Laptop, with objects that represent perspective(magnifying glass, binoculars, & telescope), context(globe, open book, & notepad), & acti

How I Use Obsidian to Manage My Knowledge

I use Obsidian to manage my knowledge in a structured way that gains utility from implicit awareness.

There are a few key elements to my Obsidian-based PKM system: inboxes, contexts, subjects, and templates.

A drawing representing how I manage my knowledge. This drawing was made with the Obsidian plugin called Excalidraw.

Inboxes are places where you collect new information. The important thing is that it’s where you can easily dump everything without worrying about sorting or categorizing it just yet.

Contexts and subjects are my main methods of organization. In a context, you group similar subjects so you can start to see relationships and make connections between them. Contexts can be as broad or specific as you like; it’s entirely up to what makes sense for you and your workflow.

I find that Context groups are the highest level of organization I need. This keeps folders “shallow” with a maximum depth of two for my active notes, and three for notes in “archive” folders.

Subjects are individual items within a context you want to focus on more deeply. Each subject will have its note in Obsidian, or page in Notion, which provides plenty of space for taking detailed notes, adding links and images, and so on. Working with subjects is where templates come in handy.

Templates give you a starting point for taking notes on subjects. They can include prompts and questions to help jumpstart your thinking process and any essential structure or formatting that will save time down the road. I like to use dynamic templates, so it’s easy to access template files relative to the current folder.

That’s just scratching the surface when it comes to utilizing PKM with Obsidian – but it’s enough to start building the system that works for YOU. So dive in and see what works best for YOU; there’s no wrong way to do this!

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