Best practices on iOS/iPadOS

I realize that mobile apps are on the long-term roadmap (though I implore the devs to reconsider only building a lightweight version there—many people are mobile-first these days)!

In the meantime, I wanted to hear how folks were using Obsidian on their iPhone or iPad without a native app. I know some discussion has taken place on the Discord re: using 1Writer. Are there other popular alternatives? Has anyone developed any neat shortcuts for powering up their Obsidian workflows?

Thanks in advance!

Edit: I found a post on iA Writer here—it seems the author uses iA Writer on the iPad as a holding area for notes, 'til they get back to the Mac.

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I just finished playing around with 1Writer and iA Writer myself.

iA Writer has been my editor of choice for years. Sadly, iA Writer’s implementation of transclusion is its own proprietary approach: content blocks. Content blocks are cool, but they don’t follow the same syntax as Obsidian, so a file transcluded in iA Writer won’t work properly in Obsidian and vice-versa.

1Writer follows the same [[double square bracket]] syntax as Obsidian for transclusion, so it is a great way to view and traverse your Obsidian vault on an iPhone or iPad. Of course, you can also edit documents in your vault using 1Writer. Given that 1Writer supports [[double square bracket wiki linking]], I would’ve thought it would offer some kind of autocomplete when you enter [[—but no. So, you’ll have to go look up the exact title of existing notes in order to properly link to them in a new edit to a document in 1Writer. (Of course, there’s also no way to see backlinks.)

For now, 1Writer wins out. Still, if an app exists that offers autocomplete upon [[-ing, I’d love to know about it.

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iA Writer is all my preferred markdown editor. The content blocks feature works well, but I do wish that it wasn’t proprietary or that back linking was an additional option.

Drafts supports what it calls cross-linking, but similarly to 1Writer doesn’t have auto-complete.

For now, I think I’ll stick with iA Writer on iOS and iPadOS for generating notes into my notes inbox or for editing existing notes. Then I’ll work from Obsidian on the Mac when it’s time for backlinking or doing research.

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Drafts also doesn’t do the whole file system access thing. Not a problem if you subscribe to the “Drafts is where text starts” mentality, but personally, I’d rather start and finish my text in the same place.

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Just posted about a shortcut that helps you work with Daily Notes in 1Writer if you use Dropbox.

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Content Blocks are attempted to be a documented standard. That said, outside of the initial announcement of the feature I haven’t seen the developers link to the initial spec nor has there been great interest from other markdown editors.

I pretty much live in iA Writer, so I do make use of the feature, but it feels out of place syntax wise (I’d personally prefer something based on the existing link syntax). There also seems to be more one could do to integrate it in the writing experience, such as autocompleting.

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I too use 1Writer on my iPad Pro to interact indirectly with Obsidian. I use Apple Shortcuts to have 1Writer create markdown files in a 1Writer folder that is also used as an Obsidian Vault location. I have created Shortcut templates for various Zettel styles. I’m using the Jump app on an iPad Pro to connect by WiFi to my MacMini in order to use Obsidian ‘directly’ from other rooms in the house. In addition, I can use the same setup to connect to Obsidian directly thru WiFi from ‘outside’ my home WiFi. The experience is obviously dependent on WiFi speed. So, for now I can be patient until the Obsidian Devs do their magic with their mobile solutions.

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Hi, do you know if 1Writer support the flowcharts (mermaid) or not? Thanks a lot!

I don’t believe it does, sorry.

It does with a action script.

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I also use 1writer, and one called Notebooks for handwritten notes that sync to my Obsidian vault as pdfs.

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Seems relevant to note here that I asked iA Writer yesterday if they plan on supporting Wikilinks syntax:

"Support for [[Wikilinks]] syntax is something we are strongly considering implementing in the future. :wink:

Of course we have many competing priorities so we can’t make promises on a specific timeline for this."

I always read the wink emoji as “we’re currently building this but can’t comment on it yet” … but that’s probably just projection :smiley:

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Taio does. I’m really impressed by this app. it supports Mermaid, js-sequence-diagrams and flowchart.js https://docs.taio.app/#/editor/diagrams and MathJax.

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I’m struggling with finding the best practice for storing images and attachments so that are visible/clickable in Taio and 1Writer too.

My situation is like follows. I have a quite a flat structure and want to work with MOCs.
I have a Sources folder in which I place books, articles, videos etc and a Timestamped folder in which I have journal entrees, emails, meeting notes etc. and a Templates folder.

My knowledge base will mostly be stored in a flat way by MOCs, interlinked notes and through using tags.

I’ve only succeeded in getting images and attachments visible in Obsidian and both iOS apps by storing notes and images in the same folder as the note. That makes for a very polluted folder/file list tree (with notes and attachments mingled) and I like it neat and clean :cry:.

Has anyone succeeded in finding a (relatively) well working and portable solution for a situation like this? Curious to hear! Thanks.

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There hasn’t been any activity for 5 days, could you please see if you’d like to pick any of the existing answers as the solution, or do you still need help with something?

Would appreciate it if you could clarify on that, thanks!

If you’ve uncovered a bug, please post in #bug-reports. If you’re asking about a feature that’s not there yet, you can post in #feature-requests.

If this is about troubleshooting community plugins or themes, it might be a good idea to ask in #plugins and #css-themes on our Discord.

Hi janpeeters, i’ve been multiple hours into this same issue today and I’ve solved it. To spare you and others the hassle, hereby my answer to the issue I was having:

  • How do I use Obsidian on my Windows PC & can easily view and edit the notes, including the images, on my iPhone.

My requirements:

  • All attachments (images, videos, pdfs) are in one folder (keeping the folders where notes are clean).
  • Usage of WebDav (not iCloud, Dropbox)
  • Image preview works smootly in iOS app
  • When I move notes around in Obsidian, the links shouldn’t break.

Short answer:
Disable Wikilinks and use Relative Path to file, see image below. Do this in combination with the app 1Writer.

Long answer, based on the list of Brett Terpstra of iPhone apps which support WebDav and suggestions I’ve came across in other places, I’ve tried the below apps, but none worked with the links which are the standard in Obsidian (wikilinks):

  • Notes Writer
  • Joplin
  • Paper
  • Drafts
  • Bear
  • Ulysses
  • Working Copy

1Writer also doesn’t work with WikiLinks as images, only when the image is in the same dir as the note. But one of my requirements was that I didn’t want that as folders become quite messy. If you use standard Markdown for all links, this also solves the issue 1Writer has with Piped links. It doesn’t look as neatly when editting, but to me, the major benefit of having access to my Obsidian Vault from my iPhone, is worth it.

If somebody else found another solution, I’m very curious!! :slight_smile:

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I would settle for this but I can’t get it to work in either of these apps. Could you walk me through how you’ve done it it?

UPDATE: Got local inline images (same folder as notes) to display in 1Writer after disabling “Use [[Wikilinks]]” in Obsidian. Still doesn’t seem to work in Taio (which I prefer over 1Writer). Were you able to get them working there?

As an Obsidian iOS/iPadOS beta tester I’m thoroughly impressed so far. When they widen the trial I’d definitely recommend testing it out.

I suspect the mobile version of Obsidian will be publicly available before some of the other apps we’ve using in the meantime get the features we want.

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Hi @BjornL Sorry for the late response.
I’ve set Obsidian to use Relative Path to File and use a ‘assets’ subfolder under the folder in which the note resides. If I do that I can see the note in Taoi. The only problem is that when you add an image in Taio it stores it in a global assets folder (or any other name you chose to give it). So it doesn’t seamlessly work two-way.
There is also a bug that when you add your notes folder as a Bookmark, it doesn’t automatically load all new files. Only when you browse to the folder directly it does that. I have reported this so hopefully it gets fixed soon.
Hope this helps.

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