Folders by note type for simplified filing and tag use

I really enjoyed nickmilo’s post: The Ultimate Folder System: A quixotic journey to ACE. It got me thinking I’d like to share my own folder system, which is designed to be simple (even if there are a high number of folders). This isn’t a challenge to ACE or PARA or other systems, just my own way of doing things.

So I’ll start by sharing the folder structure, and then I’ll describe how I got there and how it works for me.

- Vault Resources

-- Inbox

Classes, Talks, Workshops
Grey Literature
Letters and Notes
Lyrics and Poetry
Plans and Routines
Plays and Scripts
Videos and Movies
Visual Art

As you can see, there are a lot of folders here. The reason for this is simple: there is one folder for each type of file/note I have in my vault, so it is a one-to-one relationship. This helps me to know exactly where to look for what I need. It also represents what I like to take notes about, i.e., the activities in my life which are of interest. Some things are missing of course, such as sheet music for playing instruments, but I don’t use Obsidian for that (yet).

So, about this structure.

Starting with:

- Vault Resources

This is simply where Obsidian resources are kept: attachments and templates. Simple as that. It includes a single - because I want it to appear on top without the use of numbers, which I find visually unappealing.

Next up is -- Inbox. This is where I capture random thoughts about something; I encourage myself to decide in the moment whether this random thought is a question or an idea (i.e., an idea for a blog post, academic paper, or some such). Another word for the notes in this folder could be “Fleeting Notes” but I don’t really follow that workflow so I avoid that language. Sometimes the notes in this folder are deleted, other times they become a topic note (the word I use to describe my version of an evergreen note), and sometimes they become a full on draft of something. I use -- to sort it above the rest of my folders and below - Vault Resources.

The remaining folders are a mix of personal journal entries (dreams, moments, etc.); functional notes (lists, recipes, etc.) and “building” notes (academic, books, etc.) They aren’t sorted accordingly because I don’t want to bury them in a hierarchy: I want to see all my folders.

The way I distinguish between a draft of my own creation, i.e., an academic paper that I read and took notes about or one that I myself wrote is by giving a tag #creation if it’s my own work and #source. Folders I don’t want to see when writing creatively or academically are filtered out using Obsidian’s built-in feature for this. For example, recipes, lists, and health are not really part of my “knowledge-building” activities, so they are filtered out.

Topic notes I take on academic articles are stored in my academic folder, alongside of my academic drafts and notes about a source. Notes in my Topics folder can be thought of as a mix of synthesis notes/MOCs/index notes, which draw from topic notes in other folders. I actually don’t use this folder very much, but it’s there for quick capture.

Topical keywords, people, and places are [[linked]] inline rather than stored in metadata, which I reserve for tags and dates or other information that isn’t important to me to see in search results (using the core search feature).

That’s probably enough for now. Would love to hear what you’re doing differently and why or if you think this is a neat structure :slight_smile:


reading this after coming from

And I am overwhelmed by the number of different methods people do things, and finding what works for me seems like an endless rabbit chase.

What I have found is that instead of completely flipping the way my folder structure is setup each time I find something new I have adapted, removed, implemented bits and pieces.

This leaves me with a folder structure that I cant quite explain but works for me. By no means is it perfect and could be optimised, and I will reach that point I guess once I am able to explain the madness without it sounding crazy.

Thanks for sharing !!


Sounds like a fairly accurate description of how we all feel at one point or another. Keep tinkering! :slight_smile: