Quick way to add or append notes without opening Obsidian (Android tutorial)


Opening Obsidian on Android is slow, so are all solutions that uses URI/intent to interact with Obsidian, for example:

This becomes a pain point, especially with notes that usually taken on-the-go, such as:

  • Reminders
  • Fleeting notes
  • Time log entries

Solution: Edit markdown files directly


Apps required

Set up


Create a new macro QuickAdd in MacroDroid with the following settings:

  • Trigger:
    • User Input > Shortcut Launched
  • Actions:
    1. Variables > Set Variable
      • Select [New Variable] to create a local variable input for storing the QuickAdd input:
        • Select Local
        • Name: input
        • Type: string
      • Select [User Prompt] to define the overlay prompt:
        • Title: QuickAdd
        • Un-check Display existing value
    2. Files > Write to File
      1. Folder: <YOUR_DAILY_NOTE_FOLDER>
      2. Filename: {year}-{month_digit}-{dayofmonth}.md (Use “…” to insert other fields)
      3. Enter text: \n-[ ] {lv:input} (This will make a new line, insert a checkbox followed by the text previously stored in the local variable input.)
      4. Select Append to file

Home widget

The macro can be triggered using the widget MacroDroid Shortcut. The icon is customisable.

Optional: Quick Settings (notification tile)

Although one can create notification tiles directly from MacroDroid, extra app permission must be granted to the app to do so.

The same can be achieved with the Quick Settings app:

  1. Shortcuts > App & Shortcuts #1 > Enable tile
  2. Edit the notification tiles, find the Application & shortcut tile
  3. MacroDroid Shortcut > QuickAdd


Cool & useful Android shortcuts (made with MacroDroid) (and a tutorial on using URIs as intents on Android)

P.S. The previous topic was deleted because I would like to clarify the use cases, but it was no longer editable.


Do the file sync without opening Obsidian?

This macro directly edits the same markdown file that is seen by Obsidian. Whenever Obsidian Sync is triggered, it sees that this file inside the vault folder has been modified and will sync it, even if the file has never been opened in Obsidian.

Note: At the moment, Obsidian Sync only runs when Obsidian itself is in the foreground.

So you can open Obsidian to bring it to the foreground (any page will do) and trigger synchronisation of all files modified by the macro.

I was hoping that wasn’t going to be your answer. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who wants background sync. Thanks for sharing that link.

I really dig your solution, and once the sync issue is addressed, I will likely be using it.

To avoid sync conflicts, You can have a dedicated “inbox” note for each device.