There is an abundance of tools on the market to help you organize your thoughts, work, notes, etc. With such a wealth of options, it’s difficult to decide which one would suit you best.
In this article, we are putting Obsidian and Notion under the spotlight to compare their:
- User interface,
- Team collaboration,
- Integrations and plugins,
- Support, and
So, read on and find out which tool will score more points and take the victory.
Table of Contents
Obsidian vs Notion overview
Obsidian is an offline note-taking tool that uses Markdown — a simple markup language used for creating formatted text.
It’s relatively new — it has been on the market only since 2020 — but it’s quite popular already.
Obsidian provides you with a tool for taking notes and creating a knowledge base, without any excess features.
You can download it on macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Notion is a cloud-based platform for your notes, docs, and projects.
While note-taking is at the heart of Notion, it’s a more robust tool than Obsidian. You can also use it for:
- Team collaboration,
- Progress tracking, and
- Task management.
It’s available for web, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS.
Here’s an overview of Obsidian and Notion’s features:
Starting price: $25 (one-time payment)
Starting price: $8 per user per month
|User interface||Well-organized||Customizable, clear|
|Organization||Notes organized into vaults||Pages consisting of blocks|
|Publishing||Obsidian Publish add-on||Sharing Notion pages to the web|
|Team collaboration||Collaboration through Obsidian Publish||Collaboration on docs|
|Integration and plugins||Core plugins|
Message through the app
Dedicated success manager on the Enterprise plan
Obsidian vs Notion pricing 1:0
Whether you are looking for a tool for personal use or your business, budget is always an important factor. So, how much would you have to set aside for each of these 2 tools?
While most tools base their pricing plans on the number of users and features, Obsidian takes a different approach.
It makes a difference between personal and commercial use. This means you can utilize all Obsidian features for free for personal use.
But if you want to use it for commercial purposes, you need to pay $50 per user per year. To clarify, Obsidian defines commercial use as “revenue-generating or work-related activities within a for‑profit company that has two or more people”.
You can also purchase 2 add-ons:
- Obsidian Sync — $8 per month when billed annually or $10 when billed monthly, and
- Obsidian Publish — $8 per month per site when billed annually or $10 when billed monthly.
If you want to support their development, you can opt for the Catalyst license. For the starting price of $25 (as a one-time payment) they’ll provide you with:
- Access to the beta version of Obsidian,
- Access to their development channels in Discord, and more.
Obsidian offers a full refund for Sync, Publish, and the Commercial plan within 7 days of the purchase.
It also offers a 40% discount to:
- Non-profit organizations, and
- Students and faculty members of educational institutions.
Notion has a free plan that includes:
- A collaborative workspace,
- 10 guests, and
- 7-day page history.
This plan is free forever for individuals. But the number of blocks (items you add to a page) is limited if you want to use it as a team.
Aside from a free plan, there are 3 paid plans on offer in Notion’s pricing:
- Plus — $8 per user per month when billed annually, or $10 when billed monthly,
- Business — $15 per user per month when billed annually, or $18 when billed monthly, and
- Enterprise — contact sales.
You can also purchase Notion AI for $8 per user per month when billed annually, or $10 when billed monthly or when you’re on the Free plan.
If you are a student or an educator, you can get the Plus plan for free (but only for 1 person, not a team).
And if you are a startup with under 50 employees and a new Notion customer, Notion offers 3 or 6 months of Plus plan for free with Notion AI included. To get 3 months free, you need to have raised $50,000 to $10 million in funding. And for 6 months you need to have under $10 million raised funding and be affiliated with one of Notion’s startup partners.
You can get a full refund from Notion, as long as you change your mind up to 72 hours after you signed a monthly subscription or up to 30 days after you signed an annual subscription.
Obsidian vs Notion pricing verdict
Both Obsidian and Notion have generous free plans for individuals.
However, Obsidian offers all of its features for free forever for personal use and charges only $50 per person per year for commercial use. This is significantly less than Notion’s $96 a year for the Plus plan and $180 for the Business plan.
Therefore, Obsidian snatches the point from Notion in the first round.
|Starting price||$25 one-time payment||$8 per user per month|
💡 Plaky Pro Tip
Are you interested in the way software companies determine the price of their products? Learn about it in the following guide:
Obsidian vs Notion user interface 1:1
The user interface is a major factor when choosing an app or a tool, regardless of its function. The more user-friendly a tool, the better.
Obsidian may seem daunting at first since it relies on Markdown.
When we started to use it, we needed a bit of time to get the hang of it. But once you learn the commands you use most often — for example those for creating headlines or adding links — writing notes becomes much easier and quicker.
Color-wise, Obsidian is rather simplistic — you can choose between a light and a dark theme. The dark theme is set as default when you download the app, and we liked it much more than the light version.
If you are looking for a different look, you can install some of the themes created by the Obsidian community.
Notion is a highly customizable tool with a lot of features, so it might take you some time to get the hang of them all. But once you do, you will be able to adjust Notion to your needs and easily organize your work.
Creating pages in Notion is simple — we managed to create pages from scratch easily from the start. But if you find it difficult or time-consuming, you can always use a page template. Notion offers thousands of templates designed for personal use, work, or school tasks.
All writing you do in Notion is made easier with Notion AI, whether it’s an email, report, or meeting notes. It helps you:
- Fix spelling and grammar mistakes,
- Change the tone of your writing,
- Make the text shorter or longer, and more.
Obsidian vs Notion user interface verdict
Obsidian and Notion both have a clean interface that doesn’t require too much time to get used to. So, they both scored a point in this round.
Obsidian vs Notion organization 1:1
A basic unit of Obsidian is a note. Notes are organized into vaults — folders located on your device. You can keep all your notes in one vault or create multiple vaults. For example, if you are using Obsidian for note-taking in college, you can create a new vault for each course.
Obsidian stores your notes on your device instead of in the cloud. This means your notes are always available to you, even if you have no internet connection. But the downside is that you can’t access it from other devices.
If you want to be able to access your notes on multiple devices, you’ll have to buy Obsidian Sync. This way, you get a remote vault on Obsidian servers, which can be connected to your local vaults, allowing you to edit the same notes on your phone and computer, for example.
In Notion, your notes are pages that consist of blocks. Everything you add to a page is a block. It can be a:
- Bulleted list,
- Video, etc.
You can combine these blocks however you want, and if you change your mind, you can rearrange them with a simple drag and drop. This means you can easily organize information on your pages to fit your needs.
You can view information in the form of a:
- Timeline, or
There are no folders in Notion, but you can create subpages within pages to better organize your projects. You can access all of your pages from a sidebar on the left side of your screen.
Obsidian vs Notion organization verdict
Both Obsidian and Notion have a clear organizational structure that makes it easy to navigate through your notes.
So they finish this round with a point each.
|Kanban board||✔️(with a plugin)||✔️|
Obsidian vs Notion linking 1:1
Your thoughts and ideas are never isolated. There are always connections between them, so it’s important to have a way of connecting them once they are transferred to digital notes and docs.
Both Obsidian and Notion have developed systems to keep your files linked, so let’s check out the linking options in both apps.
Obsidian doesn’t organize notes linearly. Instead, they are connected through links and backlinks to create a web of notes.
You can see how notes in your vault are connected in the Graph view.
Obsidian enables you to link to other files or notes using:
- Internal links, and
- Embedded files.
Internal links are made simply by typing “[[“ and the name of the note or by opening the Command Palette and choosing “Add internal link”.
If you want to create an embedded file, all you have to do is type an exclamation mark (!) in front of the internal link.
You can also create a link to a heading inside a note.
For every link you make, a backlink is created. You can see all the backlinks from any note neatly organized in a backlinks pane in the right sidebar.
Aside from linked mentions, you can also find unlinked mentions here — instances of notes you mention without linking them.
Similarly to Obsidian, Notion uses links and backlinks to connect pages and projects across its platform.
You can create a link by typing “@” or “[[“ followed by the name of the note. This will automatically create the link and the backlink. When you go to the linked page, you can find all the backlinks under the title.
You can also create links to blocks if you want to have quick access to certain information that might be at the end of a page.
In Notion, you can also sync blocks to have the same content on several pages, without having to click on links. You can copy a block on one page, then just paste it to another and sync them.
When blocks are synced, whenever you make a change on one page, all the other copies of the block are changed automatically. This helps keep all the information up to date without too much trouble.
Obsidian vs Notion linking verdict
Both apps offer an easy way to link your files and a clear overview of backlinks.
They also both offer an additional feature — Obsidian has embedded files, while Notion has synced blocks.
Therefore, they both leave this round with a well-earned point.
Obsidian vs Notion publishing 1:1
If you want to share your notes or docs with other people, it would be useful to have a tool that allows you to directly publish content on the web.
This way, you don’t need to know how to create and configure websites — you can just publish directly from the tool you are already using.
To publish your notes in Obsidian, you have to pay for an Obsidian Publish add-on. This add-on enables you to publish notes you want to share with others. You can choose the site name and customize the layout of the site to make it your own.
A great feature of Obsidian Publish is the Hover Preview option. When you hover over a link, a small window pops up where you can view the contents of the link without clicking on it. This can make your site more user-friendly and informative.
You can also set up Google Analytics to keep track of your site’s traffic.
If you don’t want a note you published to be available to everyone, you can set up a password and control who has access to it.
According to Obsidian, the site you publish is automatically optimized for search engines.
In Notion, you can simply share a page so that anyone with the link can view it. This is especially useful if you want to share some information with people who don’t have a Notion account.
- Add the page to search engines,
- Customize part of the URL,
- Allow edits,
- Allow comments, and
- Allow people to duplicate your page.
However, to be able to edit, comment, or duplicate a page, you have to be a Notion user.
Obsidian vs Notion publishing verdict
Both tools offer an easy way to create pages on the web and optimize them for search engines.
Obsidian stands out with its Hover Preview feature, while Notion offers a way for other people to duplicate pages and leave comments.
Therefore, both tools earn a point once again.
|Comments on page||❌||✔️|
Obsidian vs Notion team collaboration 0:1
Obsidian is created primarily for note-taking, so it doesn’t offer many options for team collaboration.
You can collaborate with other people on the Obsidian Publish site. You have to add them as collaborators on your site, and they’ll be able to edit it. Your collaborators need to have an Obsidian account but don’t have to purchase Obsidian Publish.
Still, this is a far cry from the real collaboration features that are needed when working in a team.
Team collaboration in Notion is simple and efficient.
You and your teammates can collaborate on the same document at the same time. You can delete content from or add it to any part of the page. All the changes other people make are visible to you in real time. You can also see the history of updates — who changed what and when.
Another way to collaborate with your team is through comments. You can leave a comment at the top of a page, or you can comment on a particular block on the page.
Also, if you want to direct your comment to a specific person, you can @mention them, and they will be notified.
For example, let’s say you are reviewing a business case proposal your subordinate wrote. You might find mistakes you can correct immediately. But there are also sections of the proposal you feel need to be changed but aren’t sure how. You can comment on that block and ask for ideas so other team members can contribute.
Also, there could be parts that are not completely clear to you. In that case, you can leave a comment and @mention the writer of the business case to clarify further.
💡 Plaky Pro Tip
If you are interested in how Notion’s team collaboration features fare against a task management tool check out our article:
Obsidian vs Notion team collaboration verdict
Obsidian wasn’t made with collaboration in mind and this is reflected in its limited collaboration options.
Notion, on the other hand, offers various ways to collaborate with your teammates: through comments and mentions and by directly editing pages.
So, it’s a no-brainer that Notion is the winner of this round.
|Collaboration on docs||❌||✔️|
|Collaboration on published pages||✔️||✔️|
Obsidian vs Notion integrations and plugins 0:1
Obsidian uses plugins to help improve the functionality of the app.
It offers core plugins such as:
- Graph view,
- Page preview,
- Tags, etc.
But if you need more complex features, there are 1,000+ community plugins available, including:
- CSV Editor,
- Google Calendar,
- LaTeX Suite,
- Style Settings, and much more.
You can choose which plugins to enable in the settings section.
Notion offers integrations with apps such as:
- Google Drive, etc.
You can also sync content from other platforms (such as Jira or GitHub) with Notion databases. One synced database is allowed in the free plan, while you can create an unlimited number of them in any of the paid plans.
But if these integrations are not enough for you, you can always create the integrations you need since Notion has a public API.
Obsidian vs Notion integrations and plugins verdict
Although Obsidian does offer a generous number of plugins, some of them provide you with features Notion already has without integrations.
Plus, Notion integrates with most of the popular tools such as Zoom, Slack, Asana, Figma, etc.
This is why Notion secured a point for itself in this round.
|Integration with Zoom, Google Drive, Figma.||❌||✔️|
Obsidian vs Notion support 0:1
Obsidian has a help site that is available in 7 languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Danish, Russian, and Italian.
If you want to contact Obsidian support, you can send them an email.
Obsidian has a forum where you can:
- Report bugs, and
- Suggest new features
There is also a community on Discord for you to:
- Ask questions,
- Take part in discussions, and
- Meet other Obsidian users.
On Notion’s website, you can find a collection of:
- Notion guides,
- Notion Academy courses, and
There is also a Notion Community where you can join an event or a webinar or just share ideas and exchange tips with other members of the community.
To contact Notion support, you can send them an email or a message through the app.
If you have an Enterprise plan, you can get a dedicated success manager to help you best utilize Notion.
If you are looking for more advanced customer support on lower-tier plans, you may want to look for a Notion alternative.
Obsidian vs Notion support verdict
There is room for improvement in both Notion’s and Obsidian’s customer support.
Still, Notion has a more developed support system than Obsidian, so it earns a point for customer support.
|Message support through the app||❌||✔️|
Obsidian vs Notion security 1:0
If the idea of sharing personal information doesn’t sit well with you, Obsidian may be the right choice for you — you can use Obsidian without providing any personal information.
It doesn’t require you to make an account or provide an email address. Moreover, all the notes you create are stored on your local device, so it’s up to you to ensure their security.
However, if you have Obsidian Sync, your data is stored on Obsidian servers. They use AES-256 encryption to secure your data and offer:
- End-to-end encryption — all data is encrypted going in and out of your device, and can be accessed only with your encryption key.
- Managed encryption — in this case, Obsidian manages your encryption password, so you don’t have to remember it.
Unlike Obsidian, Notion stores data on a cloud server. To ensure your data is secure, Notion:
- Encrypts data in transit (using TLS 1.2 or greater) and at rest (using AES-256),
- Offers 2-step verification on all plans,
- Complies with GDPR, SOC 2 Type 2, and ISO 27001, and more.
You can export your entire workspace in Notion as a:
- CSV file,
- Markdown file,
- HTML file, or
- PDF (only in Business and Enterprise plans).
You can also request that Notion deletes your data.
Obsidian vs Notion security verdict
Both apps take precautionary measures to keep your data safe.
However, we are going to award Obsidian with a point here simply because you can use it without providing personal information or an email address which is a rarity these days.
Obsidian vs Notion verdict
Now, the time has come for our final verdict. And the winner is — Notion.
|Integrations and plugins||0||1|
Still, this doesn’t mean you should immediately discard Obsidian. It can be a good choice for you, depending on what you are looking for.
Obsidian is a great tool for note-taking and building a knowledge base. But, if you want to collaborate with other people, Notion is a much better choice than Obsidian.
💡 Plaky Pro Tip
See how Notion compares to another popular note-taking tool — Evernote:
Looking for a more task-oriented tool than Obsidian and Notion? Try Plaky
If neither Obsidian nor Notion is what you’re looking for — you should give Plaky a try.
Plaky is a task management tool with a clear and user-friendly interface. It offers 24/7 customer support via:
- Chat, or
Plaky’s robust free plan makes it an ideal collaboration tool for teams on a budget. It offers:
- Unlimited users, workspaces, boards, and items,
- Member and admin roles,
- Unlimited storage (with a file size limit of 10MB in its Free Plan),
- Google and Apple Single Sign-On,
- Filter and sort options, and more.
If you are looking for more advanced features, you can choose one of the 2 paid plans.