Obsidian or Dynalist

Can someone tell me the difference between Dynalist and what Obsidian intends to be? Before I commit to archiving notes, I want to make sure I am committed to the right program. My hunt began with Roam, but as many of you have discovered, Roam is not currently available. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Obsidian. Thanks for whatever help you can give me.


Dynalist is an outliner that allows notes, Obsidian is a note taker that allows outlines.

Roam is a hybrid between the two, but more on the outliner side.

In terms of commiting to the right program, it depends on how much you like outliners.


Dynalist is a daytime app for project management. Obsidian (and Roam) is an evening app for reflection and knowledgement management.


Never heard it put this way but that’s very true :laughing: Thanks for making my day!


Thanks for the clarification. Can someone explain the significance of something being “bi-directional” which seems to be the rage in Roam, distinguishing it from other programs?

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Can you tell me what Roam does that Obsidian does not do?

Roam allows for collapsible headings, which is really useful for studying. Currently Obsidian doesn’t have this, and it’s the only thing holding me back from switching so far! Hope they implement it soon.


Block references.

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Thank you, all.

In the Editor mode they currently support collapsible headings. Yet not so feature-rich yet, e.g. without collapse all or open all.

Besides, I came from Dynalist, have been using Roam and Notion and now discovering Obsidian. Sometimes I switch tools quite often, although everything is evolving.

Yes, outliners are different from note taking apps.

Outliners fit my speed of thought, quick rearranging of ideas and mixing content. Note taking apps like Notion and Obsidian requires some more structure from yourself I feel.


It also depends if you are wiling to put your notes on a cloud server. Security? Dependency on internet?

It would be interesting to know about your organization of the process. I feel that these services complement each other perfectly, but I can’t find their correct interaction yet

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I think some of the possibilities require the developers to integrate functions and there are many options. Embed a live Dynalist page in Obsidian. Export Dynalist pages into separate Obsidian notes. I’ve no idea what the developers intentions are, or whether they even have intentions, but it seems likely to me that something will happen sometime.
Hard to be wrong with a prediction like that!


If you are on a Mac, you should have a look at Tinderbox from Eastgate.com. It has an outliner, maps, network diagram of your notes, note linking all wrapped in one app. You can use maps to think about how one argument leads to another and create mindmap like diagrams. You can then write notes in each of the nodes of the diagram. Notes can have many attributes and you can define them if you like. The best feature is that you can define agents which are basically search engines you define, for example you can find all notes with these and these words. It will then collate these notes and create aliases and it will do this for past notes but also for new notes. It is a powerful app and all your notes are local! And there are many more features. It is now in version 8.7 and the developer is very responsive.


Very expensive and xml not md

Beyond the initial purchasing price the annual update subscription is less than for example Roam - and you don’t have to update. So you can easily skip a year because the functionality is already at a very high level. A big fuss is being made about bi-directional linking, but that is already implemented in Tinderbox from the very beginning. But, yes, it is not freemium. Which is probably why we they are at version 8.7.


The simple connection is through links between Dynalist and Obsidian. But lack of URLs for Obsidian notes makes it difficult to reciprocate. For apps like Obsidian, it would reflect what has been learnt during the day. I find the Dynalist is a wonderful way of capturing information into the Inbox. But there, it needs processing and storing in a platform with backlinks so dynamic connections can evolve.