Obsidian for health?

How would/do you use Obsidian for keeping health notes?

This could include:

  • Medical records
  • Appointment summaries
  • Symptoms notes
  • Anything to do with tracking existing or new conditions etc.
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I use Obsidian to track my family’s health. In my Daily Notes, I use an outline. I link to wife’s note on a bullet, and then a sub-bullet to note health that day. On wife’s notes, I can search backlinks to see every day where she had an appt with a specific doctor or had a seizure or when I picked up a prescription.

It’s pretty awesome.


Thanks for weighing-in.
Rookie user here, and struggling to visualise that.

Is there anything to denote the bullet/note as health-related, ie. Such that you can see a specific health view, or even seizure events, or doctor visits (those are at least two types), elsewhere?

In Obsidian, when you look at the backlinks on a note, you can search them. For my wife I can search for “appt” to filter backlinks to only those that have that text (my abbreviation for an appointment).

I will also tag things like #seizure, and I can filter the backlinks down to only show the days when she had a seizure.

I’ll see if I can find an random, non-personal example to show.

Yeah, that would really help. Thanks!

I made up an example but what austin means is the Backlinks core plugin.

If you have a note for a person and different daily notes like so:


Then you can link from the daily notes back to the person. If you now go back to your person note, you are able to see where you have linked to it and the relevant context in the Backlinks panel (it appears in your right sidebar):

As you can see, it also has its own search functionality, so you can narrow down to the date:


Or a tag:




Ah yes - thanks for that, @apfelstrudelig.

So, it seems a shame there isn’t a way to show Anne-related stuff on Anne’s actual page?

Maybe you’d reply that’s not the purpose of the “Anne” page, that you think that doc is for, well… describing Anne, the entity, rather than also listing everything including her medical history?

I’m just thinking… what if you want to save or print all of “Anne”'s medical history, or all #meds history? When such insight is expressed through the relationships between things, how can they be seen in a singular context, beside the Backlinks browser? Doesn’t relying on that feature to give the view of info defeat the idea of having open-format, perpetual access to such info outside of Obsidian… ?

I suppose if there was some dedicated way of doing a Medical note/s, that would at least provide some specificity for future review/export, more granularity than the entirety of daily notes (?).

I’m not really an Obsidian user yet, so am certainly not yet in the habit of keeping a daily note. I’m trying to find a use for it, but so many oddities are the reason I haven’t yet.


On Anne’s note, you can hit the three dots, and select “Toggle backlinks in document”. This will move the backlinks from a pane in the sidebar to the bottom of Anne’s note.

In the backlinks plugin settings, you can click a toggle that will move backlinks in the note by default for all future notes.

Ah, I see. Thanks for the pointers…

… Specifically, this doesn’t “move” or do anything to place anything in Anne’s actual note, right? It just situates the Backlinks pane and controls in the note, and at the foot of the note. But that’s only persistent in the interface, only as long as the file is being used inside Obsidian. It doesn’t export to PDF either - both are blank.

The “Backlink in document” setting seems to embed the backlinks pane at the foot of every note, even those with no backlinks.

Coming from Notion, I would probably imagine creating a database something like a medical log or an equivalent of a daily note, and just fill it out with records. They could be tagged for people, conditions etc.

(I’m so far finding Obsidian to be pretty weird. I’m down with the principle of most key concepts, but the reality seems a bit different).

So, I can’t really answer your questions on how to leverage backlinks from daily notes because I have recently given up on them.

I realised I wanted that granularity that you describe – information in context that is compiled into one note instead of many.

I have a chronic illness and use one health log to keep track of doctor’s appointments, my test results, how I’m feeling/if I’m having a flare up and what my current symptoms are etc.
Each entry is just a bullet point, starting with the date in ISO format. I sometimes include hashtags. But that’s it.

Kind of mirroring what Eleanor describes in 🌲When Themed Logs are More Useful than Daily Notes

That’s the same result. With backlinks in your daily notes, you capture in daily notes and then Obsidian aggregates it for you as a list of backlinks in your note.

The log you describe is the same effect. Your is better because everything is readable outside Obsidian.

Mine works for me because I capture everything in daily notes, and backlinks save me processing time.

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I can’t see all of Eleanor’s article, but I think I get what she and you are saying.

I don’t currently see myself ever wanting to keep a daily note, and I prefer thematically-linked info. Glad to know there are Obsidian people coming to feel the same way.

Interesting chat. Thanks for weighing-in.

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I’m curious if you or if anyone else has come up with an improved system for this since this was last discussed here? Currently I am using a notion databases for this sort of thing and it seems to work pretty well but it would be pretty cool to use obsidian!

I’ve been looking at some of these plugins like d a t a v i e w and e x c a l i b r a i n and wondering if they could be helpful in dealing with this sort of thing.