When comparing Joplin vs Obsidian md, the Slant community recommends Joplin for most people. In the question“What is the best cross-platform note-taking app?” Joplin is ranked 2nd while Obsidian md is ranked 11th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Offline access
Pro Open source
Peace of mind that there is no malicious piece of software in the app.
Supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.
Pro Supports file attachments
Pro Supports markdown
Pro Supports tags for notes
Pro Web Clipper
Browser extension saves full pages, clean content, or screen selections to new notes.
Pro Optional CLI interface
Provides a CLI interface for terminal lovers.
Pro Supports multiple languages
English, French, and Spanish, Italian, German, Czech and many others.
Pro Active user forum with support from app creators
Support, troubleshooting, and new feature requests are easy to make at the user forum and you can contact the app creator directly.
Pro Dropbox support
Can sync using Dropbox.
Pro Nextcloud support
Pro Timed alarm reminder for to-do lists
Pro Locally stored, not dependent on cloud
Everything is stored in your device. You can back them up, encrypt and process however you want to. Works completely offline. Read your notes anytime, anywhere.
Pro Lightweight and very customizable
Variety of settings, and community themes & plugins, available from built-in marketplace. Every community plugin is open-source which means you can learn from it and develop your own.
This allows you to link notes back and forth really easily.
Pro Fast growing
It's becoming more powerful everyday, it seems like they add many functions within several days.
Pro Markdown makes for flatter learning curve
Pro Cross-platform: works on Linux, MacOS, Windows, Android and iOS
Pro Very easy to use and link notes, preserves the standard form of markdown
Linking notes is a game changing feature. Very easy to use and link notes. Their implementation of markdown doesn't deviate from the standard form of markdown and so the same files can be used by other markdown programs without any consequence.
While renaming note link still works.
Pro Multiple Vaults
A Vault in Obsidian is like a database. Internal links and files are not shared across Vaults. Each Vault is opened with a separate instance of Obsidian. Each Vault can have its unique app settings and plug-ins. Useful if you have distinct/unrelated projects or "data spaces" requiring different workflows and data relations.
Pro In-line tagging
Ability to tag-as-you-write and find each occurrence of a tag in the entire vault makes it very easy to organize and retrieve notes. Supports nested tags.
Pro Infinite panes, split panes, lock panes
In Obsidian, pane = window = note = page
Obsidian allows you to open as many notes as you can fit concurrently in your screen. You can split a pane horizontally/vertically. You can lock/link panes so they scroll in sync, useful for and edit & preview modes.
Pro Functionality extensions with a growing number of plugins
Also open for anyone to develop their own extensions/plugins.
Pro Daily Notes with template
Daily Notes plug-in, when clicked, generates a new note with the current date. Great for journaling and reduces friction in your writing habit.
You can create a custom template for your Daily Note.
Pro Helps visualize personal knowledge in ways nothing else allows
The Graph view is more than an aesthetic gizmo. It allows you to grasp and recognise clusters of information, follow branches and easily filter out what you don't want to see. The "animate" option shows how your notes and links have grown organically. With a bit of tweaking to the visuals and the proper theme, your graph might even start to look like a disturbingly "alive", eerie thing.
Pro Random note
A plugin that, when clicked, surfaces a random note from your vault.
Pro Support for tags
Pro Readable as it hides the [[ ]] around links when in Preview mode
This is a big difference, as having to read through long-form texts laden with [[links]] gives friction.
Pro Slides for giving presentations from within Obsidian
Easily turn your notes into simple yet sleek powerpoint-style presentations by enabling the Slides plugin and adding the --- separator.
Pro Markdown rather than outline/blocks
Pro Keyboard shortcuts, Vim key bindings
Hotkeys can be customized in settings.
Can switch on or off Vim key bindings in the editor settings.
Pro Great onboarding experience
The onboarding consists of well-written help documentation (saved as a vault) served in small chunks and organized systematically so that you become familiar with all its features as well as get hands-on experience in real time.
Pro Community of developers building themes and plug-ins
Due to the tool being very developer-friendly, there are tons of cool developments being made to it by 3rd party devs.
Pro Page previews on hover
When you hover on an internal [[link]], you get to preview the note without opening it on a new pane.
Page preview plugin must be enabled.
Pro Intuitive and easy to use with an excellent help system built-in
The app doesn't frustrate the user - the built-in help is excellent.
Pro Embedding attachments, such as PDF
Variety of file formats are directly embedded in the markdown preview, e.g. markdown, image, audio, video and PDF files.
Pro Exporting as PDF
Allows exporting your markdown files as PDFs rendered with all of your plugins.
Daily and Weekly notes with Calendar Plugin.
Pro Graph view
A pretty, alternative way to represent links between your notes.
Pro Multiple cursors
A feature unseen in other tools.
From the help doc, "This can be useful when modifying a lot of lines in the same way, for example putting - at the beginning of multiple lines to turn them into a list, or appending [[ to a series of links you’ve copied from elsewhere."
Pro Can copy search results and paste as lists and/or links in a new or existing note
Pro Advanced search
Supports extended searching by default. Community plugin called "Vantage" allows to make more advanced queries.
Pro Git integration
Version Control for your vault with Obsidian Git plugin.
Allows to refer to a note with multiple names.
Pro Big and helpful community
There's a Discord server and a forum. Join the community!
Pro Not locked to a provider
No lock-in to a certain company - just markdown files on disk.
Available as a plugin.
Allows to create templates with built-in plugin. There's also powerful community plugin called "Templater".
Pro Linking to blocks
You can link to a block - e.g.: paragraph, blockquote, heading.
Add a custom metadata to a note with YAML front matter.
Pro Academic citations
Supports Citations and provides inserting from Zotero.
Pro SQL-like queries
Advanced queries for the data-obsessed with Dataview Plugin.
Saving and loading workspaces.
Pro Built-in Audio Recorder
Pro Folders and file level storage which is open to manage, does not lock navigation
With other options like notion, we can not see how the data is actually stored.
Pro HTML Support
Use HTML in a note.
Pro Incredible tool for PKM (Personal Knowledge Management) which allows anyone who has a computer and an internet connection to think better and create new insights
Pro Supports importing from other tools
Supports importing from tools such as Notion, Evernote, OneNote, Apple Notes, Bear, Zkn3, TiddlyWiki 5, and Roam Research. Refer to Obsidian Help for more info.
Pro Supports several languages
Translations are made by the community at GitHub repository.
Pro Discord rich presence
Update your Discord status to show your friends what are you working on with Discord Rich Presence plugin.
Pro Syntax highlighting for code blocks
Pro Snapshots, file recovery, trash folder
Pro Copy and paste images easily
When taking notes, you can just grab a print screen from your clipboard and paste into the notes without having to do any file management
Con Sync issues with Android
If update on Linux then sync on Android, sometimes the Android sync will duplicate or remove some journal notes. Seems to be a bug in the Android app. The Linux app alone without sync with Android seems to work well using Dropbox. But don't expect changes you make on Android to sync properly back to Linux.
Con Sync issue under Linux
The Linux client has a bug that requires the user to click the mouse frequently in order for sync to proceed. This bug has been open for a while.
Con Gargantuan memory footprint
1GB+ of memory for taking notes.
Con Old school interface
This project is suffering from feature creep and uses a lot of memory for a note-taking app.
Con App Image launches very slowly
On Linux, you can only install via App Image, which take 5+ seconds to launch. I can launch LibreOffice in under two seconds.
Con Sync issues on Windows
No way to change account settings and sync easily corrupted.
Con Weak tag searching
Joplin can currently only search for a single tag at a time. None of the boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) are available for use in searches. This greatly diminishes the usefulness of tags in Joplin.
Con Can't create tags from the mobile app
Con Closed Source
Con Proprietary software lock-in
Creates dependence on the application with the promise that the content is yours but that cannot be entirely true without the application being free and open source software. You will end up altering the way you create the content to take advantage of Obsidian features and your processes will evolve for its workflows. This replicates the lock-in pain that people experience moving their highly personal information from one proprietary platform to the next when that initial platform stops serving them well, goes out of business, or becomes a bad actor.
Con No table editing yet
(Available as a plugin).
Con Needs to be better at block level references, searches, tagging
For example, if you want a tag a block of text, for obsidian, its the whole page that will get tagged.
Con Does not export to MS Word
Can export only as a PDF file.
Con Requires .md files
Can't read .txt or other plaintext file formats. Can't read asciidoc files.
(Available with a plugin.)
Con Pretty new software
At this moment there is a limited amount of resources / howto's available.
Con No ability to add dates that link to a daily note, when that day/note may not yet exist
You can create a backlink which doesn't yet exist; it just doesn't auto-fill for you. (Available as a plugin)
Con Too many plugins
Con iOS version works only with icloud
Does not work with other cloud folders.
Con Needs to be polished
They still need time to fix some bugs.
Con V1.0 release is terrible
Don't download unless you can't find pre 1.0 version.