SmartOutline plugin concept

Am I the only one who thinks Obsidian has a “black hole problem”? It’s so wonderfully easy to collect information and ideas, then build connections between them, but not so easy to extract them in a usable way.

I’ve tried to imagine a solution, a plugin I call SmartOutline. See concept demo here. Features:

  • vertically split interface with built-in outline grid
  • easy drag-and-drop from literature notes or original sources to outline
  • automatic appending of citation backlink when adding content to outline
  • automatic color coding, ## hashmarks of outline levels
  • simple keyboard shortcuts for re-arranging outline elements
  • easy conversion to standard markdown file to let you start writing

What do you think? Anyone want to help build it? :grin: Feedback welcome!


Yes, there is definitely interest for having this sort of workflow in Obsidian.
I have seen request mostly coming from outlining pdfs. I think there is another plugin that emebeds a fork of

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Thanks @WhiteNoise ! I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who felt like this workflow / feature set was missing. I suspect I’m not the only one who wants to churn through lots of documents (yes, including PDFs!) and quickly pull out what’s needed - without having to manually input lots of citations to stay organized. Would be great to hear if others do in fact have that need, then find a developer who can help make this happen!