Obsidian at Work

Does anyone use Obsidian at work? I can’t be the only one who uses Obsidian for everything, including work.

I’m a software engineer, and I’ve been using Obsidian to:

  • learn new languages, concepts, and tools (Readwise, Dataview, Mind Map)
  • create, give, and publish presentations (via revealjs and a Hugo theme)
  • learn in public by putting my notes up online (Obsidian Publish)
  • take meeting notes (templates, Dataview plugin)
  • do task management (Calendar, Daily Note, Kanban plugins)
  • post to our blog, make changes to our public documentation (GitHub)

I’ve successfully convinced some colleagues at work to switch to Obsidian, and we’re using it in conjunction with Git to collaborate on various things. I wrote about my setup here, but I’m also interested in hearing from others. Are there any other use cases you’ve found Obsidian to be particularly good for in a professional context?

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Great writeup, thanks for sharing!

Personally, I’m still too much playing, procrastinating, organising, talking to plugin devs, instead of actually using Obsidian for my productive work. (Damn code junky, me! But brainstorming new fantastic possibilities is just so much fun …)

The good thing, observing myself, is that I naturally start using Obsidian more and more, because it’s (still) very fast and keeps my cluttered notes and thoughts more and more together.

Real soon now … :rofl:

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Yeah, the age old dilemma of tweaking vs. using! I definitely fall into that trap, most recently with the Dataview plugin. That plugin is SO useful and has SO many possibilities that it’s actually making me (at least initially) LESS productive as I think of ways I can completely change how I’m making my notes just so I can use it. :laughing:

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I’m looking forward to reading about your setup. At heart I’m a software engineer/hacker, but I’m also the president/co-founder of a midsize eCommerce cosmetics company. I use Obsidian for:

  • daily planning and daily log
  • organizing formal corporate records across 4 companies (organization and annotation of non-.md documents, many legal documents etc)
  • all of my project documents across my areas of responsibility (financials, accounting. legal, analytics, software development, …)
  • learning new areas. For example, as I learn about corporate finance, I create a MoC-like structure for that new area of knowledge.
  • dealing with complexity!
  • prototyping some new ways of browsing information about our distributed sales team

And of course, like all of you I just find it intellectually a lot of fun to work this way.

I have not yet tried to collaborate with others using Obsidian but that would be a very very interesting and potentially valuable thing to do for me.

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Thanks very much for this - I work in a technical industry and have been looking to try to use Obsidian as a way of keeping track of different platforms, their features, people I work with etc etc

Reading your setup was really helpful and useful and equally loved the other stuff you’ve got up there on Obsidian and PKM generally!

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I work in the University sector (currently not going in due to Pandemic), and I’m using Obsidian to try to keep on top of things. I have always struggled with organisation, especially time management, and was recently diagnosed with ADHD (which could explain a lot). (NB there is another thread on here related to Obsidian and ADHD). I used to use outlining software a lot (Checkvist - similar to org mode but a lot easier to learn), but realised that I was spending far too much time trying to find a place for new information within my tree. I was therefore drawn to looser / more free-form possibilities offered by Obsidian (Roam was my Gateway drug).

I have to say that I still haven’t found a perfect system, within Obsidian, for managing tasks and goals, and the endless bureaucracy of university life has actually prevented me from exploring its research capabilities, which, I think, is where it shines. Also, like @Moonbase59 , I have spent far too long tinkering rather than using. Thanks @nvanderhoeven for publishing your set up. I’m particularly excited by the possibilities of dataview, but I think it needs a bit more development in order to be truly useful.

First step: spread the word! I’m doing a presentation on Obsidian for the next internal tech talk. I’ve mentioned it to a few people, but I’m hoping it catches on! The incumbent solution seems to be mainly Google Docs, with some stuff on GitHub for us.

It’s funny that you mention platforms. It’s useful for me to keep track of different tools and platforms, and I’m thinking Dataview might be the way to sort of assess everything based on a common framework, then query to see which ones come out on top. Still working on all that juicy metadata, though! Glad you found it useful. :slight_smile:

Right there with you on the excitement! The good thing is that anyone can chip in and contribute to its development. I’m still exploring what it CAN do, but it’s definitely a project I’d love to help with because it just opens up a lot of possibilities.

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@nvanderhoeven I’ve seen that you store articles and such inside your vault.
Is it the same vault where you store your notes in? If so, how do you find stuff?
I’ve recently moved all my archived articles out of the main vault because it was getting increasingly difficult to find my own notes between all the archived articles.

I am sharing an Obsidian vault with my co-founder and one adviser. It resides on OneDrive. It works well because we are a small group. It’s our crown jewel: a knowledge base, our log of scrums, our meeting and events notes, our pitches, our networking data, cash flows, you name it. It would be painful to do without it.

For a larger group I would not use it in its current state. It’s missing versioning and permissioning. These are complex features to implement. I do hope they come at some point.

@miguelmarcos - do you run into any issues with conflicting edits to the same file at the same time?

We do occasionally. OneDrive will append the name of the device onto the file name in that case. Since there are only three of use we can merge easily.

Yes, it’s all in the same vault where I keep my notes, but in a different folder. So I can exclude everything in the Articles folder when I’m searching, and I’ll only find my notes on it.

This is why we moved to Git. We had the same issues (conflicting copies) with Dropbox, but Git let us set things to ignore in .gitignore (for things like the .obsidian folder), and it already has excellent versioning and merge conflict features. It was a bonus that we already use Git repos, so it was a workflow we were already used to.

Hm okay, but that doesn’t work with the Ctrl+P command or when linking to a file, doesn’t it?
I often had the problem that I was for example looking for my file called „note taking“ and then it first showed me all other files which contained either „note“ or „taking“.

BTW I work in DevOps and use Obsidian often to refer to commands, and similar information.
I stopped using it for other work related thing’s because my team members don’t work with Markdown or Obsidian so it isn’t that practical for them.

I see you are collaborating on documents with a co-worker who also uses Obsidian. I’m wondering if you know if it’s possible for my co-workers and I to share notes? We want to make sure that we can’t make changes to each other’s notes but we do want to be able to read them and link to them. For example, I’m developing some curriculum for a class on prayer. My co-worker read a book on prayer and has some great thoughts as well as a few quotes I’d like to use. I’d really like to be able to search their notes and link to them as I’m developing my curriculum. Any ideas on how we could go about doing this? None of us is tech savvy enough to use GitHub which seems to be what most people recommend :grimacing:

It does, but it adds the folder - so if I try to make a link to [[note taking]], I am prompted to choose whether I mean [[Article/note taking]] or [[Notes/note taking]], as an example. I usually use CMD O to open up a page (I’m on a Mac), but if you’re using search, you can use double quotes to make a search for an exact term; i.e. "note taking" will only show notes that contain that exact phrase.

Interesting. My use case was a little different in that we were both using Obsidian, but only needed to share a folder that we could both read and write to. For that, I used Dropbox and shared just that folder with him. We’ve moved to using GitHub as you mentioned, mainly because we wanted others to be able to see it as well.

Since you want to be able to view, but not edit, each other’s notes, Obsidian doesn’t natively support that right now, but you could probably achieve the same thing by:

  • Using Dropbox to set permissions: Share a folder, but add each other as viewers instead of editors. Then open up the folder as a vault in Obsidian, and either use the Obsidian URI to link to your vault to that vault or just make that folder part of your vault; or
  • Consider using Obsidian Publish for certain notes that you want to make available. I believe there’s a way to password-protect your Published vault, although I’ve not tried it myself. Then, you’d be able to link to your coworker’s pages like you would webpages.

Hope that helps! :slight_smile:

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Thanks, @nvanderhoeven. I’ll take a look at git.

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