Search-based vault switcher (on app launch)

Use case or problem

I have multiple vaults and it takes too long to switch between vaults with the vault switcher:

  1. Click the Obsidian application icon (bottom of desktop screen, on my taskbar)
  2. Navigate to ‘Open another vault’ (near corner of desktop screen)
  3. Find the vault I want to access from a list of vaults (eyes turn to middle of desktop screen, then glance up & down the list)
  4. Click the relevant vault to access

That is a few steps, involving a lot of eyeball movement and cursor navigation on the screen.
The workaround I use is commonly suggested, but it clutters my desktop shortcuts. So much software uses a search-based approach and I think that would be much more intuitive.

Proposed solution

Search-based functionality is very efficient. Think of how people can retrieve files and information quickly in these use cases, with typing in a search being the first action someone makes:

  • Find information on the internet: Google search and ChatGPT are category leaders for search engines and chatbots to retrieve information from the internet, with a straightforward box where you can type text and get results quickly.
  • Retrieve files from a computer: Alfred (MacOS) and Listary (Windows) are so simple - one hotkey to yield a search box, quick typing and press Enter to find a file from your computer without moving your eyes across the screen.
  • Access a bookmarked website in an internet browser: type text in the browser address bar to narrow down the bookmark you want to select in your browser.

It would be excellent to have a setting that can configure whether you want to use the existing ‘vault switcher’ or to have this (new) search box option - on app launch.

A tiny window like what Alfred and Listary have on launch is what I am thinking of, but even a full window that has a search box in the centre would do the trick.

Current workaround (optional)

My workaround for this is to have a few application shortcuts on my desktop screen, so that it is one click for me to land in the vaults I am using more recently. Usually I have 2-3 vaults that I am updating on a weekly or even daily basis, but I have 10+ vaults in total now and access some of them on a more infrequent basis (e.g. monthly), so I keep them in the navigation pane and it is counterproductive to add/remove them from the list to make fewer results appear.

While the workaround is handy, so many software tools use search-based functionality now to make it easier to retrieve information. As Obsidian is about productivity, I think this would make all the difference.

Related feature requests (optional)

Another related FR (except not specifically about at app launch)

Seems you use a mac. Well, just use expose to see (and open) your last opened vaults ( displayed as folders)

I use Windows and Linux for my own computer and Obsidian notes (I only use Mac for work computers).

Another workaround I have for this specific problem: on Windows I can use Listary to display the shortcuts that have an obsidian://open/?vault=<vault_name> URL on my desktop. I have the shortcut names end with ‘vault’. This is an example of what Listary returns when I search for ‘vault url’:

As a workflow it’s decent as it can be used as a keyboard-only route into the vault I want to access via search:
Hotkey (double Ctrl) → type 1-2 keywords to narrow down the vault → Enter

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I think the solutions discussed in this thread should be much more visible !

There are some Obsidian hubs online but i wouldn’t know which best place to suggest to collect similar topics . keywords: multiplatform, additional-software, plugins