Obsidian or DayOne for Journalling?

Reflecting on a Decade with Day One

Introduction: A Journey through 10 Years

For over a decade, I’ve been faithfully chronicling my life with Day One, cherishing the “On This Day” feature that lets me revisit my past memories. However, with the need to save money, I am considering a shift to Obsidian, enticed by its remarkable linking capabilities and comprehensive personal knowledge management system.

Weighing Pros and Cons

Day One’s “On This Day” feature has been a highlight of my journaling experience, allowing me to look back on significant events spanning 10 or 11 years. On the other hand, Obsidian’s flexibility and customisable note-taking environment offer an appealing alternative, granting me complete control over the structure and organisation of my journal.

The Allure of Obsidian

What draws me towards Obsidian is its ability to seamlessly interlink information, creating a web of connections between my notes and ideas. This linking functionality goes beyond Day One’s capabilities, making Obsidian a powerful tool for personal knowledge management.

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Balancing Costs and Features

Although Obsidian’s synchronization service comes at a higher cost than Day One’s subscription, I recognize the value it brings. With Obsidian, I can use the app for more than just journaling, making the investment worthwhile for me.

Embracing Obsidian for Journaling

Having already started journaling with Obsidian, I am impressed with its user-friendly features. The automatic daily page with a customizable template allows me to effortlessly record my thoughts and experiences, regardless of the device I’m using.

Expanding Beyond Journaling

Obsidian extends its versatility beyond journaling, catering to my passion for reading books and watching television shows. With its template-based system, I can easily add new entries for books and create a database of my literary journey.

The Power of Personal Knowledge Management

Obsidian’s true strength lies in its focus on personal knowledge management. The application encourages me to consolidate all my data and establish meaningful links between various notes. Its intuitive link creation process simplifies navigation and enhances my understanding of interconnected concepts.

Visualising Knowledge with the Graph View

The graph view in Obsidian serves as the cherry on top, presenting a visually compelling representation of all the connections between my documents. I can effortlessly explore the relationships between different topics and gain a broader perspective on my areas of focus.

Conclusion: Embracing the Future with Obsidian

Although saying goodbye to Day One feels nostalgic, embracing Obsidian opens up new avenues for personal growth and knowledge exploration. The transition may present challenges, but Obsidian’s remarkable flexibility, ease of use, and interconnectedness assure me that I’m making a positive and empowering choice for my journaling and learning journey ahead.

Pros of using Obsidian for journaling:

  1. Flexibility and Customization: Obsidian offers a highly flexible and customizable note-taking environment. You can structure your journal in any way that suits your needs, creating links between notes and organizing entries in a way that makes sense to you.
  2. Markdown Support: Obsidian uses Markdown, a lightweight markup language, which allows for easy formatting and quick styling. This makes it simple to emphasize important points, add headings, and create lists in your journal entries.
  3. Interlinking and Backlinks: Obsidian’s unique feature of bidirectional linking and backlinks allows you to connect ideas and thoughts across different journal entries. This fosters a deeper understanding of your experiences and enhances the ability to reflect on past events.
  4. Offline Access and Data Ownership: Obsidian stores your journal entries as plain text files on your local device, granting you complete control and ownership over your data. You can access and edit your journal offline without relying on cloud services.
  5. Community and Plugins: Obsidian has an active community of users, offering various plugins and extensions to enhance your journaling experience. You can customize the app with themes, additional features, and integrations to make it truly your own.

Cons of using Obsidian for journaling:

  1. Steep Learning Curve: Obsidian might have a steeper learning curve compared to more user-friendly journaling apps like DayOne. It requires some familiarity with Markdown and its unique features to fully utilize the app’s potential.
  2. Limited Mobile App Experience: While Obsidian offers mobile apps for iOS and Android, the mobile experience might not be as polished or feature-rich as specialized journaling apps like DayOne.
  3. No Automatic Backup or Syncing: Unlike cloud-based journaling apps, Obsidian relies on you to manage backups and syncing across devices. This can be a potential downside for users who prefer automatic backups and seamless synchronization.
  4. Less Focus on Media-Rich Entries: DayOne excels in supporting media-rich journal entries with features like location tagging, weather integration, and multiple photo attachments. Obsidian, being primarily a text-based app, may not offer the same level of multimedia integration.
  5. Less Streamlined User Interface: While Obsidian offers a lot of customization options, some users might find its user interface less streamlined compared to dedicated journaling apps like DayOne, which are specifically designed for a smooth journaling experience.

In summary, using Obsidian for journaling can be a powerful and versatile option, especially for those who prefer flexibility, customisation, and want complete control over their data. However, it might not be as beginner-friendly or media-focused as dedicated journaling apps like DayOne. The choice ultimately depends on individual preferences and journaling requirements.