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Obsidian vs Logseq

After using Logseq for a solid week, I thought I would capture some observations if anyone else is considering the app, or Obsidian, which is my main tool for thought.

I started using Obsidian at the end of 2020, switching from a couple of months working on my zettelkasten in Roam. My Obsidian is pretty tricked out with a bunch of plugins. I use it on my computer, iPad, and iPhone. When I secured a new job I set up a second vault to keep track of things for work.

Two obsidian windows side-by-side. One dark, one light.
Personal and professional Obsidian vaults. Can we praise apps that allow you to open separate windows!

The Tools For Thought community is advancing quickly. I thought I would try out another popular PKM app that is popular with my coworkers: Logseq. (Our company are deep into note-taking. My coworkers run the https://toolsforthought.rocks community!)

a logseq window with the following text

2022-05-26 write logseq VS obsidian post
My Logseq

For daily work I switched to Logseq to keep track of my Daily Notes, meeting notes, tasks, and week-planning. I used it exclusively throughout the day. It is a pretty app with some very useful features. Even though it could not unseat Obsidian, even when I switched back, I changed my Obsidian usage to adopt things I learned from Logseq’s paradigm.

Here are some pluses and minuses of Logseq from my perspective — keeping in mind that my minuses might not be minuses for you, and everyone has a slightly different use case/workflow:

Logseq -s

  • I found the sync a little flaky. I use iCloud for both Obs and LS, but Obs is super snappy, where there was lag in LS when I put something on my phone and checked on my computer later.
  • Mobile version doesn’t include the plugins. The great thing about an Electron app is you can store all the settings and plugins inside, so whatever device it opens on it acts the same. Love this aspect of Obs. Not sure why LS can’t do it?
  • Breaks some of the macOS keybindings. LS is block based, where as Obs is just text.
  • Another TODO format!? I think - [ ] is pretty much the convention now. #hottake
  • Seems pretty mouse-driven? Maybe I just haven’t learned all the shortcuts yet. (there are a ton here and you can add your own here so this criticism is probably more about discovery.)
  • Forces bullets. This is one thing I love about Obsidian: I am not forced into structuring everything into a bulleted list. I have the freedom to write anywhere on the canvas. In fact, I got rid of Ulysses and use Obs not just as a TFT, but also as a writing tool. Loqseq is more like Roam in this respect.

Logseq +s

Logseq is very structured, not as free and open as Obsidian, but with that tradeoff is you get some great stuff:

  • easily clicking a bullet point to get the reference and pasting into another document is great. (The fact that it seems to fail when I open the iOS app sucks…).
  • Query language is amazing!
  • Slash commands!
  • TODO time tracking!

I can replicate some of these features in Obsidian with community plugins, but the integration is very nice in Logseq.

A couple of weeks after moving back to Obsidian, I am still thinking about my Logseq experiment. Because of how it forces you into its structure, for a task-oriented person like me, I just feel more organized and productive in Logseq. They are obviously doing some things right. The app is still coming along. Sync will get ironed out and the plugin library is sure to expand. I will take a look again in a while. Basically, if you don’t need a writing app, and are just looking to link knowledge and be productive, especially if you are just on a single device, I would recommend you check out Logseq.