"Playing" in your vault?

What routines, processes, etc. do you have for exploring your vault/discovering connections between notes that you hadn’t already made?

  • Happenstance,
  • the Smarter Random Notes community plugin,
  • rummaging in the file explorer,
  • following links,
  • occasionally turning on graph view and poking around.
  • About a year into using Obsidian after getting notes and thoughts into it from far flung and ancient stashes, it became obvious I would not have the time to make it a proper atomized linked and tagged repository. I refused to put further time into a structure onto a heap of unstructured content. Those were not playful days:(
  • I applied more time to writing on a variety of topics using my vaults hoard of great stuff.
  • Over the last 8 years I have acquired a huge library of kindle books. One useful tool only the kindle device offers, that doesn’t get much attention, is the ability to search the contents of the entire collection for keywords and phrases. The result set is grouped, sorted, and fast with UI functionality, not unlike Obsidian Search, that allows you to peruse those results. Kindle highlights and highlight notes can be automagically added to the vault via Readwise.
  • So… several times a week a topic serendipitously pops up on the radar and I go fishing into both stashes and, inevitably, uncover value in old thoughts surfaced in this new inquiry light. Not only does it fulfill the research need for the current writing task, but is total joy during the process because everything is available in near real-time. Albeit substantial risk for rabbit hole tangents…
  • As you mentioned in another post, “I tend to use the search function most often … I usually remember the general idea … My brain makes the connections…”.
  • I add links (connections) and further thoughts during these fishing expeditions to reflect my current situation and make MOC like notes for newly discovered topics with many backlinks using Dataview queries.
  • All of this satisfies my syntopical (Adler) approach to learning a domain or topic and adds value to the vault for future search expeditions.
  • And while doing this activity, there is an extended dopamine rush; no drugs required!
  • Thank you for posting this question, we have a huge amount of data and information readily available now. I remember having to spend more time researching and outlining (negative vibe) instead of drafting, editing, and revising (positive vibe). That balance has now shifted significantly.
  • Each of these sifting, linking, and thought capture routines adds further value to the vault.
  • “Playful” wonderfully describes my PKM life now.
1 Like

As a matter of fact, I just did a search for “playful”, linked those fitting of a connection, and created a MOC like note called [[Playful]] with a dataview query. Your question reveals that I’ve spent considerable time using the word in poetry and prose, essay and journal content. So much so, I will probably burn up midnight oil on this tonight; damn you!

1 Like

I am so happy I went down this rabbit hole; discovered the Obsidian Query Control. This BRAT installed plugin allows me to taylor the results (sort, collapse, etc) when embedding a query block into a note. Geez, and it even allows for rendering the results in markdown … this is the coolest new plug in I’ve used in quite some time.

Cheers @NothingIsLost for creating this plugin.


I use smart random note (So i can exclude certain areas of my vault) and then just randomly pull up like 5 notes and set a goal to make 1 link!

1 Like

For playful and open discovery I built a plugin called “Journey”.

It helps me find the weird and wonderful connections between two notes in my vault.

For especially serendipitous discovery, it even has a “I’m feeling lucky” button :four_leaf_clover:.

You can install it as a community plugin and there is a quick demo and lots of documentation on GitHub at GitHub - akaalias/obsidian-journey-plugin: Discover the story between your notes in Obsidian

Hope it helps you a little!

1 Like

I think I saw your YouTube video about that. It’s like “six degrees of separation” for notes? This looks pretty cool; I’ll have to give it a go!

It’s on my list to try, but the Strange New Worlds plugin is designed to “help you to see the connections between the different parts of your vault.”

1 Like