How to handle many vaults?

Hi Obsidians,

how do you handle your vaults with updates and configs? If you work with more then one or two vaults …

I use many vaults (round about 10) for all my notes and ideas. All vaults have a similar look and feel. Same plugins, same theme, same properties, same configs, … but some different colors (and different content - of course :wink: ).

The vaults reside on my NAS and there they are include in my backup-process. So far so good.

But - now my question: handling so much vaults are a bit extensive and confusing. I have to update, found a new cool plugin or discovered a important property or what else … and so I have to go to all these vaults and have to hit the same switch every time. And every time I forgot a vault! Argh! :worried:

Things I have tried

I tried to work with symbolic links. I have a config vault. Here I tune the system. All my other vaults have symbolic links to plugins- and themes-folder, also to all of the config-files. This works when I m not on a NAS but on a Workstation. On NAS the symlinks make some troubles. At this moment I cant remember what the exact problems are …

On NAS therefore I wrote an update-script that copied all the files and folders to each vault. Step by Step. A havy step. So much little files takes very long until they copied to about ten vaults.

And I assume there are some configs not good to copy 1:1 to the other vaults.

How do you handle your vaults? Have you some hints?

Thanks for your help

I wonder about what you said about how it takes a long time to run. Maybe you can share your update script, and some people can suggest faster ways of doing it? I wonder why it takes a long time to run a script.

I personally would use fewer vaults, and instead rely on folders and path filtering. But I am not here to discourage your design decisions. I get that there are reasons to use separate vaults.

Could you simply copy the Plugins folder from one vault to all the others?

(Info on location of Plugins folder on macOS here.)

Thanks for your reply :slight_smile:

The update-script is very easy. It is like

cp /path/to/my/config_vault/.obsidian/plugins /path/to/my/other_vault/.obsidian/
cp /path/to/my/config_vault/.obsidian/themes /path/to/my/other_vault/.obsidian/
cp /path/to/my/config_vault/.obsidian/some-configs.json /path/to/my/other_vault/.obsidian/

And, if I copy (CTRL-C / CTRL-V) the folder via file-explorer from my_vault to my_vault.backup it takes a long time, too.
I scanned the .obsidian folder: there are about 4.500 files in it. The used storage is nothing: about 40MByte.

An Idea I have at this moment: perhaps the NAS has some problems and is very slow? Or the way from NAS to workstation and back to NAS is slow. The update-script runs on my workstation … Hmmm :thinking:

Could you tell me more about the concept of folders and path filtering? Or have you a good link explaining this? At my first view I cant find it. Perhaps I get new ideas to restructure my vaults …

Yes, this is what I m doing :slight_smile:

Yeah maybe this is a NAS issue. You’d think a basic cp command would run quickly. Is there more to the script you aren’t showing? Any looping or other commands? Have you tested the script locally on a single drive?

Also, wouldn’t you need the -R flag to be recursive and include sub-folders? Not that that would explain any speed issues.

Sure. Here is the help for search operators: Search - Obsidian Help

  • you can use path: foo in your searches. And -path: foo to filter NOT that path.
  • You can group items in the Graph View, including by path: search. So for example, I color all my book notes in my Readwise folder a certain color, to distinguish books vs. my own notes.
  • If you use Dataview or any other query methods, I am pretty sure you can filter by path as well.
  • If path: foo doesn’t cut it, you also have Regex searches for more complex filtering.

It might not solve the way you prefer to work. But on the other hand, it sounds like splitting all your vaults might be adding complexity.

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