Obsidian should improve its support of blocks and block references because:
It would reduce friction in capturing and finding information later
We know it’s possible with markdown (see Logseq)
This will make Obsidian even more appealing to potential users
Disclaimer: There is a strong chance that I am missing something completely about obsidian functionality. If that is the case, I would love for you to let me know.
My PKM journey: Notion → Roam → flirted with Obsidian → Logseq → Obsidian/Tana.
I begrudgingly moved to Obsidian (but love it) because:
folders and files are useful
the available plugins are unrivalled
it’s a great place to write
longevity of notes
I’m currently using Tana to capture specific types of notes to query later.
The block-based paradigm was a bit of a revolution in note-taking and knowledge management.
The idea is to treat each bullet point, each little node, as an atomic unit. So rather than treating the file as what is most crucial, apps like Roam, Tana, and LogSec, are all focused on blocks.
Obsidian has support for blocks, but the available functionality is basically nowhere close to being useful. Obsidian search will display results for blocks that have a specific tag, for instance, but you can’t see all the information available and browse it easily and make them all accessible in a click.put it, which folder" etc, all you need to do is add the content and tag it, and you’ll be able to find it later.
Examples of these sorts of things include:
quotes you come across
Books you want to read, movies you want to watch
Here’s an example of a query in Logsec that shows me all blocks that have the tag #great quotes
Blocks are perfect for things that are useful but don’t quite deserve their own file, but they might down the track.
The success of this block-based paradigm is abundantly clear with the rising popularity of apps like Roam, Tana, Logseq, Reflect etc.
Obsidian has support for blocks, but the available functionality is basically nowhere close to being useful. Obsidian search will display results for blocks that have a specific tag, for instance, but you can’t see all the information available and browse it easily and make them all accessible in a click.
For me, this is not-quite-but-nearly useless, as I have to spend a lot of effort trying to find exactly what i’m looking for.
Adding block support in Obsidian to the level of other block-based apps is not necessary for this to be a super useful feature. The minimal requirements here in my mind are:
Allow users to create a query on a page for all blocks with #tag name.
- Atm this would be something to do with the plugin dataview, not Obsidian, but it seems like native support for queries is being built as evidenced by the ‘Create dynamic tables using data stored in note properties’ feature listed on the Obsidian roadmap.
Greater support for block search, showing the complete block rather than just a segment of it.
From the outset, property support is not required, just tag support would be such a huge, huge gain. Property support could definitely be added, though!
Most Obsidian users use the daily notes page: I’m not sure about the numbers, but I would assume that a substantial portion, probably more than half of Obsidian users, use the Daily Notes feature. Increased support for blocks would deliver a lot more value to everyone.
Revenue: Block-level support is a must-have feature for a lot of folks in the PKM space, (myself included), if Obsidian improved block functionality, more people might switch to Obsidian.
It’s possible: Logseq is a block-based pkm tool, and it’s entirely markdown-based.
Anyway – curious to hear anyone’s thoughts!