Obsidian: a toy or a productivity app?

This is my first time ever being a part of an online community/forum and also watching an amazing product grow.

Like @ryanjamurphy said, the team is doing an amazing job bringing big rocks of major features along with small delightful features.

And your reply was well-warranted. Thank you for writing it out.

Also, while comparing Roam Research and Obsidian on Reddit, when I had to decide on one, one of the key differentiators was how amazing this community is. Let’s keep it that way @everyone :blush:

And @qithend, honestly I didn’t completely get how “useful” the forces in graph view is. I agree with you on that. But please don’t disregard everything else they’ve been doing.

It’s a small team, and they are doing an amazing job. And like @romanov.maxim pointed out. It’s a powerful knowledge base, not a typical productivity app.


To offer a different take:

I myself am here because Obsidian, for me, is “Roam but local and open”, which is very valuable to me.

“Productivity” means different things to different people, which is why numerous apps exist already. As an example, I index all of Obsidian content into DevonThink, which is where I also index every other doc of any kind.

So the focus on graph view is exactly what I want, and I appreciate all the innovation and work there.


My 2 cents’ worth, as someone who writes and researches all day…

For me, Obsidian is an ideal research tool, just as it is. The devs are a delight… The addition of the Outline plugin almost made me weep tears of joy. (Not kidding, and THANK YOU.)

I don’t need Obsidian to format anything. I have a MILE of “writing” apps (MS Word, Ulysses, Bear, Scrivener… and on, and on) which can take Markdown and format it in any way I choose.

I WOULD weep tears of anger if Obsidian went from a plain text note-taking app which is perfect for my researching and thinking needs to a would-be word processor.

Not meaning to denigrate the OP; your concerns are valid, of course. And thank you for posting them.

But I can assure you, from my point of view, which seems the complete opposite of yours, Obsidian is all about serious work for me… And to reiterate, just as it is, I love Obsidian. It’s the first app I open each morning, and it remains open all day.

So, horses for courses, to coin a cliche. :slight_smile:


I’m new here, and still exploring whether or how I want to use Obsidian. (I’m already all-in on plain text notes using Markdown and have been for years.)

I was saddened to see this thread, and the degree to which everyone is piling on. The initial post was maybe inelegant, and could have been phrased more diplomatically; but I’m going to guess that it was written by someone for whom English isn’t their first language.

Even if that’s not the case, it didn’t strike me as cause for replying (equally?) dismissively.

I will think twice before offering my own thoughts on any features or the direction of the app.

1 Like

@tf2: it is not the OP’s own thoughts per se which have been criticised.

It is the denigration of how other people use Obsidian (as a toy) and the devs’ “change of track” (towards a non-productive app), both of which are based on his/her frustration of features that he/she cannot use.

Uttering frustration that way shows disregard (not to say contempt) for fellow users and the devs. Apart from the attitude towards the fellow users, I must say have not come across any other app devs who are as responsive, approachable, pleasant as Licat and Silver are. And they certainly have not changed track, on the contrary.

Everybody is entitled to their view but to treat others like the OP did out of the blue is a bit much. And in my view most of the replies here are even kind and courteous.


Expressing one’s wish for having Obsidian fit one’s use case in detail is certainly valid, and the request of having Obsidian be able to interact with more mainstream format such as Office docs certainly seems like there’s merit to it.

What is not cool is to dismiss the entire app out of frustration that it does not fit your use case. The tool is what it is and it is plenty productive for many people; if it isn’t for you, then… maybe it just isn’t for you.


Welcome, @tf2! I agree that some of the earlier comments sound a bit harsh on OP, but the latter posts read to me as examples of how people use Obsidian as a “serious” tool and not so much as piling on. The initial content and tone of the post make it a little hard to offer any help, other than to point out how each of us is using it and maybe help OP see it from other people’s point of view (and this is what I got from both the harsh and non-harsh responses), or how some of the recently implemented features are actually useful for a lot of us.

One of the best things about Obsidian is definitely the community, and I’m sorry the first impression we gave you/you got from us was a bad one. I would really recommend looking at other posts too and not take this post as the only picture of what the community does, because almost always the community is trying to help out.

That being said, here are two related topics where the community has helped before:

  1. Integrating Microsoft OneDrive/Office/365 Files into Obsidian
  2. Clutter free edit mode

Aye. Sorry, @tf2 and similarly-minded others. I do think the “pile on” here is unnecessary. I almost locked the thread when I replied above, but I was hoping the OP would respond earlier, perhaps to clarify—or, maybe, apologize in some way shape or form… (As a Canadian, saying “sorry” is the opposite of shameful. It is awesome and always helpful. Alas, maybe it is the Canadian superpower…)

I will say this: some sparks are ideas. Others cause wildfires.

There are 1000+ “sparks” in #feature-requests that have been well-received. 150+ previous requests were so well-received that they’re now in #feature-request-archive. And that doesn’t include all the additional context, use cases, suggestions, and details found in the replies to those threads.

I don’t think the evidence supports the interpretation that this community is dismissive or hard to please. Rather, I think it shows how eager folks are to hear out and encourage a diversity of use cases.

And with that, I’ll :lock: this thread… folks can message me if you have concerns or questions or favourite emoji to share.