The Top 5 Best Obsidian Themes for Obsidian Note Taking and Productivity

The Top 5 Best Obsidian Themes for Obsidian Note Taking and Productivity

If you're using Obsidian for note taking and knowledge management, choosing the right theme can make your workflow much more enjoyable and productive. The default Obsidian theme is very basic - so let's look at some of the best custom themes created by the Obsidian community.

Why Use Custom Themes in Obsidian?

Obsidian's core functionality is excellent right out of the box. But custom CSS themes let you tailor the look and feel of your Obsidian vault. With themes, you can:

  • Make Obsidian cleaner and more minimalist
  • Optimize dark mode for a distraction-free writing experience
  • Add visual flair with new icons, fonts, and color schemes
  • Match the style to your personal tastes
  • Boost your workflow and productivity within Obsidian

Themes are easy to browse, download, and install. And with the right plugin, you can even switch between themes on the fly. Let's look at some of the best.

The TOP 5 best Obsidian themes are:

  1. Minimal: Minimal is the most popular Obsidian theme, with almost half a million downloads. The reason why we love this theme is because it offers a clean and sleek design, making it easy on the eyes. The theme provides great readability and a distraction-free writing experience. Minimal can be downloaded from its GitHub page.
  2. Things: Things is a minimalist theme inspired by Cultured Code. It offers a simple and elegant design, with a focus on functionality. The theme provides a pleasant and organized look, making it easy to navigate through your notes. Things can be found on the Obsidian MD Forum, Reddit, or GitHub.
  3. Primary: Primary is another minimalist theme for Obsidian MD. It features a clean and minimalistic design with a focus on simplicity. The theme offers a pleasant and distraction-free writing environment. Primary can be downloaded from its respective GitHub page.
  4. Red Graphite: Red Graphite is a theme inspired by the color red and graphite textures. It provides a unique and visually appealing look to your Obsidian MD app. The theme offers customization options to personalize your experience. Red Graphite can be found on the Obsidian MD Forum, Reddit, or GitHub.
  5. Notation: Notation is a minimalist theme for Obsidian MD. It offers a simple and clean design with a focus on readability. The theme provides a pleasant and distraction-free writing experience. Notation can be downloaded from its respective GitHub page.

Each theme has its own pros and cons, and the best choice depends on individual preferences. It is recommended to try out different themes to find the one that suits your needs and aesthetic preferences.

Minimal Theme

If you like clean aesthetics, the Minimal theme by kepano is a great choice. As the name suggests, it removes interface clutter for a super-clean look.

Key Features:

  • Very minimalist and distraction-free
  • Cool monospaced font
  • Thin sidebar for max text space
  • Clean headers and pane layout

Blue Topaz

Blue Topaz offers a professional business-like aesthetic. The cool blue color scheme is easy on the eyes.

Key Features:

  • Crisp blue color palette
  • Modern, professional look
  • Clean fonts and spacing
  • Distraction-free dark mode

Yin and Yang

Inspired by the Japanese concept, this two-tone theme has a calm earthy aesthetic. The bold colors pair nicely in light and dark modes.

Key Features:

  • Soothing yin yang color tones
  • Clean balance of text and negative space
  • Unique folder icon style
  • Bright and dim modes included

Cultured Code

If you like the look of iOS app Bear Notes, this theme brings that vibe to Obsidian. The off-white background is great for long writing sessions.

Key Features:

  • Warm ivory color palette
  • Simple, focused writing space
  • Similar layout to Bear Notes iOS app
  • Clean literary theme

Obsidian CSS Themes

This plugin adds an in-app theme browser to select from popular community themes. It's a quick way to preview and switch themes.

Key Features:

  • Browse themes within Obsidian
  • Preview themes before installing
  • Quickly toggle between installed themes
  • Discover new themes from the community

Obsidian themes setting for developers and geeks

As fans of Obsidian and markdown notes, developers and geek using Obsidian very often, you may want to customize the theme and use plugins to enhance your experience. Here are some tips on what kind of settings and plugins you can use:


Theme: Obsidian has a default theme, but you can customize it to your liking. You can use a pre-built theme created by the community or create your own theme. You can change the theme by going to Settings > Appearance > Themes. You can also adjust the theme by using CSS snippets. For example, you can adjust the font size, line height, and colors of the theme.


Obsidian has a wide range of plugins that can help you with your workflow. Some popular plugins for developers include:

  - CodeMirror: A plugin that provides syntax highlighting and other features for code blocks.
  - Obsidian Git: A plugin that integrates Obsidian with Git, allowing you to version control your notes.
  - Obsidian Charts: A plugin that allows you to create charts and graphs in your notes.
  - Obsidian Code Editor: A plugin that provides a more advanced code editor for code blocks.
  - Obsidian Style Settings: A plugin that allows you to adjust the theme, plugin, and snippet CSS variables within Obsidian.

To use the Obsidian Style Settings plugin, you can add comments to your CSS files beginning with `/* @settings`. These comments must contain YAML with name, id, and settings properties. Style Settings will scan all CSS loaded by Obsidian for these comments. You can then see all the tweakable settings in one settings pane.

You can also use the Plugin Settings feature in Obsidian to customize the settings of your plugins. This feature allows you to adjust the settings of your plugins without leaving Obsidian. To access the Plugin Settings, go to Settings > Community Plugins and click on the gear icon next to the plugin you want to adjust.

Overall, Obsidian provides a lot of customization options for developers. You can adjust the theme, use CSS snippets, and install plugins to enhance your workflow.

How to install Obsidian themes: the step-by-step guide

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install a theme in Obsidian:

1. Open Obsidian and click on the gear icon in the left sidebar to access the Settings.
2. In the Settings window, click on the Appearance tab.
3. Under the Appearance tab, scroll down to the Themes section.
4. To install a new theme, click on the Manage button next to Themes.
5. A list of installed themes will appear. To install a new theme, click on the Browse for community themes button.
6. This will open a gallery of community themes that you can filter by name or by theme type (i.e. show only dark themes).
7. Click on a screenshot for a theme to preview it. When you’re ready to install, click Use to apply the theme to your Obsidian app.
8. The theme is applied instantly and Obsidian is reloaded based on the new theme.

Alternatively, you can also install a theme manually by downloading the obsidian.css file and placing it in your vault root folder. Then, turn on "Custom CSS" in the Plugins section of the Settings and restart Obsidian.

Overall, installing a theme in Obsidian is a simple process that can be done through the Settings window. You can also install a theme manually by downloading the obsidian.css file and placing it in your vault root folder.

How to Customize Obsidian Themes with CSS: Step-by-Step Guide with Examples

Customizing Obsidian themes using CSS is a great way to personalize your note-taking experience. Here's a step-by-step guide with examples to help you get started:

  1. Enable custom CSS: First, enable custom CSS in Obsidian by going to Settings > Appearance and checking the "Custom CSS" option[1].
  2. Create a CSS snippet: Instead of directly modifying the theme's CSS file, create a new CSS snippet in your vault. To do this, create a new file called <snippet-name>.css in the .obsidian/snippets folder[2].
  3. Inspect elements: Use the built-in developer tools in Obsidian to inspect elements and identify the CSS classes and IDs you need to modify. Press Ctrl+Shift+I (or Cmd+Shift+I on macOS) to open the developer tools[11].
  4. Modify CSS: Add your custom CSS code to the snippet file you created in step 2. Here's an example of how to change the font size and color of headings: h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 { font-size: 24px; color: #ff6347; }
  5. Activate the snippet: Go to Settings > Appearance > CSS snippets and enable the snippet you created by toggling it on[2].
  6. Test your changes: After making changes to your CSS, test the results in Obsidian to ensure they have the desired effect. If something doesn't look right, you can disable the snippet or modify the CSS code.
  7. Experiment with more customizations: Explore other CSS snippets shared by the Obsidian community[2][8] or inspect elements in the developer tools to find more elements to customize.

Remember to be patient and take the time to learn the ins and outs of Obsidian's CSS structure, as this will make the customization process smoother and more enjoyable.

Customize the Obsidian theme using CSS

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to customize the Obsidian theme using CSS:

1. Enable Custom CSS in Obsidian

  • Goal: Ensure Obsidian can read your custom CSS and overwrite its default style.
  • Steps:
    1. Click on Settings at the bottom right of your Obsidian page to open the Settings page.
    2. Navigate to Appearance.
    3. Check the option “Apply CSS snippet” (this will point Obsidian to the CSS file in your vault’s root directory so it can read and apply your custom CSS code).

2. Create a New "obsidian.css" File

  • Goal: Set up a file where you'll write your custom CSS.
  • Steps:
    1. In Obsidian's Settings page, click on the folder icon next to “CSS snippets” to open your snippets folder.
    2. This folder is located in your vault’s .obsidian directory. It's hidden by default because of the “.” prefix. You'll need to access it using a file explorer.
    3. Once inside the snippets folder, create a new text document named “Text Document.txt”.
    4. Rename this file to “obsidian.css”. If you get a file extension warning, simply confirm by clicking “yes”.

3. Customize Your CSS

  • Goal: Modify the appearance of Obsidian using custom CSS.
  • Steps:
    1. Use Obsidian’s DevTool to help you identify elements and styles.
    2. Write your custom CSS code in the obsidian.css file you created.
    3. Save the file, and Obsidian will automatically apply the changes.

Key Takeaways and Recommendations

Custom CSS themes are a great way to tailor Obsidian's look to your exact preferences. Themes can provide visual inspiration and help build productive workflows for writing, note-taking and knowledge management.

For a clean minimal look, Minimal Theme is a top choice. Blue Topaz gives a more professional business feel. Yin and Yang offers a unique calm earthy aesthetic. The Cultured Code theme will appeal to Bear Notes users. And the Obsidian CSS Themes plugin lets you browse and switch themes easily.

With the amazing custom themes created by the Obsidian community, you can fine-tune your setup for long-term productivity. Find themes that please your eye and inspire you to keep using Obsidian every day.

Read More: Top 5 Best Obsidian Themes