2022-12-18 10:31

I started using obsidian in october 2022. For a few years I've been using org mode for my note taking, including even building my own static site generator for my personal wiki setup.

Why did I switch?

I don't quite know. Not only that, Obsidian is closed source, which is something I try and stay away from if possible. I guess at the root, out of the box it had everything I wanted, with very little setup. The interface is also really nice. But the best thing about it is that the files it works with are just plain markdown. So, after the inevitable demise of obsidian (all software has a lifespan), at least I'll just have my plain markdown files.

And, why switch to markdown?

I'm still unsure if this was the right choice. I don't think I really need the power of org mode. And to be honest, I'm not sure I ever really wanted to dig into how to manipulate the text myself in elisp. The fact that I can see all tags (and nested tags) out of the box in obsidian is really nice.

I suppose for a wiki style second-brain-digital-graden-whatever, obsidian works very nicely and markdown fits the bill. If I need executable code blocks in my notes, or folding, or sparse tree searchability, I'll use org mode.

My main other reason for using org-mode was the built in time-tracking abilities. I think after a few years, my interest in tracking time started to wane.

At the end of the day, I think I just like trying new things 🙃.

Notes-to-self for daily logging

The following setup works fairly seamlessly for logging day-to-day, while also creating "embedded" notes (inspired by this post) . Doing this enables me to "roll up" days into weeks, weeks into months, and months into a year with little extra effort beyond learning how to use obsidian and the respective plugins. Below is a brief overview. Why do this? I want to know how I spent my time and what notable events occurred, with whatever desired level of granularity.


To effectively achieve the above, the following plugins are useful:

  • Periodic Notes
  • Calendar
  • Templater

How to do it


Everyday, I open obsidian and create a daily note, from a template. Specifically, it must have a heading called "Summary". Anything else can go in the file, but as the day goes, and and the end of the day, I fill the summary with anything important.

Weekly, on sundays

At the beginning of the week, I create a weekly file from a template, using periodic notes.. The template has a similar "summary" heading, and uses note embeds (as per the post linked at the top of this section) to embed each summary for each day of the week.

Monthly, on the first day of the month

At the beginning of the month, do the same thing as above, but with a "monthly" template file.