Trying to dictate new notes while using Sync to connect desktop and iOS app

Hi folks,

I’m trying to migrate from, and the one key feature I haven’t been able to reproduce is a quick shortcut that allows me to dictate notes on the fly. I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen this problem in the forums, but apologies if it’s been covered elsewhere.

What I’m trying to do

My goal is to set up a Zettelkasten that I can easily access from my desktop and phone (iOS), and be able to dictate new notes as they come to me. I set this up in using a Shortcuts script that asks for the note title, asks for the note body, and then creates a new Bear note with the same title and body.

Things I have tried

I’ve been able to sync my desktop and iOS vaults using the Obsidian Sync plugin, and I’ve created a new Shortcuts script that generates a new [title].md file and drops it into the folder of my choice. The only problem is that I apparently(?) can’t use one with the other.

I can tell Shortcuts to save the file either to iCloud or Dropbox. If I turn off Obsidian Sync and choose iCloud, I am limited to creating files in the “Shortcuts” folder on iCloud. Obsidian’s app, of course, is limited to accessing files in the “Obsidian” folder on iCloud. So I can’t save the .md files in the directory they need to go in for Obsidian to read them.

I can put my local directory on Dropbox and turn on Obsidian Sync, and that would allow me to access the directory with both Obsidian and Shortcuts. But I’ve read warnings against combining Obsidian Sync with other sync services like Dropbox, because if you end up crossing the streams, file corruption happens, Zuul is able to enter our realm, etc. … I honestly don’t know enough to understand the issue, and perhaps I’m misreading the warnings?, but at least for now, I’m not doing that.

That leaves me with keeping my Obsidian notes in a local folder on my desktop and using Obsidian Sync to connect it to the iOS app, which works beautifully… but I can’t dictate notes and add them to the directory, because I can’t tell Shortcuts to save the .md file to the local folder on my desktop, which it can’t access.

It might (?) be possible to use Obsidian’s URI functionality in a Shortcuts command and have the note go straight to the Obsidian app, as I currently do with, rather than into the synced directory… but I’ve looked over the URI syntax, and I think I’d need to specify three things (vault, filename, content), and it looks like it only accepts two inputs. I’d also have to do potentially a fair amount of URI encoding, and before I try to dig into that, I thought I’d check in with the Obsidian community to see whether I’m missing something obvious (and easier). Thanks in advance for any advice.

I may be missing something here, as I’ve never used Obsidian with Sync or iCloud


Shortcuts is able to save files to any iCloud folder.


… really? I tried doing that, and I kept hitting a wall. Here’s my script:

I used Append rather than Save, but either way, if I save to iCloud, it gives me a file path that starts with /Shortcuts/, and as the greyed-out text suggests, I can’t change the “Shortcuts” part of the path. (I even found a post online indicating that some people had been using “Shortcuts/…/Desired-Directory/filename”, but that recent versions of Shortcuts had eliminated that loophole.)

All that said, I’m far from a Shortcuts power user, so if I’m missing something really obvious, I apologize in advance.

Figured out how to do this, if anyone comes looking for a solution. The answer is to build a shortcut that uses a URI to add the note directly to the mobile app. Inspired by the second shortcut at, I did this:

Trigger this script with Siri, then dictate the title and note body, and it’ll open the new note in the Obsidian app (with the title selected, for some reason… slightly annoying).

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