Timeline / card view - a way to screen, review, and structure the knowledge base across time

Hi all,

Mindful that the fundamental idea - i.e. to discover areas in your knowledge base that haven’t been reviewed in a while, and to easily navigate it across time - has already been brought up a few times. That said, it struck me that there was no “single idea” that captured the point fully, hence I thought it’d be interesting to float a more holistic approach and see what the feedback would be to that in the community.

I personally think it’d be amazing to have a uniform view which makes time the variable by which you screen your notes. To illustrate, I put together a high-level mock-up below (a picture says more than a thousand words after all):

In my view, this ultimately boils down to three key UX elements:

  • A “inbox / working memory” action area of sorts, which shows the items which you’ve been editing lately (i.e. “Edited in the past week”), and which allows you to quickly access these top-of-mind files
  • An action area which allows you to in turn browse your notes over time in a consistent way
  • A visual summary timeline / calendar view which allows for very quick and intuitive access to specific points of interest (the mock-up above uses a timeline concept, however, a github-esque “contribution” calendar would work just as well, if not better), based on some of key metric
    • E.g. by amount of content created/edited on a specific day (for evaluating productivity), or by a score which summarizes the amount of notes with a lot of links and content, that have not been viewed in a while (for finding old important notes and reviewing them)

I think a card view is very powerful in this kind of scenario, as it allows for the most organic way to display the key information with clear visual feedback. E.g. the background of the note can fade the longer a note has not been viewed (a bit like Trello’s implementation). It also translates well to any other form of filtering that might be applied down the line.

Would be great to hear people’s thoughts - I personally think this a key missing link in Obsidian’s current core toolset (as there currently simply isn’t any clear way to efficiently review notes and understand ones note creation patterns). Mindful that the mock-up is probably a bit too ambitious, but even an MVP which ticks any of the elements above, would be really useful in making Obsidian a full knowledge management tool.

67 Likes

Good mockup !

I would say that, from an implementational perspective (since I am a developer), this can be developed independent of Obsidian’s plugin mechanism or features. The latest version supports HTML elements, and from your mock up it seems like the time dimensions of the markdown files are the only thing needed.

I imagine a simple program that reads files’ date of creations, last edited, and update these information into a HTML template which is just another markdown file in the vault, can do the job.

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+1 the idea is very neat.

Will definately help my workflow

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+1
I like your mockup.

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I like the card view a lot.
One extension to the idea is to allow for a timeline to emerge based on a date field that in input into the system. The use case here is to view “knowledge” or “events” visually as they have occurred in history. This is help a note taker absorb or process the knowledge to build a broader understanding by exploring how events are linked to together across time or how events influence future events.

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Main function

Add a time mark under the note, switch to the timeline panel, and you can see the time distribution of different notes on a main timeline.

Secondary function

According to different tags, the timeline corresponding to the tag is generated in parallel on the main timeline

*My mother tongue is not English, it may cause difficulties in reading, sorry

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Seconded. I would also like to mention Wayback Machine’s implementation, which offers both a timeline and a calendar:

Perhaps the plugin could offer different representations as several modules, e.g. timeline view, calendar view, card view (à la Trello), heat map view (à la GitHub), etc. The development would be a tremendous undertaking but I imagine it would be a game changer for many users.

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+1
Excellent idea!!!

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Love this idea! This is where Obsidian shines that our systems of note taking can grow.

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+1
Great Idea!!

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Love this idea! Can’t wait to have this plugin or something similar to come out!

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Is anyone working on this plugin? I really like the idea to have a calendar and timeline views of all notes with options to sort them by dates of creation and the latest change.

This following one might be of interest: