I’ve been experimenting with Obsidian and I’m starting to see the benefits of having linked notes. I do have to say that the editing capabilities of Obsidian leave a lot to be desired. I’ve been using iA Writer for a couple of years now as my primary note taking app. Considering that the Obsidian files are just markdown, I’ve been using iA Writer to write my notes and then going to Obsidian to link and analyze the relationship between the notes. Am I losing anything by creating my notes this way? Does Obsidian do anything special as you type up the notes in the app?
Personally, I’m using Typora as an external editor when I need to edit tables with a lot of content in the cells. It’s simply the only editor I know that handles this task gracefully. (Yes, maybe Zettler too, but it’s not very convenient to use it as an external editor.)
One thing that you get only in Obsidian and in no other external editor is the whole experience around links ! If you enter a link in iA Writer or any other editor, you won’t get the interactive selection list, nor the possibility to interactively link to blocks or headers. And you won’t be able to drag and drop references into your note and get an immediate link.
Just a few reflections. I do think that Obsidian has got a more than decent editor. I dare to say it’s a great one, as it is right now.
Another vote for Typora here. I like using it with a custom theme (GitBook Azure is my favourite). It’s a very clean experience that neatly and innovatively declutters documents from the “noise” of Markdown, while still having Markdown very close at hand (imagine switching between Obsidian’s edit and preview mode, but you can still edit in preview).
It’s particularly handy for copy/pasting rendered Markdown. If I copy/paste directly from Obsidian, I get the theme colours; and if I copy and paste using plain text, I lose all formatting. So I open in Typora > Copy without theme styling and voila - I get nice, clean, formatted content on my clipboard without the theme cruft. This is on Windows, so YMMV on Mac or Linux.
They have a trial version for Windows and I downloaded iA Writer. I love the focus mode and syntax highlighting (it highlights noun, verb, adjectives, adverbs). Aside from these two feature, it is a very plain Markdown editor - so, my question is, why pay $30 for this when Obsidian provides the same interface for free for personal use?
But, I think maybe iA Writer for iOS/iPadOS will be a different story altogether.
Time and friction.
doing the linking while you are writing is, for most people, quicker and easier.
Which means you need to compare the time and friction of using Obsidian to write with the time and friction of using both iAWriter and Obsidian for the dame files.
Only you can judge that.
You already have a sunk time cost in iAWriter, so no extra effort required to learn it. However, you should also add the cost of updating that as the program changes to the two program time and friction cost.