It is way older than logseq. Dynalist has been around a while. Even older is workflowy, the first popular web outliner, but didn’t support basic features like hyperlinks. Story is here

The story of Obsidian is here

Obsidian and Dynalist are very different, yes. Obsidian already has many more users, though, despite being much newer. Dynalist’s main selling points are the Pro features, so it’s more of a “better workflowy” for people who already spent years on workflowy, wrapping their minds around the big outline paradigm. On the other hand, Obsidian’s main selling points are free, and by being more documents oriented, it’s easier for new users to “get it”. The vast majority of Obsidian users don’t use Dynalist at all. They cover two different styles (or paradigms) of thinking about one’s notes.



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Same here, though I haven’t tested Obsidian yet. — Just took a look.

I took a look and for the life of me cannot see how Obsidian differs from many other word processors, text editors, etc. Can anybody explain?

Plugins. Plain text on your computer. Available sync. Lots of tools to help interlink your documents.

  • It’s not a word processor or text editor. It contains one, but isn’t one. You can’t simply select a file and have Obsidian open it.
  • Obsidian is about PKM (personal knowledge management)
  • It is built around links and backlinks. And embeds.
  • It has fast search, tags etc within a defined set of files.
  • It is one of the very few such programs built around local files rather than a database (and usually a web database).
  • And that’s before we get to the plugins.

Dynalist is an outliner. Obsidian is what used to be called a wiki. (Many current ‘enterprise’ wikis are not really wikis in the original sense). Wikis are about the (back)links between pages as much the the pages themselves. This is largely also true of Roam, RemNote, HyperNotes & Legend , but they are more wiki outliner hybrids. The new buzzword for wiki is “networked thought”. Personally I find Dynalist - as the by far the best - online outline a far more unique and compelling proposition. Wikis are dime a dozen, but I have said all this before in an earlier incarnation of this thread

Note: I love wikis and Obsidian looks like a very good one, but so are many others.


Thank you. Explaining that it’s a wiki gives me an “ah ha”!

I actually don’t agree that Obsidian is a wiki. It’s like saying it’s a markdown editor because it has one. But it’s much more, as most of the recent PKM programs are.
They’re research and creative platforms.
The various wikis aren’t competitors at all, from Tiddly on. You only have to look at the number of users on Reddit or website visitors.

The old generation competitors aren’t wikis, they’re OneNote, Evernote etc, and more recently Notion.