Adapting August Bradley's "LifeOS"-system for Obsidian?

Hello, I stumbled upon Obsidian few days ago, and it seems very appealing application. But I’m already using August Bradley’s “LifeOS”-with Notion, and I’m wondering if it could be adapted to Obsidian. I find the idea of locally stored text-files to be an appealing proposition, compared to nebulous proprietary database running in the cloud. And Notion is a bit sluggish at times.

For overview of August Bradley’s system (there are tons of other videos dealing with individual aspects as well): Intro & Overview of Pillars, Pipelines & Vaults – Notion Life Operating System - YouTube

Now, as that system is built around features of Notion, it’s unreasonable to expect completely different application with different goals and philosophy to fit it 100%. But I wonder if core features could be implemented. Maybe not perfectly, but well enough.

For example: I use Notion for task-management. Each day I check my tasks, and the tasks are connected to projects (not all, as there are standalone tasks), and projects are then connected to one or more longer-term life goals.

Another example: I use Notion for personal daily tracking, like weight and amount of sleep. That data is fed in to weekly tracking, which calculates average for the week, which is then fed in to monthly tracking. And so forth. This makes it easy to track trends in the data.

And I have my notes and knowledge, which can be linked to tasks, projects and life goals.

Some might be asking “Obsidian is designed for knowledge-management, why would you want to use it for task-management?”. That’s a reasonable question. Reason is that “Knowledge”, “tasks”, “goals” and “personal tracking” are in many ways interlinked and in some ways, the same. So if I wanted to use Obsidian to manage my knowledge (something Obsidian excels at), I would still like to connect that knowledge to other aspects of my life (like tasks, goals and personal tracking).

Notion doesn’t really excel at any individual thing. There are way better task-management apps out there (like Things or Omnifocus, for example), and there are way better apps for notes/knowledge out there (like Obsidian, duh!). But its advantage is that it can combine all of those so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

I know that Obsidian supports transclusion (quoting parts of other notes), so that could be used to move entries from daily notes to a weekly note, and I could always calculate averages by hand. But how far can this be taken? If I had a “weekly note”, would I have to bring the data from “daily notes” of the week in manually (either typing them in or using transclusion)?

Has anybody tried to do something like this? I know there are people out there using Obsidian for their task-management, but I was wondering if people are using it for their “life management”.

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Hi Ganne_O.
I use Notion with Bradley’s PPV format as well. It’s great for organizing everything in life. Clunky, but I do love having complete control over how it all works together.

I use it to collect all the work of other people and what I should do with it. I love that I can read a book on my kindle, send over the highlights to Notion, link an article I grabbed from the web with the clipper, make a task out of any of these things, and so much more.

I also like that I can do progressive summarization in Notion with lots of colors. However, when it’s time to create my own knowledge, my thoughts about all that stuff in Notion, I turn to Obsidian.

Since Notion is page and block based on the web, I can also create links to any page or block in Obsidian to return to the original notes if I need them. This works for tasks and contacts as well.

Overall, if it’s not my knowledge, it’s in Notion. If it is my knowledge, it’s in Obsidian. The only tasks I keep in Obsidian are related to what to do with my knowledge.

Before leaving a page, I can toss in one or more tasks so when I return to a piece of work (which could be hours, days, or weeks later), I can pick it up “write” where I left off.

If the task is something to schedule or connect with other items, I jump over to Notion, create the task with all it’s connections, and then copy the link to paste into Obsidian. Now, when planning my life in Notion, that task will show up. If I was inspired by some work in Notion, there’s a handy link to click and Notion opens to the page I was using.

If I lost Notion tomorrow, I would lose my task list and a lot other people’s work, but not mine. I’m okay with that since I can retrieve other people’s stuff again since it’s all published.

If you want access to something you wrote in Obsidian, just drop the file into Notion. Now, you can link it to projects, tasks, people, other work, etc. Just don’t change it in Notion.

Hope that helps a little.

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Yes, you can do it. Assuming the PKM part comes natural with obsidian, and you can build the action oriented part (goal, tasks, etc) with embedded queries and/or with some plugins (that’s what I do).

The reality is that Notion, Roam, Obsidian, etc, have enough expressivity in them that you can make them do (more or less) whatever you want. The difference is that some things feel more “natural” or in-place in one system and others seem more “artifact”.

For example, table filters, views, feel more natural in Notion because it has database underlying mindset.
Textual linking and referencing, graphs, are cleaner in Obsidian because basically Obsidian is a gigantic textual pattern matching program.

That being said, Notion added a backlink implementation. Obsidian has embedded queries, YAML, and plugins that operate on YAML in database-like fashion.

So, yes you can do it. Some things may feel better in notion, other things may feel better in Obsidian.

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Where can I learn YAML? Database plugins?

I basically do PPV in Obsidian. I’ve implemented it in Notion, Coda and now Obsidian. I definitely utilize plugins and rely heavily on the dataview plugin to build out tables and do reviews. There are features coming down the pipeline that should make this even more seamless going forward.

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Hi @arminta !
Would you have the time or be willing to record a quick video of how you do PPV in Obsidian? I have my workflow set with daily notes and weekly reviews. However, I don’t use YAML and the dataview plugin so I would love to see how you use them to supercharge your reviews and productivity.

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Hello all, apologies for ghosting you. Thank you for interesting comments on this matter. I have been moving over my notes in the last few days, and playing around with linking them. I have also started to implement a PPV-system on top of Obsidian. What I think Ill do is to basically double my effort and use both at the same time, and see how each compares.

I will be using daily notes for daily tracking, and I will link each note to a week, where I do weekly tracking. And each week is then connected to month for monthly tracking, each month to a quarter and each quarter to a year. Similar to what I have in Notion right now.

I can already see some drawbacks and benefits of Obsidian when compared to Notion. I think the main drawback is going to be moving information forward. In Notion I can bring data from daily tracking to weekly tracking and so forth using rollups, and I love that feature. I can also do math on the data. That doesn’t really work in Obsidian. There is transclusion, but I think Notion has a clear edge in this area.

On the other had, I discovered the Checklist plugin, and I just love the whole idea. I can have a persistent to-do panel on the side, and I can basically add todos everywhere. If I’m taking notes during a meeting, and I can basically make todos inline and they will still appear in single central location. And if I groups the todos by tags, I can make priorities with #todo/1 and #todo/2 and so forth. I love it! Also, I have a feeling that the graph view is going to give me way better idea on how everything connects in my life than to what Notion can do.

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For data, perhaps you could look into using the data-view plugin : Dataview plugin snippet showcase

oooh, thanks for the tip! Looks interesting

Just stumbled upon this thread, thanks for making it!

I love August Bradley’s work and adapted notion for my “life os”. That said, I always had this security / privacy concern, and thanks to the video’s of @nickmilo I have been re-energised to continue with my Obisidan journey. Both persons are gems in the youtube space.

Now I am in the progress of testing things out, adapting obsidian to meet my life os needs.
I had already dabbled in using Obsidian as my pkms, but I was not structured enough. Now I am migrating my evernote, onenote, joplin, … notes into Obsidian (or rather markdown).

I might work with a different project \ task management tool in the end and keep Obsidian for all other parts.

As always, the journey is the fun …

Game on folks :slight_smile:

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I’m trying to build PPV in Obsidian: tot0/ObsidianPPV: PPV implementation for Obsidian (github.com)

Using dataview, a little customjs, and templates to get the various Vaults and Dashboards working. Haven’t done much on Knowledge Vaults yet, Pipelines are setup and Cycles is halfway there.

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@luup This vault is really innovative to implement PPV in Obsidian, really thanks for your effort. I downloaded it and currently trying to use.

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