Is this program suitable for hardcore users?

Things I have tried

What I’m trying to do

I Am hardcore user, I read a lot Philosophy and about everything really! So I need a lot of categories besides tags!!! Can you please tell me if this program has following problems…

I use Joplin ATM, but I have couple problems:

  1. Joplin’s browser plugin has no (ctrl+f) for searching existing folders - it takes me forever to find a fitting folder to save an article into - I need this!!!
  2. I heard joplin is slow after like 20k notes, I will have hundreds of thousands eventually millions
  3. I need table of content, so I can organize my documents well and quickly jump between topics
  4. also it should have hotkeys, to create notes quickly, even 1-2 seconds here and there is a lot of time!

How about these points? OR what would be a better program for me?


  1. Obsidian has ctrl-f
  2. you can always split things into separate vaults in Obsidian
  3. lots of ways to have tables of content in Obsidian
  4. Easiest ways to create note in Obsidian is to type [[ or press Ctrl-N

Re: would there be a better program, I think Obsidian is quite flexible and fast and very extensible, with a great/knowledgeable community. But if you want to consider alternatives, you should try or

  1. how would it work, if you wanted to find something quickly, wouldn’t you have to open an another vault - that would be annoying!

Yeah there are like 555 programs, so it is hard to choose! And I have no idea how I would find, which one is the fastest e.g. You can always export your notes, problem is I Am not sure, if they wouldn’t mess up! You never know! So better to choose right program from the beginning!

You can’t, so you can’t.
The notes in Obsidian are just files in a folder in the OS. So they are what they are unless you decide to edit them.
You can even edit them in other programs while you have them open in Obsidian.


What is a hardcore user?

I also wonder how a table of content will look like with millions of notes. A million is really A LOT. If you would write a note every minute every day AND night you need 2 years to get to a million.


That’s basically the same thing, only thing which matters, if I’ll be able to use them in any other program. If I found some problem with Obsidian later for instance!

You answered your own question, millions of notes, I need fast response times and hotkeys. I read about literally everything, so even 1-2 second delays = hours later on…

Yeah but I have small notes and then some are longer, if I have table of contents I can quickly juggle between important topics! That is in 1 note! I also will save a lot of websites and boomarks!

  1. I’m not sure if there is a folder search. There may be a plugin for that. But there is a move command, and then you can use fuzzy search to find folder names to move it into. When I capture I like to dump things into an inbox, whether that is a folder, or for me I use #unassimlated as a tag for notes I haven’t linked or placed properly.

  2. There is information about how far Obsidian has been stress-tested here: Maximum Number of Notes in Vault - #5 by Silver

  3. You have Outline as a core plugin. And several other plugins that deal with this kind of organization. And like looper suggested, there are several ways to handle this. You’ll likely be very interested in the dataview plugin as well.

  4. Yes there are hotkeys. And there are many commands that can be assigned to hotkeys. You have the plug-in API, so if you really have specific needs, it is possible to code things. You have the URL scheme, so you can make a parsed URL create a new note, which means you can use external tools to trigger the creation of a note. And since the data is Markdown files, you are also free to use external text-editing tools or scripts that can capture or transform information as well.

To me this seems excessive for reading notes. Can you go into more detail about your actual use case? Otherwise if we’re brainstorming alternatives, the quickest way would be to buy some highlighter ink in bulk in a large pail, and just dip the entire book. :wink:


Thank you for excellent answers!

  1. wait you are a mod and don’t know xD? Yeah this method is extremely slow. Best would be ctrl+f when searching for fitting folders, Joplin at least juggle between folders of a letter, if you press like A.
  2. Oh 20k and says, it can take some time. Interesting, we have 12 core + 5ghz CPUs and it takes so long. I heard code is becoming less optimized! Some programs can’t even keep up with user writing!
  3. Ha, I was afraid of that. I will have to figure this out later, or find if someone made plugin for this…
  4. Yeah, I don’t understand why no one thought for example: to include ctrl+f to find folders for browser plugin, if there are users with 20k notes+ …

So main problem is with containers! If I split notes into containers, because slowness. I would have to open another container to browser other part of notes right? This sounds laborious! But I doubt, there will be any better program ATM (gonna keep looking)! And worse case I would have to rely on export and hope & pray it won’t mess up anything! It is strange, why is it slow, it is just couple MB of notes???

  1. I don’t keep up very well with the enormous pace of community plugins. I know core has the ability to narrow search within folders. But I am not sure about search FOR folders. But anytime a feature is lacking, there seems to be a corresponding plug-in.

  2. Yes that is a global trend; code and background frameworks all swell in complexity so that computational power never really gets far ahead. Isn’t there a law about that?

And finally, yes splitting into multiple vaults would certainly be laborious. Being able to link with URLs certainly mitigates that, but if I were you, I’d be exploring how (or if) a single vault could work for your workflow.

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I don’t know whether or not I can make more copies of notes easily, to test a program’s limits! To make like 50 notebooks and exponentially multiply notes there and then test responsiveness!

OH they are on github in that link, i will try to test that!

To test it on your current device/pc is not really useful. It will take you many years in real life to create that many notes, by then you will have already a new device with other specs.


Yeah but I read problems started are around 20k, which I get to relatively quickly! SO I can now test it, that will be useful!

If you want “hardcore” try GNU Emacs + Orgmode. There really is nothing like it, but the learning curve is exceptionally steep, and the community is (how to say this politely?) not that tolerant of those making mistakes or wanting simple answers*.

That having been said, there is a new generation of people picking up Emacs and it has never been easier to get started if you have a slightly technical/ academical outlook.

Two youtubers you might find helpful:

A philosopher: Protesilaos Stavrou - YouTube
A computer scientist: Emacs From Scratch #5 - Org Mode Basics - YouTube

*The emacs subreddit is pretty friendly!

Best of luck!


Thank you for answer. Maybe I’ll consider it some time! But whole point of software is to enable user some functions without having user solving these issues. I could allocate my time elsewhere… But still worth checking out, if I ever run to problems with any software. Thanks again!

Didn’t see it to be used for organizing large amount of notes, I guess you have to make that program to do that from scratch :smiley:

FWIW, I have now about 15 years of research notes in Obsidian, and it’s nowhere close to 20k notes (let alone a million).
And as others said, the good thing about it is that you don’t need to export them if you want to use another program. Just open the md files in whatever.


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