Taking Charge over Chaos: My Best Tips for Organizing your Obsidian Second Brain 💜

3 Simple tips.

Lucas Schiavini | ルスキラ
4 min readNov 22, 2023

--

Photo by Brett Jordan / Unsplash

Let’s get right into the DEEDZ.

3 Key things that prevent me from losing my notes on Obsidian:

  • Canvas Kanbans
  • Daily Note
  • Calendar

Canvas Kanban

I use the Canvas plugin to set up Kanban boards, one for general use, and others for particular projects.

Right now I have two:

  • General Kanban 2023
  • Youtube Kanban

General has most projects, medical appointments that I need to follow up on, things I want to learn, courses I want to take, and things I want to read.

On YouTube, I have on my TODO a note where I can jot down video ideas, connect with others, and brainstorm.

I also have the notes for specific ideas and their scripts for the videos.

The thing with the Canvas plugin tho, is that I can have other connecting thoughts around the Kanban. Here’s an example:

There is the kanban on the bottom and on the top, I have general ideas about youtube:

  • Youtube Weekly Ideas: Stuff I want to do every week(If my channel ever goes weekly again).
  • YouTube Resources (competitor analysis, media sources, music, effects I want to emulate)
  • YouTube Random Ideas: Stuff I come up with while in the shower.
  • Warmup Exercises for voice (I always forget to do them)

This is the least complicated Kanban on my vault now, that’s why I chose it as the first example.

On my general vault though, things get complicated. Outside of the Kanban, there’s more philosophical and personal stuff like “Inspiring People”, “Quotes on My Wall”, “Reread Constantly” and stuff like that.

I use most of these boards as reminders of stuff that I really don’t want to forget over the long term.

And then I try to trim the DOING board to have only 3 things at a time.

Daily Note

I’ve talked about this note for a long time, and it changed forms a lot. Right now it’s very simple. After I added the Kanbans, I don’t need to keep repeating todos on every daily note anymore.

So I keep only the basics:

It’s one link to the kanban, in case I ever forget the kanban exists lol.

Daily Goals that only have 1h/day workout and 1h/day side hustle.

And the rest is the things I write on that day.

I also maintained the weekly and monthly notes links at the bottom in case I needed to summarize some daily notes into larger notes. However, I have not done this for all weeks and months.

Calendar

It’s great knowing which days I had notes on, so I can quickly check what I did that day, this is a custom plugin but it saves me a lot of time when I need to know a particular thought on a particular day.

My organization structure still follows a lot of the Zettelkasten Method’s spirit, but some notes just take more than one idea and I’m okay with it.

Some notes are entire scripts for videos, some are simple one-liners(definitions).

The key point for me has always been “Don’t think too much about organizing unless you can’t find things you wrote down”. And the part of “always finding what I wrote down” comes down to my tasks on my kanbans and just taking notes on stuff I actually care about.

After a while, even though Obsidian is very much structureless, I’ve found those 3 things to help me keep a modicum of organization while having the freedom to explore new things/ideas/concepts by connecting notes together.

  • Kanban
  • Daily Note
  • Calendar

It’s hard to break a simple organization method, and it is even harder to introduce flashy things that just clutter things up and take time out of actually living your life and capturing thoughts.

I use Obsidian to help me think, and I hardly use it for more than a couple of minutes a day, and yet I’m able to find what is important to me and find myself delighted in finding connections when I didn’t expect before.

I also use it to take notes on PDF files and study. I find it helps me maintain my notes ready for when I need to revisit things, and helps me write a whole script if I need to as well.

Other than that, I don’t aspire to look at Obsidian for hours a day instead of going outside, meeting people, going to the gym, reading a good book, or going to the movies.

When you go simple, you remain simple and don’t fall into the productivity rabbit hole of having multiple methods for everything.

😗 Enjoy my writing?

If you read more than 2 of my posts and loved them, we have an honor code, meaning I give you value and you hit that subscribe button.

Forward to a friend and let them know where they can subscribe (hint: it’s here).

--

--