Any Users of Obsidian Note System?

Has anyone else on here been bitten by the Obsidian bug for a system to take “second brain” “forever notes?”

It’s new. The concept is that notes are created in Markdown and then the notes are linked, backlinked, and associated based on #tags, links, and content.

Is there an open source alternative to this that is "very similar" – not just similar? TBH, this looks so promising for a startup that I may have found a home outside of FOSS for my knowledge base.

Didn’t even know something like this existed before now.
It’s a note comparing tool? Or it stitches your notes together? I’ve read a few things on their site, but what does it exactly do?

It builds and identifies associations between ideas. I can make a note about a topic. Iin the future I can make a second note about a similar idea and the program will identify an association between the two. Even if I forget about the first note, Obsidian shows me the association. All of this is done without me being cognizant of the process.

Additionally notes are readily available to search for retrieval.

I downloaded and tried it out, it didn’t offer anything that really shined though.

I’m so entrenched in Cherrytree with muscle memory and does everything i need it to…

One thing I did like about Obsidian was the plugin system, opens it up for loads of extras, but feature creep too, imo. I seemto like things follow the Unix philosophy of doing one thing and doing it well.


I hadn’t heard of Cherrytree. I’ll be looking at it as well.

I use Joplin, and someone recommended Obsidian as a competitor to it. I think they have different goals, but lots of overlapping features in case you want to check it out too.

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I was using Joplin before I stumbled across Obsidian. I really like a couple of J’s features but the “second brain” link associations O is amazing.

I love how this is not doing weird things to the filenames of the markdown notes you make on the filesystem side, will deff need to try this more

@rwaltr right! This is definitely a big +1 for the way that the markdown files are left alone and left on your system. Plain text files. No looking at file and trying to figure it out. No database system needed. Files can be read and used by any md or text editor. This should be easy to sync across multiple systems and with the mobile app that is promised.

I tried it out, and I found that it is not open source, so I uninstalled it.

But after a while, I realize that dedicated note editors really just arnt for me. so I am going to try Vimwiki now.

I have started using Obsidian and I really like it. I would compare it more to ZIM, as a wiki, rather than to Cherrytree, but Obsidian does both wiki AND outlining very well. I was a user of Dynalist by the same developers, and that also was/is a very professional program.

As to “doing weird things with the filenames” that’s correct, but one of the powerful features if I understand it correctly is that you can set Obsidian to rewrite the filenames so that when you change your linking / names over time, the file name changes and is corrected throughout the entire “vault” of markdown text files.

MarkofCain I will be interested in your further observations as you get into it more.

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You clearly have much more experience than I with this genre of applications. The automatic updating of all links in the vault is powerful. That feature is so much like a second-brain – a “I used to keep that in that drawer, now I keep it on this shelf” type of thing.

I’m in the stage where I am amassing notes and working my way around. As I have an interest in Biblical Texts, I wrote a bash script to convert Bibles in xml format (which can be readily downloaded) to markdown format compatible with my approach in Obsidian.

I’m also moving my collection of notes that are work related, Linux related, and programming related into the vault.

Thanks for letting me know you are liking it. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

I have found this guy’s “linking your thinking” videos to be helpful, but I am still working on all the linking concepts myself - Obsidian for Beginners: Start HERE — How to Use the Obsidian App for Notes - YouTube

For me, the key issue seems to be whether Obsidian succeeds in its goal of giving you a kind of “working platform” to create new things, rather than serving as just a huge database which might be just as useless as a huge library of unopened books.

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I am curious about this as a potential tiddly wiki replacement. I’ve been using tiddly wiki for years.

This is a good system for keeping things handy. Open file format. Small files. Easy to sync to mobile. I haven’t used tiddy wiki so I can’t compare and contrast – but I would be interested in your take.

How does this compare to something like Trillium?

I would give Loqseq a look. It’s open source and similar to obsidian using MD files. You can find more at their website, which has a live demo and links to the github page with more resources and add-ons.

I’ve been using it for half a year now and really enjoy it. It has a browser and a Linux client. It also links with Zotero. I use my own solution to sync the files across my systems.

I’ve also found some great “second brain” and logseq resources over at One Stuttering Mind. He has a YouTube and Odyssey channel as well.

Obsidian user here!

I was turned on to Obsidian by some co-workers who use it to organize notes, actually, even organize notes between people! It’s wonderfully useful in a collaborative environment IMHO, and the way the entire note tree is mapped makes it super easy to navigate IMHO.

My use of Obsidian is relatively simple compared to what it can do. It’s ridiculously powerful, and I’ve been using it to reorganize my notes and improve my note-taking skills/style. So far so good, and I love that I can use it on any platform. I use the Flatpak on Linux, and I use it on my phone as well, though mostly referencing, not editing.

I actually had no idea what their licensing model was, I just know that it was a suitable markdown notetaking app for me. I have seen some threads more recently about the potential of open-sourcing it, though I don’t think they’ve deemed it beneficial for them, at least at this point in time. I’m curious if that might ever change!