I started in Obsidian already with a large body of existing data. And I’m loving being able to interlink it (although mostly I just have things sorted into MOCs, so far, so I can find what I want to work with more easily since there are so many notes already), but I’m struggling to figure out how closely my current note structure does or doesn’t resemble Smart Notes, and how best to adjust from where I am now.
Although there are exceptions, the overwhelming majority of my notes are in two categories:
- Book notes
- Stuff I wrote on Facebook and thought was well-written enough to be worth saving
Some of the FB posts have a lot of duplication because I might have written about the same basic thing 3-8 times, in different places, so they may be merge-able. I think most of these are probably closest to permanent notes; they’re usually fairly developed explanations of various ideas, presented to others.
My book notes are mostly in a kind of outline format. I don’t do a lot of writing in my own words (given that I don’t have trouble “translating” what I saw in a book to the new ideas I want to connect it with, it kinda feels like unnecessary time - but maybe I’m really missing something?). I mostly have highlights (esp. from Kindle books, just because it’s easier that way than trying to “type” on my Kindle), annotated with my comments. I have these broken up by headers, so I can link to specific sections, and I figure that if I need to pull out individual sections to atomize later, I can do that.
Meanwhile, I already have almost 7000 notes. People are already asking why I have so many. LOL And I can’t even fathom how many I would have if I really took every separate idea from my every note and/or post and made them separate. (To put this into perspective, I find that I’m pulling in approximately 10,000 words/month that I’ve written in Facebook.)
Is this a matter of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Or am I going to really be costing myself by not breaking everything apart?
How would you go about doing this? Would you treat the Facebook write-ups as permanent notes, and work backward from them? (That is, merge anything that seems redundant, and start linking these back to everything else?) How far do permanent notes really need to be atomized? I know I’ve seen some people talk about keeping them to a paragraph or so – but then I see examples of notes that are very lengthy, with lots of sections.
And on the far end of the spectrum, what do you do with very short snippets of information? e.g. I have something I captured that merely indicates the fact that “betaine hcl is a methyl donor.” Does that really warrant its own note? I feel like a note should at least be longer than a filename! Am I losing something by only throwing this into a larger note about methyls? Is this treated differently because it’s a fact/data point, not a “concept”?