How I refined my Youtube knowledge acquisition

Hi guys! I’m a typical lifelong learner. I’m constantly studying smth ranging from emotinal intelligence to NodeJs. In the last few years my content consuming process mostly moved to Youtube. And recently I’ve decided to make my workflow as smooth as possible. I’m so excited to share and get your feedback.

My typical Youtube learning workflow

My typical workflow while studying particular video usually includes 2 stages:

Fast aquaintance + timestamping

Initially I watch video at an accelerated rate (usually 1,5x). During this process I’m saving timestamps for each video moment, where I found a piece of valuable information. Usually I do it from my phone on the go or in a public transport. My “time-notches” go straight to Telegram (“Saved messages”). To save them I use “out of the box” Telegram feature. I just reply to Youtube video link message with timecode and Telegram automatically turns reply into the timepointed link.

Taking notes by timestamps

Getting home, I’m going over all “notches” and review the video in the corresponding timepoints to take notes into Obsidian.

This approach is OK in general. However, I found that for long videos it would be very handy to save a small piece of subtitles along with a timestamp. There are 3 benefits:

a. After watching the video and saving timestamps you can take notes mostly without any need to launch the video. That extremely speeds up the process.
b. You can prioritize your note taking process, what is extremelly valuable when your have to go through a long video and have limited amount of time. Having acquired the “whole picture” after watching the complete video, you can even exclude the particular timestamps from revision.
c. You can quickly go through your “info-notches” to get the whole picture even without taking notes of the video.

Having this in mind, I decided to create Telegram bot, which is able to pull out subtitles for the particular video timepoint and collect all these runtime “marks” to MD files (to be easily transferred to Obsidian with a click of a button).

The new scenario

Now I’m using my bot for saving Youtube video timestamps with subtitles around. The scenario is as following:

1. Send Youtube video link to the bot:

2. Then just send messages with timestamps formatted as following: “mm” (minutes), “mm:ss” (minutes seconds) or “hh:mm:ss” (hours minutes seconds). Bot turns them into links with timepoints and save with subtitles. Right after the timestamp (in the same message) you can also add any text. Bot will recognize it as a comment related to the particular timecode:

You can also send comments and pictures which are not related to the concrete timepoint.

3. When you are done watching one or several videos, just click “Collect all” button. Bot will pack your notches and comments to MD files, which you can download right away into your vault.

To end up with)

Just several points to end up with:

  1. I’m planning to make bot as good as possible to satisfy Youtube learner needs. If you have any ideas on new features to add to the bot, just let me know. Also please notify me about bugs (if you meet them).
  2. If bot is not responding to your input, just restart it with /start command
  3. If you want to track bot updates and vote for feature priority, please follow this TG channel.
22 Likes

This is fantastic! This post should have more traction.

I am trying to use the bot but it’s not responding to any of my inputs. I’ve tried restarting it multiple times but nothing is happening. What can I do?

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I have been unable to get Telegram to save the timestamps. Do you send the link to Saved Messages with the timestamp as a part of the message?

Hi! Thank you for your feedback! Please try again now (just starting with /start command) and let me know how it goes. Thank you in advance!

If you are talking about the bot , you first send the Youtube video link here Telegram: Contact @vimarker_bot , and then just send time codes like I described above.

[wrong thread]

Thanks. It works great so far.

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By the way, can you share more details on your usecase with taking notes from Youtube? I mean in which cases (tasks) you take notes with Youtube timecodes? Is that a part of a learning process? What video content is usually worth notetaking for you?

As someone new to Obsidian, with kind of an on again off again relationship with notetaking, this is amazing! A large percentage of my learning comes from YouTube.

Just learning about the basic telegram feature would have been good enough, but your bot is even better!

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Thank you for your feedback! I would appreciate if you share what you usually learn from Youtube.

It varies on whatever I’m focused on currently, which, right now, is as much Obsidian info as I can find. :grin:

I’ve also been trying to learn about D&D, which surprisingly has quite a bit of overlap with Obsidian YouTube videos.

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I fell in love with Annotate.tv which automatically syncs to Readwise, for anyone who wants a desktop solution. Thanks for sharing this mobile solution.

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Cool! Thank you for suggestion. Btw, which videos you usually annotate?