On the process of making MOCs

If I’m getting your drift about the messiness of TOCs in the index, you mean they would start to pile up, and or they would need some kind of structure to make them useful? If so, I agree with that. Depending on how quickly the TOCs (projects) piled up, you could have a weekly, monthly purge where you archived/deleted old TOCs. There could be an “archive TOC” that consisted of a chronological list of TOCs, listed on the index page.

Just to be clear this isn’t a use case for me. Just a thought experiment to put me into a different orientation; to see from a different angle.


Exactly what you said, just that they would start to pile up.

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@deinos I stumbled across your same picture at the end of this blog you wrote. Bravo!


As you can see from my note, I’m a complete newbie to Obsidian and managed to download IMF but have no clue about neither how to install it nor where to make the items listed in the release notes readable.

You unzip the IMF download to expose the directory. Then you point Obsidian at this directory. To do that you click on “open another vault” at lower left:


Then open the folder as a vault:


You should then have access to IMF and be able to follow the documentation.

For anyone who might be interested, I’ve opened a new thread on Knowledge, Innovation, Value and Wisdom that focuses on what was formerly a major distraction in this thread. There’s already been some great PKM-friendly contributions made there. Feel free to check it out and add some thoughts!


Thanks for all this information on MOCs; this is quite a helpful topic.

Something I did not came across (or perhaps overlooked) is what the optimal number of notes/links on a MOC is.

I understand that MOCs are flexible and that is a good thing. But as humans we of course have limitations in how much information we can process. And how much we can read without losing the overview. As an extreme example, a MOC with 500 notes on it would not be useful.

So in your experience, what’s a nice size of a MOC note? And at which point do you split a MOC into ‘subtopic MOCs’?

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Hi, I downloaded the ‘On the Process of Making MOCs.zip’ as well as the latest LYT. I unzipped the files, and when I open the folders, they are md files. I can’t open them. I have a macbook with Big Sur OS and all my software is up to date. How do I use these files? I dragged and dropped the folder into my ‘plugins’ folder in my ‘obsidian folder’ on my desktop. Thanks! -Triya @nickmilo

Hi @Triya ,

The LYT is an entire Obsidian Vault, including all of the markdown files (which is the content itself). You will not want to add this to your plugins folder or your own vault.

Instead, extract the LYT files to their own folder on your machine. Then open Obsidian, click the Open another Vault icon. Next, select Open folder as vault. Then pick the folder where you extracted the LYT files.

I hope this helps. I don’t use a MacBook, so I hope the steps are the same.



Thank you! So I opened a vault that is now LYT. There it is! Do I copy and paste the pieces I want into my other vault, or is there a way to add them to my vault?

From your OS file system, you can copy the .md files from the LYT vault folder to the root folder of your own vault. However, I recommend creating your own notes with your own ideas so you get the full benefits. LYT is a great reference.


I like the idea of MOCs, but often have issue deciding where content/information goes between different levels of MOCs.

Example: I have a note for Personal System, which consists of my Goals, Habits, Routines, and Tracking. At least three possible approaches here:

(A) Parent note (Personal System MOC) only contains a brief description and link to respective MOCs under each subheading (Routines MOC, Habits MOC, etc).

(B) Parent note (Personal System MOC) contains a bullet list of relevant information under each subheading in addition to links to the Routines MOC, Habits MOC, etc.

(C ) Do away with the parent note and simply use Routines MOC, Habits MOC, etc.

How do you make decisions like this?

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@ekafyi - Honestly, I genuinely believe you are over thinking structure. One of the tenets of emergent structure that MOCs are a large part of is that there is no rigid system, rather, it is built as your knowledge grows.

My two cents’ worth? Ditch the smaller topics and link everything to Personal System. If you see a bunch of links that seem similar and find a need to group them, make an MOC for it then.

Bottom line… write notes and worry less about where they go. When you try to fit a note to a subject, you lose the freedom to let the thought go where it may.

Structure will come, let it happen naturally.


Good point! I tend to think in either of the polar opposites: (1) database-like relations and structure, or (2) free-for-all, anything goes but no way to retrieve information later. I also tend to get FOMO from other people’s systems (Person A divides their MOC this way, Person B that way, I have to collect all the structures and choose from those); trying to get rid of this.


Also really often you will structure when it emerge (I like folders, but I create them only if already have a bunch of notes that fits to that folder and when I feel that having this folder benefit me more than not having it)

Hey @nickmilo, thank you so much for publishing the IMF vault. It’s really widened my perspective in how I can approach my vault. One question: what do you do with short, unfinished notes that wouldn’t current fit under any MOC? How do you make sure you’re able to come across them again and they don’t get lost in the void?

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Give it a tag like #develop or something


Without having read all the posts here: In this post I described a simple workflow which I am using at the moment. It is a preliminary attempt to switch from ZKN3 (note sequence principle) to Obsidian.

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What I’m doing, coming from DEVONThink with folders as the main structure is as I migrate notes over I create a MOC type note for each folder. Then as part of y regulalr weekly working in my PKM Itry to link more htings and sometimes I find that I can etierh delete the MOC note then or can adjust it/ The multiple links mean nothing is lost and I can use the graph view to find any orphans and link them in wherever they belong.