Can't use Obsidian at work. Any suggested workarounds?

Hi there,

I use a work-supplied laptop, and IT restricts the range of software we can install on the machine. Sadly Obsidian is not on the approved list. I’ve started using Obsidian on my own device at home, but naturally I come across ideas I want to capture at work.

I imagine there must be people in a similar situation. How do / would you capture notes in such a way that you can easily import them to Obsidian, once you have access to your own device again?

1 Like

Personally, I use Drafts 4 when I’m on the go. I have it on my phone, tablet and computer. I take notes there.

And then I made an action that exports the note as a Markdown .md file to Dropbox in my Vault. It uses a YYYY-MM-DD-HH-MM format for the title.

And at the bottom of the note, I include two specific tags, #sent-from-drafts and #UNASSIMILATED. That’s a keyword I wrote about from Robert M Pirsig’s slipbox system. I use it to remember - like an inbox - that I still want to integrate it into my notes. A better title. Linking. Formatting, etc.

The specific app doesn’t matter much though. You just need anything to save text files, temporarily. I’ll even email myself notes sometimes. But having that specific tag lets me send the notes into Obsidian without worrying they’ll cause a mess. Because I can find and clean them up later.


If you can talk with the IT department and ask if they can allow an exception, they might install it for you or whitelist it in some other way.

If they are not amenable to that, the next best option would probably be VS Code. It has markdown support and you could sync up a vault. The linking/graph aspects of obsidian would not be there without some 3rd party apps/addons which would probably be blocked by the IT dept as well.

If VS code isn’t an option: Notepad++ supports markdown. It also has folding and you can do a bit of customization.


Thanks Lithou. Even VS Code is not on the approved list, but have discovered I can download Notepad ++, so that gives me a basic option at least.

Hey, thanks. I had just downloaded Drafts 4 on my phone, but as the work laptop is a Windows PC I’m not able to use it there - ha, even if it was Mac I probably still couldn’t download it ;). Thanks for sharing your workflow though, that gives me some good ideas for transfer and prompts for sorting; I hadn’t got so far as using Dropbox for my vault - still very much new to Obsidian - so will take that under advisement!

1 Like