Separating work and personal

Hi guys!

I have a bunch of ideas I want to process exclusively for work. On my Mac, I have a user account named Leisure and a user account named Work.

When processing ideas, they tend to sprout a lot of new ideas that sprout new notes. These notes aren’t “complete” per se, and I’d like to have them as a browsable list so that I can iterate on them. So far, this is accomplished by an “Inbox” folder as my default new note location.

I thought I’d be able to do a “Work inbox” folder and set that as my default note location on my Work user account, to keep work and personal separated (to promote Psychological Detachment from work). However, I now see that the Obsidian preferences resides in a .obsidian folder in the vault, and is therefore synced between my user accounts.

My preference is strongly for all notes to be in the same vault, so I can link between concepts across work/personal. I’d also strongly prefer to have a browsable list separated between work/personal, and which new notes are automatically added to.

Is this possible?


Perhaps you can have two page called [[work-inbox]] and [[personal-inbox]] (or however you want to name them) so you can these as direct links on the new pages you are making.

Then when you want to browse your work stuff you open the bi-directional links for [[work-inbox]] and look through them. Like-wise for the [[personal-inbox]].

It’s not a folder implementation unfortunately, but you’ll be able to quickly find them when you need them this way anyway!

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I think this should be possible by using a

If you’ve ever used an, symbolic links are similar, but instead of tying straight to a file, they point to a place where a file is. The difference is that with the alias, if you move the target file, the alias will still go to that file, wherever you move it. But the symbolic link won’t–it will still go to where the file used to be, and so your link will be broken.

We can take advantage of this, though, if we make a symbolic link whose path takes into account the user you’re logged in as. Then you can have two separate .obsidian folders, one in each user account. When Obsidian asks macOS for the contents of .obsidian, macOS will follow the link and end up at the correct folder for the logged in user. Obsidian won’t even know its happening.

This will involve the use of (, the ln command (, and the writing of some filepaths ( that reference your home (

Maybe you can assemble what you need to do from that, especially with the help of If not, let me know, and I’ll outline the steps. If you still get stuck on something, then we can go into more detail as needed.


Hi Daniel – thanks a lot, that sounds perfect! Didn’t realise that symlinks could be programatically defined.