Using Obsidian For Writing Fiction & Notes
I’ve recently become a moderator for a notetaking tool called obsidian.md — its main virtues are that it’s locally-hosted, i.e. not cloud-based, although you can back it up using either git or a cloud-based provider). I use it for writing and managing hobbyist research, but it’s popular with academics (it has integration with reference managers (Zotero) and spaced repetition tools (Anki) and some really nice pdf embed features) and people interested in personal knowledge management.
I’ve written about my process, involving increasingly atomic folders, on the obsidian forums, and I was also interviewed about how I use obsidian for writing fiction:
The plugin I mention here, that I use to get short fiction writing prompts, is Obsidian Shuffle.
Nick also interviewed me about the non-fiction side of my workflow, namely how I process nonfiction books and articles and integrate what I learn into my notes so that I can use the information to create articles and round out my worldbuilding. You can view it here:
(If you enjoyed this live notetaking session, you might also enjoy Andy Matuschak’s version. He does things a little differently than I do structurally but there’s a lot of value in comparison, I think!)
A later interview covers how I integrate the reference manager Zotero into my system in order to process source material and my highlights for PDFs:
As a follow-up to this, based on a couple of emails I got asking me to elaborate on a couple of details that got mentioned in passing during the video, I thought it might be useful to link to my template for daily notes and the CSS Snippets I use for Obsidian. As a note, my theme Palatinate is also available in the community themes list. My snippets for the dataview plugin are also available on the Obsidian forums.
I also recently started maintaining the Obsidian Roundup, a free weekly roundup of Obsidian.md tips, news & resources. It can be accessed via RSS, email, or just by visiting the site on Saturday mornings EST.
I also publically shared my vault with most of my notes, and you get access to a .zip download of most of my plugins and such by signing up for a newsletter membership. There are more details over on my launch announcement. I also did a Q&A to showcase how I create the stories and articles that appear on my newsletter.