708: The Obsidian Field Guide


I’m scared to listen to this!


Out of idle curiosity… why exactly?

Having tried Obsidian several times only to abandon it; I don’t want to be tempted to go down that rabbit hole again. :slightly_smiling_face:


Same - I just moved back out of Obsidian because I spent all my time tinkering instead of note taking, and I know this will suck me back in, I had to skip it!


I’m on board for the Plus edition of the Obsidian Field Guide and can’t wait to see what extra content lands! Not sure who is on the roster, but hopefully Nick Milo and @mikeschmitz offer up some wisdom?

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I’ve taken a somewhat different approach. I’ve also dabbled in Obsidian since it was released.

The field guide has given me an opportunity to really see what’s under the hood without tinkering. The one thing I’ve done which the field guide encourages is not to make it one app to rule them all. I’ve transferred all my notes into Obsidian and set up a few plugins as per the field guide. Took me maybe 40 min. I know what it’s capable of and how to do what I need so am working not tinkering. Any time I need to do something, I know how to do it—zero tinkering. I have made a decision not to move my tasks into obsidian and so for me it’s a note taking environment.

My value of Obsidian over Craft and Bear is that my notes sync with zero knowledge encryption. I deal with sensitive data so this is important to me.


My experience is similar.

David’s videos helped me stop trying to overachieve with Obsidian because they helped me get the basics right.

A genuine game-changer for me.


This is also the approach I’m following. It seems to me that Obsidian is the Emacs of note-taking apps, and I’ve declared emacs bankruptcy quite a few times over the years. So I decided to be productive with one particular Obsidian capability and let that sink in before adding stuff like calendar & task management, databases and advanced integrations.


@svsmailus @Clarke_Ching You are not helping. :rofl:

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I did end up going all in on Obsidian, effectively removing many other apps from my workflows; project management, tasks, checklists, notes and long form writing being my top uses. But I did it over the course of a year, one piece at a time.

I’m looking forward to seeing how someone else uses Obsidian and where I can fine tune my own workflows that fit me.

My latest really cool discovery is that there is now a LIbreOffice app for iOS and iPad os that allows me to store .odt and .ods files in Obsidian. It’s called Collabora. I can click on the links in Obsidian and on Mac LibreOffice opens up but on mobile it opens in Collabora and they are compatible. Just starting to explore how to use that to my advantage.

I’m hoping to dive into the Field Guide sometime after 14 Sept. Got a major demo of AnimalTrakker tomorrow, then 2 grant applications and several magazine articles to finish before the 14th. So no time to play with new stuff. It’s going tobe a treat when I get to it. :grinning:


Notwithstanding my fear of falling into the Obsidian and app-switching rabbit hole, I decided to listen to the podcast on Obsidian. After listening, I’m not tempted to retry Obsidian.

Having taken two deep dives into Obsidian, there was nothing in this episode that enticed me to give it another try. While I’m confident I would learn new things about using Obsidian from the field guide (David’s field guides are some of the best tech instruction resources available anywhere), the limitations of Obsidian, especially on mobile, and the clunky way it handles non-text files remain.

Obsidian is a phenomenal app, but it is not for me. As long as I have a method to quickly and reliability, and in bulk, get my stuff out of proprietary apps (e.g., importing Apple Notes into DT for archiving), I prefer the feature richness and ease of use of native apps custom-built for their intended purpose.

So, onward with my work using my existing workflow and apps. :slightly_smiling_face:

Resistance is not futile, after all.


I’m thinking of going the other way, and embracing Apple Notes over Obsidian for simplicity, and because I’m very iPad forward in my use - at work I’m 100% OneNote for security and data privacy reasons.


I use an encrypted Obsidian vault for journaling. I thought it might be interesting to link topics and concerns to their eventual conclusions down the road. Overall it’s going well but it is a bit messy. I’m tempted to get David’s course to get a new perspective and apply it to mine.

I’m watching the sample video, which looks good.

I was tickled to see Ahsoka wander through the frame in the intro. :+1:

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I’ve been using Obsidian daily for 2 years now. Is there anything in the Field Guide for someone who has a lot of experience with the app?

My thoughts exactly!

Similar thoughts here. I got the field guide and it’s a good refresher of the basics for me. Overall, it is beginner friendly so you may see more of what you know and some of what you did not or forgot. If you like David’s work, it is worth the price IMO. David mentioned additional content for the higher tier coming this month, and I am looking forward to it.

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Same here. More than understanding how to use features, I think watching workflow videos to see how other people are using Obsidian would be helpful.

Ha ha, I’m not sure what this means, but I love it. It’s been a wile since I used emacs.

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I’ve been using Obsidian perhaps longer than you, and I’m finding the Field Guide valuable. It gives me a springboard to think about improving my daily Obsidian usage.

For example, @macsparky is using Properties, which I haven’t incorporated into my daily workflow. He has a property for project status. That got me thinking, not for the first time, that the overwhelming majority of content in my vault relates to completed projects, and that I should think about a way to surface active projects. And that led me to bookmarks–another Obsidian feature that I had not been using.

Folks who are already experienced Obsidian users might want to browse the Field Guide, rather than watching it sequentially. I jumped straight to the Project Management chapter, because that is my primary use for Obsidian and it’s not one I see much discussed on the message boards and blogs.