# My Obsidian Workflow
This page describes my [[Obsidian]] workflow, and ideas that I could use to refine it.
It is always in flow, which is why I am introducing dated top-level entries.
This way, I can track how my workflow evolves over time.
### Shorthand for note creation
Across the different note software I might use (apple notes in a pinch, usually readwise, and freewriting on my [[Freewrite]]), I will use a short hand to remember to create a certain type of vault entry:
- ZK - create a [[Zettelkasten]] entry
- IDEA - create a new idea or project, or often add an entry to an existing project
- DRAFT - create a blog post based on the content, or maybe it is often just an idea for an article that is related to the annotated content
### Readwise workflow
- I use [[Readwise Reader]] to annotate articles and PDFs. It's become one of my most used tools
- I read the article, will use the highlight function liberally and often add notes
- Some of these notes turn into little essays
- Some of the notes are just a wiki link that I have been thinking off in order to link the note
- I also create ZK entries by marking them with ZK. For that, I use the set of shorthand I've been established above
- I use the [[Obsidian]] sync plugin to import the highlights into the vault
- I created 2 task tags: #toFile and #toProcess which are set to have the date of the note
- These tasks are automatically inserted at the bottom of the daily note and allow me to see which articles of the last month I still need to process. This is a new setp and I'm not sure how effective it is, or if it will tend to derail me at the beginning of work sessions
- I use [[claude.ai]] to process the ideas in the article. Often I'll create:
- summary of the main points
- synthesis of the article
- more detailed bullet point lists of the ideas I find interesting
- less often
- juxtapose my own notes with the article and ask specific questions
- ask for more questions about the topic (that I can use to guide my own thinking or to come up with writing ideas)
- ask for more resources and other authors that have written about similar topics
- start nerding out about specific aspects
- Sometimes, I'll use [[GPT-4]] by way of [[Text Generator (Obsidian Plugin)]] to validate the first claude creations
- Go over the AI annotations and figure out which are unclear or straight out wrong. This is a crucial step and I don't know how much I fool myself when I use that technique
- Use [[Smart Connections (Obsidian Plugin)]] and [[Graph analysis Obsidian plugin]] to find other notes to link this one to. Potentially also relate this to entries I created today
- File the article in one of the Sorted followers
### [[Sketchbooks]] workflow
- I started to be more conscientious about transcribing the content of my sketchbooks into my vault
- I now give each sketchbook a distinct name so that I can retrieve the physical form when crosslinked in the vault
- When processing a page, I add a filled out black square at the bottom left along with the date at which I transcribed it
- ZK and IDEA and QUOTE entries that have been transcribed are crossed out in the sketchbook itself
### [[GO GO GOLEMS]] projects workflow
- I brainstorm a lot of features for my tools in my sketchbook and in my vault, and they relate to many notes and ZK entries
- As such, I don't really want to split the description of features between [[Github issues]] and the vault
- I add a #toCode and #addGithub task when I add a new IDEA or small task even into the vault
- I try to add the feature either to the project to which it belongs or a separate entry
- As I start to have many ideas pile up, I started subdividing them into smaller topics
Inspired by a couple of discussions with [[Bob Doto]], I am starting to add changelogs to individual notes.
Since the last entry, I have done some significantly more frequent networking of notes, and focused on starting to use notes more when writing blog articles.
I also started taking analogue cards more seriously, and transplanting them at least from the analogue world into the digital world. This is very slow going, and I realize how I can mine individual analogue cards for a really long time. I still haven't finished transplanting the [[ZK - 2a0a - Systems programming is of course Systems Thinking]] cluster, and turning it into [[SK - 2a0 - 2022-07-13 - Systems Programming is really about Systems Theory and Systems Thinking]]. I probably should give SK notes a ZK number too, because the date is not really conducive to remembering it.
### ZK numbering and the folder view
I realize now that I start numbering things:
- there is more locality in the folder view
- It is not that much spatial. It still looks like a long list of grain little links and it is not visible what a card is about. This is different from physically browsing index card, because the colors, the font sizes, how things are written, the card itself gives the knowledge an actual look and physicality. It is simlar to having a list of albums in itunes vs real life vinyl covers.
- I am starting to think if I could use [[DataView]] cards open in separate windows to do this kind of structured navigation. I am a bit worried that the [[Obsidian]] way of opening panes would make that tedious. I also wonder if you can use [[DataView]] in combination with [[Graph analysis Obsidian plugin]], or do [[GraphQL]] / [[Graph Databases]] / [[Datalog]] style queries. This is an interesting project idea: [[IDEA - Obsidian, PKM specific datalog query language and DB representation]]
## ZK graph
The ZK graph is actually now to reflect a nice structure:
![[My Obsidian workflow-1658933387229.jpeg]]
One can really see the topic clusters forming. I could probably add the SK notes to that structure. I wish the graph view was a more first-class citizen tool in [[Obsidian]], and plugins ilke [[Juggl Obsidian Plugin]] try to do it, but did break too often to be usable.
Here is what the total graph looks like:
![[My Obsidian workflow-1658933743258.jpeg]]
It's time to do the next upgrade to my systems, as the ZK/Claims and ZK folders are overflowing and I'm losing track of structure. I'm doing a longer write up in
![[2022-07-16#Overhauling my ZK workflow]]
and starting to create more crosslinked / more frequent claims, using a proper [[Zettelkasten Numbering System]]:
- [[ZK - 6a - Obsidian provides many different UIs for interacting with your notes]]
- [[ZK - 6a1 - Obsidian Note titles determine how useful the Folder View is as a UI element]]
- [[ZK - 6a2 - Obsidian is a toolbox for building knowledge tools]]
I interact with my vault in the following ways:
- I keep a [[Daily notes|daily note]]. This is where most of my writing happens during the day. I write up every link I visit, I try to keep a log of everything I do at work, I write down free-flowing ideas that come to mind, I capture thoughts while on bike rides. For faster capture, I often capture into Todoist, then go over it in the evening or first thing in the morning.
- I try to be more diligent about writing full sentences to accompany each link. Nothing worse than just having a set of cross-linked keywords but no meat for the mind to hang additional thinking upon.
- I extract atomic thoughts into [[Zettelkasten]], which are filed under `ZK/Claims`. I will spend a bit of time finding related cards, but this is a part of the workflow that coudl use some improvement.
- General knowledge topics are filed away as [[Wiki]] articles under `ZK/`. Here also, I try to spend a minimum of effort writing up a few sentences for a new card. This is pretty hard, because I don't want to just paste things from [[Wikipedia]]. Instead of going for something that would be a full-fledged entry, I am experimenting with more free-flowing incomplete thoughts that occur to me as I'm creating the card.
- I try to reorganize the links and thoughts I entered into my [[Daily notes]] into valuable information that is stored in other cards. I barely ever revisit older log entries, except by using the [[Random note]] feature. It is much more useful to file links and thoughts (often copy pasting the same sentence across multiple cards) on [[Wiki]] notes, [[Zettelkasten]] claims.
- I create a NOTE card for each video, article, book that I spend more than a cursory amount of time on. Even if that card only contains 2 sentences, it provides an actual node in the graph to connect multiple topics. This would be harder if I were to just use an external link.
The notes below are already quite old, and don't reflect my current workflow anymore.
## Avoid "lazy" linking
Avoid adding links to big hubs like Functional Programming, but instead introduce "why does this relate to $bigTopic". I realize that most of my notes lately use these hub links as a lazy way of grouping things. Instead, I wrote this on the [[Obsidian]] discord:
> [!quote] I encounter this problem quite a bit too, because ultimately "Systems Thinking" and "Complexity" (or in my case things like "Category Theory") are concepts/theories that try to explain everything, so everything will relate to them. I find it useful to interject a more refined atomic note, say "Client X is not accounting for the fact that Multi-Warehouse Management is Inherent complex, which is a prime example of Ignoring inherent supply chain complexity leads to operational losses)"
## Idea links
- [How I Use the Daily Notes Plugin in Obsidian.md: A Comprehensive Guide – The Buccaneer's Bounty](https://thebuccaneersbounty.wordpress.com/2022/01/05/how-i-use-the-daily-notes-plugin-a-comprehensive-guide/)
- [Tutorial: How to Create a Bookshelf in Obsidian.md – The Buccaneer's Bounty](https://thebuccaneersbounty.wordpress.com/2021/08/21/tutorial-how-to-create-a-bookshelf-in-obsidian/)
- Daily Note
- Refactor notes
- Templater (even if I don't really know how to use it, at least I can paste other people's snippets.
### Not sure
- Day planner (turned off for now)
- Random notes
- Spaced repetition
- Sliding Panes
- Doesn't work that well on mobile
I keep a few tags to mostly mark the status of a note. I am going to try the [[Evergreen Notes]] concept from Matuschak (see [Evergreen notes](https://notes.andymatuschak.org/Evergreen_notes))