Tana -- new Obsidian wannabe

This one looks like an Obsidian wannabe, in a slightly more polished skin.

… also their “current thinking” on price is $100/year. Yikes.

(Not sure how a web-based note taking site amounts to being an “OS” – not even a good metaphor.)

(Also, when will the phrase “the future of work” fade away from marketing’s vocabulary?)



Monday.com refers to itself as a workOS

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Yeah. Tana appears to be the new new. Lots of PKM people talking about it. A few well-known Roam/Logseq/Obsidian users have jumped ship and are singing praises.

As has been the same with most of the apps in this space, I’m keeping an eye on some of the materials that are being posted about workflows to see if there’s anything I can adopt for my own. Thus far, I haven’t seen anything that makes me feel as if I’m missing anything, but hey— it’s early days.

It’s also a bit like cinematic trailers: lots of hype-building well before the thing is actually available. I’m a bit tired of seeing tonnes of promotional material and passionate early adopters talking about another life-changing app that’s running a waitlist. Some waitlists move faster than others, of course, and I totally appreciate that developers want to manage onboarding, but I’ve lost track of the number of interesting apps I’ve signed up for that still aren’t available…

Nonetheless, I wish Tana well. :slight_smile:


This looks like an outliner with no folders or files, so I guess it’s all web-based with nothing local. And it doesn’t look like you can write standard Markdown, and everything is a bullet list.

My initial take is no thanks. On the off chance that Tana becomes the next app that changes the world, I’ll just say I’ve been wrong before.


I’m not sure I believe in “life-changing apps.” Perhaps there are life-saving health and medical apps (which certainly change one’s life) but that is not what we talk about on this forum.

Clearly there are productivity-changing, enhancing, distracting apps, but life-changing? I have yet to encounter an app that changed my life. My workflow for good or bad–yes–and that affects a minute part of my life but it is not life-changing in any existential way.

Perhaps I’m just being a curmudgeon but I would like to think that life is more profound and complex and sacred than can be literally changed by an application.

Now I feel better … :slightly_smiling_face:


On the one hand, I should have surrounded “life-changing” with quote marks to capture the tone I was aiming for!

On the other, while I certainly wouldn’t be quick to define an app as life-changing, I’m not averse to the idea that some applications can certainly have a discernible impact on every-day experience, for better AND for worse (Instagram is an app, right?).

Yes: life is more profound, complex and sacred than most of the hot new tools we geek about here can ever hope to contain, and yes, I would hope that we can all imagine and live lives that don’t depend on such things. But that doesn’t mean that the best applications are incapable of adding meaningful value…

No worries, my comments were not directed at you; I understood your intent and tone. :slightly_smiling_face:

I agree that apps can have a discernible impact and add value to what we do, thereby impacting our lives. That said, "life-changing" is an enormous feat for a piece of software. A car accident can change a life, a miracle drug can change a life, and marrying one’s life-long companion can change a life, but Obsidian, Notion, Spark, Tana? I’m not so sure. :slightly_smiling_face: But, as I said, I’m probably just being curmudgeonly. It’s been a long day. :slightly_smiling_face:


You may or may not be a curmudgeon, who knows. But your comment has probably been the best idea or notion I’ve read today and I’m grateful for that. Thanks!

Thanks, that is very kind. I now feel less curmudgeonly. :rofl:

Email as an overall genre is life changing. It resulted in huge shifts in how society functions

If Zoom and other videoconferencing apps had not been around during the pandemic it would have been life changing quite literally


Perhaps not for you …



@rkaplan @MevetS thanks for the excellent responses. I stand corrected. Both of those apps have changed lives. I should have not fallen into the error of absolutizing my statement.

Your responses exemplify why this forum is such a nice place to be and is so valuable. Thanks again for the correction.


I would have had a very different career—and thus a very different life—had it not been for Visicalc/Lotus 1-2-3/Excel.

It’s been argued that without spreadsheets the 80s M&A boom would never have happened. A lot of lives got changed because of that, for better and for worse.


Change the paradiggum!

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The web browser (and the Internet in general) I would classify as life changing. It replaced record stores, newspapers, magazines, book stores, etc. Lots of places like that where I would spend a good amount of time.

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I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone, I love this forum and respect every single member. So take my comment here with a grain of salt, but why the conversation shifted from discussing Tana to which apps are life changing. May be in scenarios like this we start a completely new thread and discuss this other idea or concept there? I am not sure. Anyways sorry if that came as inappropriate.


I see there’s some buzz about people moving from Obsidian to Tana, but this looks more like a take on Notion that’s outline-first, like Workflowy, and that has simpler view/report building that’s more query-like. Interesting.


A quote on the linked page:

This is proposing a new fundamental model for computing, a new mental model.

I’d say that statement applies more to apps like Muse than apps that use an outliner-based interface…

Adding onto this, I feel like jumping ship from Obsidian to this implies that Obsidian wasn’t the right tool for that user anyway. This app seems highly antithetical to most of Obsidian’s main selling points.


It really looks more aimed at Roam Research than Obsidian in my book. I’ll kick the tires on it, but web-based notes generally are not my thing.


True, but I was not speaking of technology per se, for example, the Internet. My reply was focused primarily on specific categories of apps, like Obsidian, etc. that said, I did overstate the case. :slightly_smiling_face: