Do any of you combine handwritten notes with Obsidian?

Hey everyone,
I’ve thought about using a dual system going forward: Taking handwritten notes during class (on GoodNotes 5) and then
putting things I’d like to learn long-term into Obsidian. I thought it may be helpful since some of my classes require lots of drawing and formulas (Maths & Physics) Do you think that’s a bit redundant or is it a good idea? I can’t really settle on a note-taking system, but maybe you’ve already faced the same issue and found a solution that worked for you which I could try?

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I used to take many Cornell Notes (on paper) back in the days and find that I even still use some of these.

But I transcribe the ones I need (and only those) into Obsidian and actually scan & crop the graphs (use them as PNG or SVG in Obsidian).

As required with Cornell anyway, one should build their own ideas/questions and summary from the notes taken in a lecture, and I find actually transcribing some of the old stuff into Obsidian helpful. (Spaced Repetition → Memorizing and forming/linking ideas/questions/conclusions in Obsidian).

Since I’m a bit of a techie, and use LaTeX for creating books and papers, I’d use formulae as an excuse to learn LaTeX math (same used in Obsidian) and thus get your formulae typeset beautifully (and easily reusable if you have to write a paper).

So I would (and actually do):

  • transcribe all needed text into Obsidian,
  • scan (or download from notetaking device) and crop graphs and drawings,
  • typeset formulae (within Obsidian),
  • use Obsidian to build a knowledge-base (but keep focused on what kind of output, i.e. an academic paper, is your goal).

Over the past 40 years or so, I found that

  • only paper really survives, and
  • organized raw text files are the next best thing (no dependence on ever-changing/abandoned proprietary formats). And searchable! I had to convert hundreds of WordStar files made back in the CP/M 2.2 days, but those created with ed even work in 2021.
  • backup, backup, backup is crucial. I’ve lost so many files over the decades … but backing up some folders of text files is easy.
  • keeping stuff together pays. Don’t follow the OS’s way to separate everything based on type, but keep everything needed for one project/goal together (like text, images, graphs, drawings, spreadsheet files, …)! It will be much easier to find and backup.

Yes, I also use GoodNotes to take notes sometimes and I usually just convert the handwriting to text and paste it into my vault. I really love being able to embed and link notes together because it makes it much easier and enjoyable to actually read.

However, I don’t take courses that require formulas, so I’m not sure if the conversion works for math symbols. You could probably either screenshot formulas into your vault or use LaTex math to type the formulas in your notes though.

Also, I don’t do this personally but if you back up your GoodNotes notebooks, you can link to or embed a specific page in your vault with the Better PDF Plugin.

More useful discussion on a separate thread:

Thanks a lot, I’ll try that out!

Yeah I might also make use of that feature. But I now thought about just writing down most of my stuff in Obsidian and just drawing diagrams etc. in GoodNotes. Just need to become proficient with latex ^^

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