Looking for best practices for using web clipped articles

Greets, fellow Obs-heads!

I store web clippings of articles into an “Articles” directory in Obsidian for reference, editing, and/or notating.

I use these articles for business ideas, referencing, and such. But I’m not sure I am doing this in a manner of utilizing my knowledge system in the best way possible.

I’m curious as to how some of you file and reference articles in your own systems?

Do you keep the articles in an article folder, move them to a relevant folder, or do you not use folders at all ala Zettel style? Absorb them into other notes? Etc.?

Am always learning,


Here’s a pure clipper option https://forum.obsidian.md/t/markdownload-markdown-web-clipper/173


I am using SimpleRead to capture articles and save them as markdown files.

I will add them to special folder named Library, then add metadata to it as follow:

uid: timestamp like 202009281557
link: [[090 PKM MOC]] OR other TOP LEVEL file you want to use like blabla TOC
tags: #tag  #tag #tag

I could use template to add the content quickly. Now I have an article that is easy to archive. So I could refer it and use search command to filter it out.

Then, I will add its information to MOC stuff. I could associate the article with my notes or other captured articles by using my own words. When I forget the article’s main content, this can help me find this article quickly.

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I should clarify – I’m asking what your best practices are for referencing and filing articles and such in your knowledge system, not how you are retrieving them. : )

I’ll edit my original post.


I keep them in a dedicated folder to make sure I can filter search and graph to either exclude or focus on that folder, as needed. I’m uncertain if this is the best practice, but it’s working so far.

I used MarkDownload, with a setting to add #unread to the front of any downloaded article. This makes it easier to find articles I’ve recently added but perhaps didn’t read or link yet.


@icebear, I’m doing pretty much the same thing and am in same boat as to if it’s a best practice or not.

Hopefully more will chime in with their methods. : )


What’s you practice while processing the articles in Obsidian? I’ve tried a few different approaches - only reading the articles and creating links to related notes, new notes, or key words that I will subsequently revise; taking bullet point notes directly in the clipped article for later use; and taking notes in a new Scratch Pad note with links back to the clipped article, which I can later slice and dice into a proper evergreen note.

To be honest none feels quite right yet. I think the problem with clipping is it is easy to create a huge backlog to get to eventually, but then you spend most time in Obsidian reading clipped articles rather than writing your own notes. It feels like this creates the wrong habit within Obsidian.

I’ve been thinking of if it would be better to not clip at all (or, clip elsewhere like another vault, or Zotero) and use Obsidian just for jotting my own notes down. Under this workflow if I read an article that prompted a note, I’d go ahead and draft it immediately, and look for other sources to enrich the note. That focuses clipping on what I will use right this second, rather than what I may get to eventually. I’m experimenting still, we’ll see how it goes.

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@icebear, at the moment I send new articles to an article inbox folder (I have a regular inbox folder for everything else while articles go into articles_inbox) for later filing, referencing, and/or synthesizing.

I plan on writing newsletters covering a few topics so many of those articles act as references to be shared. If there’s a specific newsletter category for them to go into, I’ll file it in there after I inbox process it to make sure it is something I want to keep and reference.

It seems to work but this is a new system for me so I’m sure it will evolve over time. I want to be sure I’m processing things into my brain properly and to be able to reference things later without falling into the trap of collecting too much junk that just sits there uselessly.

That’s why I was curious how others do it.

For example (as in your case), I’m wondering if I should take an article I am doing to keep/reference and summarize it in my own words so it gets soaked into my brain (and perhaps gets trimmed down to an atomic level as a note to be saved rather than a complete article - I can always point to the URL for further details/reference).

Some articles may exist as pure reference material to mention in an outgoing newsletter so it would remain unedited for the most part.

At this point I am feeling it would be best to do the above as a best practice for the knowledge system… I want it to remain as easy (and fun!) to do so if I find the process becoming cumbersome I’ll review the system and change it up until it’s consistently fluid (and fun!) to use.

As for clipping itself, my method is to simply clip (articles & highlights are automatically sent to my articles_inbox) and move onto the next thing. It keeps it as frictionless as possible to make it a pure information gathering tool for referencing/editing/synthesizing later. I’ll edit, expound, etc. upon it later when the dust settles.

As you say, we’ll see how it goes!

Thanks for sharing your methodology.


I control the size of my inbox.
If I approach the point where old stuff might prevent the ingress of new stuff, the oldest old stuff will overflow into an unprocessed collection.

I also only make notes when I consider them worth the time and thought. When I consider the clip worth retaining, but not making a note at that point, I will simply tag it.

Effectively i grade the material I collect, and ration my time according to the grade.


I used to clip a lot of articles into Evernote, but I found that I never used them for anything. In addition, I had several articles that talked about the same thing: these clippings were begging to be synthesized, but I never did.

So, I’ve all but stopped making web clippings. When I come across an article that I find useful, I either directly make a zettel or I create a literature note and then create zettels from the literature note. The difference between the two approaches depends on whether I get only 1 or 2 ideas from an article or I find that I need to spend time unpacking and digesting the article before making zettels.

In some cases, I find the Roam-highlighter talked about elsewhere on this forum to be helpful for creating a literature note (despite the name, it also works with Obsidian). Using that, I make highlights directly on the page and store those in a literature note in Obsidian. After copying the highlights, I make my own notes by only referencing the highlights.

In the rare event that I decide to save the entire article, I store the article in Zotero. I only do this if I feel that I may want to go back to the source document one day. Depending on the nature of the note, I create a link to the file in Obsidian.


I’d just add a comment that Obsidian is very different. Providing you work regularly in it, there will be frequent occasions when you will be searching, writing and making links. Even old clips can become dynamically included during this process, provided they were worth collecting in the first place. In theory, you could do something similar in Evernote, but few worked actively or wrote in it and linking was not the same.

I believe my experience of Evernote is the same as many. It was very good for collecting (still is), and the collection was easily searched. But it was never part of an active process, just a little database hanging off the end.

I’d also add that individual files have a very different type of existence to entries in a database (though I feel that some Obsidian users treat them the same as a database).

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