Zettelkasten date ID incorrect for notes on the same day

When using the Zettelkasten plugin, if the ID overlaps with an existing note the date is incremented sequentially. This leads to incorrect dates.

Steps to reproduce

Set the Zettel ID format to YYMMDD in the plugin settings.
Create a couple of new notes. The second note will have the date incorrect (incremented by one day). This happens even after adding a title to make them different.


  • Operating system: MacOS Big Sur 11.5.1
  • Obsidian version: 0.12.12

the Zettelkasten ID is supposed to be unique, that’s why it is auto-incremented. This is feature not a bug.

1 Like

If you want to make more than one note per day, you should include more information in your template.

Personally, this is what I use (24-hour time format to the minute), with some dashes to make it a bit more readable (my own taste):

Oh I see what you mean by the “bug” now. Even if you make the title unique, it still will auto-increment.

I am pretty certain that this is how zettlekasten titles are designed to work. You can add information after the zettle ID so it can be human-friendly.

In one of the major original zettler apps, any title you added after the template ID would be ignored. The link would only use the ID portion of the link.

In Zettlr for example can have links that look like this:
[[20200126175612]] Zettelkasten and Getting Things Done

And the only thing that gets stored as the link ID is the 20200126175612 portion. (That’s not how Obsidian links work. They use the full title. But that should explain why any info after the template is ignored when incrementing. Also I’m purely guessing from extrapolation. I don’t actually know what the Obsidian design is.)

Thanks for the clarifications!

I still find it misleading that we can customize the ID as a date. I would have expected to either have formatting keys to add index digits aside from the date or to have the option to disable the need to have unique IDs.

By the way, slightly unrelated but according to this source the original Zettelkasten method didn’t use dates at all for indexing.

Again the ZK is is supposed to be unique. That is the whole purpose of this plugin. Your options:

  1. Add minutes
  2. Use the daily notes plugin and add note title
  3. Use a third party plugin like templater.