Risk-Free Ways to Enjoy Using Obsidian Without Being Swallowed by It
Focus on your notes, not the app they’re in
Some people seem to want to like Obsidian, but feel initially overwhelmed by the puzzling user interface, the massive number of plugins, and all the options for making it look pretty once you really get going. That was my experience, and since those early days I’ve heard many people say the same.
After I got over the initial learning curve and saw the potential of this incredible app, I dove right into the plugin rabbit hole, voraciously consuming all the Obsidian how-to articles I could get my hands on.
There are a lot of them!
In the past couple of years there has been a veritable explosion of articles, videos, and courses from super cool, generous, knowledgable people offering to show you how to do everything from creating databases and tracking habits, to planning role playing games and writing books. It’s a whole new world, I tell you!
But most of it is not for me. Not any more.
I’ve been documenting my journey with Obsidian since 2020 in a series of articles published on Medium, and now on Substack. What a ride! I love what I’ve learned and how far I’ve come. Obsidian is still an app I use daily (if you don’t count the plain text experiment I conducted the other month), but I’ve radically changed my approach. That’s what I want to tell you about in this article: how I continue to use Obsidian in a much simpler, more portable, future proof way.
From 80 plugins to 30, and falling: on knowing when it’s time to simplify
The 80+ plugins I used to use sounds like a lot, but some people have many more and still call life good. These days I’m sporting around 30, and looking for ways to reduce that number where it makes sense to do so. Just so you know, none of those extensions to Obsidian’s core features would break my system were they to disappear.
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