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BEST NOTE TAKING APP?

Why I Hate Obsidian (But Still Using It Every Day)

These Flaws Can’t Be Ignored Anymore

Image by Freepik

I’ve been using Obsidian for ten months now.
And I have to say, since then, it has been a love/hate relationship, and I’ll tell you why.

First, a disclaimer: I don’t want to spit in the soup.
What the Obsidian developers (and the community) achieved in just a couple of months is memorable.

But in this article, I’m going to share my experience as a user who makes abstraction of all the rest.
I’m going to share my honest thoughts as a professional content creator who works on his notes day in and day out to spark creative insights.

Before jumping into the “obsidian verse,” I was on the verge of buying a Roam subscription for $165 per year. Why? Because a lot of Productivity Gurus are using it. (Social Proof, thank you.)
But the fact that Obsidian was free made me think twice about it.
So I decided to give it a try.

First, love ❤️

Obsidian seemed to check all the boxes:

— It works on every platform.
— It uses markdown for quick formatting.
— It’s free and open-source.
— It’s fast.
— It’s future-proof (because it uses plain text files to store your notes.)
— You sync your notes with the major cloud platforms (Drive, Dropbox, iCloud…)

So the major drawback of Obsidian is not its compatibility.
It’s not the lack of integrations. It’s not a lack of community.

Then, hate 💔

Obsidian major drawback is… it’s the interface.
When I say interface, I’m not talking about the themes. You can personalize Obsidian as you want with the myriad of themes by designing your own.

What I’m talking about is the interface at its core: Obsidian’s structure.
This is why you see so many people having a hard time with it.
While you can get rid of this on desktop, it’s started getting more complicated on mobile.

Because here’s the thing: I am not creative in front of my desk.
I want to have the freedom to interact with my note everywhere (and not just in front of a computer.)

Here are some of the flaws (or terrible UX) I’ve noticed on mobile:
— The copy and paste function doesn’t work correctly (The “paste” option doesn’t appear)
— It’s hard to add hashtags (if you have a list of tags… what you’re typing disappears in a long list of tags)
— Searching for a note takes too many steps (at least three taps.)
— It does not delete your previous search (adds another step for searching!)
— Creating links on mobile is awful (this one is embarrassing for a “linking” tool)
— and the list goes on.

It doesn’t seem to be a big deal when you read it like that, but when you’re using your notes multiple times a day like me, I can guarantee that this is annoying. Very annoying.

And to be honest, I would be glad to pay for these mobile flaws to get sorted out.

But who’s here to listen (and take my check?)

Beyond Obsidian 🚀

No software is perfect.

This is why I still encourage my clients and students that Obsidian is the safest bet for beginners. Until we have a solid alternative.
Obsidian is still not a tool that unleashes 100% of my creative potential.
To achieve that, I would need a more robust tool on mobile. I am creative when lying down or when going on a walk.

This is where Obsidian truly sucks.

The fact that Obsidian is not perfect does not prevent me from using it every day. How’s that possible? Well because here’s is a principle I started to live by:
Don’t let imperfection prevent you from doing the work. And even though Obsidian is not perfect, it excels at many things. So don’t let an imperfect tool be an excuse not to do the work.

Unless I find something better, I’ll stick to Obsidian. The reason? Simple:
My creative practice has to move on, and can’t afford to be on hold until the unicorn appears.

If you want to learn the timeless principles of taking better notes (with or without Obsidian), read on:
I’ve created a 7-day email course to show you how to take better notes. You can get it for FREE by clicking here.

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Matt Giaro

Matt Giaro

6 Figure Creator. Helping Busy Creators Get Their Time (And Freedom) Back. Feel overwhelmed? Go here 👉 https://mattgiaro.com

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