About a month ago I decided that I wanted to try Logseq. I had downloaded Obsidian earlier in the year and never really used it and mostly forgot about it. Until I was inspired to clean up my digital subscriptions back in April. One thing I did was cancel my budgeting solution, YNAB, and start building out my own little budget tracker. Another part of that was letting go of Notion. While I really enjoyed using Notion, I didn’t feel like I used it enough to justify paying for it and it had become so overgrown I felt lost and discouraged when I opened it. So I went looking for something that would fill that knowledge management gap.
I downloaded Logseq to try it out and kept with it for a little over two weeks to get a feel for it. I watched lots of videos, I tested out various ways of organizing my information and taking daily notes.
I love the outlining first approach. It’s how I naturally approach taking notes on paper so having first class support for it out of the box was wonderful. I loved how the daily notes were all on the main page and scrollable. I enjoyed the built in todo’s and time tracking. It felt a lot more effortless then Obsidian to put in information. Here is a screenshot, from the Android application, of the home screen. Clean and simple.
I wrote far more in Logseq then I did in Obsidian during its two week trial. It was more effortless and it might be silly but those little bullet list icons really help me. I really enjoyed how detailed the “Linked” and “Unlinked” references are in Logseq, and how you could change information within those linked references and it doesn’t make you navigate screens like it does in the Obsidian app.
The query language frustrated me to no end. I love being able to quickly tweak a dataview, plugin needed, in Obsidian. In logseq the documentation, videos, and tutorials all around queries are lacking. So if I were to go all in with Logseq that’s something I’d need to rectify to really harness Logseq’s power. Here’s what I mean.
Files, files, files. Logseq creates markdown files for you every time you tag something. And keeping those files in sync across devices I found pretty frustrating. I’m using Syncthing, because I’m trying really hard not to pick up any new subscriptions, and I kept losing files or having lots of empty ones appear with partially typed out file names. It was pretty bad on the Android app, where if the app lost focus while you were typing in a tag, it will make an empty page… even if you haven’t finished typing the name out.
If you go under the hood and view the files they are all in one directory with no organization. I know that shouldn’t bother me, but it kinda does.
Those frustrations and the fact that I couldn’t make a quick expense tracker, since I don’t have the query chops yet, convinced me to give Obsidian a two week trial as well.
Which brings me to the last con on my list. Logseq, since it’s outliner based, starts everything with a list in Markdown. That annoyed me when bringing my files over to Obsidian.
I loved how I was able to quickly import my Johnny Decimal folder structure into Obsidian and feel right at home. I also enjoyed the numerous tutorials that I found. There are far more video tutorials for Obsidian then there are for Logseq. There was even a built in expense ledger, though I had to abandon it when I learned it didn’t work on mobile devices.
It didn’t take much time at all to create a little budget tracking system in Obsidian either. Which I’ll write up in detail at somepoint and post here on my blog. All it took was a couple of plugins, DataView and QuickAdd and I was off.
In Obsidian you have full control over the files it makes and you are able to organize them how you like. You can kinda/sorta use namespaces in Logseq to get something similar, but it’s not really. Plus I had a much easier time keeping files across my phone and my linux computer synced. Also, Obsidian syncs the plugins and theme setup as well. Which makes it more consistent across devices.
There are so many plugins and some of them a really powerful. Plus there is one for Micro.blog called Micro.Publish. I used it after writing up this up to upload it as a draft 😊.
I just haven’t been using Obsidian to write and connect things. There’s something to be said about just writing stuff down and not worrying where the file will physically end up, which is Logseqs' approach to knowledge management. My daily notes right now in Obsidian are really just my list of expenses and a couple of tasks. Even after spending a dedicated timr making sure i was using bullet points when note taking, it didn’t help.
So What Now?
I have no idea 😆. Half the purpose of writing this out was to help me figure it out. I am certain that I don’t want to use both. I want simple, and not wondering where I should put something. I have more cons listed for Logseq but when it came down to it, I did use it more.
Feel free to leave me a comment down below if you’ve used either of these apps and what your thoughts are.
Thanks for reading - Loura