Conquering Obsidian Overwhelm By Following My Own Advice
Step 1: Remove everyone else's words; Step 2: Keep it simple
One file, one folder, one plugin (if any), until you need another one
That’s the advice I’ve been giving people who are experiencing personal knowledge management (PKM) overwhelm. It’s especially helpful for apps like Obsidian and Logseq, where add-ons can, if unrestrained, obscure your view of the reason you’re managing your knowledge in the first place.
It’s good advice — I know it, and so do most people who hear it — but (gulp) I wasn’t following it.
So this week I put my money where my mouth is, moving out of my luxury Obsidian condo on the hill into an unfurnished apartment in the country. All those nested folders, plugins I didn’t need or wasn’t using, and swathes of text copied from other people’s work — poof! Gone.
I haven’t deleted my old vault, the two year old wonder, the playground, the lab for everything I’ve learned about PKM thus far. It’s there to draw upon as needed. My ultimate aim with this move to a fresh second brain is to have no more and no less than what I need to make meaningful connections in a space that contains only my words.
Your thoughts, or mine?
Here’s a summary of what’s brought me to this point.
For more than four years I’ve been using plain text to record and attempt to keep track of everything. I stopped using apps that hold my work hostage in a proprietary format, choosing instead to push the boundaries of what I can do with text.
I’ve used a collection of text files as a hyperlinked planner, recorded important household information, clipped information from the internet, and imported my highlights from Kindle and Readwise. I even added the entire Bible to my Obsidian vault, so I could link to any verse in any note!
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