I’m new to obsidian, but feel that I have finally found a match for me. I’m interested to learn more about how others are using it though as I know I am not even scratching the surface yet.
My job is a business coach. I have one obsidian vault for everything. I store a lot of thoughts, findings and information under a few vague categories. I am not doing anything particularly clever with that, but it is fine.
I also have folder for “clients” which then contains a sub folder for each client. I currently have one file in there for kick off notes. One to track open issue (ie particular areas in their business that I want to check back on) and one for call notes. Within call notes I use headings for dates and just a bullet list of notes from each call.
During each call I try to remember to cover the open issues, I make new notes then try to remember to update open issues afterwards. It works, but I am aware it sucks.
I know Obsidian can do better. I just don’t quite know where to start. I’d love to know how others are tackling similar work, or where there are good places to learn more about how to get more from obsidian (rather than yet another yt video about “here is how to create a vault” “this is what markdown is” etc
My way of using Obsidian is different to yours in one way. I make more use of backlinks.
Instead of having one folder per client with multiple files in it, I would have one “Clients” folder with one page per client. Then, I would use the daily notes. If I meet a client on a given day, I write my notes in the daily note and link to the client page on it. If in the notes I identify an open issue, I could link to the Open Issues page or use the
Then, next time I meet that client, I would go to the client page and look at the backlinks. All my previous notes for that client are in the backlinks because I linked to the client page originally. I can filter these by looking for the
#openissues tag if I’m looking for open issues.
Your way of doing things seems fine to me, but I thought maybe my use of backlinks could give you ideas.
this is useful thanks. I don’t really understand the idea behind daily notes to be honest and have only just started playing with tagging. They sound like good places to start learning more.
Im just going to say one thing on your last comment - daily notes.
I am in the same boat, trying to figure our a more project- oriented, more-client-oriented, a more business-oriented setup for obsidian. Most of the stuff here, in my opinion at least, is constantly scratching the creative/academic/independent writer itch, and not the customer-management , sales, or project management itch.
I recently read a book about a world without email, where they basically say email is a constant distractio from focus- you bop around from issue to issue, instead of using a trello or kanban board that focuses on ONE project, and all work to get that ONE thing done.
I feel like the daily notes thing is like email. It’s scatterbrained, or organized by date, like incoming emails. Is that really of use in business?
Also looking for someone who can share a basic setup that mimics a CRM system (call logs, contracts, phone calls scheduled, meetings, notes)
But something that has a dashboard on your ‘welcome’ page where you can see the overview, and that you can click on to dive into a project, or a category of activity.
And this, with as little (not ‘no’-- just ‘little’) plugins as possible.
I’ve made good headway on this today, but am far from “there”. There are a couple of links below that were useful for me and you might find the same:
The approach I am aiming for now is:
- File per meeting - custom template for these
- File per person - custom template for these
- Daily notes just links back to those things, rather than being where they are recorded
I haven’t yet cracked how I track open issues for clients. For example, if we agree an action point for them on a call (ie “Hire new head of marketing”), how do I have that in front of me during all meetings until it is marked resolved. Closer though
If it works for you to keep all client call logs in one file, there’s no reason to stop doing that! There’s so much benefit to making it easier to see everything for a client in one place and not needing to reconstruct the path to get there. Embeds and queries are a great way to do this.
I’m also a consultant, and though my work doesn’t use a coaching call format, I’ve used Obsidian in similar ways to track items and issues with my client relationships.
I think the innovation you might consider here is using tasks as a marker of issues or items for follow-up. This will allow you to: (1) keep issues and call log records together in the same stream, and also pull out all issues together so you can see them and act on them across any number of calls. The Tasks plugin provides great functionality for acting on and querying tasks, as does the Dataview plugin for queries.
So, based on the workflow you describe, you could have a header above your main call log in your client template, with a query to show any open issues from prior calls. This can be toggled open for review at the beginning of the current call but then toggled closed to keep your focus for the current call if that’s helpful. I can’t share any relevant parallels from my own vault, given the sensitivity of the data, but I’ve attached a couple of screenshots adapting and mocking up this approach for you.
The Task query in the Open Issues section here is:
path includes CLIENT PROJECT
path includes Client A
created before today
group by status.name
group by tags
There are several ways to use templating so that the query on each client page will be specific to that client. And, of course, you can also create your own review page with a query to look at active issues across all clients.
That’s really helpful. I’m beginning to uncover the power of obsidian now, but hadn’t look at tasks yet. Seems to be exactly what I am after.
I’ve moved to one note per meeting now anyway. I see the advantage of this for the daily note. My structure isn’t using folders per client though. I assume I could use a tag or similar to tie the note to the client for the task. Think that would work?
Sure you can. It will impact which approaches you can use to query for that specific client. The tag filters for the Tasks plugin look for tags on each task, and it would get tedious and error-prone (not to mention visually distracting) to have to tag the client in each item. DataView queries, in contrast, offer a lot more flexibility but might require more time to learn, depending on your existing comfort level. From that framework, you have a lot of options to choose from, but the approach I would personally go with is to link each file to the client overview file (e.g., [[Client A]]) and then include
FROM [[Client A]] in your DV query to include only tasks from pages that link to that client. For instance:
from [[Client A]]
group by file.name
An approach that would work with both Task and DV query approaches is to use the client name in each note’s title.
thanks @schartkoff . This works really well, but I am still stumped on one part.
Summary of what I am now doing:
- Clients all have their own note
- Each meeting has its own note. This links back to the client
- I can pull open tasks into the meeting note with TASK from [[fake client]] where !completed
This works perfectly, as long as I edit that dataview query on each meeting, to replace [[fake client]] with [[actual client]] for that meeting.
The meeting notes all live in data folders, and that feels right, so I can’t use path. I’ve tried add the client name as frontmatter and reference that in the query, but I can’t get it to turn the frontmatter into a reference to a note (possibly just syntax, but I’e tried a lot of variations and now suspect it isn’t mean to be used like that) .
Likewise, I don’t think I can do it with templater (was thinking of trying pull from note name) as the system has no way of knowing the client when it is created.
I suspect that frontmatter is the way to go.
I currently have this in the format of
client: [[some client]]
My only other thought was to move attendees in the meeting notes from being clickable links in the note to being in frontmatter. This doesn’t seem ideal though as it seems thatyou can’t output the variable into the note, which means I couldn’t make it clickable in live preview mode (which is how I use this template)
Am I on the right track? Any further pointers? Sorry for being needy!
You can use a dataview field (frontmatter or inline) for Client and then reference it in the query.
So for example, you use a field (here I’m using a linked file for the client name to do double-duty for metadata + cross-referencing. Also, you can have fun with the MetaEdit plugin to provide a self-populating list of Clients to choose from.
Client:: [[Client A]]
Then your basic dataview query looks like:
This translates to: show me tasks in notes where the Client field contains the same value shown in the Client field for this note, and exclude completed tasks.
This assumes that you have the Client:: field populated on any note you might want to reference in the query.
I really appreciate this, thanks. I will try this out tomorrow.
This works brilliantly. I’m now taking this idea and absolutely running with it. Thanks!!
What’s a good learning resource for this stuff? Your replies got me much further than the plugin docs.
Very interesting, all of this. Just to clarify, in this particular walkthrough of a possible setup to handle clients, nots, calls, etc., are we using frontmatter for client name, etc., or are we talking inline right now? @bizcoach , are you willing to post a dummy .md file or two here to show where you’ve gotten to, as far as layout and data (‘fields’ not actual data)?
Happy to have been able to pay forward from the help I’ve gotten from the Obsidian community!
The ecosystem has grown a lot over the past couple of years, and I’ve had the benefit of learning slowly as new capabilities and materials have been created. I imagine getting overwhelmed today is easy since there’s just A Lot Out There. My best recommendation is to take it slow and steady, letting yourself accumulate experience in your vault, noting as you go what supports your workflows and sparks joy in your notes and what causes friction. Then trust that if you want to do something, there’s probably some way to do it or approximate it and someone to point you in the right direction. The Discord channel is extremely active and helpful. For the kinds of things you’re doing now with client notes, I’d look into the Metadata Menu plugin next. Danny Hatcher recently did a helpful YouTube video on how to configure that.