'One Year On' thoughts - Imgur, Images, Dropbox syncing, Regrets, Future-Proofing!

I want to share my ‘One Year On’ thoughts.

When I began my Obsidian journey, I latched on to the idea, ‘just get started and don’t fret the details’. So I did. Now, one year on, I’ve learnt what works and what doesn’t work for me, and would like to offer my experiences to others.

My setup:
Two Win10-11 laptops synced via free 2GB Dropbox and encrypted with Cryptomator. I’ve also migrated here from a OneNote 2007 setup, and am stuck with a mass of OneNote notes there, which is why I’m much more aware now of future-proofing.
(I opted to use Joplin for my Android phone note-taking app, syncing between my phone and the laptops, as I initially preferred the separation - not having my main vault on my phone. I still do prefer the separation, but I’m currently asking for help how to add a (separate) Android vault here: How to sync Android to Win10 via Cryptomator, Dropbox, and Dropsync - Help - Obsidian Forum)

As I use a lot of images in my workflow, I followed @santi’s suggestion and installed the Imgur plugin, as I figured it wouldn’t be too long before the free 2GB of Dropbox would be full. However, as I explored here: Open question - Using the Imgur plugin, how secure is it, into the future? - Help - Obsidian Forum, I have regrets about storing my images in Imgur.

I have downloaded my images from Imgur, easy to do. I’ve uploaded there approx 800 images and they take up 250MB of storage.

Looking ahead, I don’t want to have the same issue again that I now have with my massive OneNote collection, it’s stuck there, until I manually carry it over, duh. With all my images in Imgur, I don’t have control of them, I’ll be making the same mistake (thanks @Olondre!).

I’m currently considering keeping ALL my images in my Assets folder (until now I kept just my personal/sensitive images there, and all general images uploaded to Imgur). That will mean spending a day copying and pasting the 800 images into my local Assets folder.

At some point Dropbox will be full, at that time I can consider other options, but at least all my files will be all together, and under my control.

One option would be paying for more Dropbox storage, another would be leaving Dropbox altogether, and syncing my vaults between my laptops via Syncthing.

So what happens when/if Obsidian dies? The idea is, that markdown files are more flexible, adaptable. As my vault and my 2nd Brain grows, I doubt that I’ll want to transfer this ‘work of art’ into some future, super-duper file management system. So maybe that is the answer, leave your ‘old’ system where it is, and just move on to a newer system. I can imagine spending a day bringing in the 800 images, but I cannot imagine bringing over my old OneNote collection into Obsidian.

Therefore I need to make Obsidian as future-proof as possible, and embrace (keep in mind) at some point in the future there will be a newer as yet unimagined 2nd Brain program that I/we will be tempted to move on to.

Final thoughts:
My current concern is that I’ve already come too far with Imgur, it’s time to leave there and get my current Obsidian setup, under my control

This is a work in progress, so I’ll be updating this as I work it out.

1 Like

In this case you can also migrate individual notes when you want them. “I thought I had a note about this…oh right, it’s in OneNote. copies note

1 Like

This will certinly be a starting point :+1:

Workflow something like this:
Keep in mind my OneNote archive, as and when a subject comes up which is already noted, copy the note over. Delete that note from OneNote, so it gradually become smaller, and avoid duplication. Thanks @CawlinTeffid

Very much agree with your future-proofing idea. Experience has tought me that anything not on my hard-drive will eventually give me a headache.

For images the “Local images” plugin is great. It will fetch all images linked in your vault, stored elsewhere.

For text (for example articles I read), I keep a local text copy in Obsidian, but exempt them from Search and Graph view, setting under “Files & Links” > Excluded Files. I use Archive, old stuff I might need in the future, text files take no space for practical purposes, no reason not tho keep them forever. Old Images do take some space, but that one image I needed after a year outweighs the costs

I am testing to keep older static items in yearly folders, Obsidian doesn’t care where items are. I hate seeing folders, but moving things out of the way while still having access to them is great.

On the topic of image sizes, I’ve been trying to make an effort to run any images I add to my vault through an online compressor (link). I don’t like having massive pictures in my vault as I feel they’re just going to fill up my space.

I’d like to automate it at some point, but that’ll probably require me writing a plugin.

Hey @mr_abomination I’d like to point you towards a discussion here Compress images when pasted into Obsidian - #14 by Smithy, about how I and others compress images :+1:

Yes, but my OneNote version is 2007, I much preferred the older style, and also this was the last MS Office version before it moved to cloud-based.

So, not only on your hard-drive, but also staying away from proprietary closed source software. Thus markdown is hopefully the safest bet :+1:

Wow, can’t thank you enough for this heads-up! What a time saver @Qwxlea

What I will do is, first back-up (it hasn’t been updated in two years), then probably in smaller chunks, experiment to see how reliable it is, and finally, in File Explorer > Details, see which images are too large, and screenshot them in Share-X.

A thousand thanks :upside_down_face:

I was also stuck in OneNote. Although images haven’t really been a big part of my workflow or storage needs for PKM or projects. I was able to use a OneNote add-in that exported all my notes to mark down by pushing them through Word.

I can’t for the life of me remember the name, but I did searches like “export Onenote to markdown” and found it. It wasn’t fast, it wasn’t perfect, but it at least got the ball rolling on such a big project and porting all my notebooks into my one single vault. I’m so glad I did it. The unlinked mentions came in so handy once everything was in the vault to show me things I never realized about all the stuff I had in my notebooks.

Hi @vwv many thanks I will look into this!!! :+1:

Hey @mr_abomination, I just posted my successful results here Compressing images in the Assets folder to reduce its total size