Moving from Notion to Obsidian

TL:DR | Here is a quick post to help you on your migration. Perhaps it will give you a better understanding of the tools. It isn't an easy task, but certainly not impossible.

6 min read
Moving from Notion to Obsidian

Hello, come one, come all! I am making this post for a few reasons, but I figured the biggest one is because I had trouble too.

Now Notion is more of a project management tool, and Obsidian is more of a note taking tool. However both can cross over into the other. Notion can be used for notes, and Obsidian can be upgraded with plugins.

I wanted to move to Obsidian from Notion, after being a power user for YEARS. It is a big task, and I'm not sure if I'll fully move over. The databases are really powerful, and I also don't want private information (like with clients) on my local system.

Meaning I'll still probably use both for the meantime, and you probably should too. However if you want to move the bulk of your operations and notes to Obsidian, here is how to do it, and what to use.

Do note that I am still figuring out the database situations, as even with plugins it isn't as simple as drag and drop.

First get it all set up!

How you structure your information architecture is key to making this trip easy.

I thought you could just export the notion, and then import it using the provided features (such as making a vault out of the export folder). However with the system I had, that didn't really work at all.

What I did instead was keep the basic structure, which for me was the PolyInnovation Operating System.

PolyInnovator | Personal PolyInnovation System
The PIOS, or PolyInnovation Operating System, is a multi-faceted approach to life and lifelong learning. Creating a plan on all the layers of abstraction to your life, and cultivating INPUT as well as OUTPUT.

This is how I have my notion setup, and thus I felt that it would work here too. Considering the folder structure it actually ended up being really good this way.

From there I had to delete many pages, some untitled from the move, and others just were duplicates made from links.

As I did try to import my Notion export. The other really crappy thing is that every notion page has a 32 digit file name at the end of your personally made title. Creating a nasty name string, that you have to delete for every page. Now there are tools to make it easier, but I couldn't really get it to work right. Alas here it is if you want to try.

ReNamer « Downloading «

Be ready to fail

Depending on the size of your notion setup, this could be a big process. I sound a bit negative in this post already, and that is because I'm going to have to do a lot of this manually.

I tried using one of the scripts someone made, but I couldn't get python to read it when I ran the script.

GitHub - connertennery/Notion-to-Obsidian-Converter: Converts exported Notion notes to work with Obsidian.
Converts exported Notion notes to work with Obsidian. - GitHub - connertennery/Notion-to-Obsidian-Converter: Converts exported Notion notes to work with Obsidian.

I ended up deleting my databases (in obsidian), which included a ton of folders and notes. This is because I want to reimport them later as databases, once I chose the right plugin to make it work.

It may not be as robust as notion, but I can make it work for me.

This post is to get you thinking, and to give you the tools

All of the other content pieces out there just say oh it isn't that hard to move, or that you should do it no matter what. I think they had very simple systems in place, but for a power user like me (and perhaps you) this isn't the case.

Honestly, despite the challenge I think it is going to be a really good idea. The fact that it is local means you can combine your folder structure for your regular pc use, and your second brain. Cutting out the need for doing things twice.

I also had the great idea of implementing the AutoGPT localized version, trained on my own content/notes, but that is something for another day.

The PolyInnovation AutoGPT - PIOSgpt
Creating your own second brain is already a big task sometimes, but to be able to have an AI interact with it?? Obsidian and AutoGPT working in unison.

Here are the plugins I am using.

path title
Calendar Plugin
DB folder
icon folder

Here are the plugins I'm considering:
fantasy calendar as well for content creation
drivesync !!


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