Smart Folders: Notes can sort automatically to chosen folders based on tags

Would love to see this - would by very helpful in keeping the vault organised


I was just searching for something like this, Nice idea!


This sounds like an interesting idea.

Just one workaround (if people desperately need to automatically sort files) is to use something like Hazel, point it at your vault and have it automatically move files with certain #tags into specific sub-folders.

Otherwise, I currently use the Dataview Plugin to create a table view of all my notes that have been tagged with #to-process and I check that table on a weekly basis to see whether I have anything outstanding to process.


I am wondering whether these should be actual folders or more akin to saved searches. In Eagle (which I was introduced to here on the forum), there are “Smart Folders”. They do not make multiple copies of a file to place it in all the Smart Folders whose conditions it satisfies. Instead the folders are more like collections, which allow overlap.

I think it is interesting to bring up the idea of tagging the folder. Could there be Smart Sub-Folders? Might this allow a Smart Folder to meet the conditions of another Smart Folder? Just thinking out loud.


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I’d very much like to see this idea being implemented - mostly for the reason that @CarlosMK mentioned. Putting notes into folders helps me unclutter my file explorer.


As someone coming from Ulysses, which has a really powerful smart-folder system, I really miss this feature. Here’s why:
I’m a grad student so I like to use tags that reference topics, as well as tags that reference authors when I’m taking notes on a book, and ‘place’ tags that reference where the note came from (lecture, book, paper, conference). Given that these tags are of different kinds, I want to separate my ‘topic’ tags from my ‘people’ and ‘place’ tags.

My workaround is to use nested tags, but this isn’t perfect because I really like adding my tags inline as I write on the fly, and it’s really clunky to do this when you have 3 nested tags (and it doesn’t read nicely either).

The problem with using Hazel as @vishae suggested is that it still uses a traditional folder system whereby one note can only be in one place. The idea with the smart folders is that a file can be in multiple places at once. A file on a book on Einstein, for example, can be both in the ‘people’ folder under its author, and in the ‘topic’ folder under ‘physics’, ‘time’, and so on.


This would be an excellent feature to add in obsidian. I hope the devs consider it!

+1 Smart folders work great in Ulysses and Zotero, and would be a great addition to Obsidian

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Couldn’t an Obsidian smart folder just be an auto-populated Map of Content?


Sounds like a Plugin, not a Feature.

Conversely, Obsidian could institute Virtual Folders, and we can get rid of the file system folders all together. Then you could do this tasks easily since virtual folders are just special tags to make a note show in the virtual folders on the left side.


Smart Folders would be something I would use IMMEDIATELY. I’m already using them in every app I run in macOS that offers them – Outlook for work, Mail, as well as others.

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+1 for this feature

+1 for this feature

Virtual Folders

Forget about actual computer OS folders. Folders are really just special tags that sort files into those groups. Could even have a file in multiple virtual folders, and it would still be the same OS file in your obsidian vault.


Partial workaround for this, using Templater to auto-file notes upon creation: Automation with Templater for Obisidian | ThoughtAsylum

Yes this gesture would be a great one especially since I am in the process of importing notes from other apps and if I could just drop all those notes in a smart folder with the tag seedbox or to process then I can at least see the different between the imported notes and the ones I have been working in obsidian.

In the mean time I just use a master kanban born as my inbox and any notes I write appear first in the vault folder and I read and stop that note into my categorize area of my kanban list. It doesn’t autotag but at least I know what the category of the note is. Then I have another kanban board made for each MOC I’m currently actively writing and whatever I categorize and added yaml to in a note in my master capture kanban I then drag the link to the designated MOC kanban that is based on lists of priority. Whenever I “touch” a new note in my MOC I add the metadata into the note based on the kanban list it was in.

But to have Smart Folders this process would drastically cut down my time and categorize notes to be quickly updated to my Dataview tables. Please implement this!!!

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This would be the best!

It would be like Lightroom collections, or Music Playlists, auto-sorted by tags or attributes. Love the idea!

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Taking the rudimentary mac-os built-in smart folder logic can lever great power. @ih2020 gave very nice examples regarding how smart folder can be applied to obsidian.

I really like this idea, and I also have the need to sort my notes. Maybe you could expand this concept a little bit to sort notes into a designated folder according to their attribute value.

Making it into a folder could allow for the transport of a whole set of notes into other places in file explorer. Saved search and dataview could not do this