Can someone help me figure out where to go from here?
When I came to Obsidian, I didn’t start with a blank slate; I started with an existing (large) database of notes, and didn’t have any previous knowledge of things like atomic note-taking. The whole thing was more like a place that I can collect things and be able to find them again. (I mostly make connections in my head, so I hadn’t really had any need of making them externally; I’d make them INternally and then just need to be able to relocate the piece of information I remembered having seen.)
Anyway…so I now have this vault with over 10,000 notes. Some are quotes or web articles or other random bits and bobs like that, but the majority are either book notes (notes I’ve taken from various books I read) or they’re my own posts and comments copied from Facebook, so they’re essentially the existing start of evergreen notes.
But none of these notes were written with the aim of “one idea per note,” and some of them are overlapping (because they come from similar conversations that took place at different times or in slightly different contexts), so now I’m wanting to “clean up” some of this, and get them better integrated and organized – merge notes that are largely redundant, atomize anything that needs to be atomized, etc. – and I have no idea how to go about this.
My first thought is to start by creating notes for the higher-level ideas, and create a quick-and-dirty outline of my thinking on each topic so I can look to see which notes I have that fit into those frameworks. Is that too top-down to maintain the spirit of how atomic notes are meant to work, or a sane way to go about identifying what already exists in the vault?
Is there a better approach? Has anyone else already done this? There’s just so much here it’s a little overwhelming to think of taking it note by note and trying to figure out what might need to be merged together with it from the bottom up.
Here’s a concrete example: I created a new post today. This was my largely off-the-cuff FB post. This is what I initially have as a note:
I think we would do well to recover the biblical language of “body” and “congregation.”
“Church” becomes very ambiguous and people routinely equivocate the local church with the universal, the visible with the invisible. (And many assume that the opposite of “local” is “invisible,” which is not true.)
Within my vault, I already have a number of notes about church – what is it, how should it function, etc.? I also already have a number of notes about using biblical vocabulary – e.g. “apostle” vs. “missionary,” “preaching” vs. “teaching,” etc. So the content of this note clearly connects to both of those overall trains of thought.
The question, then, is: is this a single atomic note, which should link to both trains of thought in other notes? Or is this two ideas that ought to be broken apart because the “what language do we use?” and “why does it matter?” are more separate than what ought to belong in a single note?
(I’m not trying to overthink doing it “right”; I’m just trying to work out what best enables interlinking in the long run.)