Create a seperate vault for my master thesis?

hey everyone :slight_smile:

new obsidian user here

i was searching for a knowledge management/brainstorming/project tool which would fit my needs for researching and writing my master thesis and stumbled across obsidian

i have already watched plenrty of tutorials and have gotten somewhat accustomed to the environment

now the thing is: my main reason for using obisidian was my master thesis - but i would now also like to use it for my “private” knowledge management and fill it with everything i find interesting

currently i have everything in 1 vault - but i am starting to feel it might get too cluttered soon and hinder my progress in my master thesis - so i thought about just making 2 vaults - one for my thesis and one for everything else

the problem: the topic of my thesis is closely related to my work and to most things i find interesting, but not all of them

would you recommend putting everything in one vault or make a dedicated vault for my thesis to stay focused (and perhaps migrate it to my main vault once i am done writing?)

In general I think it’s best to use 1 vault unless you have a pressing reason to do otherwise. If you feel the vault is too cluttered or distracting to work effectively on your thesis then that sounds pressing enough — I’d say give it its own vault. As you say, you can put it back afterward (or sooner if you realize you don’t like it separate).

You can copy your settings to the new vault by copying the hidden .obsidian from the original vault to the new one.

Masters vault nested inside Everything vault.
You can choose which you open.
If you never need the Masters as a separate vault, it’s just a folder in your Everything vault.
Only need to sync and backup the Everything vault.

I’m leaning towards, but this is indeed a matter of personal preferences, that as long as you’re going to share stuff here, it’s better to have just one vault. But I would make all the notes directly related to the thesis within a folder, so that it could be easily included/excluded from searches and queries and so on.

There are also some plugins/tools related to Obsidian which can help you focus on parts of your vault. I’ve not used, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them would allow you to only work on files in a given folder, aka your master thesis folder.

I’ve tried using separate vaults for my work and personal stuff, but it was just smoother to use a single vault for several reasons. 1) I need to separately set up the two vaults, which is redundant. 2) Moving back and forth between the vaults isn’t as smooth as moving between folders. My suggestion is to use two folders, one for work and the other for personal stuff.

Hi @JohnDaker, welcome to the Obsidian community!

To share another point of view, I use many different vaults and it works very well for me.

At first, I tried to keep everything in just two vaults - one for work and one for my personal life. But I found that the vaults quickly became overwhelming with their mix of reference, projects, creative work, and many other things. I’m pretty distractible, and I need my vaults to be well organized, so I realized I needed hard boundaries to filter out information that’s not related to the task at hand.

Now I prefer to have each vault be focused on a particular sphere of work, and not be distracted by notes that don’t relate to the effort at hand. If I were starting my master’s thesis, I would create a new vault for it. (Since a vault is just a folder of files, I can always merge the vault with another one later if I want.)

Here are a few examples of the kind of information I keep in separate vaults:

Work Vault: This is a vault where I track my projects, products, contacts, and reference for work. Anything specific to my employer goes here. It lives on my work laptop, is backed up to my work network, and is never synced anywhere. I keep this in a separate vault so that it can never be accidentally mixed with other work.

Reference Vault: This is a vault where I keep my reference notes that are not specific to my employer. I’m a software developer, so this is where I keep general knowledge about languages, formats, algorithms, and many other things. This vault is useful to me both professionally and personally, so I sync it across most of my devices.

Project Vaults: Outside of work I am engaged in lots of creative projects, such as table-top RPGs. Each story’s world gets its own vault, where I track people, places, plot, and more. I rely heavily on Dataview to provide me with reports, so keeping each vault focused on its own world keeps organization and queries as simple as possible.

I hope this helps – if nothing else I hope it highlights that different approaches work for different people. I suggest you organize your vault(s) however seems best at first, and be ready to re-organize as you discover the true shape of your data. :slight_smile:

Craig

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