Obsidian Vs. Notion – When To Use Each


Both Obsidian and Notion are useful note taking applications suitable for businesses of all sizes. However, they have some distinctions. For instance, Obsidian is designed to work exclusively offline, while Notion functions solely as an online application.

If you’re in search of a note taking tool, there are numerous options available that can assist you in organizing your work and ideas. Nevertheless, with such a wide variety to choose from, it can be challenging to decide between two of the top notch applications – should you go for Obsidian or Notion?

This comprehensive article aims to thoroughly assess both applications and provide you with the necessary insights to make an informed decision.


Notion initially started as a simple app for taking notes. However, it has now evolved into an exceptional tool for managing projects using blocks. Whether you’re working alone or part of a small team, Notion is perfect for keeping all your project related information in one place. It offers great features for creating to do lists, bookmarking important content and tracking project progress. Additionally, it has the capability to generate wikis, product guides and even websites.

Notion is available on both desktop and mobile devices and is compatible with various operating systems such as Android, Windows and iOS. The app incorporates Kanban boards, epic calendars, task lists and sprint organizers to facilitate efficient project management. Small teams and individuals can make the most of Notion’s free plan. For those looking for more advanced options, the Plus plan allows up to 100 guests with unlimited file storage and a version history that spans 30 days. The Business plan extends support up to 250 members.

Notion offers its own Notion Al bot, similar to Chat GPT. The application is great for sharing and collaborating on notes. When you need to work together with a team member, simply share a link that allows them to edit, comment on or view the content. Notion also includes back linking, a feature that helps you create your own wikis and effectively connect ideas or manage tasks.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider. Specifically, Notion lacks advanced project management features, which may be a deal breaker for larger organizations. Additionally, the security measures provided are not particularly noteworthy. If security is a significant concern in your specific field or industry, it might be worth exploring alternative options.


  • What makes Notion stand out;
  • Excellent for taking notes
  • Highly customizable
  • Offers good value for the price
  • The free plan includes sufficient features for solopreneurs


  • No advanced features for project management
  • Subpar security features


You don’t need to create an account to start using Obsidian. Simply create a new Vault, which acts like a folder on your device. Once you have your Vault set up, you can begin writing text documents, adding attachments, embedding PDFs and videos and much more.

When it comes to formatting, Obsidian supports Markdown – a set of codes commonly used in messaging and writing apps. If you’re new to Obsidian, learning Markdown should be your first priority. Obsidian is designed to help you organize your notes effectively. If you already use a cloud storage service, you can store and sync your Obsidian Vault there instead of opting for the paid option.

Despite its powerful capabilities, Obsidian has a few limitations. One notable drawback is the lack of collaboration features. This is because the app was designed for individual use and operates offline on your device. Additionally, it is not available for mobile users and can only be used on Linux, Windows and Mac operating systems. However, a standout feature of Obsidian is its back linking functionality, allowing you to link notes with other pages in Graph View.

With its wide range of plugins, community support and API integration, Obsidian offers appealing features for both small scale and large scale organizations. There are two plans available; Catalyst plan and Commercial plan. The Catalyst plan includes support for development, early access to insider builds, special community badges and access to an exclusive development channel—all covered by a competitive one time fee. On the other hand, the Commercial plan provides a 14 day free trial period along with priority support. There’s also an additional paid plugin called Obsidian Sync which requires an annual fee to sync notes across multiple devices.

It’s worth noting that Obsidian does not utilize AI tools and operates solely offline. If you wish to sync your notes across different devices, there will be an extra cost involved. Furthermore, real time collaboration functionality is not currently available in Obsidian.
If you’re interested in collaborating on editing, there is an option to use a plugin. However, it’s important to note that the experience might not be as smooth as using Notion. Additionally, you won’t be able to simply send someone a link for them to view your vault in Obsidian. Instead, you would need to export it in either PDF or text format.


  • Free for personal use
  • Notes are stored locally as text documents
  • Various ways to organize notes


In conclusion, both Obsidian and Notion are powerful note-taking applications with distinct strengths and weaknesses. Your choice between the two ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Notion shines as a versatile workspace, ideal for project management, collaboration, and content creation. Its customizable nature and compatibility across various devices make it an excellent choice for individuals and small teams. However, it may lack the advanced project management features and robust security measures needed for larger organizations.

Obsidian, on the other hand, excels in providing a Markdown-based note-taking experience with local storage and robust organizational features. It’s a great choice for those who prioritize privacy and offline access to their notes. Obsidian’s vibrant community, plugins, and API integration offer customization options, but it lacks real-time collaboration and mobile support.

Ultimately, your decision should be based on your specific requirements. If you need a unified workspace with collaboration features, Notion is a strong contender. On the contrary, if you prefer a Markdown-focused, offline note-taking experience, Obsidian is an attractive choice.

Both apps have their merits and can cater to a wide range of tasks, from personal note-taking to project management and more. Regardless of your choice, both Obsidian and Notion can help you stay organized and productive in your work and creative endeavors.


How do I choose Notion or Obsidian?

If you plan to utilize the application for purposes beyond note taking and desire a unified workspace, then Notion would be the ideal option for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a note taking app that is based on Markdown, then Obsidian is superior. Additionally, if you are interested in a wide range of plugin options, Obsidian might also be better suited to your needs. Ultimately, your choice should be based on your specific requirements and preferences.

Is it possible to link Notion with Obsidian?

Sure, if you want to synchronize your notes from Obsidian to Notion, you’ll have to utilize an Obsidian community plugin. This plugin allows for the synchronization of notes from your Obsidian vault to a Notion database.

Is Obsidian useable without the internet?

Obsidian operates offline, so you won’t encounter any issues with connectivity or internet. You’ll have the freedom to work and access your content wherever and whenever you like.

The Battle of the Note-Taking Apps

Many individuals rely on applications like Obsidian or Notion for various purposes such as note taking, meetings, documentation, interviews, task management, wikis and more. Obsidian is especially useful in industries where connectivity plays a crucial role and allows users to gain insights into their projects effortlessly. It enables easy adjustments to content and scope with just a few clicks. Additionally, on a day to day basis, these apps prove handy for tasks like managing grocery lists, taking meeting minutes or jotting down class notes.

Have you ever had the chance to try out note taking apps like Obsidian or Notion? If so, did they meet your expectations? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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