Sync: Obsidian, Craft, Ulysses, etc

hey MPU,

I just want to get my bearings a bit on understanding sync when it comes to these note-taking apps. I’ve expressed my frustration lately with Ulysses here and before I jump and change my whole workflow, I just wanted to get some feedback.

I currently use Craft and Ulysses for different writing things. Now that Obsidian is 1.x, I may try and get back into that again.

I do all my writing on my mac or iPad pro, and my mini is used as a presenting tool for myself (all my notes to read from).

My iPad Mini is a 256GB, and has 65GB of free space. Each time I open Ulysses it has to redownload everything all over again. I hate that I have no control of what stays downloaded and what doesn’t get downloaded, and that at any moment Ulysses removes documents from my device at will. About a month ago, I had the unfortunate experience of not having my iPad Mini load in time for my presentation. I learned my lesson and do a ‘check’ before I go anywhere.

Will this be the same experience on Craft and Obsidian, if I move all my writing and speaking engagements to there??

1 Like

Your last post per your link is Feb. ‘21. Are you continuing to have sync issues with Ulysses? I ask because I have a large book project in Ulysses and reports like this make me very nervous. I’ve considered moving the book to Word, which is where it will end up anyway for final editing.

That said, this article is encouraging and informative.

1 Like

I commented on that older thread about my issues with Ulysses syncing. My problems were 100% down to iCloud being broken.

iCloud has since been fixed and my Ulysses syncing is fast and reliable. For a good chunk of the time iCloud wasn’t working, I switched to using DropBox which was… fast and reliable.

It may be that you will still gain the advantage by switching apps, because Ulysses uses an older style of iCloud sync where another product may use the newer style. But I would be very surprised if Ulysses itself is to blame.

The Ulysses crew were incredibly helpful to me in finding my iCloud problem, in switching over to using DropBox, and in switching back to iCloud once it was fixed. If you enjoy and prefer Ulysses, I recommend reaching out to them.

1 Like

Can’t speak for Craft, haven’t gotten around to trying it yet.

For Obsidian - you have to remember that Obsidian works off a local folder of markdown files, so you can sync your notes in the same way you would sync any other set of files. That being said, since you’re also on i(Pad)OS, there are a few limitations - mainly that Files isn’t integrated with a lot of cloud services, so AFAIK you can only use iCloud, Git via Working Copy, or Obsidian’s paid sync service to sync your notes to iOS devices.

I sync via the Git option, which is pretty finicky if you don’t already use Git for other things. I like having version control for my notes and I use Git on the daily, but if you don’t fall under one of those criteria I wouldn’t recommend diving into it just for syncing notes. Obsidian’s paid sync option should also avoid iCloud problems, since it syncs directly to the device’s local storage (I think - somebody correct me if I’m wrong).

Finally, Obsidian is IMO not your best option if you’re not using backlinking heavily and/or not aiming for a Zettelkasten-type system. For people that don’t fit Obsidian, I usually recommend giving Joplin a spin.

1 Like

I experimented with Obsidian for about 2 weeks, but I haven’t tried using Git for syncing. What I tried was iCloud drive which is painful if you want to use it with the Obsidian iOS app.

By “painful”, I mean get used to seeing this every time you try to access your notes

Obsidian sync is expensive , and they don’t have a self-hosts sync server option like Joplin does. Git( or perhaps Github ) might be better.

I also had a problem cleaning up imported notes. I kept documents of all kinds - email , web clippings, pdfs, ms office docs, etc - in Evernote. While Obsidian supports regular expressions for search documents to location the ones you delete , eg

path:"notes/Evernote" /\[.*\]\(.*\.pdf\)/

You cannot select multiple notes from the results and then delete them. You have to do that one note at a time. When you have 1300+ notes in the results, you realize that this isn’t practical.

Joplin will let you do the search AND delete all of the results in one go. Making the task practical to do.

The only downside I found with Joplin, besides perhaps the editing interface layout, was that Spotlight cannot index the notes. So if the data you are looking for is inside Joplin, then you have to search IN Joplin.

I had to stop using Obsidian for quick capture on iOS, that sync is too annoying. I avoid subs, so now I use iA Writer when I need to quickly jot things down in my Obsidian vault. Works great.

1 Like

You have to keep in mind that Obsidian works off a regular local folder. For this kind of thing, I would just open up my Obsidian vault in Finder, run a search, and then delete from there.

I can’t do regular expression searches in Finder, though. A normal search isn’t nuanced enough for my needs. In addition, if the note has attachments ( see the *.pdf part ) , I need the attached file to be deleted as well.

That makes sense. When I need to do that kind of thing I usually open up the vault in VSCode or another more powerful text editor - maybe give that a try?

Nah, I started going down the path of writing a customer python script to do Obsidian’s job for it, then I realized the Joplin already does it with built in tools, so I’m sticking with Joplin.

Fair - if you don’t need Obsidian, Joplin is usually a better choice, especially w.r.t sync.

Ah is iA Writer the solution here @lkhrs ?!
I am so happy with Obsidian even to the point of viewing files on iOS but I just have so much friction if I need to throw a note in there.
Having never used iA Writer it is a rather larger price entry point…

The more reasonably priced Markdown editor Byword would work fine for a quick note. As would any halfway decent text editor. :slightly_smiling_face:


Byword is an App Gold Standard.

Thank you. So By-Word is decent?

Thank you. So By-Word is your choice?

I recently wrote a blog post, How I Use Ulysses, Craft & MindNode to Write & Publish Blog Posts that you might find helpful. :smiley:

1 Like

Does Byword support wikilinks?

I don’t know how up-to-date it is, but Brett Terpstra has a pretty comprehensive chart on his website that compares various iOS text editors and their features. Below the chart is a write up of each app with more details and screenshots. The usual suspects are all there as well a bunch I’ve never heard of.

PS - I use to make notes on my iOS devices and often enough, my Mac. My markdown notes all live in an organized set of folders on Dropbox which I access via Devonthink, Obsidian, and Notebooks depending on what device I’m using and what I’m trying to accomplish.


Byword is a beautiful Markdown editor with a clean interface for Mac and Apple mobile devices. I used it for many years to write my Daily Note and other Markdown documents.

Now I write my Daily Note in the NotePlan app, which this forum introduced me to and which, in addition to a fine Markdown editor, includes Calendar and Reminder integration and task management. (Clearly overkill for your stated use case of putting quick notes into Obsidian.)

1 Like