Good Apps - Obsidian

Obsidian is a personal knowledge base and note taking app with a lot of flexibility and extensions that make it very powerful. If you like to take notes and be in control of your data, then Obsidian might be the right fit.

What makes Obsidian so valuable for me is that it allows me to consolidate a lot of things into one app. Like information about a project and its tasks. Reference materials about sociology and solutions to programming problems. Everything can be made to fit into Obsidian and thanks to its extensibility and configurability, the app can be adapted to my evolving needs over time.

Most people point out that Obsidian is an app for people who like to link their notes together. If you rename a note in Obsidian, all the links to it will be renamed, too. Linking notes, so that they become chains and/or trees of notes unlocks emergent qualities that you wouldn’t be able to access without linking them.[1] It is also available as an iPhone app, that can do almost all the things that the Mac app can do. So you can take all your stuff with you as well.

Obsidian might not be for you, because it might just be a little bit too much. But it might also just be the tool you were looking for. If you happen to have a tendency to react skeptically to overly hyped apps like this one: Ignore the knowledge graph visualization stuff[2] and also the personal knowledge base singularity talk and just try it out. Obsidian is great. Don’t let the sometimes overly boastful rhetoric in this space keep you from at least trying it.

  1. For example: You will find notes that, taken together, inspire a new creative thought. You might also rediscover an old solution to a problem you currently have. Or you might notice a pattern in otherwise disparate information.  ↩

  2. I think that visualizing one’s notes could at some point be helpful for maintaining and refactoring, but we are not there, yet.  ↩