[Discussion] Unified research & knowledge management workflow

My current workflow consists of different tools that can’t talk to each other. I think Obsidian could play an integral role in unifying research, knowledge management and learning.


While researching I take web highlights (currently using Weava, other options: Hypothes.is or Memex) to distill the most important parts of an article or a paper and also to leave a trace on every page for when I revisit it.

In order to work with those highlights (modify, expand upon, add own opinion etc) it is important to export them from the browser extension to a PKM tool. I haven’t found any so far that works with Obsidian or exports to markdown. (Weava is working on integrations apparently).

Knowledge management

This is Obsidian’s bread and butter: backlinks, tags, graph view, search, multipane view --> great


To learn effectively, periodic recall is key. Spaced repetition learning is the best tool for the job whether with OG Anki or any of the clones. There’s a great browser extension for Chrome (/ Edge / Brave) called Anki Quick Adder, that allows creating cards to review directly from a webpage by copy pasting into a little pop up. But of course you notice the redundancy: The information you’d wanna learn you already highlighted with your web highlighter and you already copy&pasted into your knowledge management system. Now you have to enter it once more into yet another workflow.

I think it would be great to avoid this redundancy and be able to feed notes from Obsidian directly into a SLR program to review.

@Pseudonium for example is already working on a plugin:

Vision: Unified research & knowledge management workflow


Move this to knowledge management.
I think memex (natively) and maybe the others can export to md using a chrome extentions.
Also most of the time is just text so you just copy paste.

1 Like

Yeah Memex looks the most promising to me right now, will keep following what they’re doing :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hello Juan,

I’ve found that any workflow needs a point of entry, a universal hub that collects what we gather from different sources, or what we think at any moment.

I love the diagram you made about knowledge management workflow, but I would say that knowledge management is not limited to learn, but also extends into shape new things and organize stuff.

For example I use two other essential (for me) tools,

  1. trello, to maintain the state of micro-projects and 2) the Gingko app (https://gingkoapp.com/), to establish a reading-flow for a book.

And I still don’t know how to make them work together :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

I think something that’s is important is to uniformly identify the distinct chunks of ‘knowledge’ so they can be traced by any of the applications.

1 Like


yes definitely agree with the point about the universal hub.

@bryan.jenks made a nice flowchart about his content inflows here:

Where I think “we” are still lacking the required tools is for connecting personal knowledge bases with online knowledge bases (aka the internet).

There should be an easier way to build knowledge than for each article / video / podcast having to manually creating note files, entering metadata, copy pasting interesting quotes, writing down own thoughts etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I see some of the main benefits for knowledge building in the actual note taking, not just highlighting content while consuming. Creation and active recall always trump consumption for learning.

But still, the whole thing has to be smoother.

I want podcasts with audio highlights & transcripts (via Airrquote for example) synced to my Obsidian vault, without having to manually export from my phone everytime.

I want searchable web history in my browser with web highlights AND my own related notes say in a sidebar.

Going deeper, I want something like a Human Programming Interface: all data I create interconnected and searchable.

Of course, the more we’re talking about structured data here (heartbeat, step counter, browsing history, keyboard hits, podcast listening time, off-screen time) the more we’ll need databases instead of just plain Markdown files (with however good the metadata is) (feel free to convince me otherwise please!).

Still, for text-based knowledge management, I hope that Obsidian can play a key role given it integrates with all those other streams :slight_smile:

Thanks for the video!. I had ignored it in the past because it was too long, but I finally watched it.

The system can gather all the metadata for you, storing a snapshot of the context when you decide to take notes. The context can be the web page you are looking at, the podcast, or if it was raining. It could even be a description of the girl that was waiting at the bus stop. Anything that helps you recall.

I’m not sure if this can be completely automatic. My intuition is that these things, to work as our external memory, require some effort spent to ‘be wired.’

I’ll have a look at the Exo-Brain diagram! I would rename ‘Exo-memory’… exo-brain sounds quite scary.

Exactly, that’s a good point about the system stringing together the context for your thoughts via metadata.

FYI, the infra map is by https://twitter.com/karlicoss not by me

I’m still looking for a decent cross-platform web highlighting solution, mainly Android. I have looked into Weava, Polar (that has flashcard and spaced repetition integration / sync with Anki ), Hypothes.is, Liner, Memex, and a few other less known, they either don’t propose a mobile app, or the app is very limited.

Weava does seem to have a mobile app in progress, however it’s in beta and need to send an email to the developers to get access to it. Which I’m certainly gonna do!

I’ve been hoping for apps like Raindrop.io to integrate highlighting / annotate features (which has been on their most requested feature list for many months), but I just seem to hit a wall there.

1 Like

Haven’t checked Raindrop in a while but instead been using extensions like Humble New Tab to organize my bookmarks, mainly because I wanted to keep all bookmarks in one place (my browser) and have something build on top of that to better visualize them.

Also, I found Raindrop’s collection features to be too cumbersome to actually use, I just want to have a fast search across my web history and bookmarks and not curate pinterest-style collections for everything.

On that note, of course it shouldn’t be limited to learning, yeah.

It’s curating, re-factoring, discovering new connections, developing unique things and so on. With learning I mean more broadly better review capabilities e.g. plugin that shows you all notes created in the last week (last month?) and also the ability to “ankify” notes for more systematic long-term remembering.

Any conclusions now? :slight_smile:

In my opinion, one essential aspect is missing in knowledge management with Obsidian: knowledge transfer into a hierarchical structure. :fire:

Already mentioned by @cristian Gingko has the potential for beeing an absolute gamechanger with obsidian.
Either with local API to the desktop app or as a community plugin based on the source code (e.g. a hybrid of Mindmap and Kanban).
The export to plain text is already implemented successfully.

Or have a separate specialized tool, along with Obsidian.

Having your data in Markdown and on your computer opens the possibility of editing it with several different tools!

All these people using Markdown as lingua franca makes me think a lot about the vision of ‘component software’ from the 90’.