Obsidian can now import Apple notes

Untested by me, but I thought a few folks here would it interesting.


This intrigues me. I import my Apple Notes to DEVONthink each month to ensure I have accessible archives.

Obsidian and/or DEVONthink users, do you see advantages to using Obsidian for this purpose rather than DT?

I don’t, but I don’t see the point of using Apple Notes at all. It’s quicker and easier to use Drafts (because it’s so quick) or to enter the notes directly into my preferred app (if I have more time). Personally I use Obsidian for notes, and DT for everything else.

What does using AN do for you that the others don’t do already?

A lot! Adding and annotating PDFs and tables, embedding MS and Apple iWork documents, scanning and OCRing documents into Notes, sharing easily with Reminders, Smart Folders, and more. I use Drafts for quick notes or to clean up text formatting, but I need more for my project notes. I’ve tried a lot of note-taking apps, including DT, Obsidian, Craft, NotePlan, Agenda, and others. I keep returning to Notes because of its rich feature set and deep ecosystem integration. AN is not perfect, but I have yet to find the perfect note-taking app for my workflow. :slightly_smiling_face:

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If you like AN better than anything else, I think you answered your own question.

I think you missed my point. :slightly_smiling_face: I was not referring to “taking notes.” I was referring to archiving my Apple Notes. As I said above, I currently archive them in DT but I was wondering if Obsidian would be a better archive location and if so, why. :slightly_smiling_face:


Depends what you’re archiving them for. As a backup? For further use? To be included in searches?

Only as backups and searches. :slightly_smiling_face:

If it’s mainly for searches, wouldn’t DT remain the best choice?

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Everything he said he uses it for DT can do (I believe) and does it better. But some people just like certain software… (not knocking, I have my quirks as well.)

And does it better

I wish it did, and I have tried to use DEVONthink as my primary notetaking app. If I used my Mac nearly exclusively for notetaking, that would work great. However, most of my meeting notes are taken on the iPad because I find it less intrusive. And sadly, the DEVONthink mobile app is inferior for notetaking. If they ever change that, then that would be an ideal solution. But I’m not holding my breath. :slightly_smiling_face:


Probably, but I was just intrigued by the fact that Obsidian is now able to import Apple notes. I was just interested if users of Obsidian, and or DEVONthink had any thoughts as to which of the two applications would be the best archiving app and if so, why.

Given the use case is mostly a backup scenario, I would go with DEVONthink.

First, it avoids proliferation of different apps, because you already have a solid backup strategy on top of DT so the most critical part is already in place. If some day DT’s mobile app becomes better, you can ditch Apple Notes right away without a second thought.

Second, because I personally favor DEVONthink “Mac native” interface --this is a weak, opinionated preference.

But third reason is because Obsidian only shines when you start curating and linking your notes, adding metadata, and start creating your own contraptions in the form of Dataview queries that give you the ultimate flexibility to slice and dice your knowledge. While DEVONthink isn’t geared towards that particular set of capabilities, it will happily find related notes and do smart searches just based on the contents of the notes without you doing anything, so there is some value there in addition to having your Apple Notes seamlessly added to your backup strategy.

One intriguing possibility is to use Obsidian’s Apple Notes importer to download the contents of Apple Notes and then move those notes into DEVONthink, just to check if you get better results than with the tool you are currently using.

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That is a constructive and thoughtful reply; thank you! Based on your advice and my experience, I will continue using DT to archive Apple Notes each month. I wish DT developers would vastly improve the DT mobile app—the weakness of the mobile version keeps me from going “all in” with DT. :slightly_smiling_face:

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As an Obsidian user there is one advantage to the program importing Apple Notes over DevonThink — cost. Obsidian is free; DevonThink depending on which version is minimum $99 through $199 for Pro to a maximum $499 for server.

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Agreed but the good news for me is that I already have DT Pro so I’m set. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, the mobile app is adequate, but nothing too exciting, it feels like an iPhone 3GS-era app. To be fair to DT, they managed to cram quite a lot of DEVONthink’s functionality in a standalone (as in “works offline”) app, and also supports the gazillion sync methods available, which is hard stuff. Something had to give, and it was the UI. Last time I checked you cannot even change the default interface font!

DTTG needs a quick note button that takes a preconfigured file type and automatic title, saves it in the inbox and opens it for editing (which does autosave, at least.) Notes, Tot, and Drafts (and several others) have better workflows when you need to type something quickly and 100% know it saved.

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The advantage of Obsidian for this is that your archives would be saved in standard interoperable file formats stored in regular system folders rather than in an app’s proprietary database.

Obsidian could break and refuse to open, and you could still navigate your archives in Finder, open .md files in any markdown or text editor, photos and PDFs in any photo and PDF apps, etc.

I also like knowing that it’s all cross platform.


I am interested in backing up Apple Notes to DT. Can you recommend a good guide for this? Does the process allow you select certain notes by folder or tag?