Keeping My Top 3 Tasks Top of Mind on Screen

Hi, all! I’m thinking this group might have some suggestions for me. I’ve gone deep on Obsidian, including using my daily note to track my weekly and daily priorities. I’ve dropped Todoist and do it all within Obsidian now.

I’ve reworked my computing workspace so that I have 2 stacked monitors. I’m using the top monitor as a place I glance up at when I’m trying to think of what to do next, plan the next few hours, etc. The right half of that monitor has my time blocks for the day displayed in Fantastical. On the left half of that monitor, I’d love to display either my projects dashboard from Obsidian or my daily note from Obsidian in view/presentation mode so that I can keep track of next tasks and remind myself of what’s important that day.

The trouble I’m running into is that I also keep Obsidian on my lower monitor, and it doesn’t support opening multiple windows. I need it on the lower monitor since that’s where I’m taking notes, creating content, etc.

I looked at some pretty esoteric ways to clone and mirror my main Obsidian vault to a 2nd vault and then open two instances/vaults in Obsidian to do this, but that seems like it could be pretty brittle, especially since I use Obsidian Sync and use Obsidian on my iPad and iPhone from time to time.

Going back to my original goal – I basically just want a window that I can position on half of my screen that contains text, my top priorities of that day. Ideally it would be something I could easily copy/paste into each morning as I set things up and that wouldn’t be distracting - just the bulleted list of my top items for the day. I could probably just use TextEdit for this, but I bet someone has come up with an amazing, elegant way to do this that would look better than TextEdit. Any suggestions?


One thing you could do is right-click the Daily Note and select Open in default app. I have Typora (free) set as my default app for .md files, so it opens the note.
Of course you don’t have Obsidian functionality, but you do have basic editing functions, and you can tick off check boxes for todo tasks.

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I know you want this to be on screen and elegant. But for 3 tasks/priorities, would a Post-It note stuck to the side of the top monitor work? So a workflow might be:

  • open Obsidian to get tasks
  • write down 3 priorities on Post-It
  • update Obsidian at end if day/work period

I’m aware this goes against BOTH requests (on screen and elegant) but writing them down also helps embed them in your mind. (and it’s kinda elegant in a perverse analog way! :wink:)

I feel a flat “NO!” is coming!

Okay, I’ll go back to my stone tablet now! :joy:

Bill (Mac Power User)


And also frees up screen real estate!
If you want to be fancy:


Thank y’all! I’ve already installed Typora (beautiful app) so I can try this out. I’m mobile on Wednesdays so I won’t get a chance to try it until Thursday, but then after experimenting with that, I think post it notes will be the next thing I try, and after that – well, I saw Analog when it launched, but didn’t buy it because I thought “I do everything digital now, why would I need that?” and now I have an excuse to try it out, so that’ll be my third experiment.

I’m open to further suggestions, but I’m going to try these three out in the meantime and report back what I find. :smile:


This probably doesn’t meet your stated requirements, but the mini-app Three Things Today might be worth taking a look at?


Never heard of Three Things Today, though it looks like it takes several thousand words to explain :slight_smile:

For top-tasks-o-the-day I use Due.

How do you keep it from driving you nuts with its repeated nagging?

I love this idea, but it’s so buggy, sadly. Entering a task especially behaves strangely and that’s something that needs to be low friction. I hope he’ll find time for a revision. It’s also (I think) missing a compact view and an always-on-top view, though the latter can be forced with Helium.

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Oh yeah, it’s totally a personal passion project. I keep hoping for a few updates as well, but so far, no luck!

I usually give actions in Due a day and time, and if that arrives and I am not going to be ready for a while, I use the Due shortcuts to postpone it.

What’s “Helium”? Sounds interesting.

How about a screenshot of your Obsidian projects dashboard or daily note for the top screen?

Helium is a neat little utility that keeps a window always-on-top, but unfortunately, I forgot that it only supports in-browser content (web apps, video, etc.) So it wouldn’t work for Three Things Today. It should do okay showing a mobile view of a note or task web app, though. ‎Helium on the Mac App Store

Stickies comes to mind.


Wow, I forgot existed after all these years. I’m a little nervous I’ll cover the entire monitor with random Stickies now :smile: but that’s an interesting idea if I want to put a few different things up at the same time as well.

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If you are that invested in Obsidian and don’t want to break your workflow maybe it would be possible to use Parallels to have a second instance running in Parallels’ coherence mode on the virtualized Windows, but pointing to the same directory your .md files are in than :thinking:

It has a bunch of color and style options so you can go wild!

I forgot all about Stickies myself. What a cool lil app that can get out of control very easily!

I’d forgotten too and I just started using them a few weeks ago for my morning and evening routines. But then I thought, “Well, that’d be good if you could make them remain on top (visible) all the time but if other open apps are going to hide them, then you have to remember to look for them at various times during the day …”

You see where I’m going with this? :wink:

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