Example Workflows in Obsidian

One of the strengths of Obsidian is that it can be thought of as a toolkit for building machines for thinking. But this strength can be a challenge when you are first getting started. Without an inherent structure, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

My advice to anyone just getting started is always going to be this: Just start making notes, make links and tags liberally, and see what structure emerges to suit the way you think (feel free to disagree with me, but please do so over at Knowledge Management ).

That said, it’s often useful to see examples of how other people have set up their notes. This thread is for that.

This is a Vault that I’ve made collecting some examples by @cotemaxime, @nickmilo, and myself. It contains @nickmilo’s IMF system, @cotemaxime’s implementation of PARA, and some notes from myself about writing fiction and documentation in Obsidian, submissions tracking, and my own sythesis of PARA and IMF.

The current version is 1.0, uploaded 2020-06-02
2020-06-01-ObsidianWorkflows.zip (1016.4 KB)

Please comment below with links to example setups you would like to share. I’d prefer that this thread be mostly about examples and not descriptions of systems, but if you need to toss in a link to an explainer for context that’s fine.


This was really helpful. Thanks!

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Looking at the 05 file with a Zettelkasten and 2 regular notes. I’m trying to understand how knowledge management and obsidian work, therefore, I have basic questions (sorry if they are too basic).

  1. When do you use Zettelkasten and when regular notes? I mean how do you decide?
  2. Do you create a vault for a project and then files within it for the books/authors you read?
  3. Would you take separate notes for quotes from external sources or place them all in one note?

Thank you.

Good stuff. Seems I started doing both intuitively. Exciting to see that there are people putting thought into such topics.

Reckon I have a Projects and IMF like approach, so PIMF it is :wink:

Edit: Probably PAMF


thanks, this was helpful.

  1. Depends what you want. Zk is for creating an interlinked network of notes to help you generate new insights/ideas of/into the subject/conept you’re interested in.
    Regular notes are, well, regular, not necessarily interlinked, though they can be.
    You should read up about Zettelkasten, e.g. zettelkasten.de.
  2. Yes.
  3. Depends on how you want to use them: as part of your other notes, or as standalone bits of knowledge.

Thank you.

You’re welcome. There is also this set up by @lizardmenfromspace.


Collating this here as well: IMF v3 - Advanced Starter Kit

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Thank you!

I loved to see these examples, thank you! I am starting my digital note taking habits and always found it hard to make them useful from the moment after I take them.

I’ve been deep down the Zettelkasten/Obsidian rabbit hole for the last two weeks and I’m becoming increasingly convinced this is critical advice.


Hi, Thanks for the great work on the workflows. I am interested in the IMF flow. But am confused about how the Most used key words on the Index pages are updated? Is it automatic? also can you share your note taking flow? Thanks

Don’t want to be offensive in any way but this is “peanuts” when you really want to understand the work of Luhmann…

I more liked your advice to “just start making notes” and “see what structure emerges”…

Thanks for this, it was helpful!

Thanks it was helpful to structure out the folder dump of notes I put in to get started.