Hi & resource management: apps to partner with Obsidian

Cross-post from Discord: Hey guys. I’ve been using Obsidian for around a month for atomic note-taking, and absolutely loving it. The app is stellar, and this community (I’ve been a-lurking) is awesome. Here’s a bit of an intro from me and a question for the gaps in my workflow that Obsidian doesn’t cover.

I’m a teacher, half way through year eight at an international school in Asia, which will be my last. In the summer I’ll be moving to a small island in the South Atlantic where I’ll be heading up the strategic edtech stuff, teaching courses in computing and media and doing lots of fun teacher training work alongside starting my long-planned PhD. All of this is super exciting, not just in and of itself but as an opportunity for me to re-examine how I do what I do. I’m a really heavy cloud service user here in Taiwan, because bandwidth is like oxygen, but my new home has satellite internet connectivity which is unreliable and extremely expensive ($7USD per GB) until Google lands a data cable there (currently planned for 2022).

Right now my workflow is split between Obsidian for atomic notes and Notion for knowledge & resource bases (document/media storage & archiving, etc), and it’s becoming pretty clear that I need to pivot to an offline-only option with local backup before I go. I’m 100% happy with Obsidian for notes, and the more heavily I invest time in this the more sure I am that this will become a bigger part of my process, but given my extremely resource-dependent specialism a document & media management tool is a must. Evernote is the obvious choice but it’s not completely clear how well it fares offline-only.

Anyhow, I’m really glad to be here, and would be grateful for any pointers.

Maybe look into Zotero if you want a dedicated app? Or MarkDownload if you want to consolidate into just Obsidian.

In my work as a researcher and filmmaker, I’ve recently been creating catalogs for media management of photos, footage, etc. for myself, but mostly for a friend, an art professor and filmmaker.

I’ve been leveraging Obsidian’s foundations in local storage to turn an entire project folder on an external hard drive into an Obsidian vault. This is perfect for making and organizing catalogs of massive amounts of content with text descriptions, attachments, etc. nested in individual subfolders of the project.

I’m also excited by the possibilities of being able to use it for projects in production, not just completed catalogs. It’s quite neat to embed individual shots, entire rough/assembly edits, or archival artifacts with editing notes, meeting notes, scripts, or story outlines.

I’m curious to know how/if your workflow has changed if you don’t mind sharing. Did you stick to Obsidian for media management?

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I have only just started using Obsidian and your description of using separate vaults sounds like it might be an answer as to how I store large amounts of images too. I am an artist/philosopher/art historian and need a way of storing images and annotating them. I wonder if you could explain your work flow further. What I want is to see images and then easily move them into documents.

Just now seeing this!

I don’t have any new, tested updates unfortunately as I was running this workflow experiment initially as a proof of concept while teaching a colleague about Obsidian. I do intend to try it out again later when projects call for it!

There are a few options and community plugins available within Obsidian that I recommend giving a few good shots for annotating and managing images (if you haven’t already):

  • Excalidraw lets you diagram and import and annotate images within Obsidian. The dev also has really helpful documentation and regular updates as well
  • Gallery Plugin makes Obsidian more image friendly for viewing many images from a given folder. (Haven’t worked it into my workflows yet but I imagine it might be helpful to your use case(s))
  • Minimal Theme supports image grids with customizable CSS options

But as for more details on my workflow, I literally just took an external drive and opened a film project folder as a vault, and supported JPG/PNGs work the same as MP4, MOV, etc. I can then reference any supported attachment like I would a note. Though I viewed/titled the images outside of Obsidian so I could just link to what I needed, I’ve got a few plugins below that can help you do it all within Obsidian. The Live Preview editor makes this much more straightforward now than it was then.

Here’s how I’d use Obsidian syntax to distinguish between my work and others’ in a single note:

Here's someone else's work
> ![[Someone else's art.PNG]]
> ![[More of that person's art.PNG]]
> *Some notes about how it has an obligate feature of [[cybernetic-existentialism]]*

I tried this out [[2022-04-22|yesterday]] while location scouting.

![[a clip from my external hard drive.MOV]]

Some notes about which other clips I liked, why, what scenes they'd be useful for, etc.

Sometimes I’d do this all on a single page, other times I’d make separate pages for certain clips/scenes and then embed a header reference to a header that has the images I want to show up in another note—effectively “moving them” but organizing them once.

I’ve got more in my private vaults than my public vault but here’s a very basic example of what some of my notes with images and interactive art looks like. In other notes, I’ll use call-outs like I did in this note.

I haven’t tried out many of the recent possible configurations or much CSS but I’d recommend checking out the official Obsidian Discord as well. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions.

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Thanks ever so much for the effort you have taken to explain this I will check out the links you have provided and see how it goes cheers Simon

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