Obsidian for Dummies

I’ve read articles, looked at the Help file, looked at the forum, watched videos on YouTube, even subscribed to a video series … And I still don’t get it, i.e., understand the basic mechanics of Obsidian. The learning curve is too steep for me … Very frustrating! Is anybody / any group prepared to put together an online “Obsidian for Dummies” course … steplike, take nothing for granted, clearly written, clearly spoken, clearly illustrated? I’m willing to donate to such a cause.

There are several introductory courses. Here’s one I was just checking out, though I haven’t signed up https://courses.santiyounger.com/p/obsidian

Basically, I think you want start thinking how you want to use Obsidian. I have several other digital notebooks and a digital journal I’ve been keeping for about ten years. But I want to focus on using Obsidian more, and I can’t wait until they come out with an iOS version.

Basically I’m starting to use Obsidian for as a content notes app for books and articles I’m reading and for reflections on projects I’m working on. I have similar notes in other note applications, but I’m going to move some of that content over to Obsidian.

What I find helpful in getting started with Obsidian is using the Daily Notes feature. Just set up and starting adding notes or reflections. Use the Daily Notes as starting space to learn Obsidian. Watch some of the YouTube videos. You’ll learn a lot from them. You might not even need to pay for course.

Most of all, figure out what you want to use Obsidian for.

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I tried at least half a dozen, this one by @nickmilo did it for me:


@Canuckistan Maybe this is a good project for you? While learning Obsidian, write everything down you learned in a way that you would understand it.

Now you probably ask, “how you can learn if there is no such material”?

Well, simply start with the help vault that is shipped with Obsidian (click on that question mark icon on the bottom left). Then go through every page of explanation. If there is anything that you don’t understand, write it down (in Obsidian) and try to find the answer first by simply playing around with Obsidian (learning through play is the best and most fun way to learn) and then if you can’t figure it out, by asking on this forum or the Discorse chat. If you ask concrete questions, people will give you concrete answers. (But search the forum first, since many questions have been asked many times and answered many times already.) Then write that answer down as well (in Obsidian), in your own words. In the process of learning Obsidian that way, you will also have created an “Obsidian for dummies” vault that you can publish for the next learner.

In parallel, try to understand Markdown. It is fundamental to Obsidian, and without understanding it you won’t get anywhere. Luckily, Markdown is very simple (that’s the whole idea behind it - to be vey simple), and there are already many tutorials online - e.g. here and here and here.

Another tipp: Don’t try to understand everything in the beginning. Don’t try to understand how to make a theme or a plugin or even block level links. Start with the basics, as they are explained in the help vault. Then if you mastered that, re-visit the forum and Youtube for learning more advanced stuff. Try to learn step by step. If you really like watching videos instead of learning by doing, start with very simple ones, like the one suggested by @tav.

Please understand that it is very hard for power users of Obsidian to write “for dummies” tutorials. First, it is very hard for them to imagine the kind of questions dummies may have on their minds. Second, it is very boring for them to write down such (for them) basic stuff. So I think it is best for you to take things into your own hands. This way you will soon become a power user too.