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Tips on starting with Obsidian

Obsidian recently reached it's 1.0 version, and it's been one of the best apps I've started using. If you haven't heard of it, it's basically just a cool note-taking app. Check their website, it explains the features much better than I could.

However, it can be a bit overwhelming to start using it with all its features – backlinks, tags, plugins, daily notes etc. Here are some tips I'd give myself if I could send messages to the past.

Don't install any plugins

Only start installing plugins as you need them. Obsidian is powerful as it is, you don't need to go all hipster mode with the newest plugins straight away.

No folders = freedom

Don't waste your time with file structure. Having no folders at all means you don't have to think about in which directory you create your notes. Just create them and use the search shortcut ⌘ + o!

If you have 2 posts related to each other, you can connect them with a [[backlink]]. If you have multiple related posts, you can, for example, create a hub page and list your related pages here.

The folderless system can feel messy at first, but in my opinion this is the best part of Obsidian. Also worth pointing out that you can create folders and a classic tree-style structure if that's what you want.

My blog posts note, and notes connected to it via a backlink I have [[Posts]] note, which includes backlinks to all my blog post notes (drafts & complete)

At first I was confused when I should use [[backlinks]] and when I should use #tags. If you're not sure, I'd say just use [[backlinks]], until you see a reason to use #tags. Personally, I don't usually bother with #tags. Less is more.

Use WYSIWYG

Obsidian has a fantastic WYSIWYG editor, it'd be a crime not to use it.

Write & forget

Not every note has to be clean & polished. If you have some thoughts, just make a new note and write what comes to your mind. Probably 70% of my notes are like this, dead notes which I've never visited after first writing them. That's okay, Obsidian is your second brain, not Wikipedia.

TLDR

Start with the defaults, learn Obsidian and add only what you need. You will develop your own system over time, just like with everything.


#productivity #obsidian

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