I have used Evernote for years. I actually don’t mind the new version of their app, but I came to realize I was using it as my digital hoarding area. It was so easy to save things into it I saved everything, and I rarely went back to develop ideas or even read the entire note I had saved. The entire thing was set up like “someday I’m going to go through all this and make sense of it”.
My first run at Obsidian a few months ago saw me import all of my Evernote data into Joplin, then export it as markdown into Obsidian. It was here that I tried to make Obsidian behave like Evernote. You could say it worked okay, but I was having the same problems. Information overload and not enough dissemination of my own on the material. I gave up on using Obsidian that way and left until a few weeks ago.
When I came back, I decided to change my mindset. Instead of dumping everything into Evernote, I was going to do the following.
- Quick Items: Things like grocery lists, recipes, home maintenance notes, guitar scales would now be in APPLE NOTES.
- Longer term storage: Things like health documents, bills, instruction manuals would now be stored in ONEDRIVE.
- My Own Thoughts & Ideas: OBSIDIAN
I haven’t been forcing things, creating notes in Obsidian as required. I started actually by creating a Kanban board of my current goals. I then made notes about certain things I wanted to work on; things like self-esteem, empathy, my ability to listen etc.
I’ve been taking it slow, but I now have a Map Of Content about attributes I’d like to work on, and from there it branches out into a definition for each trait, how I can improve it, articles I’ve read etc.
I’ve only now started adding tags which is odd, considering my entire Evernote account was tag based, but man, the linking of notes has been a revelation. I am learning to keep the notes fairly small where possible too, and the links really do become apparent as you think and write notes in your own words.
I’ve built myself a nice little knowledge graph here and the ideas are 100% original. And from that, I find my ideas are pinging around in my head more. I’m thinking about these things with greater frequency, and the more dots I throw on the page, the more you start to see how these dots really do form a picture.
If you’re new to Obsidian I recommend this method of starting out slow. Don’t try to build Rome in a day. You may walk away from your computer feeling like you accomplished nothing, or you may find you’re overwhelming yourself at times in an effort to find the perfect structure or linking system. Just keep plugging away. When the plan reveals itself to you, you’ll know, and seeing a cluster of YOUR OWN ideas staring back at you – you’ll find it very empowering.
I’m all in on Obsidian now. There’s no turning back.