Advantages using folders?

Nice workflow. I will use some of Tiago’s folder setup for processing. Thanks for sharing.

I started out using more folders but found that it was imposing structure on my notes rather than letting the structure emerge from my notes. So I moved everything into the root folder except for 3 types of notes/assets that I maintain in folders


  • journal
    • daily (all my daily notes)
    • weekly (all my weekly review notes)
  • resources
    • attachments (all images, PDFs, etc)
    • reference (any materials needed like mermaid docs, flatui colors, Markdown documentation)
    • templates (all my templates to be included or used at note creation time)
  • sources (all raw source notes downloaded using MarkDownload)

This effectively keeps some of the noise down in the main root directory as daily and weekly notes grow pretty quickly, and attachments aren’t directly viewed but rather in context of notes

One additional benefit of keeping everything in the vault root directory is that linking (mostly) works in 1Writer which is what I am currently using on iOS


If you use the relative path links in Obsidian they work in 1Writer as well.

This confirms what I have ruminating on, since finding out about Obsidian and it’s helpful community.


Personally I only folders as “buckets” to roughly group things, so that my vault doesn’t look too messy. Examples would be journals, templates, and literature notes. I still keep names unique, so moving things out of folders or into folders never break or update any links.

To me there’s not much “advantage” in using folders, mostly aesthetics and organizational benefits. I can totally live without them, but it’s a nice organizational feature of the file system so why not :slight_smile:


I use my root folder to just put things, so I don’t have to think about where they go.

After that, I use folders for two reasons:

First, folders are a place to move files so they’re out of the way. For example, I don’t want to scroll past a bunch of daily notes looking for something important, so I stick all those in a separate folder.

Second, folders are a place to find specific things. For example, I collect workshop methods. I put all of those in a folder, so when I want to look up a method, or browse the ones I have, I can scan just that folder to see what’s there and don’t have to dig through un-related items.

This works for easier linking, too. I kind of follow Andy Matuschak’s approach to create evergreen notes. Notes that are “polished” enough, I move them to a separate folder (“Summaries”). This means that if I want to link to notes that are more polished than others, I can start the link with the double bracket and folder name, and the possible links list gets narrowed down.

It’s probably best to consider folders less as organization and more like a navigation option that helps you find things. Another option next to Pages and Tags.


Very useful. I have created a hybrid of members’ responses to this thread and come up with something that I think will work for my situation. I will post it once it’s done. Many thanks.

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Advantages using folders is don’t use folders as folders.

It means use folder as a page and just this page can’t take notes in it.

It means use folder as a outliner .

I use root folder as page, and then use page as processes. not for classification. but use 2nd nested , 3rd nested “pages” …50 nested pages carefully for classfication

like this:

  • folder as page
    • page 1
      • page 1.1
    • page 2
    • page 3

It’s really simple ,no waste of time to think more on it
just change the concept : “folder as page” , without doing anyting else, keep folder as page to normal concept. Take it, keep it. Okay done, it’s good enough.

And most important thing is that Don’t Dont’t Don’t use the folder icon. (This way let obsidian looks like Evernote :joy:) , Don’t do that.

BTW, if you really want or need ,must have folder icon, I also repect with you.



No more and no less. Everything else is folderless.
I refer to my past thoughts on this subject:

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I use Obsidian to map information in the organisational and business domains.

I like to create and organise notes by ‘subject type’ - Person, Organisational Unit, Product, Project, Event and so on. I have about 10 of these high-level categories as folders.

Folders for Concept and Zettel capture the less easily-categorised notes.

I also have folders for Journal, Inbox and a couple of others.

Finding this structure is part of the knowledge work for me. I don’t find it awkward or cumbersome to use.

I also have a knowledge map in Roam which is more expansive and free form. That tool doesn’t permit folders, which suits me for the way I use it.

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Folder system has the ability to share spaces among other documents in static site generator like Hugo and wiki system which has CLI like Gitbook. I’m thinking about publisher workflow with Obsidian publish, Hugo, and Zenn. This is the post about that flow on Zenn community, and the post was published from my private repository that was git pushed from Obsidian vault. All of my output contents exist in my vault and everything is densely linked like Evergreen notes. When I have a time, I’m going to write this in English on Forum. (But, Zenn is Japanese brand new publisher service, so it may not help others here)

Besides, I mainly use Folders to control notes’ status. For example, mu main vault has Fleeting, Permanent, Publish folders and Hugo repo and Zenn repo. When I want to turn something into an output content (posts for my personal site or posts for the publisher platform), I just put command “Move file to other Folder”. Then, I get a note to be ready to publish to various internet layers. (thanks to this, I can choose a desired layer to publish among my personal site, Obsidian publish and Zenn community.)

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It’s all about use cases, isn’t it? I always marvel at how humans and animals make things fit in ways that are particular to their own experiences. Thanks for sharing your use case. I’m glad you are in the world.

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I absolutely use folders, and couldn’t function without them. My vaults have 10k-20k files, including a ton of attachment files (images, PDFs, code source files, etc.)

I break down each category into more & more detailed sub-levels. I have basically everything in one Obsidian vault or another, so the ability to quickly locate and use any type of file (in or or out of Obsidian) necessitates the use of folders.

Many files have the same name, but are related to the current location context. Think, for example, of a file called If it’s in a folder called “Some Story Title” then I can instantly know what I’m indexing (chapters, etc.). If I didn’t have the context, that “index” could be about a book, a list of plants I’m growing, a file full of media to consume, or any number of other things.

Without the structure of folders, I could only have a single file named “Index”, and everything would be a LOT more messy, and more difficult to use.


I use folders simply because it allows me to reuse some names in different context and the filesystem would disallow that in the same folder. I also tend to group together notes pertaining to the same concept like procedures, technologies, standards, producs, people… but those notes will also get a tag so i can search both by path or tag. Path can also be a shorthand when u want to link as u can use the first letter of a path then slash and it will suggest names from that paths (i wish search could do the same)


Curious, do you use multiple vaults? How do you delineate new vaults?

One thing I’ve been noticing is that having notes from too many parts of my life in a single vault (I only use one) is leading too costly context switching during work.

I currently have 4.

  1. One for all personal everything.

  2. Essentially an in-universe encyclopedia for everything related to a collection of fantasy series I’m writing.

  3. A job vault. For everything about work (other than people, who live in my personal vault).

  4. An experimental vault that I’m testing out for genealogical tracking, as that seems to be a fairly unrelated data set, and one that’d benefit from a unique set of plugins.

But it’s not as though these are static. Once I get the 4th vault to a nice clean state, I expect I’ll merge it with (and generally hide it in) my main vault.

I use folders.
The main reason is my design of Obsidian vault. I use Obsidian as a collection of multiple databases, supported by Dataview. A database is a set of notes, which have the same yalm front matter structure. The notes for the same database are stored in one folder.

Better navigation while using other text editing tools, e.g. PyCharm or Typora.
PyCharm is perfect for batch processing of the notes.
Typora provides a more fluent experience for writing long text.

The sorting of the notes in the correct folder is done by a small python script. So I don’t care, where the notes are initially stored.

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Elsewhere in a similar discussion I saw someone saying that folders are to organization as plain text is to information.

Linking for PKMs is relatively recent, there is no standard syntax for links, and they may evolve and break in the future. Whereas folders have been around for 40+ years, and we can reasonably rely on them being around for another half century or more.

My usage of obsidian is unusual for the obsidian community. I write about a half dozen short nonfiction articles per month. I have a hierarchical linking system that is very folder like. And I also have a complementary folder system.

I have one folder per project and have an index page in the folder that describes each document in the folder, and links to it. I could do without the folders, but they are a convenient way to keep all the documents for project together, in case I want to move them somewhere at some point.


Hi Kane, @KaneDodgson
Can I just say I totally admire you for doing what needs to be done, after your injury.

I have a friend and she has brain fog issues, and I offer suggestions how she could make her life easier, but she just seems to prefer to flounder. Her choice of course, but it is wonderfully refreshing to hear your story. (I might even show her this)

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Thank you, sorry for the late reply!