Is Obsidian worth it for someone who barely understands HTML and CSS?

I’m looking for a digital note taking platform(?) that’s highly customizable yet user-friendly for an HTML and CSS noob like myself. To be clear, when I say customizable I mean visually, like in terms of colors, fonts, and images.

I started out using TiddlyWiki. I loved that it was local, it could be used offline, I could create macros and stamps, and I could turn images into thumbnails and links – but the amount of learning I had to do just to make a functional checklist was exhausting. When something broke and prevented me from adding more plugins, I kinda hit a wall. I figured I should see if there’s anything similar to TiddlyWiki that won’t fall to pieces in the hands of a noob.

So… Is Obsidian any easier to use for “aesthetic” digital bullet journaling? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

I do have a quite a customized look for my vault. Looking back, it could get very confusing if I wasn’t quite familiar with HTML and CSS already. So if you reallllyyy want to make changes to your obsidian aesthetics, being able to read other people’s css or using the developer tool to breakdown the HTML to find the selector and review its CSS is quite essential.

I do enjoy the many functions of obsidian, being able to change its look is merely a bonus.

I think Obsidian is going to be just about the friendliest option you’re going to find when it comes to being both easy to customize and highly customizable. It strikes a really sweet middle ground, IMO.

The thing is, Markdown itself simplifies the process of making things such as checklists. And the editor adds to that ease, by adding another checklist item when you press Enter, for example.

When it comes to customizing colors and fonts, if you already have a third-party theme in place that you like, and you have the plugin Style Settings installed, many themes will allow you to tweak various aspects of the theme from the plugin’s options pane. But if you want to dive in further, you can open the .css file for the style, which you can navigate to through Obsidian’s settings.

That said, some themes are extremely complex and their CSS could be rather opaque for newbies, depending on what you’re trying to change. Others are far less complex.

In general, I’d say the HTML and/or CSS required to change colors or fonts is pretty simple anyways. Like, you could enclose some text in a span element and set that text’s font or color or both to something different. Done. No CSS file required; just use inline css (I know, that’s frowned upon by purists).

You likely will have to use some HTML or CSS to style some things, because that’s what Markdown and Obsidian are built on. But that in itself is not that difficult. It just depends on how far you want to go. And there are lots of resources for help if you decide to start getting ambitious.

I find Obsidian far easier to mess with than Notion, for example, because it’s far more transparent what it’s doing, whereas Notion, which is very simple on the surface, has this layer of I don’t know what, Javascript and whatever else, between you and its innermost workings, and gets very complex very fast.

as much as i like obsidian, i’d recommend Drafts.
everything syncs very smoothly. it can be as tweaked as you want or it can be just a simple note pad. you should look into it.

Please explain a little more. I am thinking about transferring everything over to Obsidian & deleting my Drafts app. Thoughts?

But isn’t Drafts an Apple only database app?

I’m thinking myself enough experienced in CSS styling and scripting (plug-ins), but after so many years of struggling, I finally choose to stay with Obsidian.

To my mind, customization is something that makes the experience great but not what improves my creativity and productivity. The good thing about Obsidian is the ability to “patch”. For example, I don’t like the way vanilla Obsidian displays CJK fonts, so I did some tricks to make it work well.

Certainly, you will need some basic knowledge on styling with CSS, but that’s not difficult I think.:grinning:

Don’t put all eggs in one basket, that’s what I learnt from Notability recently. And thus I won’t consider any app that only works in Apple ecosystem.

IME you don’t need any experience of HTML or CSS to use or customise Obsidian.

To customise the look and feel, first find the closest theme from the Community Collection that look the way you want as possible. then using a plugin such as Style Settings where you can change colours and fonts easily using on/off and colour palette selection.

Always remember we are doing it for the Information, Learning and easy re-call of important information. As a users, we are not doing it for designing the best looking PKB.

I do no customisation at all.

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