- Mehmet Baris Kalkar
Storing thoughts, ideas or institutional knowledge is an important part of being productive for both individuals and teams. This is why there are many applications to solve this problem in the market. Some of them focus on creating TODO lists, some on note taking, others focus on clustering or organizing hierarchical knowledge. Concepts like Second Brain or Zettelkasten Method takes knowledge management to the next level and you should read about them if you are interested.
- PlainTasks works great locally but I could not use the same functionality on my phone.
- Google keep works fine as a ToDO list but nothing more. I actually still use it for my grocery list.
- Notion is overkill in most cases and it is a pretty new online service with a pretty feature heavy editor.
This is why I searched for an alternative. Obsidian is a knowledge base which works on top of local markdown files. There are many other services I could have used but Obsidian looked like it is the simplest option out there to me.
The value you get out of a knowledge base increases over time assuming you are using it consistently. So starting from scratch or losing access to your notes is the absolute worst scenario. I am a big fan of Cloud and SaaS solutions for software. Moving software to cloud is pretty much what I do for living. However, as a knowledge base I am not certain if google keep or notion will still be active in 5 years.
As mentioned in the Obsidian website, cloud services shut down, get bought or they can change their privacy policies easily. So it is quite possible to lose all your access to your data at any moment. This is why keeping your notes on a folder in your computer can make a lot of sense.
This does not mean we can't use git for version control or services like iCloud, dropbox, google drive for synchronized back ups. I use iCloud with my iPhone so any change I make from my laptop or phone is reflected to the other.
Obsidian uses markdown to store data. Which is human readable, ubiquitous, easy to use, future proof. This simplicity is a plus over another proprietary tool we need to learn just to manage our notes.
Obsidian also has community driven plugins like calendar view, kanban boards It also creates a graph view of your files if you add metadata tags for your files. This graph grows over time and becomes pretty useful if you use it consistently.