Why use "Folder" within a Vault?

I apologize if this is obvious. I’ve looked around quite a bit, but I can’t find discussion of what functionality is brought by using a Folder rather than a File. I see they can be used to store downloads. But within the note hierarchy itself, what use does it serve?

I’ve tried using them for distinct projects with overlapping notes. But the map shows everything, not a single folder.

It’s to separate things visually. I wouldn’t want all my projects notes in the same space and my household notes, for example.


Not sure if you are using several vaults to organize different areas of your life.

In my case I only have one vault where all my notes live.

I use folders to organize different projects inside my vault.

Of course with the use of #tags and [[links]] one could argue that folders are not needed. I’ve definitely made that argument before. However an organized and long term functional system without any folders is something really advanced and even unconvinent sometimes.

My use of folders examples


if I feel the need for it I create a new folder for a new project (example a book I’m writing has it’s own folder)

Obsidian templates

Obsidian templates can be nicely organized in a folder

Integration with Other apps

I use other apps to read my markdown files, I have a folder inside my obsidian vault for this when needed, specially if the app deals with markdown files in a different way to obsidian.

I still like having such a filder inside of obsidian for better integration

I write my website from markdown files

This is more advanced, but still a great use of folders. I use Gatsby to create my website from markdown files. Having one folder set for this works perfectly

There are way more uses for folders and combined with #tags and [[links]] there’s tons of excellent ways to create a great system.


Thanks. I can see how folders would be helpful for organizing notes from a specific source or different projects. But, as I understand it, if they are in the same vault, they will all show up on the Graph view.

So for a project at the structure-organizing stage (e.g., book deciding on chapter structure), the only way to use the Graph view of only that material would be to have it in its own dedicated Vault, correct?

I’m a bit disappointed that this doesn’t seem to be documented. In the upper-left corner of the graph view there is an area where you can configure the graph, including using a search to include only files of interest, or exclude those you don’t want.

Graph aside, it’s helpful for me to be able to put my daily notes and other ephemera into a folder for easier browsing.


Like @mambocab said there are ways to use the graph to only show specific folders, or even ignore specific folders

You can do that with path: in the graph filters


Ahh. Thank you. That’s perfect! I saw it in the Feature Request section and didn’t realize it had been implemented. That’s a huge increase in functionality!

1 Like

My Vault is also my complete OneDrive. I also use it outside obsidian.
So I need a bit of structure.

My brain needs structure - MOCs are only good inside obsidian.

  • Items I’m working on together in a folder. (One for each project)
  • Second Brain (Atomic) have less structure - only a high level topic like “Math” for example. My Second Brain notes I mostly find by searching for them outside of obsidian. Since they have clear names about one specific idea/topic
    Inside obsidian => MOCs
1 Like

There hasn’t been any activity for 5 days, could you please see if you’d like to pick any of the existing answers as the solution, or do you still need help with something?

Would appreciate it if you could clarify on that, thanks!