On Daily notes v zettelkasten notes


I’m about a month into the Obsidian journey and have begun to see the long term benefits of the application. Recently, I imported years old NVAlt notes - which were mostly sitting in a folder, gathering dust. It was pretty cool to bring them in and ‘attach’ meeting notes and ideas to one another inside Obsidian. The exercise reminded me of stuff I was thinking of back in 2012-13.

Another thing caught my eye - back in the NVAlt days, I used to take a separate meeting note for each meeting I had. I had a textexpander shortcut that prepopulated a date stamp as note header, had a section to label attendees, etc. In bringing these notes over, I began to wonder whether a similar approach was more practical in Obsidian. Like this:

Given that the zettelkasten template can stamp a header with date and time, each meeting/thought/etc. can have it’s own note. This makes the Daily note somewhat redundant (repetitive?). The upside of the zettelkasten approach to the meeting note is that each note remains granular, which has an impact in note linkage. Currently, daily notes - for me at least - are a mishmash of meeting notes, quick thoughts to myself, activity logs, etc. This is good, however I’ve noticed the busy days end up with lots of links; otften those links in aggregate are not related per se.

So, what is your logic, fellow obsidian wanderers, for using the Daily note over the zettelkasten note?


I know there is a bit of discussion for/against UUID’s in Zettlekasten, vs. descriptive titles. I don’t have much of an opinion on this. I do know using UUIDs makes searching and linking by title harder.

I don’t see it as redundant. I use both for very different purposes. In my Zettlekasten I keep permanent notes and ideas. If I can’t think of a title, I just use the UUID. Sometimes it is temporary, and I’ll give it a title later.

The Daily Notes on the other hand, I treat like a journal. I input stream of thought notes into there. It’s a mess. It is not heavily linked. The title will always stay as the date.

Daily Notes has a function to traverse next and previous dates, like a calendar in a journal. This requires keeping your title in the proper format. I like the ability to treat it like a temporal stream.

In my Zettlekasten notes on the other hand, the date is usually just extra information. There is no straight linear relationship. It’s a network of ideas.

Also, for my Zettlekasten, I use YYYY-MM-DD-HHmm 2020-11-21-1745 just so I can have a unique stamp. In my Daily Notes, I include the day of the week to be more readable and time-memorable: 2020-11-21 Monday.


Makes sense.

Same here, I present the Daily Note with a more readable structure.

Still exploring, but definitely liking the abiity to connect dots across notes, across time.