Second Brain Method

Top 25 Obsidian Alternatives For Efficient Note Taking

Upgrade your note-taking experience with these Obsidian alternatives. Find the perfect tool to streamline your note-taking process today.

May 3, 2024

Second Brain Method

Top 25 Obsidian Alternatives For Efficient Note Taking

Upgrade your note-taking experience with these Obsidian alternatives. Find the perfect tool to streamline your note-taking process today.

May 3, 2024

Second Brain Method

Top 25 Obsidian Alternatives For Efficient Note Taking

Upgrade your note-taking experience with these Obsidian alternatives. Find the perfect tool to streamline your note-taking process today.

May 3, 2024

students finding Obsidian Alternatives
students finding Obsidian Alternatives
students finding Obsidian Alternatives

For individuals looking to explore different options that offer similar benefits to the popular Second Brain method, we have compiled a list of Obsidian alternatives. By exploring software that caters to various preferences and needs, you can find the best fit for your personal situation. In this blog, we will discuss several options that provide a similar experience to Obsidian, diving into features, pricing, and much more to help you make an informed choice. Keep reading for all the details on these exciting Obsidian alternatives.

Table of Contents

What Is Obsidian?

man working on Obsidian Alternatives

Obsidian is a note-taking app that allows you to build your own personal knowledge management system. With various tools like plugins, themes, and custom CSS, you have complete control over your data and design. The app organizes all your notes in folders called vaults, allowing you to have different vaults for different topics or projects. 

You can also link documents and notes through bi-directional linking to create a connected database that you can view as a knowledge graph. It is ideal for individuals who prefer simple actions of capturing and storing notes. For those looking to create a system for sharable notes and tasks under one knowledge hub, there are other options to consider. 

Complexity and Limitations of Obsidian

While Obsidian is a great tool for organizing and managing notes and pieces of information, it may be too complicated for some users or may lack certain features. Users may find it challenging to navigate or manage notes effectively in the app. 

There might be specific functionalities that users are looking for in a note-taking app that Obsidian does not offer. In such cases, it might be beneficial to explore alternative options that better suit their needs.

Related Reading

Personal Knowledge Management
Building A Second Brain Summary
Personal Knowledge Management System
Personal Knowledge Base

Why Consider Alternatives To Obsidian?

team working together - Obsidian Alternatives

With my expertise in the field of Obsidian alternatives, I can confidently say that there are numerous reasons why someone might consider seeking out an alternative to Obsidian. While Obsidian offers unparalleled flexibility and customization options, the abundance of features can sometimes lead to a complex and time-consuming setup process that detracts from actual productivity.

Exploring User-Friendly Alternatives to Obsidian

For those looking to streamline their knowledge management processes and minimize the time spent on configuring and tweaking a system, exploring Obsidian alternatives can be a game-changer. By opting for a more straightforward and user-friendly platform, users can focus more on creating and accessing content rather than getting lost in the setup.

Alternatives to Obsidian for Streamlined Workflows

Some may find that they do not require the extensive customization and intricate network of plugins provided by Obsidian. In such cases, an alternative that offers essential features without the overwhelming complexity of Obsidian may be more suitable and efficient for their needs.

Finding the Right Knowledge Management Solution Beyond Obsidian

While Obsidian is a powerful tool loved by many, its intricacies and vast number of features may not suit everyone's workflow. By considering alternatives, users can find a better fit for their specific needs and preferences.

AI Research and Writing Partner

Knowledge workers, researchers, and students today suffer from content overload and are left to deal with it using fragmented, complex, and manual tooling. Too many of them settle for stitching together complicated bookmarking, read-it-later, and note-taking apps to get through their workflows. Now that anyone can create content with the click of a button - this problem is only going to get worse. 

Otio solves this problem by providing one AI-native workspace for researchers. It helps them:

1. Collect

A wide range of data sources, from bookmarks, tweets, and extensive books to YouTube videos.

2. Extract key takeaways

With detailed AI-generated notes and source-grounded Q&A chat.

3. Create

Draft outputs using the sources you’ve collected. Otio helps you to go from reading list to first draft faster. 

Along with this, Otio also helps you write research papers/essays faster. Here are our top features that are loved by researchers: AI-generated notes on all bookmarks (Youtube videos, PDFs, articles, etc.), Otio enables you to chat with individual links or entire knowledge bases, just like you chat with ChatGPT, as well as AI assisted writing. Let Otio be your AI research and writing partner — try Otio for free today!

Top 25 Obsidian Alternatives For Effective

team finding Obsidian Alternatives

1. Otio

Knowledge workers, researchers, and students today suffer from content overload and are left to deal with it using fragmented, complex, and manual tooling. Too many of them settle for stitching together complicated bookmarking, read-it-later, and note-taking apps to get through their workflows. Now that anyone can create content with the click of a button - this problem is only going to get worse. 

Otio solves this problem by providing one AI-native workspace for researchers. It helps them:

1. Collect

A wide range of data sources, from bookmarks, tweets, and extensive books to YouTube videos.

2. Extract key takeaways

With detailed AI-generated notes and source-grounded Q&A chat.

3. Create

Draft outputs using the sources you’ve collected. Otio helps you to go from reading list to first draft faster. 

Along with this, Otio also helps you write research papers/essays faster. Here are our top features that are loved by researchers: AI-generated notes on all bookmarks (Youtube videos, PDFs, articles, etc.), Otio enables you to chat with individual links or entire knowledge bases, just like you chat with ChatGPT, as well as AI assisted writing. Let Otio be your AI research and writing partner — try Otio for free today!

2. Notion

Is a popular alternative to Obsidian for its simplicity, minimalistic interface, and large community. On top of note-taking, you can use Notion as a task management tool to create simple to-dos or build a personal knowledge base. You can also embed links, images, videos, code snippets, etc. Notion also has bi-directional functionalities enabling you to interconnect all your notes and workspaces. 

Notion pros

  • Powerful note-taking functionality

  • Integrates with the most popular apps

  • Great collaboration features

Notion cons

  • The mobile app can be slow and clunky

  • Difficult to create and maintain customization for long-term use

  • Search and navigation are not as intuitive

Notion pricing

Notion offers free and paid plans starting at $4/month.

3. Google Keep

Google Keep is a note-taking app that can serve as an alternative to Obsidian. It offers a quick and easy way to jot down notes and access them across different devices. Google Keep takes pride in its simplicity, making it a user-friendly app for both Android and iOS. Google Keep also allows you to collaborate with others on notes and share them through links.

Google Keep pros

  • Integration with other Google apps (Docs, Sheets, etc.)

  • Capture a voice note on your Android or iOS app and access the transcribed note on your desktop

  • Set reminders and location-based reminders on your iOS or Android phone

Google Keep cons

  • Limited customization options

  • Less robust than other note-taking apps

Pricing

Free with a Google account

4. OneNote

Microsoft OneNote, a widely used digital note-taking platform, provides a viable option for those looking into alternatives for Obsidian. Nestled within Microsoft's Office suite, OneNote facilitates easy interaction with other applications from the same ecosystem. It comes equipped with diverse note-taking capabilities encompassing text, images, diagrams, and voice clips among other features. It encourages a team-centered approach with its shared notebook feature that permits collective work.

OneNote Pros

  • Seamlessly syncs with other Microsoft apps.

  • Supports various multimedia in notes.

  • Facilitates real-time teamwork via shared notebooks.

  • Enables easy searches through notes. 

OneNote Cons

  • Feature variety can confound beginners.

  • Full utility only within Microsoft's other apps.

  • Less robust tagging than other alternatives.

  • Lack of popular Markdown support.

Pricing

OneNote is available with a paid subscription of Microsoft 365

5. Evernote 

Evernote is a note-taking tool with fantastic web-clipping capabilities. This handy app lets you clip, save, and sync notes from anywhere on the web to all your devices.

Evernote pros

  • Straightforward and clean UI with multiple features

  • You can create notes offline

  • Web clipper to save all important notes during research

  • Ability to share your notes on social channels

Evernote cons

  • Costly paid version with a limited free version

  • Lacks real-time collaboration

  • Lacks task management functionalities like most apps on this list

Evernote pricing

Evernote offers free and paid plans starting at $7.99/month.

6. nTask

nTask is a project management tool that comes with note-taking functionality. Primarily, you can take meeting notes, create to-dos and track your tasks in one place. nTask also features a time tracker and collaboration functionality to keep cross-functional teams on the same page. For instance, users can add images, comments, and videos to their notes or assign a particular task to a team member. 

nTask pros

  • Multiple views include calendar, Kanban, and Gantt

  • Flexible for teams to use as a task management tool

  • Real-time notifications

  • Task status and priority features

nTask cons

  • Lacks critical features in the free version

  • The interface is not as intuitive

  • Limited integration for a robust knowledge base

nTask pricing

nTask offers free and paid plans starting at $3/month billed annually

7. Workflowy

Workflowy is a note-taking app with several task management tools. This app refers to itself as a sidekick for busy and ambitious people. Workflowy is on this list of Obsidian alternatives because of its simplicity. All you need to do is log in and start typing out your thoughts on Workflowy!

Workflowy pros

  • Fast and straightforward

  • Live copies of any note or to-do list

  • Drag and drop functionality for quick note creation

  • A global search feature to easily spot an important note

  • Plain text markdown files

Workflowy cons

  • Lacks visualization tools

  • Limited task management

  • Workflowy pricing

  • Workflowy offers free and paid plans starting at $4.99/month. 

8. Coda

Coda was built for teams. Simply put, Coda brings all your documents and data into a central and evolving document. This app also has different building blocks to help you customize your documents as needed. 

Coda pros

  • Integrates with Google Calendar for easier task management

  • Edits and changes notifications

  • Multiple Coda templates depending on your needs

Coda cons

  • Pretty expensive with limited features in the free plan 

  • Limited integration

  • Difficult to scale for a well-rounded knowledge base

Coda pricing

Coda has free and paid plans starting at $10/month per member. 

9. Basecamp

Basecamp is a project management tool, but it does feature note-taking and task management. All your projects (notes in this case) are housed under one dashboard where you can view, edit, rearrange and archive notes as needed.
The app also supports tracking to-dos and has in-app messaging to keep everyone on board. 

Basecamp pros

  • Project schedule showing your deadlines, relevant events, and to-do statuses

  • Simplistic Kanban views

  • Numerous integrations to popular tools

  • History of changes within your notes

Basecamp cons

  • Limited customization

  • Notifications and activity alerts can be overwhelming

  • Editing tools are limited

Basecamp pricing

Basecamp has free and paid plans starting at $11/month per member. 

10.  Simplenote

Simplenote is a great alternative to Obsidian for those who prefer a simpler and more straightforward interface. IT is a minimalist note-taking app that focuses on simplicity and speed. It allows you to create notes, lists, and tags and syncs them across all your devices. Simplenote also offers a search feature to help you find specific notes quickly.

Simplenote pros

  • Clutter-free interface that allows you to stay focused on writing notes

  • Fast syncing across devices

  • Ability to publish notes as webpages

Simplenote cons

  • No collaboration features

  • Does not support attachments or embedded images

Simplenote Pricing

Free with Simplenote account

11. Joplin

Joplin is an open-source note-taking app that allows you to create and organize notes, attachments, and to-do lists. It also offers end-to-end encryption for security and privacy. Joplin can be used on multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Joplin also allows users to publish a note online and share the URL with others. 

This notes app has a web clipper extension which makes it easy to save web pages and take screenshots as notes. This is great for individuals who do a lot of online research to keep their notes organized all in one place.

Joplin pros

  • Markdown support for formatting

  • Import/export from other note-taking apps (Evernote, OneNote, etc.)

  • Ability to synchronize with cloud services (Dropbox, Nextcloud, etc.)

Joplin cons

  • No collaboration features

  • Some users have reported occasional bugs and glitches

  • Steep learning curve for some features

Joplin Pricing

  • Joplin is a free to use open-source application

  • Joplin Cloud is available for purchase

  • Basic plans start at € 1.49 per month

  • Pro plans start at €4.79 per month

  • Teams start at €6.69 per month

12. pNotes

pNotes is a free and lightweight note-taking application for Windows. This app is a powerful alternative to Obsidian for those looking for a simple yet effective way to manage their tasks and notes. 

With its customizable interface, users can create virtual sticky notes to jot down their reminders, to-dos, and important information. pNotes is completely free, which makes it an accessible option for all users. Its ability to keep tasks visible and on schedule makes it a great tool for anyone looking to stay organized and productive.

pNotes pros

  • Portable and can be run from a USB drive

  • Ability to send notes via email

  • Customizable hotkeys for quick access

pNotes cons

  • Only available for Windows

  • No cloud synchronization

  • Limited collaboration features

pNotes Pricing

Free and open-source

13. Taskade

Taskade is a task and project management tool that allows you to create notes, outlines, and checklists within your tasks. This cross-platform, all-in-one collaboration tool can be used as a note-taking app and an alternative to Obsidian. It offers collaboration features, including real-time editing and commenting. Taskade can be used on multiple platforms, including web, desktop, and mobile.

Taskade pros

  • Customizable templates for notes and tasks

  • Real-time collaboration features

  • Multiple views (list, board, calendar) for organization

Taskade cons

  • Lacks some of the advanced features of Obsidian such as bidirectional linking and graph view

  • Steep learning curve for some features

Taskade Pricing

  • Free plan with limited features

  • Starter: $4/month

  • Pro: $19 per month

  • Business: $49 per month

14. ClickUp

ClickUp is a project and task management tool that can also serve as a note-taking application. It offers a range of features such as tasks, Docs, Chat, Goals, Whiteboards, etc. that can be easily customized to suit different team types and sizes. It is a great alternative to Obsidian for those looking for a more collaborative and structured platform.

It allows you to create notes, attach files, and collaborate with team members. You can also organize your notes into different folders and assign them to specific projects or tasks. ClickUp’s Notepad is a personal place to write down any type of notes you want. Make a list, save important links or images, and write down important notes that you can convert to tasks later.

ClickUp pros

  • Customizable note templates

  • Flexible sharing permissions for Docs

  • ClickUp AI can help you write, edit, or translate your Notepad content

ClickUp cons

  • Steep learning curve for some features

  • Can be overwhelming for users who prefer a simpler interface

ClickUp Pricing

  • Free forever plan

  • Unlimited: $5 per member per month

  • Business: $12 per member per month

  • Business Plus: $19 per member per month

15. Roam Research

Roam Research stands out from other note-taking apps because it focuses on linking ideas together. This means you can see how different thoughts interact with each other. Its powerful search feature helps you navigate these links, giving you a comprehensive view of your notes.

Roam Research pros

  • Emphasizes linked, networked thinking, perfect for plotting complex projects or ideas.

  • Offers extensive searching options to navigate through interconnected notes.

  • Provides powerful note-taking functionality, great for in-depth research or academic work.

Roam Research cons 

  • The interface can feel overwhelming for beginners due to its complex structures.

  • Pricing is on the higher end, which may not align with everyone's budget.

  • Lacks some typical note-taking tools that other apps commonly provide.

Roam Research Pricing

Paid Only. Starting with $15/mo for personal plan.

16. Bear

Bear offers a clean and straightforward space for seamless typing. Ideal for writers and editors, Bear boasts a sleek and minimalistic user interface that prioritizes simplicity and efficiency. The app is free to use, with a Pro version offering a wider range of features.

Bear pros

  • Minimalist design aids concentration and focus.

  • Easy organization with hashtag system.

  • Offers Markdown support for formatting text.

  • Can easily export notes in a variety of formats including PDF and HTML.

Bear cons

  • Advanced features reserved for Pro plan.

  • Basic search functionality

  • No built-in collaboration feature, making it less suitable for teamwork.

  • Only available for Apple devices, limiting user base.

Bear Pricing

Free plan

Paid plan starting with a $2.99/mo

17. Dropbox Paper

Dropbox Paper is a good alternative to Obsidian, particularly if you are looking for collaboration and efficient workflow management. It includes collaboration-specific features that aid in streamlining team workflow. Users have the ability to work on the same document at once, facilitating real-time collaboration. All changes are instantly visible to all collaborators, maintaining a consistent, updated view for each team member.

Pros of Dropbox Paper

  • Real-time, multi-user editing for effective team collaboration.

  • Clean, easy-to-navigate design for users of all levels.

  • Seamless compatibility with your existing Dropbox files.

Dropbox Paper cons

  • Lacks advanced formatting options, making personalization of notes difficult.

  • Even its paid plans offer limited advanced features as compared to other alternatives.

  • This app might seem less intuitive to those familiar with traditional note-taking software.

Dropbox Paper Pricing

Paid Plan only, starting with $9.99/mo

18. Notejoy 

Notejoy might be a suitable alternative to Obsidian if you want to take fast, focused notes. Basically, Notejoy is the app you use when you want to take something off your mind, after a quick meeting with a coworker, or once the professor has handed out assignments. 

Notejoy pros

  • Instant, clear, and beautiful unlimited image galleries

  •  Ability to attach files to your notes

  • Checklist to capture your to-dos

  • Activity tracking to see who’s viewed your profile

  • Threaded discussions for easier collaboration

Notejoy cons

  • Limited integrations for project management

  • Not as intuitive

  • UI and features can be overwhelming

Notejoy pricing

Notejoy has free and paid plans starting at $4/month billed annually.

19. QuickJots

As the name suggests, QuickJots lets you quickly make and autosave a note on the go. It works on both mobile and computer, and it’s pretty fast. 

QuickJots pros

  • It works offlin

  •  All your notes are autosaved the moment you create a note

  • Supports markdown

  • Supports plain text editor

  • You don’t need to register to use Quick jots

QuickJots cons

  • Lacks advanced task-tracking features

  • It does not sync seamlessly across devices

  • Outdated UI

QuickJots pricing

QuickJots is a free app.

20. Apple Notes

Apple Notes is available for free on macOS/iOS devices. This app lets you type or take notes by hand or with the Apple Pencil. You can also add photos and videos or attach links to our notes. 

Apple Notes pros

  • Folder lists to organize your notes by topic

  • Pin functionality to keep the most important details over the fold

  • Gallery view for a smarter view of your notes

  • Face ID, Touch ID, and passwords to protect your notes

Apple Notes cons

  • It does not integrate seamlessly with apps outside the Apple ecosystem

Apple Notes pricing

Apple Notes is available for free on macOS and iOS devices.

21. Supernotes

Supernotes is a great alternative to Obsidian for those who want a note-taking app that is simple, fast, and user-friendly. It allows you to create various types of notes and categories to keep everything organized, and you can access your notes from multiple devices. Overall, Supernotes is a great option for those looking for a straightforward, collaborative note-taking app with a strong focus on efficiency.

Supernotes pros

  • Organize your note-cards in any hierarchy that suits you

  • Create links between notes

  • Ability to collaborate with others on notes

Supernotes cons

  • Limited customization options

  • No folder organization

Supernotes Pricing

  • Free plan with limited features

  • Paid plans start at $6 per user per month

22. RemNote

RemNote is a note-taking and knowledge management app that uses spaced repetition to help you remember information better. It allows you to create flashcards, notes, and to-do lists, and organizes them into different categories. 

It is also a study tool that offers a variety of features with the aim of helping you capture and organize your ideas for future use, in a way that helps you learn more effectively. This software is a great alternative to Obsidian as it offers smart flashcards, customizable note-taking, full-text search, and offline accessibility, among other features. RemNote can be used on multiple platforms, including web, desktop, and mobile. 

RemNote pros

  • Spaced repetition for better retention

  • Customizable templates for notes and flashcards

  • Collaboration and sharing features

RemNote cons

  • Steep learning curve for some features

  • Limited customization options for some elements

  • Some users have reported occasional bugs and glitches

RemNote Pricing

  • Free with limited features

  • Plus: $6.99/month

  • Pro: $14.99/month

23. BoostNote

Boost Note is a note-taking application specifically designed for developer teams, making it a fitting alternative to Obsidian for programmers and developers. Boost Note not only serves the purpose of taking notes but also provides key features for team organization and streamlining productivity. This tool comes with a markdown editor which allows other users to easily write tech spec with Charts.js, Mermaid, Latex, PlantUML, and more. 

BoostNote pros

  • Real-time editing allows users to collaborate with various users

  • Public API offers a customizable workspace depending on developer needs

  • Add various views such as Kanban, Table, and Calendar to build your workflow

BoostNote cons

  • Limited sync capabilities with third-party services such as Dropbox

  • Offline editing currently not available

BoostNote Pricing

  • Free version available

  • Standard: $5/member per month

  • Pro: $8/member per month

24. ProofHub

ProofHub might primarily be a project management tool, but it can still double as a note-taking app with task management capabilities. Proofhub’s Note feature lets you take notes of any kind, whether in a formal setting or at an individual level. You can also collaborate on note-creating with capabilities such as @mentions, discussions, and Kanban boards.

ProofHub pros

  • Project management, task management, and note-taking functionality under one roof

  • Multiple views, including calendar, table, and kanban, to view your notes

  • Templates to simplify note creation

  • Daily agendas to start your day right

ProofHub cons

  • Lacks sub-folders which makes finding documents more challenging

  • Challenging learning curve

  • Loads slowly

ProofHub pricing

Proofhub has free and paid plans starting at $45/month billed annually.

25.  Hive

Hive comes with multiple ways to view your notes, including Kanban, table, calendar, and portfolio. This project management app also features time-tracking capabilities and collaborative note-taking. 

Hive pros

  • More than 1000 integrations

  • Great customer support materials

  • Syncs your notes with calendar

  • Time-tracking

Hive cons

  • Difficult-to-use mobile app

  • Lacks advanced search functionality

  • Difficult to track changes you have made to your app

Hive pricing

Hive offers free and paid plans starting at $12/per user per month. 

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Roam Research Vs Obsidian

Why Otio Is The Best Obsidian Alternative — Try Otio for Free Today

Otio helps knowledge workers, researchers, and students overcome the burden of content overload through a streamlined, integrated platform. Handling complex and fragmented tooling, Otio offers a comprehensive solution. By combining bookmarking, read-it-later, and note-taking apps, users can simplify their workflows. With the exponential growth of content creation, researchers need an efficient way to organize their resources. Otio steps in to address this challenge.

1. Collect Diverse Data Sources

Researchers can aggregate information from various sources, including bookmarks, tweets, books, and YouTube videos. Otio enables the seamless collection of resources, eliminating the need to toggle between different platforms.

2. Extract Key Insights

Otio enhances research productivity by generating detailed notes using AI. These notes reveal essential takeaways from each source, simplifying the research process. Source-grounded Q&A chat functionality provides a structured approach to extracting information.

3.  Accelerate Content Creation

Moving from a reading list to a draft becomes more efficient with Otio. By enabling users to create draft outputs from their collected sources, Otio streamlines the writing process. This feature is particularly beneficial for researchers who seek to expedite research paper and essay writing.

AI-Generated Notes and Chat Features

Otio's AI-generated notes enhance bookmarked content, including YouTube videos, PDFs, and articles. This functionality empowers users to engage with individual links or entire knowledge bases through conversational interactions, resembling ChatGPT's conversational AI. The platform's AI-assisted writing capabilities further maximize productivity.

Otio's Top Features for Researchers

Otio's AI-native workspace offers a seamless solution for knowledge workers, researchers, and students. By integrating data collection, insights extraction, and content creation within a single platform, Otio simplifies complex research workflows. Researchers can leverage Otio's AI-generated notes, chat functionality, and writing assistance to enhance their research practices and accelerate their productivity.

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Join thousands of other scholars and researchers

Join thousands of other scholars and researchers

Join thousands of other scholars and researchers