How to mark My thoughts within a note from a book or course?

I been using Obsidian for a few months now for my notes while reading or taking a course (for career or personal growth, not as a student). While studying I take notes of what I’m learning and also add my own thoughts and ideas to expand or clarify. What I’m noticing now is when I go back to look at my notes, I’m not sure what came from the course/book and what came from my own mind. I would like a way to indicate this, so lately I’ve been starting lines or paragraphs with Me: or Mine: or something similar. It just seems rather clunky so I wanted to see if anyone has found a better way.

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In my book highlights, I use blockquotes to differentiate between the highlighted text from the book and my own notes. Maybe you could use blockquotes for your own thoughts in your course notes?

At first I used blockquotes for the highlighted text, but then it made more sense to put my own thoughts in quotes because there were far less of them than the actual highlights.

Hope this helps.


You might want to have a look at the Highlightr plugin. It will let you customize how you highlight your notes.


I tend to write my notes in paragraph format. Generally, when I take notes on a topic I assume the perspective of the author (accepting their “truth” in the context of the note). That prevents me from needing to say “<author/presenter> claims that…”.

When something arises that I contribute (opinions, relevant experiences, critiques, questions), I will just refer to myself in the first-person. “I think/wonder/remember/disagree…”.

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I would probably use a callout.


I think it depends on your needs. If you simply want to signal to your future self that these were your own thoughts, something visual would be beneficial, such as a callout, using the first person, or including a bullet point beneath the note.

What I do is

Some statement about some [[topic1]] and its influence on [[topic 2]] 
based on data (Name, Year). #note/paper
- I think this study is #dubious based on the poor quality data
- [[question, what is the relationship between topic1 and topic 2?]] 

Comments are tagged with an adjective, such as dubious, biased, good-writing, etc.

I link questions if I think they might be interesting topics for future research or even comprise the basis for a paper or something if the little research has been done by others to answer the question. In the new note, I will tag it with #question. You could do this without linking and include the tag #question (or #opinion) on the same line I have included the link.

If I were to form an opinion (instead of a question) or if I have a relevant pre-existing note or question about this topic, I would link those instead.

The process doesn’t really end here of course, but for the purposes of answering your question I think this is sufficient!

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In some cases I’m adding another item to a list, so a callout would be clumsy, but I like the idea of using tags. Generally I’m clarifying what they said or wrote, marking an area that isn’t clear, or adding a potentially unrelated question to explore later. I’m not sure if links would be valuable to me here, but I think the tags will help. Links might be better when I’m mentioning some other source that isn’t in Obsidian, but some of them never will be so I’ll have to see.

Thanks for the ideas

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I mostly use callouts with different colors/priorities whenever I need to step out from the notes I gathered from a book/course/video. Therefore I understand better what is generated from a material outside and what is from my own mind. I also write it with more personal language, like a future note to myself.