Obsidian mobile is officially released

I’ve been using the mobile version for 6 weeks. Absolutely love it and the community around it. And I’ll be trying to teach a university level class with a shared vault this fall to teach digital note-taking.

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This sounds like a very interesting class!

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We’ll see! Very much building off efforts of others, including Dan Allosso’s efforts.. The trick, of course, is realizing that few (none?) of my students will have played with markdown before and will need some (considerable?) support setting things up. But the idea of building a class graph and exploring key debates in the discipline through careful notes should be interesting. Very much following a key principle of of Ahrens:
"To get a good paper written, you only have to rewrite a good draft; to get a good draft written, you only have to turn a series of notes into a continuous text. And as a series of notes is just the rearrangement of notes you already have in your slip-box, all you really have to do is have a pen in your hand when you read.” (Ahrens 2017:107)

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I’m not @Rob_Polding but Obsidian has also completely replaced DEVONThink for me although I’m still in the depths of moving stuff out of DT into Obsidian. I have thousands of items to move and it’s going as well as I expected but is still going to take me months to compelte the job.

All other file types are referenced with inline links, I’ve included PDF, JPG and PNG files so far and had no problems at all. The one potential gotcha is emails, which I had imported into an email archive in DT. I’m still trying out different formats to export them out of DT and not sure what I will end up using. I can get them out of DT and into Obsidian but I have lost in some formats the exact email address used and I’m not sure I like that restriction.

I am considering using Obsidian for Journaling, I’ve never used Day One. I usually journal on paper in a notebook. If I do move to digital it will all be in the same vault as everything else. At this point the only possible external vault will be my email archivne and mostly because of the size. If I can get ti all to work and still fit on my mobile devices once everything else ismoved over I’ll just add it in into a separate folder.

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I’m trying to set up the mobile sync, but for some reason the Obsidian folder in iOS Files shows up on the iPhone, iPad, and in the web version, but will just not show up on my Mac. Other files and folders I create on my Mac or in iOS sync, but not that one. Argh! Anyone have any ideas for fixing that?

So, after experimenting with DT, Craft, and Obsidian, I’ve decided that I was trying too hard to use a small toolbox for all of my tools

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when what I need is a large toolbox.

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So, here is where I believe I’ve landed because so many of the tools have their pros and cons.

  • Craft for all work and personal meeting, project, journal, and reference information. Craft is, in my opinion, better suited for this and easier to use for these purposes.
  • DT for file conversion, OCR–indexed folders only-no imports or native notes.
  • Obsidian for research related PKM

This way, I have a wrench, screwdriver, and hammer when needed and appropriate for the job at hand.

And, all three apps handle MD well so I have the best of all worlds.

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Interesting. Is it enabled in System Preferences → iCloud Drive → the Files and Folders tab?

I was able to get sync setup reliability on my iPhone, iPad and MBP without trouble but I had to follow exactly the instructions below. I suspect you are but I thought I’d pass this along anyway just in case it is helpful.

To setup a synced vault through iCloud Drive:

  1. Start the app and choose “Create a new vault”;
  2. Name it the same as your desktop vault to make inter-vault URIs work;
  3. Wait for iCloud to sync this empty folder to your desktop;
  4. Copy and paste everything under your vault to this empty folder, this will now be your synced folder location;
  5. On desktop, using the “Open another vault” option, point to the new vault location in iCloud;
  6. Wait for iCloud to sync everything to your mobile device.
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Loving Obsidian over DEVONthink / DTTG for PKM. Obsidian’s markdown editor and genera layout are SO MUCH BETTER :clap:. Makes DEVONthink look old and tired.

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This was the problem. This wasn’t happening.

But I was able to get it working. I figured out that the folder was there, but it was invisible. So I syncing of Desktop and Documents folders, then I went into iCloud Drive, did Cmd-shift-. to make invisible folders visible and when the test vault I’d created on the iOS app appeared, I did Cmd-shift-. again to toggle visibility and the Obsidian folder remained visible.

I’m not certain all those steps are required, but I just know it was working after I did them.

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How does Obsidian for web work? You can share notes online ?

I accidentally deleted my reply so here it is again!

I’m finding Obsidian a great Devonthink replacement.

I have the ‘all file type’ sync option enabled, on desktop and mobile, and use attachments in Obsidian and files in assets folders. I’ve mainly used PDFs and images so far.

It took a while to create notes for some of the files, but i did this in a few days. I can access them on mobile and desktop and all my attachments are in folders on my iCloud, which I much prefer to proprietary databases.

I had attachments in both Devonthink (imported) and Craft before and finding attachments became a chore. I’d often forget which app I’d put them in and had to deal with the apps to search and then export the attachments.

Now, I can use Alfred to search for and in files, and I find this much quicker. Having the notes as plain text files means I can also use apps and scripts to do quick batch processing, for example find and replace and renaming. I’ve used this a lot to prune and rename my notes and attachments.

The biggest benefit is the linking of all my notes and ideas in one place. I can see links between my notes, journal, daily notes, meetings and projects and it helps a lot. I’m finding this really helps in generating ideas and local graphs are really helping me with research and brainstorming.

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Obsidian is not a web-based service. Your data are in files in your Mac’s file system and/or in the iPhone or iPad’s local files. Obsidian can sync between the two. If you want to share information in Obsidian on the web, there is an optional, fee-based, add-on service Obsidian Publish. But, that is view-only.

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I was referring to the folder showing up in iCloud on the web, not Obsidian for the web. I don’t know how that works as I don’t use it.

Thanks, now got it going. As you say - not that obvious

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I have Obsidian desktop running fine with the O folder and vaults in iCloud. Now I just want to access that with my iPad.

I assume steps 1-3 are done with the iPad app.

How do I know when step 3 is finished? Is it syncing to my actual Desktop folder, or does this mean to somewhere on my desktop computer (iMac)?

Step 4: On the MAC with Finder? Or the iPad with the Files app? Copy and paste, not drag and drop?

By this point I’m so lost I don’t know what questions to ask next…

Thanks,
Russell

At this point (v1.0.3), the set up should be:

  • Install Obsidian on iOS/iPadOS from the App Store.
  • On your Mac, look for Obsidian’s iCloud Drive app container (an app-specific folder created in your iCloud Drive directory). It will have the Obsidian logo.
  • Drag and drop your Vault folder into the aforementioned iCloud Drive/Obsidian folder.
  • On iPhone/iCloud, wait for it to sync. This part can be a little tricky. Obsidian needs your entire folder structure available to work: it uses the contents of every file inside to drive its functions. Unfortunately, Apple’s a bit paternalistic about whether or not iCloud Drive files should be downloaded. So, you need to trigger the download by launching Obsidian and opening the vault. That might take a little while, especially if the vault is big, because Obsidian is forcing iCloud Drive to download all of the files inside it. While this is happening, you can actually check progress by going to the Files app and looking at the vault in iCloud Drive/Obsidian. If it seems to get stuck, you can relaunch Obsidian to give iCloud Drive some encouragement.

Aside: The most frustrating thing about this process is that it’s really a bunch of workarounds that address Apple’s insistence that iOS/iPadOS not be a real operating system. Far as I can tell, users on Android had a much easier time because the file system is designed to be a lot easier to work with in these kinds of situations…

Cross-posting this to your thread on the Obsidian forum.

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It looks like @ryanjamurphy posted before I did. He is far more expert than I so follow his advice if anything I have below contradicts his. @ryanjamurphy if I have a mistake please correct it. I don’t want to steer @rbanks88 in the wrong direction.


You are not alone in being confused. The explanation of how to setup sync is, to be kind, less than clear. In fact, there are several threads on the Obsidian forum asking the same questions. So, you are in good company. You may want to check those out.

First, you may find these two YouTube videos helpful. I encourage you to take the time to watch them carefully.

Second,

Follow the above posted directions given exactly. It is a strange way to setup sync but it does work.

Here are a couple of tips based on how I set my sync up, which is working perfectly.

  • Make sure your Obsidian vaults/folders are backed up
  • Create a NEW Folder on your Mac desktop with all of your Obsidian folders/files copied (not moved) to it. You will now have two identical Obsidian folders: your original and this new one.
  • On your Mac, delete the original folder to the trash, BUT JUST IN CASE, DON’T DELETE THE TRASH BIN, that way you can recover it if needed.
  • Now, go to your iPad and follow the directions. Once the new Obsidian vault in created on the iPad (I presume in iCloud—which is where I have mine), go to your Mac, copy all of the Obsidian folders/files you created new on your desktop and paste them into the NEW OBSIDIAN FOLDER you created on the iPad. Once this is done, you should have the Obsidian vaults/folders you want to use from this point forward.
  • Open Obsidian on the IPad and open the folder you created as a vault.
  • Create a test document on both the iPad and the Mac to make sure they sync.
  • If they sync, do a another backup then delete the folder on your desktop and feel free to empty your trash.
    Here is how this looks in iCloud and on both my IPad and MBP

ON THE IPAD as seen in iCloud:

ON THE MBP as seen in Obsidian:

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Thanks for the quick response. That got it working for me!

Best,
Russell

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Thanks for taking the time to respond. You helped me get it working now.

Best,
Russell

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