Obsidian for people managers

Are there other people managers using Obsidian as a PKM? I think there are a set of common use cases that managers share:

  • Keeping running notes from 1x1s which need to have some continuity from meeting to meeting, and which need to be mined for career development and performance management.
  • Managing projects – this is often in an external system, but the practice of checking in and distilling the information, drawing conclusions, and taking action isn’t always well supported by the external system.
  • Tactical planning on a week-to-week or day-to-day process.
  • Strategic planning requiring distilling lots of the information and combining with larger business objectives.
  • Gleaning information from meetings, so many meetings.

I have a bunch of details to get figured out, but one thing I’m really struggling with now is whether to keep standing meetings in a single note with date sections or to make a new note for each instance. The single note becomes enormous over time, but individual notes, make it difficult to keep continuity and answer questions about when certain topics were first introduced and how often they’ve been addressed.

Anyone have a good system for tracking standing meetings and 1x1s?


Not a people manager myself, but I am interested in quite a few aspects you mention. A few useful practices I picked up over the time:


  • every person you regularly interact with gets their own note. Prepend those notes with @ (or another special character of your choice) for easy access via quick switcher/autocompletion. For example: [[@ Jane Doe]]
  • having a note for every person also allows to easily track info about that person via backlinks and/or the graph.
  • use yaml frontmatter to assign additional information to that person, aggregate the info with dataview


  • A system I find useful are the so-called Cornell Notes. While the original idea is to take notes during a lecture, I think the general concept is suited for most types of “write down things during a meeting/talk”. The idea is to structure notes while you take them. Unfortunately, Cornell Notes relies on a two column system and I haven’t figured out a good system for doing that in Markdown (since tables are still Markdown’s Achilles heel)

Looking for improvements, but my system is:

  • Each person has a note (Title = name) for general information collection
  • Each meeting has a note, linked to from a list on their page
  • Each project has a note
  • Tasks across the entire system can be tagged with:
    • #to-be-delegated-to-NAME
    • #delegated-to-NAME
    • #agenda-NAME
  • Each of those tags has its own page with a query for open tasks, which I check when creating a meeting agenda

Outside of Obsidian I plan my/the team’s strategic work plans.

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I have to fiddle around a bit with running notes vs. one note per meeting, since keeping index notes seems like a lot of work to me. If I can figure out how to have them generated automatically with dataview or something like that then I would feel better about individual notes. The alternative is that end up making a lot of links like [[Running Meeting Name#YYYY-MM-DD]] to refer to the heading of that specific section. If I could make a list of embeds in the contact page then I think that would be a nice way of using a contact page as an index, but IMO the rendering of embeds is really weird, so I don’t use them.

I’m a people manager. I use Agenda for meeting notes. It can’t be beat for that. For project management and general productivity I use an analog Bullet Journal modified to include some parts of GTD.

Obsidian is my PKM but more in the style of Evergreen Notes. I don’t want transient information in here. Obsidian is my long-term memory, so to say.

I’ve got a page for every person, and link to that for every mention of them. In the beginning I maintained things like birthday, hobbies, etc. on that person’s page but realised that
A. I often share my screen with my notes and didn’t want this information to be visible
B. That way of working may not be compliant with GDPR

So now people’s pages just contain very limited information like role.

Not a manager but my system looks a lot like yours. Every project and meetings are notes and they reference each other. I am thinking of implementing a similar system for task stakeholder tracking.
Couldn’t you use nested tags to clarify your tag hierarchy ? I.e. use #to-be-delegated-to/NAME instead of #to-be-delegated-to-NAME. This way you could query across your vault through a generic search (search #to-be-delegated-to for all delegated tasks) or a more focused search (search #to-be-delegated-to/NAME for a specific stakeholder).
That would also allow you to implement a dynamic query on each person’s note with the help of the Tasks plugin to help keep track of things.
That’s just my two cents, like I said I’m not a manager so that might not be practical.

I’ll have to give Agenda a look… but I’d prefer not to add a fourth system (I use OmniFocus for my own task/project tracking and my teams’ deliverables are tracked in a shared system). My running notes need to be distilled into opinions & actions/documentation. Something like ZK where my meeting notes are fleeting notes and I need to process & organize everything from time to time. I used to do this mostly without having to think about it too hard, but as I manage more people it requires progressively more focus.

I use Obsidian for all my meeting notes. For my 1on1 meetings I have a single meeting note but have a template that I insert every week at the top of my notes section.

This allows me to have everything in one place. I still have eed a work flow for keeping on top of everything that is raised in those meetings.

I currently use tasks but I need a better way of categorising them.

I manage a few dozen people so I guess I apply to the question’s intention, and what I do is as follows:

  • I have a note per person (not just employees but also other meaningful people in my life), in a p folder, so I can reference a person by linking to p/Some Name (but most often use the shortened form [[Some Name]].

    • Each person note includes a ‘General’ heading, with some basic details I want to remember, from personal details (names and ages of kids, spouse name etc) and sometimes relevant addresses as geolinks.
    • Next comes a ‘To Discuss’ heading, which includes topics I want to talk about with that person in our next meeting (a 1:1 or a weekly meeting for some employees, general feedbacks, pretty much anything).
  • Regardless of this, I keep a daily note that includes all my meeting summaries (among other things). Under a heading “Calls & Meetings” I keep sub-headings that are links to a person’s note, e.g. ### Weekly Meeting with [[Some Person]] or ### Call with [[Some Person]].

    • That’s where I keep summaries of calls, tasks that emerge from the call and anything else I want to document.
    • It works for me much better than a separate note for each meeting, because I don’t need to deal with managing some index note. Meetings have an easy well-defined home.
    • To review the history of calls & meetings with a person, I go to the person’s note and review the backlinks.

@esm90 That sounds very similar to my setup.

Though I have a note for each meeting as well as a note for each person (also have a note for each organisation/department).

Each person is stored as Jane Doe (XCorp), in my person template I split the file name Jane Doe (XCorp) into a bunch of aliases Jane Doe, JDoe, JaneD, Jane, as well as splitting out the Company name (XCorp) into a separate tag/link.

How do you manage meetings with multiple attendees in your system?


I just link to multiple people notes, the example I gave happens to have the link in the title, but that’s just arbitrary.
I ofen have sections in the format of:

## Meeting about some feature design
- With [[Person A]] and [[Person B]] in the conference room, [[Person C]] over Google Meet.

It doesn’t matter where I put the links as long as it’s readable and eventually the relevant person note shows the backlinks to all the meetings that included her.