How to best break book notes into separate notes?

One of the best thing in this method it’s focus in smaller notes for each concept rather than longer notes. I find out a lot of difficult to do this when summarizing thoughts from a book.

When I finish a book I create a note for my thoughts on it:

Title: The power of habits
Author: [[Charles Duhigg]]
Tags: #habits
Type: #book
Date: 21/07/2020

  • [[How to use habits]]
  • Bla bla bla
  • Bla bla bla
  • Bla bla bla

I use to create a note for every single concept and inside I write more about it. So, for now, I have a main note for the book and create all of the other ideas as individual notes that reference back to the main book. (this will be contains a top line like that ("From the book [[The power of habits]]).

Taking the first sub-note as an example:

Title: How to use habits
From: [The power of habits]
Tags: #habits

Bla bla bla bla

Many time I found out the needed to write more about one topic but, since I like to divide thought from book and the other I don’t want to edit this note (Es. “How to use habits”). What do u think about that?

Do you advise me not to divide the notes between the various sources to always create evergreen notes or do you think it is useful to keep the two parts separate?


I’ve just started using the Evergreen Notes methodology so this isn’t tried and true yet but my current approach to it is this:

  • create a note for the book itself
  • create a notes within that note for the sections/chapters of the book
  • take notes within each section or chapters as you read
  • make “permanent notes” about the larger ideas I find in the book and then reference the note of the section it’s in at the bottom under a References heading, or just use a footnote.

This way, the larger idea is free to evolve along with things i read from other sources, but can still be tied to the book and the section of the book i found it in. I can go back and read my original notes as well.

I hope this helps!


While I haven’t taken many book notes with Obsidian, I have made some coding notes to myself while working through coding assignments. What I like doing to break those notes down is to identify and backlink key terms. I then try to define in my own words what each of those key terms are within the note created for that key term. If that definition contained key terms as well, then I repeat the process until I run out of key terms to identify. I prefer to do this while I’m researching, as opposed to after I’m done, because I feel this interrupts my train of thought less.

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Thanks for sharing your method, this can be a valid option! If I well understand your thought the name of the chapter note is as close as possible to the index of the book and inside you will write down everything you find interesting in this part.

Yes that’s the idea. This way you can take notes freely, turn those notes into more permanent notes, but still retain the context of where you found it in the book, and what else you were thinking at the time.

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I’m new to Obsidian and this is the first process I thought of and I’m glad that you have the same idea as mine, meaning it’s possible to make it happen.

I was wondering if you have any changes or improvement for the past few years in dealing with breaking book notes? Thank you!