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Why I'm giving up Obsidian

Obsidian is a very powerful tool that integrates many amazing features such as graphs, backlinks, hashtags. As a software it also has a large user base that almost guarantees its success. This active community has created a variety of tutorials for almost everything, coded plugins and provided feedbacks for the obsidian official to constantly improve toward the ultimate the solution of writing app.

Yet it won’t be the solution for me personally, because it contradicts my philosophy of notes and is a real time-sucker.

The unresolvable conflict

The good notes should always be the essence of anything, in my opinion, or the reductionist view. Almost everything else would be examples, explanations, extensions of that very core notion. It has become very easy that our “course notes” comprise of countless definitons, examples, remarks, stuff alike. However, come the final exam day, what truly remains in our minds are solely the crucial ideas—our understanding, memorized cases and key formulas that we rely upon to working out the solution, not whatever examples or any specific elucidation coming out of the lectuer’s mouth. That is to say, the best notes are akin to personalized cheat sheets.

Obsidian, as a all-in-one solution, falls short in this regard. Its multiple features, including the backlinks, seem cool at the first look, but coolness doens’t help in remembering concepts or shed light those long and obscure equations. The abundance of functions has only resulted in such a bloated application full of rarely-used commands and buttons. It has long diverged from necessary simplicity and effective note-taking. Highlights and markouts would be necessary for notes, if only they are beneficial to the eventual goal of complete and productive understanding.

The configurability and playability

As one of the most popular note-taking choices, Obsidian has considerable users, many of whom have experience in front-end development. Therefore there are tons of community plugins that you can use with merely a tap on the install.

The community has come up with solutions for different demands. From enhancing the vim mode and seamlessly syncing contents across platforms to exploring differnet elegant themes, you are promised to receive an answer from the plugin community. It is the key to a thriving software to have plenty of users and creators that would contribute for making it more versatile and capable.

So I guess the reason I quit would be quite identical to the ones I relied less and less on neovim. The point of these tools is not to play with, but to faciliate me for the purpose of finishing the tasks, to sort out thoughts, to create meaningful contents, to build strong and high-quality code rather than merely play ing with the tools. While some view these tools as a hobby, it became evident that I don’t fall into that category.

In short

Don’t get me wrong if you have. Obsidian is an omnipotent note-taker that could almost handles every circumstances. The only downside might be that its so time-consuming. Instead of focusing on actual work, it tends to tempt you into trying out all sorts of new things, which is kinda counter to why the app was made in the first place.

BTW, merry Christmas.