Recently: Obsidian

I'm still using Obsidian. For a while it was the only icon on my iOS dock.

Bible Study

bible study

I use a downloaded and modified markdown bible as my main study bible. I have it split by chapter. That makes it very readable.

Paying for Obsidian Sync has really helped startup time on iOS… iCloud sync would "unload" all but the most recent hundred or so files.

I use Obsidian Strange New Worlds to put counters on headers that have links, so I can see what verses have notes linked to them. Because I had run a script over my old files, much of my old sermon notes and journal entries are linked into my bible. I often come across things I wrote almost twenty years ago, and that's pretty cool.

Journaling

weekly journal summary

I'm still doing the wild ritual-based summarizing journaling system. It's still a powerful force for change, especially the 12WY style reviews.

The funnel of summaries is constructed to help me avoid staying in a bad pattern of behavior and easily see progress1.

Note Making

An example of an Evergreen note, spawned from a booknote, featuring Excalidraw.

I'm doing a lot of thinking and writing in Obsidian. I've developed a personal taxonomy for my own system of atomic notes with a lifecycle that hasn't changed much since my last post:

  • unnamed notes:
    • low confidence
    • contains at least one link
    • title based on ID
  • Evergreen Notes:
    • contains strong fact or strong opinion
    • title based on a phrase that represents an "API" to that idea for my brain

I also have a couple special forms:

  • Journal notes in a /journal folder.
  • book notes in a /booknotes folder… sometimes alongside the imported Kindle highlights. (Usually a tweet-length summary, some takeaways, any really impactful ideas usually become Evergreen Notes.)
  • a work-related wiki that generally follows my border of the known theory.
  • MOC-style notes that usually have a tag-style2 filename (i.e. Journaling.md) and a random list or query to link to other notes.
  • article/essay drafts in a /writing folder
  • Obsidian Canvas usually in the form of a question that I'm exploring. (i.e. "What do I think about generative AI?" or "What is a biblical response to burnout?")

I am really loving Canvas. I need to write a separate post about it… but as a teaser: persistent spatial thinking is easier on canvas because you don't need to save a workspace or Andy-mode stacked tabs. The act of drawing a line between two thoughts, and writing a label to describe why the two are related is a powerful creative act. More later.

Writing

zen mode

I'm still using the same kanban system for blog posts like this.

While I used to incubate a post or thought in Drafts.app for at least 80% of the lifecycle, I'm pushing it faster into because I want to be able to cultivate it in the context of all the other notes.

Plugins

I use Leader Hotkeys to bind the exact same window management settings that I use in tmux.

As before mentioned I use Obsidian Strange New Worlds to explore links between blocks, especially Bible verses.

My crazy journaling system uses Periodic Notes, Charts, and Dataview to generate the graphs and summary charts.

Evergreen Notes and Booknotes often use Excalidraw to store and reproduce simple diagrams and illustrations. It's essentially a glorified SVG under the hood, so I have a lot of confidence that it won't disappear quickly. It doesn't take up much space, and it is easily trackable by source control. If it was mission critical I'd likely use image files.

I built a minimal writing mode for Obsidian using Typewriter Scroll, Hider, and Commander just like the one I use in nvim. Essentially I use Commander to create a single command that triggers several commands. I type <leader>-m which calls a Macro from Commander that runs five commands:

  • Hider: Toggle tab bar
  • Hider: Toggle app ribbon
  • Hider: Toggle status bar
  • Typewriter Scroll: Toggle Zen Mode On/Off
  • Typewriter Scroll: Toggle On/Off

I just started using Media Extended to take notes on videos and lectures. It's early, but I'm excited. I can open a Youtube video in Obsidian and insert timestamped links in another note as I watch.

I use QuickAdd and Templater to construct Booknotes with Google Books API. This is way buggier than my previous method using Drafts, I think mostly the issue is the .js file or plugin settings getting munged by Obsidian Sync. Unsure.

I use Git to periodically backup to Github just in case, or before I make some drastic changes.

I use Advanced Tables on a few of my notes for research or adding up sums. Most notably I moved my wishlist out of Amazon and Pinterest and am now handling it locally.

If I need to any honest-to-goodness text editing, I'll drop into nvim to write on the plaintext file and use Obsidian as a glorified preview mode. Playing with using ltex and Marksman as LSP to drive wiki-style neovim usage instead of a core plugin system.

Wishes

I want to re-download and transform my markdown bible again, this time without hyphens (-) in the file name. Ideally a book + chapter would naturally match as an Unlinked Mention. (i.e. "2 Corinthians 5")

I want to smush my publishing/articles system and my thinking system together into one repo. Not sure how to do that yet without losing the git history.

I really want to move my contact cards for prayer journaling into Obsidian. I wish there was a way to access and refer to them in plaintext notes and still sync to my phone.

I would like to start writing a book on journaling, maybe I should start a PARA-style folder inside /writing.

That's it for the moment. Obsidian has become my most used app for thinking, absorbing my beloved Mindnode and Drafts into one big workbench.


  1. We just went through annual reviews, and the quarterly summaries made it easy for me to find my story and searching my journal allowed me to find specific praise for those around me. 

  2. Many of the tags that I have previously used (i.e. "prayer," "keyboards," or "selfhelp") turn into MOC notes now. As I start collecting/refactoring the notes under that tag I end up creating a note by the same name and starting to write about what interests me under that tag. I follow Nick Milo's pattern of linking to notes and as I start explain why they are linked to the central idea, I often start discovering new subwebs of thought or conversations that become essays like this one. 

    I still have a lot of tags to unwind into MOC this way, but I'm just doing it organically as my interests guide me.


Changelog
  • 2024-03-23 09:02:53 -0500
    fix typo

    s/Corinthian/&s/g

  • 2024-03-14 17:30:27 -0500
    Fix broken list

  • 2024-03-14 16:58:49 -0500
    Publish

  • 2024-03-14 16:20:57 -0500
    Fix typo in path

  • 2024-03-14 16:18:58 -0500
    Pull it down until I can solve this

  • 2024-03-14 16:12:28 -0500
    Fix misspelling

    I don't know why the images are grey, I think it's some LFS thing that
    is accursed.

  • 2024-03-14 16:02:05 -0500
    Obsidian post