Obsidian Build/Plugin Bundle Implementation/Workflow Advice

BLUF

I am looking for advice/detailed tutorial links (written posts strongly preferable to videos) on how to structure my vault/Obsidian interface/note templates to achieve a long list of desired functionality. I apologize if this is the wrong place to request help of this sort and will happily move/delete my post if asked!

Things I have tried

I have currently been running Obsidian (and loving it) for several months as a combination Note-taking/To-Do list/Journal System. I am using most of the core plugins, but have been a bit overwhelmed by the community plugin ecosystem so far and haven’t yet added any of these.

Tentatively, I think I could achieve many my goals by implementing Dataview, Obsidian to Anki, Obsidian Citations Plugin + Zotero, Incremental Writing Plugin - I am not sure the best implementation order or note/vault structure to achieve this, however.

Background Information

I currently use Anki for spaced repetition (I really like it and would prefer to keep using it) and Dropbox for Cloud Storage (I have no strong affiliation for this and am happy to change).

My personal computers run Ubuntu, my phone runs Android. My work/client computer’s typically run Windows.

I do data science for a living, but I’m definitely a mathematician and not a programmer so while my technical knowledge/ability is probably above average for the general population, it is also probably below average for this crowd (e.g. I know how to program, but it usually takes me a few hours to remember how to set up an IDE and actually get everything working). It is safer to assume I don’t know how to do something technical than I do.

I have previously used the following software/systems to achieve some or all of the functions I’d like to accomplish below:

  • LyX
  • Mendelay
  • SimpleNote
  • GoogleDocs
  • Habitica
  • Bullet Journaling
  • TiddlyWiki
  • A nightmarish combination of spreadsheets, word documents and a written index

What I’m trying to do

From my research so far, I think I’m trying to use Obsidian as a combination of Notion, Roam, Airtable, and Todoist.

Criteria for Solutions:

  • Obsidian based (probably goes without saying - I love this platform)
  • Minimize additional software systems (I would like my information to be as centralized as possible)
  • Locally stored but cloud shared information storage (e.g. Dropbox)
  • Cross platform support (across Ubuntu, Android, Windows)
  • Minimal cost ($0 preferred, one-off costs strongly preferred to recurring costs)

Desired Functionality ranked in approximate order of importance:

  • Project Based To Do Tracking
  • Recurring To Do Tracking
  • Reference Management/In-Note Citations
  • PKM
  • Referencing/Managing external files/documents (e.g. being able to reference and link to a particular spreadsheet in my Dropbox)
  • Google/Outlook Calendar integration (i.e. ability to create ‘Events’ in Obsidian and export them quickly, or import them from my personal/work calendars)
  • Incremental Reading
  • Spaced Repetition (ideally through export to Anki)
  • Personal Database (e.g. personal contact CRM)
  • Daily Journal/Log
  • Quantified-Self-style personal tracking

Again - any advice is welcome (including “This is a terrible unworkable idea and you should be using software X, not Obsidian”). The more specific detailed the better (e.g. “In order to manage/link to files, you should set up a note template that contains a link to the external file and reference these notes within Obsidian rather than the files themselves. These notes should contain the following metadata for browsing with dataview…”)

Thank you!

2 Likes

I think most of what you want to do is possible in Obsidian, but there is no right or wrong way to do any of it.

I’m currently embarking a project to migrate everything from Monica (personal CRM) into my Obsidian vault. I already use Obsidian for to-do, daily notes/journals, reading notes, wishlist, finance notes, etc.

One tip I will give you is that I stick all my documents in a single folder called ‘attachments’ (though I am considering a 2nd folder specifically called ‘documents’ as well). I don’t refer to any of these files directly though, I create a MD file with the same name and a template. That way, I can use tags, aliases and other benefits of Obsidian even for external files.

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I can speak to these four, a little.

Project Based To Do Tracking - I think for this you might want to just dive in to some community plugins. I’ve seen a few, and different plugin authors try different tacks. So search for “tasks” or “project” in the plugins directory and see if something catches your eye. If you really want to go down the rabbit hole, read up on Dataview on these forums (I don’t recommend that unless you’re unhappy with simpler solutions).

Recurring To Do Tracking Pretty sure the Tasks plugin does this. As well as one or two other plugins, same ones as you’d find above.

Daily Journal/Log For this I’d recommend the Calendar and Periodic Notes plugins!

Quantified-Self-style personal tracking The Habit Tracker plugin is simple and I think elegant. I recommend trying it even if it seems too simple at first. Other plugins that could work for you: Status Bar Pomodoro Timer (can log your timers + the note that was open) or Daily Planner. But you do say “Quantified,” so if you mean, “collate my data”…you’re probably going to have to look at Dataview again.

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