Seeking help in formatting college courses and their textbook notes

Hello everyone, I am a beginner to obsidian and am using it for academic purposes and hopefully throughout my graduate studies. I am a psychology major, and the courses I will predominantly take will have similar concepts, ideas, themes and figures. I say this because I am struggling with formatting my notes in Obsidian. This is due to the psychology courses that will have similar concepts/modalities/theories throughout each individual textbook I’ll digest.

I have come to the conclusion that I want to make my main note–the parent note–the course name (eg. PSYC 380 Theories and Techniques of Counseling), and from that note my plan was to create child notes not by chapter numbers, but by the chapters name/title and not include the words “chapter 15”, for example chapter 15’s note would be called “The 11 modalities predominantly used in psychotherapy”

THE BIG QUESTION I AM EXTREMELY CONFUSED ON, due to having to study for exams by chapters (eg. Exam 1: Chapters 1-4), how can I appropriately format each child note to the appropriate Chapter from the textbook without convoluting my system by naming notes by chapter numbers? Is the solution to use tags or yaml data?

I apologize if this question is confusing or redundant. Ultimately, I don’t want to put the courses I take in folders due to wanting to connect their child notes to other concepts I will find throughout my future courses in psychology. I want to connect ideas from other classes I will take, but during study sessions I don’t want to have to read notes that are not directly from a specific Psychology course. (eg, PSYC 101 eventually will have notes that connect to PSYC 300, but for PSYC 300 I don’t want to study concepts from PSYC 101.)

Another example I can give is this: I am taking both Neurology101 and Psychology101 courses in the same semester/term. Over time both courses run into the same language and principles, thus I would want to connect their notes to one another but not go down a path where I am studying my Psychology notes for my Neurology exam. I appreciate anyone’s response, and truly appreciate your time reading my questions. I look forward to any future guidance as I feel I desperately need it to get my head right for the coming spring '23 semester.

Make an index note for the textbook. Write up a table of contents in that note linking to each chapter.


Food for Dummies

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: [[How to eat sandwiches]]
Chapter 2: [[How to eat tacos]]
Chapter 3: [[How to eat soup]]

Then whenever you need to study a particular chapter of a particular textbook, go to the index note corresponding to the book in question and it will guide you to the right textbook.


Hello and thank you so much for your response! I followed your lead and this is what my structure looks like now:

The reason for the “(” character before the Chapter titles is so that I can distinguish them as chapters as the section grows. Additionally my course note is on the left side and on the right side is the Textbook index note you recommended.

That character will also make it impossible to sync your vault to the Android platform. It’s illegal to have parentheses as a part of file names on Android.

I appreciate that info! I’ll keep it in mind if I transition to that platform, currently this is sustainable on Apple devices and my windows pc.

Im glad I could help! I’m not in school anymore but I teach and write and this is roughly how I do in depth research on books.

That’s surprising. I couldn’t find anything saying so in a brief search — do you have a link for that? I only ask out of curiosity — I thought I had filenames with parentheses when I used Android, but I don’t remember for sure and maybe it’s changed since then.

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