Using Obsidian for my Newsletter

I am looking to use Obsidian as the place for my newsletter organizing and writing.

My newsletter often consists of a few small essays from me talking about something that I have researched online about. A large majority of the things I read are articles and blog posts online.

I am currently feeling very overwhelemed with finding a system that allow me to:

  • Save articles and highlights to use later as reference material for my original writing
  • Organize my thoughts in a way that is fast, fluid, and leakproof (meaning I don’t let things fall through the cracks)
  • Have a system in place to prevent losing or misorganizing my notes
  • Know when to add to a current note, create a new note, or when to make connections.

I am fairly new to Obsidian and a lot of the videos and articles I have read seem to dive head-first into the weeds and I just feel like I an ill-equipped to fully understand or comprehend where these people are going or doing with their Obsidians.

I am happy to answer any questions or clarify anything if needed. Any help is appreaciated.

Hi Jeff,
you made a good choice with Obsidian! Three years ago I was in a similar situation as you are right now - and to be honest - in the very beginning it was like pain in the a… .
My recommendation is to start and try out thinks you find useful for you and from there improve. Right now my files and the way I treat them look much different than in the beginning. But in Obsidian this is not a problem - In my opinion it is a highly flexible system which you can constantly adapt to your needs.
My recommendation to you is to implement the idea of atomic information and build MOCs (map of content) later. Use PARA and CODE concept from Triago Forte - use folders mainly for projects so you can move this folders including the content to ‘A’ (Archive) in oder to have a good overview.
What I do practical when I do research, I add every interesting piece of information as a link in my journal so nothing gets lost. This entries/links I format with ## so I can refer to them everywhere easily.

I write my newsletter in Obsidian and ship it via Buttondown, which is one of the few newsletter platforms that works with Markdown. Here’s what I do/recommend:

  1. Make a template for your newsletter in Obsidian. This way you can simply click and drop it in a new note when you’re writing a new newsletter.
  2. Find a way to import quotes and notes from the stuff you’re reading online and want to comment on in your newsletter. I bring all articles into Reader (Readwise’s read later app). Anything I highlight and comment on in Reader gets pushed to Readwise.
  3. Set up sync between Readwise and Obsidian. There’s a plugin for that. I sync manually, so things only come into Obsidian when I want them to. You’ll need to have a dedicated folder for these imports. There’s instructions somewhere on the interwebs on how this all works. Maybe in the plugin or Readwise docs.
  4. Throughout the week, I’m adding stuff to the week’s newsletter file. At some point, I bring in my highlights/notes from Reader/Readwise into Obsidian. Then I copy/paste those into my newsletter. Formatting stuff however I like.
  5. When done, I copy all the copy in the file and paste it into a new email/newsletter on Buttondown. Then go from there.

That’s it. Good luck.