How to Process Daily Notes

Hey everyone!

I’ve been on my PMK journey for a few months now and I really like using the daily notes plugin to just have a scratch pad for things, however I have some questions about what to do with these scratch pads after the day is over?

Should these actually be living in an inbox of sorts and my goal should be to extract and fleeting thoughts in them into permanent notes (and thus actually deleting these daily notes after processing)? I know much of a PMK workflow is personal, but I wanted some suggestions from others who have been doing this much longer than I have.


I think you don’t need to delete any daily-note file. Someday you will want to search events you experienced and daily-notes will serve you exactly.

I often do a quick reflection at the end of day (or working hours). This time i will clean up the note, see what i’ve done or what in progress. If I got ideas i will add to other place or a new note to process later.

It’s also great if you do weekly and month note based on the daily-notes :wink:

Hope this help you a little.

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I like this approach, and was thinking about trying something similar. In my brain I’ve been calling it my “shutdown sequence” for work lol. Thanks for the reply!

I’d be inclined to pull out anything useful or notable into more specialized notes. But I wouldn’t delete the originals because I like having a record of my process (not for any real practical reason). If you don’t extract everything of value, at least it’ll still be there in the daily notes where you have a chance to find it via search.

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For me it depends on what you use Daily Notes for.
I use them to ground myself at the start of the day - I link in notes I want to read each morning such as my goals, principles, morning prayer, etc.
Then I have a short to-do list of morning routine items such as exercise and meditation.

So I don’t usually go back to them often - they serve their purpose when the day is over. On some mornings I’ll look at yesterday’s Daily Note to see how the day went, and on some Sunday’s I’ll scan through my Daily Notes from the week gone by to see how it went.

I don’t think you need to delete them.

I do think it’s a good idea to extract any fleeting thoughts at the end of the day, if you’re using them for this and have notes worth extracting :slight_smile:

Hi! I started using Obsidian for the same reasons and similarly ran into the same organizational vagueness as you.

The problem I ran into, was that often times I want to write a quick thought relevant to one of these areas, but I don’t want to break my flow and hop around too much. I don’t necessarily want to link directly to avoid overcrowding with connections that are useful.

To address this, I have a couple of heading “key words” that overlap with major areas in my life, that I have MOC notes for. (e.g., Career, Health). I write down random thoughts or details I might want to review later.

Then, on the MOC page, I have a handy dataview query that searches all of my daily notes and extracts the text under each heading into a “log” for that page, separated by the daily note title (i.e., the date). That way, I can review things when it makes sense and still have the context of when I wrote them, without having to duplicate daily logs everywhere.

Here is the query I use that a helpful forum member sent to me (sorry I don’t have the name offhand to give credit!)

Curious if anyone else uses this method? Any ways to improve upon it?

// Headings you would like to summarise the text for
const headings = ['Investing']

// You can update this to filter as you like.
// Here it is only returning results inside the "Daily notes" folder
const pages = dv.pages('"Daily notes"')

const output = {}
headings.forEach(x => output[x] = [])

for (const page of pages) {
  const file = app.vault.getAbstractFileByPath(page.file.path)
  // Read the file contents
  const contents = await
  for (let heading of headings) {
    // Sanitise the provided heading to use in a regex
    heading = heading.replace(/[/\-\\^$*+?.()|[\]{}]/g, '\\$&')
    const regex = `(^|\n)#+ ${heading}\r?\n(.*?)(\n#+ |\n---|$)`
    // Extract the summary
    for (const block of contents.match(new RegExp(regex, 'isg')) || []) {
      const match = block.match(new RegExp(regex, 'is'))
        title: file.basename,
        text: match[2].trim()
Object.keys(output).forEach(heading => {
  dv.header(1, heading)
  output[heading].forEach(entry => {
    dv.header(4, entry.title)

PS - found the thread, shoutout again to @AlanG


I have different stuff in my daily notes. Sometimes it’s things that deserve their own separate notes, then I extract it to a new note and in daily note just leave a link to it. Sometimes it’s just some logs about what happened this day and how I feel, so I just leave it here.

I archive my daily notes in the end of each month by copying them into the monthly note (I have a template for that), and then I delete the daily notes leaving only monthly. This way all my logs are preserved, but I don’t have millions of notes. While archiving, I also revise them again to look if something else is worth extracting.

Thank you, @AlanG. I really like your code, but I realized that following improvements could be made (unfortunately I myself am not able to do that, because of my lack of JS-Knowhow):

  • Sorting by filename:
    • The dataview is not sorted, so if I write a daily note for August 6th, then a daily note for August 2nd, and finally one for August 8th, they are not displayed in the correct order.
    • Usually, it doesn’t make sense to write daily notes in a non-chronological order. However, I also use them as a weekly planner, so I create the daily notes a few days in advance to remind myself of what I want to do on those days.
  • Restricting results:
    • I would like to be able to restrict the dataview results to a specific time period. This way, I could use the same heading in different contexts. For example, I could use the header “holiday” for a specific holiday in both 2022 and 2023, if I had the option to search within a limited range of daily notes.
  • Images pasted are not included

Everyone has to start somewhere, and Obsidian is a great project to learn Javascript since you’re only working in a single small domain (manipulating Obsidian/Dataview), and it gives you a specific focus as to what you want to learn.

Codeacademy is an excellent resource to learn for free.

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Thanks for the link, I already startet with FreeCodeCamp, which also is an excellent ressource! :slight_smile:

Today I found that great Dataview-Example-Vault, which I wish I would have found much earlier: