PTPL #11: Text into Obsidian Without the App, At Last!
Plus my first steps with the Tasks plugin, and an auto table of contents generator for Medium
Welcome to the eleventh in a series of posts documenting my plain text, paper-less, Obsidian-flavoured journey. Each post is a 5-minute or less summary of what I’ve written, implemented and been inspired by since the last edition.
Past Episodes live in my PTPL List. Other things I’ve written about Obsidian live here.
Today I’ll be talking about —
- Complex vs. simple productivity systems, and how to know which you need
- How to automatically create a table of contents for your Medium stories
- A potential replacement for Drafts on iOS
- Obsidian’s Tasks plugin
Productivity Tips and Inspiration
Last week I wrote about a game I’ve played since childhood. Recently I used it to help me determine which apps I really need on my devices. You can read about it in this story.
Moving from Notion to Paper
I enjoyed reading this article, where Aline Guimarães shares how she moved from Notion to paper when her system became unwieldy.
It ties in nicely with my recent story on what to do when your system starts pinching under the arms:
Does This Productivity System Make Me Look Fat?
If it doesn’t fit, it’s time to change—here’s how
Better notetakers use simple tools
This quote from a Redditor brings up a lot of stuff for me!
I sometimes envy those who are satisfied with what they have and take consistent quality notes — phan25
I truly feel that I’m getting there. I’m pretty satisfied with what I have, and any changes these days are fine-tuning rather than ship jumping.
Another comment from the same thread that caught my eye:
I would say that if you have the need for a tool as complex as Obsidian to manage your own knowledge, your life would improve drastically by simplifying it. — zmobie
I’m still working through what I think, because I both agree and disagree with it at the same time. Check out the full thread for more insightful comments on the topic of complex versus simple PKMS tools.
synapticloop wrote these instructions for how to automatically generate a table of contents for your Medium stories. Ironically, finding this helped me realise I’m actually better served by Medium’s Lists feature to help people find my stories, not complex TOCs, but I’m sure I’ll still put the extension to good use for less complex pieces.
Espanso is an open source text expander.
- Cross platform
- Privacy first
- Desktop only
Check out this showcase on the Obsidian forum for how someone is using it to create breadcrumbs on their daily notes.
Taio is a potential money-saving replacement for Drafts on iOS, depending on your use case. If it fits the way you work, give it a go. I’m sticking with Drafts, but I’ve heard other people say they love how Taio helps them interact with their Obsidian vault outside of the Obsidian app.
Adventures in Obsidian
Last week I sent out a plea for help getting text into my iCloud Obsidian vault (free sync option) without needing to open the app. The URL scheme wasn’t cutting it, so I was keen to find an alternative.
I’m pleased to say I worked out a free way to do it on my own using Shortcuts, and a more flexible, non-free way using both Drafts and Shortcuts.
I thought that was that, until John The Beard left a comment on the article explaining a superior solution using Drafts bookmarks. Oh, the joy!
Here’s part of John’s comment:
If you have Drafts installed on your iOS/iPadOS/MacOS device, you have the option of installing an Action called Append to Obsidian which can be found at https://actions.getdrafts.com/a/1qo and lets you append the content of the current draft, along with a timestamp, to a `Daily-YYYY-MM-DD.md` file in the folder “Notes/Daily notes/” in the folder associated with the bookmark named “Obsidian Vault”.
You can find John at http://soreeyes.org.
Finally, I can quickly jot a note into Drafts any time there’s something to record and append it directly to my weekly log in Obsidian without opening the app, no matter which device I’m on! This *massively* reduces the friction around inputting text to my vault on my iPhone, and it’s helpful on other devices, too.
I’m on my third day of partying (introvert style) over this! You can see the full tutorial here.
I’ve been playing with the Tasks plugin for a week now, and I like it. A lot. I’m learning how to keep it simple and use it as a tool that makes things easier, not a tool that would break my system if it vanished.
I’ve set repeating tasks to appear in the Planner section of my weekly log, while scheduled tasks sit beneath the Intentions section. Time sensitive tasks still go in Reminders, or Calendar.
The Tasks plugin has made it super easy to jot down a task wherever I am, knowing it will appear on my Tasks Triage list for later review and processing.
Past Episodes live in my PTPL List.
Other things I’ve written about Obsidian live here.
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