A Template for Daily Notes

Sometimes people in the Discord ask for templates, and after my live notetaking session with Nick Milo a couple of people reached out privately with questions & asked me to expand on how I use obsidian for project / task management and habit tracking.

I figure it might ever come up again, so in the interests of having somewhere handy to link to, I wanted to put it all together here. To be clear, I am not doing anything particularly complex, but I think there’s value in showing how to not go more complicated than you need. Some people use stuff like dataview and or the GTD plugin for complex task management and habit trackers and I totally recommend that if you need something that complex.

I don’t, though, so my daily notes template looks like this:

# {{date}}

![[Tasking#Priority Tasking]]

## Minor Tasking

## Reading Log

## Accomplishments 

## Gratitude

## Health

(note, I pasted my tasking file outline below)

Throughout the day I might add things like:

  • Walked 3 miles on the treadmill (under Health)
  • Had some weird chest pains (under Health)
  • Needed a nap around 3 (under Health)
  • [ ] respond to Jack’s email (under Minor Tasking)
  • [ ] double-check with Josie about [[thing]] (under Minor Tasking)
  • Read article about thing which taught me this major takeaway and might be useful for [[something]]. (Reading Log)
  • Got done [[article]] for [[market]] (Accomplishments)
  • edited [[story]] based on [[edit letter]]. (Accomplishments)

“Minor Tasking” are basically notes-to-self for little things that I know I need to do but I’m on mobile so I can’t do them, or if I sit down at my computer and I know I have four things I want to accomplish that night. Anything more complicated or that I expect to be a “project” goes directly into my Tasking file.

At the end of each month I use this CLI javascript that I wrote (I’m working on turning it into a plugin!) to concatenate all of the subheadings into one file, so for example my daily notes will become a “January Reading Log” or “February Health” list and then I go through and review it, re-organizing the information, looking for trends, reflecting on what habits I managed to keep up with, etc… and making sure I didn’t forget anything important. The reading log then becomes something like this: Reading Roundup: Edible Entrails & Self-Fermenting Wine » Eleanor Konik (see also: how I integrate my reading log into my full knowledge management workflow) and any trends about my health get added to a relevant file in my 20/26 Medical folder.

Anywho, hope this helps someone!

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I saw that you had links to the previous and next day in the header. Do you add those manually? How could one do that automatically (without a plugin?)?

Thank you for the post!

2 Likes

Ah, another moment where Obsidian’s incredible speed of development impacts workflows…

I had that set up to aid in navigation on mobile and I used the Templater plugin to basically do:

[[{{Yesterday}}|<]] | {{tp_date}} | [[{{Tomorrow}}|>]]

But Templater didn’t (still doesn’t) work on mobile. Then I found out Calendar does work on mobile, so once mobile testing stabilized I started mostly using it, and since I often create my daily note on mobile first thing when I wake up and am thinking about my day, having a template that didn’t work was annoying, so I swapped back to just {{date}}

And I think literally yesterday @liam updated Calendar to work with the {{date+1}} style syntax, so I’ll probably update it to that again later because I do find being able to navigate without the side panel helpful.

To do it manually you would just use aliases, as above.

4 Likes

Great, thanks. Did you mean calendar was updated to support date + 1 or periodic notes? :face_with_monocle:

Calendar 1.5.8 added support for calculating the date. Examples:

{{yesterday}}
{{tomorrow}}
{{date-1d:YYYY-MM-DD}} // yesterday
{{date+2d:YYYY-MM-DD}} // in two days
{{date+1M:YYYY-MM-DD}} // next month
{{date+10y:YYYY-MM-DD}} // in 10 years
{{date +7d}} // use default format
2 Likes

Awesome! I tried this just a few days ago and thought “too bad this doesn’t work.” Gotta keep up with all the releases :flushed:

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Incidentally, because two people have asked, My “tasking” file is pretty straightforward, it’s just:

Priority Tasking

  • [ ] tasks

No Due Date

  • [ ] tasks

Outstanding Tasks

Prose

  • [ ] tasks

PKM

  • [ ] tasks

Coding

  • [ ] tasks

Computer Stuff

  • [ ] tasks

I add or remove sections as needed.