- The first time I tried to use Obsidian, I didnt like it.
It didnt seem intuitive to use.
I couldnt quite get it to do what I wanted.
And frankly, I just didnt get all of the hype.
Today, I have over 10,000 notes over multiple vaults in Obsidian.
So what changed? Well, it turns out that theres a pretty crucial element of the experience that I was missing the first time around and thats plugins.
Here are my top 10 community plugins for Obsidian so that you dont make the same mistake.
Obsidian already comes with some core plugins, some of which are enabled by default.
Today, Im talking about community plugins, which are extensions to Obsidian that are created by other Obsidian users.
The security of your notes is still on you though so think about what youre comfortable with before installing anything.
These 10 plugins are arranged alphabetically and the first one is Calendar.
Calendar is the most popular Obsidian plugin and for a reason.
I dont know at this point why you would ever install Obsidian without the Calendar plugin because Obsidian doesnt have a native implementation of a calendar.
The Calendar plugin doesnt just show the calendar.
It also lets you create daily notes and see those daily notes over the entire month.
And it also lets you create weekly reviews if you have that option enabled, which I do.
Recently, Ive been using Calendar and this other plugin, Fantasy Calendar.
Even though Fantasy Calendar definitely was made for use in a tabletop role playing game like Dungeons and Dragons, you dont have use it as that.
Ive used Fantasy Calendar as my content calendar in Obsidian.
It just provides a little bit more customization than the Calendar plugin can but I install and use both heavily.
Number two is Dataview.
Dataview has changed the way I use Obsidian.
Its changed the way I format my notes.
It essentially allows you to define parameters and values in the YAML front matter or the metadata of your notes and then it lets you search for them.
So it essentially lets you create your own database in Obsidian with custom fields for anything that you want.
You could use it for meetings or people or tools or books that youve read.
The possibilities are endless.
Theres just so much to do with this plugin.
And I really havent even scratched the surface of it.
Number three is so small but so useful that I had to include it in the list.
It is Editor Syntax Highlight.
If youve ever copied over any code into Obsidian, you may find that it lacks a little bit in readability.
Editors Syntax Highlight dramatically improves readability by changing the syntax highlighting depending on the programming language that you select.
It isnt going to replace VS Code anytime soon, but if youre like me and you use it sort of as a dev log while youre trying figure something out and you include your final solution or the code into your note, then I think that this is a must-have.
Number four is Kanban which is funny because I dont even usually like the Kanban approach.
I never understood Trello and I never liked Post-it Notes.
I dont use Kanban for task management.
Ive discovered what its really good for is a content calendar.
I create a card in Kanban for every bit of content that Id like to work on, whether thats code or a section in a workshop, a blog post, a video, or really basically anything.
I really like being able to create my own columns and spicing it up by embedding photos within the card itself.
It just makes the whole process a lot more visual.
Number five is Outliner.
Before Obsidian, I was using Roam and it definitely shows.
While Ive moved on philosophically from Roam Research, I still love the very task-oriented bulletin format that it had.
Well, Outliner brings the same thing to Obsidian.
So you can have your keyboard shortcuts for quickly moving something up and down a list or indenting and unindenting as well.
It has made my transition from Roam Research significantly easier.
Number six is Periodic Notes.
I think one of the most fundamental philosophical differences between Obsidian and tools like Evernote is that Obsidian doesnt want you to just capture it all.
♪ Pokemon ♪ - Obsidian is about bringing those notes to the forefront, processing them, analyzing them, really learning them, and then changing them as your knowledge changes and Periodic Notes really helps with that.
It is particularly useful for OKR or objective setting because it provides a system for reviewing notes daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly.
You dont have to use all of those, but I find that using some of them is really useful in helping me step back and think about what I actually want to accomplish.
Number seven probably would be my number one if I were ranking these, but since its alphabetical, number seven is Obsidian Publish.
Obsidian Publish is a premium add-on to Obsidian that lets you instantly publish all of your notes or at least the notes that you select to be published to a certain domain.
Now I have it going to a custom domain and yes, its not free.
And yes, I do know that there are other ways that you could do this with markdown files.
I have my personal blog using Hugo as a static generator for instance, but theres just something about Publish and just it taking just a few clicks between writing something and putting it out there that really reduces the inertia for me to learn in public.
Learning in public and growing a digital garden that is constantly changing is really important to me and it has been essential to my professional and personal development.
So Obsidian Publish has to be, hands-down, my favorite plugin for Obsidian.
Number eight is the Readwise Official plugin and this is a plugin that Ive been wanting for a very long time.
In fact, before the official plugin came out, I created my own Python script that I was running regularly just to be able to move my things from Readwise to Obsidian.
Readwise, if you dont know, is a way to collect all of the things that youre doing on the internet.
Its an easy way to collect eBooks, web articles, audiobooks, tweets, and even PDFs.
And it all brings your highlights of those into your Obsidian vault.
It is a really essential part to my learning process because it ensures that everything Ive learned from a variety of different sources ends up in my Obsidian vault for me to process and analyze.
Number nine is Obsidian Sync and it is also a premium add-on, kind of like Obsidian Publish, but its also totally optional.
You dont really need Obsidian Sync.
I already use Dropbox, but unfortunately, one of the problems with Dropbox is that you cant yet use it to sync between different devices.
I use Obsidian on my laptop, on my iPad, and on my Samsung mobile.
So I have three different devices that I need all of my notes on.
There are currently two options for this.
Its either iCloud or Obsidian Sync.
I dont like iCloud, and so, Obsidian Sync is my service of choice.
Number 10 is the most recent plugin of this 10 and it is Templater.
Now dont get it confused with Templates which is an Obsidian core plugin.
Templater is a community plugin thats like Templates on steroids.
I was already a fan of the core plugin Templates, so having Templater and all of the customization options that are possible is just amazing.
Definitely recommend it.
If youve made it this far and youre wondering what the heck is Obsidian, well maybe take a step back and watch this video on how to get started with Obsidian.
And if you want to know about my usage of any of the particular plugins that I mentioned, leave me a comment below so that I know that I should make a video on that next.
Thank you for watching.
Happy note taking.