Best way to arrange paragraphs in Obsidian?

How do I arrange and combine various paragraphs of text, whether within a document or a combination of notes? Or maybe something with Canvas?

Despite trying different methods and made my research, I haven’t yet found a satisfactory solution.

In Outliner it doesn’t display or hint at any paragraphs of text—only titles can be arranged.

If you want to move a single block of text from one title to another while leaving the rest of the blocks, it gets tedious. For instance, let’s say you have to move a scene of dialogue from a scene to another chapter.

I tried using the shoutouts feature to create paragraphs (which, by the way, makes the text look neat), but these do not appear in the Outliner either.

While I’m aware of the “move line up/down” function for moving paragraphs, it is occasionally useful but ineffective for larger-scale text movements. Creating a title for each paragraph seems excessive and introduces new problems.

Furthermore, I tried some plug-ins:

Canvas2Document: I appreciate the effort behind this tool and the interesting ideas it presents. However, the converting process clutters the folder and creates a visually distracting experience. Additionally, it relies on the Outliner, meaning I still need to deal with titles.

Longform: This tool has potential, but it lacks a preview for all notes, making it hard to get a clear overview, and it doesn’t show the result until you compile.

Continuous Mode: This solution has the opposite problem. It displays notes in full view but is incompatible with the Outliner, making it ineffective. It also opens all notes in tabs, adding to the distraction.

Kanban: This might have potential, but I couldn’t get it to work for me. Additionally, it hasn’t been updated in a while, so I have little hope for this option.

I love the appearance and customization possibilities of Obsidian, but I feel like I’m missing something or overlooking an alternative, perhaps simpler, way that I haven’t considered.

Please let me know how you solve these kind of things, or have any ideas.

Thank you for reading!

TL;DR: I need a way to arrange and combine paragraphs of text within a note or across notes (by combining notes in some way or something). Despite extensive research and trying various methods and plugins, including Outliner, Canvas2Document, Longform, Continuous Mode, and Kanban, I haven’t found a satisfactory solution. Any suggestions for a simpler or more effective approach in Obsidian would be greatly appreciated.

You could try GitHub - ycnmhd/obsidian-lineage: Gingko-like interface in obsidian ? I haven’t used it as it’s a recent development, and I’m not doing longform writing at the moment but it might scratch your itch.

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Thanks for the suggestion! The Gingko-like interface looks really cool and fun to explore. It seems quite innovative and maybe a bit unconventional, but I’m intrigued. I’m only on my phone right now and can’t test it out at the moment, but I’ll definitely give it a shot when I get the chance. I appreciate you sharing this!

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Kanban is more of a tool for process and workflow, not editing writing. I use it often and can’t imagine it helping with that.

Is there a tool you have used in the past to effectively rearrange paragraphs? Rather than list tools you’ve tried and not liked, can you try to describe what the successful workflow would look and feel like?

That might help people suggest something.

Or we may discover you are chasing an elusive feeling. My personal mode of procrastination is researching more effective productivity tools instead of doing the work. Just something to consider.

What I’m searching for is a feature similar to Scrivener’s editor. This would allow me to migrate my longer, more complicated projects to Obsidian as well (instead of using two apps).

The idea is to view and arrange a selection of notes (or texts in some form) and display the full context in a third pane, ultimately resulting in a new note or document.

It seems like some plug-in developers have aimed for something similar using different Obsidian tools (notes, canvas, etc.), based on the examples from my initial post in this thread.

I just now tried out the plug-in “Multiple Notes Outliner,” which in theory seems similar. It provided a better overview of a project with more than one note, but I’m unable to make it to work as expected (you can view my reply there).

That being said, you’re right. I better get some work done too. :laughing:

Anyway, I hope this clarifies things (I can make a mock-up if it still sounds unclear) so that you can point me in the right direction.

Thank you for taking the time.

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I’ve been working on a system for writing in a scrivenerish way, though it’s early days at the moment.

Every write note has a draft section and an outline section. The outline section is a list of links to write notes in task format.

I can preview and export compiles using dataviewjs and templater code, and it’s a bit more flexible than scrivener because notes can be reused and don’t need to be placed into a tree structure in the filesystem.

I recommend getting hover editor plugin as well – very helpful way to quickly explore this sort of writing approach without losing your place

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That’s some great news!

Do you perhaps have a mock-up or a scetch to share?

I wasn’t entirely following this in text, but anything toward an intuitive text-arranger will get big support! :+1:

it might not be mega soon as I have a deadline I’m uhh procrastinating on… but I’ll make a little demo vault in the next week or two to show off the concept

For moving text farther distances I would use cut-paste (with navigation possibly speeded by use of Outline or folding headings).

Cool. In the meantime I’m heading back to work as previously suggested. :upside_down_face:

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Yeah, that’s the old classic method. :slightly_smiling_face:

Arranging paragraphs can be challenging. Outliner lacks text arrangement options, making it tedious to move content. Consider tools like Canvas for better flexibility. For professional editing and document organization, My Assignment Help offers efficient solutions to enhance your writing . edit my paper

Outliner’s not much help with actual paragraphs, and shoutouts don’t mesh well either. Tried those plugins too, but no luck. Lately, I’ve been mixing Outliner for structure and manual dragging and dropping within the document. It’s not perfect, but it’s simpler.

Using canvas to organize paragraphs may be a good idea
If you make each paragraph into a card and then drag and drop it again
Since canvas is saved in JSON format, in fact, you can easily convert the text in a canvas file into an entire MD file using JavaScript code, and the paragraph order can also be sorted by the position of the card

Of course, there are many other issues with this, such as Canvas not being easy to use. For example, if you move a paragraph to the middle, subsequent paragraphs will have to be manually moved. Perhaps this is even worse than copying and pasting
Although cutting and pasting is an outdated method, it cannot be denied that it is very useful

I think the app Drafts has a mode that adds drag handles to paragraphs for easy rearranging. Something like that might be an interesting idea for a plugin, tho I don’t know how doable it would be.