PARA system - an Obsidian system and a hard drive system or all one?

I’m fairly new to both PARA and Obsidian, but have currently organised my hard drive and my Obsidian vault using a consistent mixture of PARA and a decimal system borrowed from Johnny Decimal. This was the original suggestion in the Building a Second Brain program - use a consistent system across storage (hard drive), notes (he used Evernote), email, task manager etc.

Now that I’ve got here, I have a rough division of ‘notes and some PDFs and images in Obsidian’ and 'documents, media files, software-specific files like spreadsheets outside Obsidian in my hard drive filing system. But occasionally I wonder if anyone brings the two together so their vault is essentially their whole hard drive. It seems risky to me in that some files might not show in Obsidian, and I’d have to be careful to stop some folders syncing to my mobile devices. But I just wondered if any of you use it that way?

making my whole hard drive my vault seems like a fairly dubious prospect. i don’t need 2TB of storage space for an obsidian vault. at least not in this decade.

i use obsidian for studying the Bible and regenerative agriculture; task management and calendars; jotting down random thoughts, journaling, etc. everything related to those three general uses is already in my vault and its only 62MB. theres nothing else on my drive that i’d feel comfortable having stored on a server somewhere or carrying around on a thumb drive.

it makes no sense to me as a use case for obsidian.

I’d love to put everything in my vault and use it as a general interface/index, but Obsidian Sync storage limits prevent it, and it might hurt the app’s performance.

I store all of my notes, journals/logs, projects, and some other things in Obsidian. Some projects have big files or big collections of files (pictures), so I store those outside the vault. I also store media that I didn’t create (books, music, videos, etc.) outside the vault, except for some pictures. I might index that media in Obsidian (if not, I still have notes on many of them).

Yes, one of the benefits of Obsidian is that the vault(s) can be anywhere in the file system that you want them to be, and it can act as an alternative file browser and link to non-md files as well as md files.

I don’t have “everything on my hard drive” in a vault, but my vaults contain all kinds of other files, not just md files.

I basically have two kinds of vaults:

  1. a “notebook” with reference materials, planner, journal, etc. categorized by subfolders

  2. series vaults for each of my active book series, with a subfolder for each book in the series, a series wiki folder, and each of the book subfolders contains everything to do with that book. Drafts, planning materials, printer-ready files, creatives, ebooks, etc.

I do not like having notes in a different place than my project files. I have used other programs in the past that require saving all of the files in some app subdirectory, while all of my other materials are in a project folder, and I really dislike that.

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Thanks for replying. I think my way forward is to work out a clear dividing line between what goes in Obsidian and what doesn’t. Your ideas have been helpful.