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Obsidian vs. Apple Notes: Which Note-Taking App Is Better?

By Matt Giaro

Not sure about which of Obsidian or Apple Notes you should use for your note-taking system?

This article will show you how.

Organizing Your Notes

Organizing notes is more than just shoving things into folders and slapping on a few tags.

It’s about saving time, keeping your thoughts in check, and yes, achieving those big, ambitious goals like creating an online course and sharing your expertise online.

It’s a bit like planning a city. If you get the roads and infrastructure right, everything flows.

Tags in Apple Notes vs. Obsidian

Both Apple Notes and Obsidian allow you to organize your notes with tags.

In both apps, simply type a hashtag with a word. Voila. It just became a tag.

No noticable difference here.

Folders in Apple Notes vs Obsidian

Ah, folders, the bread and butter of organization.

Both Apple Notes and Obsidian allow you to use folders and subfolders.

So there’s no noticeable difference between the two.

Smart Folders in Apple Notes vs Obsidian

Smart folders in Apple Notes are like having a personal assistant.

Let’s say you only want to display notes with a specific tag in a specific location.

You set up rules, and voila! Your notes are sorted just the way you want them. No fuss, no mess. It’s slick, intuitive, and downright handy.

Apple Notes calls this Smart folder.

Simply create a new folder and tick the box:

apple notes smart folder vs obsidian bookmarks

Obsidian has a similar feature to smart folders. It’s called bookmarks.

Think of it as a treasure map, marking the exact spot where your thoughts are hidden. Search for a tag, folder, name, whatever, and you can save that search as a bookmark.

Here’s an example: I just searched for a tag #to-draw. I can now save this as a bookmark. Each time I’ll open the bookmark it’ll show all notes that have the same tag.

Bookmark in Obsidian vs apple notes

Not as sleek as Apple’s feature, but it works.

Here’s the real deal though: if you want intuitive, go Apple. If you want a tool that’s more of a thinking partner, something that grows with your ideas, Obsidian’s the choice.

Feel the contrast? That’s what we’re talking about. On to the next!

Linking your notes in Apple Notes vs. Obsidian

Ever played connect-the-dots?

Backlinks are like that for your ideas.

It’s about tying thoughts together, finding patterns, and connecting the dots to create something grand.

Let’s take a closer look at how Apple Notes and Obsidian handle this game of intellectual tag.

You Can’t Simply Link Notes Together in Apple Notes

Apple Notes is like a friendly neighbor.

Great for a chat but doesn’t invite you inside the house.

You can share a note, copy the link, and paste it in other notes. But that’s about it.

No web of connections, no intricate maze of ideas. Just the damn boring tags and folders you see in every productivity app.


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Obsidian is Designed for Backlinks

Obsidian, now that’s the real dance floor. It’s built for backlinks, right out of the box.

It’s like having a personal investigator, connecting clues and solving the mystery that is your brain.

You link notes, see relationships, explore new pathways, all without breaking a sweat. Imagine your ideas having a grand ball, dancing together, and creating something magical.

That’s Obsidian for you.

But here’s the kick: Apple’s inability to link notes seamlessly is a dealbreaker. If you’re crafting your next big project or penning down a novel, you need those connections. You need that web of thoughts, that constellation of ideas.

Apple’s process? It’s tedious and dependent on the internet. It’s like trying to cook without a recipe. You can do it, but why make it hard on yourself?

Obsidian’s backlinks are the modern thinker’s tool. They’re your guide, your companion in the wilderness of thoughts. It’s intuitive, it’s dynamic, and it’s everything Apple Notes isn’t when it comes to linking ideas.

So, want to play connect-the-dots with your thoughts? Go Obsidian. Want to stay in the shallow end of the idea pool? Stick with Apple Notes.

Seeing the Connections Between Your Ideas

Imagine your mind as a universe, teeming with stars and galaxies. Now picture the connections between your ideas as constellations. A map that helps you navigate the complexity of your thoughts. That’s what we’re diving into here.

Obsidian has the Graph View

Obsidian’s graph view is like the Hubble Telescope for your thoughts. You can see the connections, the links, the patterns that form the constellations of your intellectual universe. You can zoom in and out, hover over a note to see its connections, and even filter what you see.

Here’s what I mean:

graph view obsidian vs apple notes

Want to understand how your thoughts about love connect to memories, philosophy, or that one book you read last summer? Obsidian’s graph view is your guide.

It’s not just a gimmick.

It’s a powerful tool that helps you understand the hidden fabric of your thinking. Ever had a ‘Eureka’ moment when two unrelated ideas click?

Obsidian’s graph view is that ‘Eureka’ on demand.

It’s not just connecting the dots. It’s about understanding the picture they form!

Apple Notes Don’t Allow You to See Connections Between Your Ideas

Apple Notes? I hate to say it, but it’s like trying to navigate the stars with a pair of binoculars. You might catch a glimpse here and there, but the grand view? That’s missing.

Without the ability to visualize how your notes link, connect, and dance together, you’re essentially flying blind. It’s like having a puzzle without the picture on the box. You might put it together eventually, but boy, are you going to struggle.

The absence of something like Obsidian’s graph view in Apple Notes is more than an omission; it’s a failure to understand what modern thinkers, writers, and creators need. We don’t just jot down random thoughts; we weave a tapestry of ideas. And without seeing that tapestry, we’re left fumbling in the dark.

Conclusion: Apple Notes Or Obsidian?

Obsidian’s graph view is a telescope, a map, and a compass for your intellectual journey. It’s a view from the mountaintop, showing you the landscape of your thoughts.

Apple Notes? It’s like standing at the base, looking up, and wondering what’s out there. It’s functional but uninspiring.

Want to explore the universe of your mind? Choose Obsidian. Want to stay grounded? Stick with Apple Notes.

The difference is as stark as night and day, and the choice? Well, it’s written in the stars.


Is Obsidian better than Apple Notes?

Yes and no. Apple notes are faster, and have a better design. However, Obsidian is way more versatile and is optimized for thinking and linking information.

Can you sync Apple Notes with Obsidian?

No. While Obsidian works with plain text files, Apple Notes doesn’t. This makes syncing your notes between those apps impossible.

Can you use iCloud with Obsidian?

Absolutely. You can create your Obsidian vault on iCloud, and it will sync across all your devices.

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