Alternatives to Obsidian for basic PKM (Craft? Ulysses?)

Great suggestions, thanks!

try OmniOutliner, scrivener, FileMaker or Devonthink

(Edit: I found the version history on their webpage. It is the same app, but a much older iteration of it, pre-files app etc. It
serves as a first impression that this is a carefully designed app, but it probably can’t be used to estimate its usefullness.)

Hey, I was looking at Notebooks and I noticed that I bought (or downloaded for free) this (older?) version. Can someone tell me if this is similar enough to the current version to get a good idea of the app? Or is it something very different. I‘d pay for the real thing, but if I can try it beforehand with this version that would be great.

And another question: Drafts has a lot of organizational tools by now. I think about using that, as it is already a favorite app for me. But nobody even seems to mention it on this discussion. Aren’t there people organizing their notes in Drafts?

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Let’s see… life of the author plus – oh. Never mind. :wink:

(More serious and informative responses precede this one.)


“DATES cursed DATES will I never be rid of dealing with these da**ed DATES!” cried every programmer every born.

Reading this just makes me cringe, are we talking Julian, Gregorian, which calendar, whose start date, what epoch? ad nauseum

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You’ll have to ask Bishop Ussher


You know, it’s not every day that you find 17th century references in a computer based forum. :grin:


How are you organizing your notes in Drafts, Robert? I don’t use it because once in a while I need to store images or PDFs too, and Drafts is plain text exclusively, but I am curious.

I actually don’t know yet😀. I’m following this and other discussions because I want to find a good solution. As I understand it, Obsidian is Plain Text as well and will simply take a link to an image file. But it can display that file, which Drafts can’t. Maybe I could get away with Drafts containing links to image files.
This is an interesting discussion about Drafts as a Zettelkasten on the Drafts Forum.

I almost exclusively write within Drafts (except long form) and already most of my notes of all kinds are in there. Only not structured very well. But stuff that’s collected from outside, like images or links or PDFs are in various places like Apple Notes, depending on their purpose.

So either I decide to go all in with a multi media capable notes app like Notion or the above mentioned Notebooks which looks nice. Or I go all in with a text based system and simply link to files in a cloud. Which, as far as I understand, is what Obsidian does as well, only with intergrated preview of those files?
What turns me towards Drafts is that I already know and use it and have a base of stuff in there that has at least some meta data and sense and I could just develop from there instead of setting it up all new in a new app. And it evolves so fast, maybe the handling of images will be much better soon and than I put all that effort somewhere else …

The copyright is in the text. If I create a new translation of a work, the text is new and different from the original and anyone else’s translation. I can therefore claim copyright of that translation of that text.

That being so, I can see why someone might choose to offer a different translation of the Bible, simply so they can charge you to buy it.

Even if I ue the original text (or a translation in the public domain), I could charge you for downloading the file, as a simple service charge.

Nope. That’s a matter of case law. The
new" image is a derivative work; some or possibly all the rights adhere to the original work. You’d have to go to court, And that’s why it gets tricky. Because there are some baseline punitive fees for registered copyrights if the court decides rights have been infringed, plus court fees and attorney costs. And tgen digital stuff has a whole other set of fees and laws.

IANAL, but I’ve researched for attorneys on copyright cases and been an expert witness. I’ve also licensed a lot of IP.

It’s just better to ask, first. It’s often free for personal use, especially if you are willing to sign a statement about not publishing or distributing.

It’s a heck of a lot of work to translate. Which MSS.? Which prior edition? Do you need to license it first? What are you emending? Why and how?

I ended up using Eaglefiler to index the Obsidian Vault and use that to search, seems working well. Details in this post


By the screenshots it seems a little dated. I would give it a try, only to confirm. Or, in a longer way: if you like that older release, then you’ll like the newer one. But if you happen to not like the older version, you should try the newer one.

Don’t know if the older version has the killer feature (that is a small one-time payment) that allows you to set a custom iCloud location for your files, putting it on par with the Desktop version.

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Yes, for what you’ve got in EagleFiler you don’t need a third-party search app. EF offers a capable and flexible search facility itself.


They have a MacOS trial version on their site.

I have used Notebooks for quite a few years, and really like it. I tend to use it as I would a notebook. I will start a book on a subject area and the throw everything into it: text files, picture, pdfs or whatever I find.

It has become the place I store “base” information.Sometimes I will make notes that go into Obsidian or use the information for a presentation or document.

Some notebooks I leave open, others I will export as a PDF or ebook for archiving.

It does have a plist file for every book/sub book but you can hide those so finder doesn’t pick them up.



I tried Notebooks a couple of years ago and really liked the functionality and pricing model. However I had a lot of problems with duplicate files appearing following sync. I was syncing over dropbox.

Has the sync improved in later versions?

I haven’t had any problems syncing my’s files using Dropbox. However, I’m not using it as my “everything box”—I use it much like @Nick does, i.e., a place to put the notes, documents, and images that I need while working on a specific project.

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So you use Notebooks and Obsidian parallel? I would prefer to find one solution for everything. What does Obsidian do, that Notebooks can’t do for you?