Change to Obsidian - Am i overcomplicating things?

I read a lot in the forums and on the Discord. I’m hesitant to jump over to Obsidian and the reason is that the tools is meant for something grater then my work notes that a pretty basic. I only write in bullets and (I don’t want outliner) and saving some PDFs Excels and Word files time to time.

I have my own business whit 15 employees, all my notes are in Evernote. HR Notes, Marketing plans, notes and files from sales department etc… I know Evernote and to be fair it’s a perfect app. On paper, it can do it all. The latest update (v10) made the app sluggish. So sluggish that I’m not using it as i used to because sluggishness enjoys me and i don’t have any patience. I do share notes from times to times with the personnel

I have been trying Notion. Well… it’s even slower than Evernote. I tried Craft, they have a perfect iPad app and I love it! But… they don’t have a windows client and I use iOS together with Windows. Their Windows client is still in beta. I’m on windows 90% of the time and don’t want to rely on the website.

So…i found Obisidan. It’s a high learning curve! I think I have learned to use it like a pro, sort of. I played with the app for a couple of months and install a bunch plugins that I like and need.

The issue is, when i read on the forums like Mac Power users, Obisidan Forum, and Discord. It feels like I’m using Obsidian wrong. It feels like almost everyone works as a researcher or a writer, studies. I don’t take books notes or save highlights from Kindle or read wise. I don’t take atomic notes, I don’t use Zettlekasten.
Am I using a tool that is meant for something else? Somethings greater? Am i using a scalpel to cut my meat instead of knife? Formula 1 car on a street race?

Am I overcomplicating things by using Obisidan?

I may be the worst person to respond to your question but I just posted this.

In addition to what I shared in that post, I’m also experimenting with using Obsidian for all of my work related notes and projects. Here is a screenshot of what I’ve been working on while I have some free time on my hands.

I believe Obsidian is flexible enough for project/meeting type notes as well as research/writing. I happen to do both because both are intrinsic to my job as the head of a private school.

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Now I’m laughing at myself! I had a typo on “academics”. :slight_smile: I had not noticed it until I took that screenshot. Needless to say, it is now corrected. :slight_smile:


The thing about “tools” like Obsidian and the others you mentioned it that they are not “meant” to be anything other than what you want them to be. If you want to do bulleted lists in Obsidian then go for it.

Do you “feel like you’re using Obsidian wrong” because some of the users whose accounts you read in the forums are hyped by their complex “workflows” and “productivity” to the point it sounds like they’ve discovered perpetual motion inside Obsidian? Ignore that. You’re doing just fine if you’re comfortable with what you doing.

A hammer is just a hammer.


My work based notebook is mainly bulleted pointed lists, as it’s normally my notes from a meeting that I attended. Yes, there are some baclinks, as I’ll link back to the people that were in the meeting and a daily note, so that I can see what I did on a day, but in terms of Obsidian that’s fairly tame when you see what people are doing - however, it still does that perfectly well.

I also use it as a daily journal - that only makes use of the Daily Note feature and I write my thoughts etc for the day - Obsidian is being used as a slightly improved markdown editor in that instance (I could recreate the job just by creating a new file each day).

In my mind, it’s as simple as you need it to be and as complex as you want it to be.


There’s certainly a primary group of people who use Obsidian (researchers and writers). But, Obsidian is the type of all purpose tool that allows it to functional well in many contexts. It will really be a see for your use case if it will work!

It’s also possible it does work, but has downsides that make it not worth it.

As a happy Obsidian user for casual notes, I say give it a shot!


If you are writing only on Bullets then RoamResearch is a better option. I have used both Roam Research and Obsidian and there are benefits to each of them. Linking to specific Bullets is possible in Roam which is a bigger advantage.

But again Obsidian can also be used

I can and do use Obsidian for complex workflows. I also have plenty of things in there that are just a “brain dump” of information about a thing, which I aspire to go back and massage into something that hopefully someone else could understand.

At the end of the day, Obsidian is a Markdown editor on top of a folder. What you do with it is entirely up to you. If you want KanBan and atomic notes, you can do that. If you want a folder of files and to just write, you can do that too!


You can put me down as another user who is NOT using Obsidian for zettelkasten, atomic notes, or any of that folderol. I tried it for a while, but it didn’t stick. However, I stayed with Obsidian, which I like because:

  • It’s very nice Markdown editor.
  • I can throw any kind of document into an Obsidian folder (obsidian calls that folder a “vault”) and link to that document from a Markdown document. I use that capability for Microsoft Word documents with great frequency.
  • From there, I build an index document for each project I’m working on, with links to each document in the project — these documents are a mix of Markdown, Office, audio, and video files. Also contained in the index are notes on the status of the project.
  • And I also make daily notes of things I’ve done and important events of the day.

When you delve into the Obsidian community (or Roam Research), you’ll find a lot of passionate enthusiasts who want to use the tool for EVERYTHING, and they greatly enjoy customizing it the tool to the max.

You don’t have to be a passionate Obsidian enthusiast to get value from it.

However, Obsidian can be difficult to get started using, and there aren’t many “getting started” resources that are NOT aimed at those passionate enthusiasts. I think this is a good one:


This was very helpful. I trad through the article and then went through everyone of my vaults and added some plug-ins and set some of the options as suggested. Thanks for passing this along.

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I love the Kanban feature. That and the Mindmap. Its chefs kiss-good

In Evernote i have a dedicated notebook where I keep my Daily Notes. What I find extremely cumbersome is that I need to manually copy the link to my other notes and paste it into my Daily Note for references. That’s also the main reason I started to look for other services.

You nailed it! (You see what i did here? :slight_smile:)

what obstacles have you encountered using Obsidian that you overcome?

So you put all your files into Obisidan and then [[filename]] all the files into a note and then you add context to the files into the note? That’s a really good use case!

This is great Mitch!

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I may not be understanding your question but other than learning the program and about useful plug-ins, I have not encountered any particular obstacles. That may be because I’m not trying to force Obsidian to be a Swiss Army Knife application. I am using it exclusively for text-based work. As I wrote here, my objective is to have all of my text-based work in plain text files and out of proprietary formats. I believe this has multiple advantages and is worth the work involved in the transition. One of those advantages is the ability to use any application I desire that can read/write with plain text.

If I’ve not answering your question please clarify and I’ll try again. :slight_smile:

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The best thing about Obsidian is you don’t have to worry about how you set it up, because it evolves with you. At any point, if your general note-taking style or simply the task at hand would benefit from a different UI layout, you can rearrange the UI completely. At any point, if you want a different data structure, you can move all your notes around, and Obsidian will automagically rewrite your backlinks. Don’t worry about it and just keep brain dumping into it. A structure that makes sense to you will emerge over time.

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That’s essentially it. I write marketing copy, and the articles that I write will go through several iterations of editing and review after I’m done with them. They’ll come back named with a corporate standard nomenclature that doesn’t mean anything to me. So I can just drop the file into the appropriate project index note, and then add an explanation next to the link: Reviewed by legal at such and such date, or whatever.

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This is great. I’m learning some much from your all. Thanks @Rob_Polding @Bmosbacker @MitchWagner and countless others !

Can you share a screen shot or a mini walkthrough of how you do the index document? I’ve done these in Devonthink and Evernote so I’m wondering if this is a similar process.

It’s just a list of documents with links, organized however seems to make sense. Nothing pretty.

Lately I’m doing them in outline format, dated, newest entry first. Status updates, without links, are plain text. Lines with links to documents are tagged #assets, so they are searchable and pop out when I’m scanning by eye.

Most of the time I find documents using search, often for unusual text in the document. For example, today I needed a document containing the unusual name “Seth.”

All private so I’m not comfortable sharing screenshots.


That helps - thanks!