Gmail, and more, further enhancing its collaborative scope.

Therefore, Notion unquestionably takes the crown when choosing the best app for team collaboration. It’s not just a note-taking app but a comprehensive team hub that enables shared workspaces, real-time document collaboration, and boosted productivity.

If teamwork is your primary concern, Notion’s advanced collaborative features make it a superior choice over Obsidian.

Obsidian vs Notion: Premium Versions

As you might already know, both Obsidian and Notion provide commendable free offerings. However, consider their premium versions to unlock their maximum potential and delve deeper into their impressive suite of features.

These plans are designed to cater to individual users and large teams alike, providing many advanced features that might be the secret ingredient to elevate your organizational and collaborative efforts. Let’s look at what each app’s premium plans offer and decide which one might be the perfect fit for you.

Obsidian Premium

Pushing the boundaries of note-taking and idea interlinking, Obsidian moves beyond its free version to offer expansive features through its premium version, aptly named Obsidian Publish and Obsidian Sync. For Obsidian, there’s only a need to pay for the basic features if used for commercial purposes.

But what are considered commercial purposes? It refers to using Obsidian for revenue-generating activities or work-related ones within a for‑profit company; in that case, Obsidian will request a commercial license.

Obsidian Publish, priced at $8 per month, allows users to publish their vaults onto the web, making your notes freely accessible and shareable. 

If you’re after accessibility from multiple devices, Obsidian Sync is the go-to premium service. For an additional $8 per month, it ensures your notes are synced across devices and your data is encrypted across their servers for an added layer of security.

For a well-rounded experience that includes both features, plan to invest $16 per month. These premium services will enhance your Obsidian experience, ensuring seamless note-taking, effortless sharing, and secure synchronization.

Notion Premium Plans

Besides its complimentary package, Notion puts forward three premium subscriptions: the Plus, Business, and Enterprise tiers. 

The Plus plan is ideal for individuals wishing to level up their organizational skills, priced at $10 monthly. It takes productivity up a notch, offering unlimited file uploads, unrestricted blocks for teams, access to a 30-day revision history across all your pages, and a guest invite limit of up to 100.

For teams, the Business plan at $15 per member monthly brings everything from the Plus plan while adding perks like detailed page analytics, private team spaces, and a 90-day version history accessibility. This plan enables you to invite as many as 250 guests.

For the Enterprise Plan, a sales team will provide all the information customized for your specific needs.

Free Plus Business Enterprise
Price $0 $10 $15 Budget determined by the sales team
Pages & blocks Unlimited for individuals Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Page History 7 days 30 days 90 days Unlimited
Page Analytics Basic Basic Advanced Advanced
Collaborative Workspaces
Guest Collaborators 10 100 250 250
Custom Domain
Team Spaces
Private Team Spaces (for sensitive information)
Public API and integrations
Priority Support


Obsidian vs Notion: Our Final Recommendations

And there you have it! Deftly compared on multiple fronts, Obsidian and Notion are powerful tools that can revolutionize your note-taking and organization endeavors.

Choosing between Obsidian and Notion majorly comes down to personal style and requirements. From managing individual tasks to handling complex projects or brewing a storm of interconnected ideas, these tools have you covered.

The most beautiful part of these competent apps is their core aim — to help us organize our lives better and, ultimately, herald an era of calm amidst our chaotic routines.

And the quest for tranquility does not end here! We recognize the need to have not only an organized workspace but also a balanced life.

That’s where our specially curated collection at Blinkist titled ‘Calm the Chaos in Your Life’ comes into play. This compilation offers insights on how to declutter your thoughts, streamline your tasks, and embrace tranquility in your daily life.

The merger of these tools and insights ensures mental peace and fosters personal and professional growth. Whether you choose the functionality of Notion or the flexibility of Obsidian, remember: Every step towards better organization and efficient note-taking is a step towards a clearer mind and a calmer life.

Embark on this journey with Obsidian or Notion, and explore the world of organized efficiency!

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