Filenames (beginning) with # or ^

Does anyone have any experience/best practices with using filenames that contain or begin with either the “#” or “^” character?

I’m currently pre-pending the “^” character to filenames to effectively “pin” certain notes by forcing them to alphabetically sort to the top, but now with block references using that character I was wondering what others thoughts were on using such a character in a filename, especially so at the beginning. Will it confuse/interfere with Obsidian’s autocomplete link feature?

I’ll probably rename the few notes that I’ve pinned this way, but was just curious if anyone has any experience with this.

I haven’t tested this out, so no experiences… But why don’t you just use numbers? Like 00_text, 01_text, etc. - this would be my first choice if I wanted to show my files in an alphanumeric order…

Beside that, I rather wouldn’t think that there should be any conflicts if you further use your described system…

Thank you, yes I do that as well, but sometimes I want a note that I know will auto-sort above everything, including numbered notes, so I choose a symbol. It’s not something I frequently use, but I do have a handful.

I’ll probably refactor my numbering system so that I can easily add a note that sorts to the top…

I typically use an underscore _ if I want to force a file to sort first. I would be careful with other symbols because they can be used for other purposes and cause confusion. For example # with heading links and ^ with block references.

Aye, I would treat # and ^ as reserved characters.

I use quite a few symbols in my system, though. Characters like ⨳ (the smash product) are rarely used (unless you’re doing math) and get priority in alphabetical sort. I use text expansion on macOS and iOS to insert them.

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that’s super hepful @ryanjamurphy, yeah those symbols can be easily inserted with text expansion.

Would you mind sharing the other symbols you use?

Been meaning to write up how I use symbols more fully, but here’s the list of options I’ve churned up and played with. I only use 4-5 of these. Most of them are used in mathematics, so again, if you’re a regular user of math symbols this might not be so helpful.

I tend to try to use symbols that are easily recognized in the typeface/font size I’m using (some of these are barely visible without a large font size) and that meaningfully correspond—at least a little—with whatever they indicate.

E.g., I use △ to indicate an open project, ▲ to indicate a closed project. This comes from David Allen’s definition of work (any change we want to make happen in our worlds) and project (a project is whenever more than one action is required to complete some work).

⊗ := the tensor product, a generalization of nonlinear vector space. See
▲ := delta, change
⋈ := bowtie, natural join of two relations
× := multiplication; cross product
∧ := logical and
∨ := logical or
∪ := Union
∩ := Intersection
∑ := summation
↯ := contradiction
≀ := wreath product
⨳ := smash product
∎ := denotes the end of a proof, aligns with the “finished” nature of these notes.
∴ := therefore; it is used at the end of articles to indicate the reader has reached the end.
∵ := because
⫝ := the forking symbol (looks like an anchor)
:crossed_swords:︎: duelling swords
:hammer_and_pick:︎ : hammer and chisel
☍ := the astronomical symbol for opposition
☌ := astronomical symbol for conjunction
:anchor:︎ : an anchor
⎊ : inverted triangle in a circle
:atom_symbol:︎ : an atom

Others: ⟐ ⟠ ⧉ ❖ ◇ ◆ ⟁ ☉

Edit: as you can see, some of the graphical ones near the end fight with Discourse’s rendering. It seems to convert them to emoji, with some graphical glitches in tow. Be sure to test out any characters you’re thinking about using in all of the contexts you’ll use them!


Thank you so much @ryanjamurphy I’ve been implementing my own list of symbols to use. These are amazing, appreciate you sharing them

If you ever do so, please let me know!

Thanks again!