Obsidian Plugins for Research

I have finally seen the light and discovered the joys of Obsidian! After using it for some personal research, I started using it as a research tool as I begin a PhD.
Does anyone have any top recommendations for plugins you couldn’t live without as an academic?

If you want to annotate and extract highlights from PDFs, PDF++ is worth a look. I used Zotero and there are good integrations:



We’d need quite a bit more info from you to recommend what’s appropriate to what sort of academic work you do. But perhaps my answer would always stay the same: keep it simple!

As an academic in the Humanities, I separate out file storage (DevonTHINK), reference management (Zotero), tasks (ToDoist), long form writing (Scriv), and note-taking (Obsidian). The latter is starting to change since my boundaries between note taking and first-drafting can be so permeable I am effectively writing a book now in Obsidian. I don’t rely on any plug-ins that are mission critical, but I do use some that make life a little easier.

  • Calendar (for my daily notes and checking in on my progress, so this has little relevance to research per se).
  • Dataview (I once was bored/procrastinating so I devised some elaborate tagging scheme for status of certain projects and notes (e.g. ‘evergreen’, ‘reading’, ‘queued’), and have created a few dashboards, but when I am in the weeds of a project, guess what, I just don’t refer to them and maintaining all the tags and statuses and so on is more bother than I’d thought.
  • Kanban (very helpful if you are a visual thinker and like the satisfaction of moving cards around, but it’s a planning tool, not a writing tool as such, I think: I only have 1 board, tracking the process of different writing projects from idea, writing, submission, proofs, publication).
  • Workspaces Plus (this one I use a lot actually: a nimbler way of loading and editing workspaces and their associated open files, tabs, views. The one saves me a lot of time jumping from ‘management view’ to ‘writing view’ and various chapters/sections that I have going on at the time.

I’d say: don’t start experimenting with cool plugins for problems you’ve never encountered. Don’t bloat Obsidian so it becomes a job in itself to maintain all your Dataview tables. I mean, you can do all these things, and it can be fun :wink:, but it will all have a negligible effect on the quality of your thinking.

As it’s often said: first design your system, then choose your tool accordingly.