How to Use Obsidian for Writing and Productivity

I am fairly unhealthy at being an worker. I overtly despise conferences, I say precisely what’s on my thoughts, and I sincerely imagine that many managers exist solely to waste the time of in any other case productive folks. I additionally couldn’t be much less enthusiastic about how my work impacts quarterly projections—I need to write issues that individuals discover useful and entertaining.

So, yeah, I am a freelancer.

I write for 5 publications, together with the one you are studying now (clearly my favourite). The upside: I am by no means in conferences. The draw back: There’s rather a lot to maintain monitor of. I’ve to handle relationships with 5 editors. It is a problem, and I’ve tried a full array of techniques through the years, from spreadsheets to index playing cards, apps like Trello, and means too many to-do listing apps.

None of them fairly did the trick, till I found Obsidian a few years in the past. This software has slowly gone from being a bizarre app I did not perceive to 1 I am unable to think about functioning with out. It is the place I do all of my writing, sure, but in addition how I hold monitor of my ongoing articles as they transfer from brainstorming to pitching to publication.

This is not a assessment of Obsidian (I already wrote one). That is a top level view of how I take advantage of this software to get issues achieved. Hopefully studying it provides you some concepts for the way you may use it.

Every little thing Offline All at As soon as

To begin with, what’s Obsidian? The appliance payments itself as a “second mind,” however you may it put in the identical class as note-taking apps like OneNote or Evernote. In contrast to these functions, although, Obsidian shops every part—notes, attachments, and even plugins—as easy textual content paperwork in a folder in your pc. This implies you need to use the applying totally offline or sync the paperwork utilizing the cloud storage service of your alternative.

This has a number of benefits. For one, your information are totally in your management: If Obsidian stopped current tomorrow, I’d nonetheless have entry to my notes. For one more, every part works offline. My favourite factor about Obsidian, although, is the in depth plugin ecosystem. There are over a thousand Obsidian plugins, and I depend upon a number of of them. There’s Kanban, which lets you create a board of playing cards you may transfer between tiles. There’s Extract URL, which may seize all textual content from any web site and switch it right into a notice. I might listing plugins for a very long time. However the level is you could customise Obsidian to work principally any means you need it to. I’ve achieved this to create an ideal setup for my workflow—one that permits me to do my planning and my precise writing in the identical software.

My writing course of has a development: brainstorming concepts, pitching these concepts to editors, researching, writing, enhancing, and invoicing. Here is how I transfer via these steps in Obsidian.


Each article begins with an concept. I get these from all types of locations. Typically I am simply utilizing my pc, discover one thing that annoys me, endlessly analysis an answer to that situation, after which determine to put in writing about it. Typically I discover a cool-looking app whereas studying the information or looking Reddit. And typically I simply spend a number of hours brainstorming concepts. Regardless of the case, I compile my concepts in a devoted Kanban board on Obsidian. Each card on the board hyperlinks to a devoted doc the place I embrace any related hyperlinks, broaden on the thought, and notice a bit about potential angles for the article.

When it comes time to take these concepts into the world, I determine which of them I will pitch to which editors and drag them to a column for that publication. If the pitch is authorised, I drag the cardboard over to my “article queue” board, if not, I think about pitching it to a different publication or put it in my “concept jail” to doubtlessly revisit later.

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