Workflow help: Pdf -> Zotero -> Obsidian -> Anki

What I’m trying to do

I plan on using Obsidian to help consume web and pdf content. Im typically centered around the Data Science and Data Engineering domain.

When consuming pdf content I typically mark it up with highlights and notes. Some of these notes then turn into Anki cards. Polar Bookshelf solved all of this pretty well. With their lack of flexibility in card creation I decided to move away to other solutions.

Ideal workflow

  1. Use zotero to capture and manage pdfs
  2. Use obsidian to make multiple kinds of notes as well as anki cards with @Pseudonium 's amazing plugin
  3. Study relevant concepts in Anki
  4. Use obsidian to hold/connect other information

There has been some chatter around this:

  1. Markdown layer on top of pdf - #16 by msteffens
  2. Create a note that linked to a specific paragraph in a pdf - #15 by ryanjamurphy

There have been some isolated efforts/ideas:

  1. Create a note that linked to a specific paragraph in a pdf - #20 by Slavomir
  2. Markdown layer on top of pdf - #18 by msteffens

Things I have tried

Ive searched ways to put as much content in Obsidian as possible, but I have not found a full solution yet.

Partial Solutions using MD-Notes from @argentum

  1. Zotero 101 - Obsidian Community talks
  2. Zotero -> zotfile -> mdnotes -> obsidian -> dataview Workflow
  3. Zotero -> zotfile -> mdnotes -> obsidian -> dataview Workflow

These all work by:

  1. Having you make notes in zotero-beta or another pdf tool.
  2. Importing with md-notes
  3. Annotating those with obsidian.

Shortcomings

  1. How do you manage updates? Say I import make some obsidian edits, but now I find new stuff to comment/highlight in the pdf?

Questions

  1. What is the best way to do this now while having a source of truth? Is there a way to leverage dataview and multiple md files such that the md import can be updated without messing up obsidian annotations?
  2. What is the best way to get more awareness around this pdf gap? I see a lot of heavy (poor) solutions that dont really solve this problem.

Thanks!

2 Likes

Hi! Great post! I am also thinking on similar workflow.

Most active users are on discord now, you may post there your problem or link to this post, I think someone may share their workflow (you may try knowledge management thread)

Thanks, thats a good idea!

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