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Notion Vs Obsidian: Side-by-Side Comparison

Interested to learn about Notion and Obsidian? In this blog, we will compare Notion vs Obsidian and you can see which is best for you.
notion vs obsidian

Gone are the days when you had to pull out the pen and paper to jot down the things each time you had to keep anything important to remember. In this modern age, note-taking apps are taking up that spot, and it is worth all the effort.

Though the market is flooded with plenty of innovative and smart note-taking apps, the two: Notion and Obsidian, seem to reign at the top. If you’re having a hard time deciding which one is more practical for your business/personal needs, here’s the complete guide on the Notion VS Obsidian comparison to help you make the correct decision.

Interface, Design, and Structure

When it comes to the Interface, design, and structure of Notion vs Obsidian, both are easy to use and understand. But their workspace design and structure are a little different.

In Obsidian, your notes are stored in a workspace called a vault. You have to create the vault folder, where you can write the notes in the form of plain text. You can create several vaults if you have a broader topic to cover.

What is Obsidian?

In the Notion, instead of creating the vault folder, you have to make a workspace and then add the pages to it where you’ll write your notes, which can be accessed side by side. You can even create the subpages in one workspace and interlink them to make it easier to access the relevant information.

notion vs obsidian: What is Notion

Note Taking Features

Taking notes in the Notion is as easy as putting the cursor anywhere on the page and starting typing in. As the notion works like any text editor tool, you can style the text, change color and add hyperlinks to it. In the notion, any content is called a block, and you can add any type of block to your pages, such as checkboxes, headings, images, videos, and databases.

You can add blocks to the page by hovering and clicking on the plus sign (+) or typing the slash command (/). For instance, you can add the heading by typing the “/heading” command.

Notion block

When it comes to Obsidian note-taking features, it has pretty much everything like a text editor, it allows you to style the font, bold, add color, etc. However, adding different blocks/elements such as headings, checkboxes and lists isn’t as easy as the Notion.

You’ll need to enter certain commands to make the text heading or lists. For instance, in order to add the checkboxes, you’ll have to press Enter 2x time, and it’ll add the list to the note; similarly, type “#” before the text with a single space to make it a heading.

obsidian text editor


When you create more and more notes in your favorite note-taking app, you would often need to link them to make them easily accessible each time you need them. Notion offers the feature to create links and automatically generate backlinks. It creates the links and presents them in more like an organized UI.

notion backlinks

In the Obsidian, linking the different notes is also easier since you can directly mention the note labels in the other notes. For instance, if you create two notes, “ABC” and “XYZ”, you can link them by mentioning them in the note like this “[ABC]]” or [[XYZ]].  And you can visualize the interlinked notes in the graphical format using the feature “Knowledge Graph” by clicking on the left side of the bar.

obsidian backlinks

Search and Filter

Notion offers a filter feature that can be used to filter out to find the precise contents of the notes by entering different filters like date and status. You can create the filter and then a filter group inside it to get to the depth and details of the complex project.

Obsidian also allows you to search the previously created notes using the search bar. Notes can be easily filtered out using the content of the notes, dates, and tags, making it super easy to find the desired notes.

Share and Collaborate on Notes

If you want to share the notes with anyone in the Notion, it provides a seamless experience. You can easily share the project outline you are working on with your friend with a one-click process and allow them to view, edit and comment.

Notion share

However, since it’s an offline tool in Obsidian, you’ll have to export the notes in the PDF or text format to share with anyone, and they will only be able to view it. You can also share the URL of the notes in the Obsidian, but I’ll only allow the other users to view them.

export on Obsidian

Special Features Owned By Notion

When doing notion vs obsidian, the notion has plenty of features and offerings to offer, and here are the highlighting features of the Notion.

1. Project Management Features

The notion has multiple project management features that allow you to keep your information in multiple ways, such as Table, List, Board, Gallery, and Timeline layouts, to bring efficiency and productivity to your tasks.

Project management database views

2. Publish Pages

Building a website can be daunting and require a lot of time. The notion makes it pretty much easy, you can turn any page you created in the Notion workspace into a web page.

In order to publish your page, you would need to click on the three-dot menu in the top right corner. You’ll see that the “Share to Web” toggle which is turned off by default, you can turn it on to publish your page. Also, there’s a fantastic feature, “Search Engine Indexing”, which is useful when you want your web pages to show up in the search engine search results

You don’t need a Notion account to access these web pages; they exist on the internet like any other web page. Anyone with the link to the published page can access it.

Publish pages in Notion

3. Customize Icon and Background

When you use the note-taking app too much, from business to personal use, the ability to set the unique background to the tasks is important to make it easily recognizable. The Notion provides plenty of customization by letting you change the icons, text styling, and background.

4. Templates

The Notion has thousands of pre-built templates you can pick, use and customize according to your needs. Whether you need meeting minutes, company wikis, or notes, the templates can meet your needs.

Notion templates

5. Integrations

When it comes to integrating different services with Notion, you can do it quickly. You can integrate famous tools and services with Notion, such as Google Drive, Gmail, and Slack.

Notion integration

Special Features Owned Obsidian:

Here are some of the outstanding features only Obsidian offers.

1. Offline Mode

Everything you create in Obsidian is stored on the local storage.

2. Files Stored on the Computer

Obsidian saves the data on the local device instead of relying on the cloud like the notion. It is a great note-taking app when you don’t want cloud connectivity.

3. Graph view

Another great feature that distinguishes the Obsidian from the notion is Graph view (called Knowledge Graph), which represents your notes in a web form that helps generate new ideas and thoughts.

obsidian graph view

4. Split window

Unlike other note-taking apps, Obsidian allows you to open multiple files at once in a Pane. The windows get opened in what they call a Pane.

Platforms Supported

Notion supports Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS Platforms. However, Obsidian is available for  Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.


Obsidian is a free note-taking app. However, it has paid version which offers more features. The Obsidian premium plan starts from $25.

The Notion also has a free version. Just like the Obsidian, some premium features require subscriptions. The premium subscription to Notion starts from $4.

Obsidian Vs Notion: Which One is Better?

Both note-taking apps have their specialty, making them perfect for specific needs. Obsidian works offline, which can be helpful when you don’t have to share it for collaboration, and want to use it for personal use.

However, if you have to collaborate with the team, discuss and generate new ideas and plans for the project, Notion will be your best option.

Alternatives for Obsidian and Notion

If you do not like both of them after reading the in-depth obsidian notes vs Notion, here’s the list of the alternatives for Obsidian and Notion you will like.

  1. ClickUp
  2. Joplin
  3. Standard Notes
  4. Google Keep
  5. Evernote

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