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2021-08-28: 20 Plugins & Several Philosophies of Tags

There were so many plugins I subdivided them into categories: task management, prettification, commands, calendar & advanced.

Eleanor Konik
Eleanor Konik
5 min read

In The Community

  • @shabegom will be giving a community talk about their plugin, Buttons, today at 18:00 (CET).
  • Maggie Appleton's list of digital gardens (& tips & tools) was shared, there are a bunch of nice examples there.

Obsidian Updates

  • v0.12.14 for Insiders comes with bugfixes and a nifty new utility to rename headings with the context menu, which will update links. This is very powerful, especially when coupled with the block ref counter plugin that is currently in beta (requires manual install).

Plugin News

@Licat went through and approved a bunch of plugins, so if you were waiting for something to be in the community list, double-check and see if it's there now.

Updates

  • Admonitions 6.3.0 allows users to upload images to use as the admonition icon.
  • The Toggl Track plugin needs to be updated to v0.2.5 to reduce load on the Toggl Track API.
  • Excalidraw v1.2.15 supports CTRL+hover-preview of links in drawings. v1.2.16 fixes a rare race condition and improves fullscreen mode.
  • The Readwise Community Plugin is now at v0.0.9 with some QOL improvements and bugfixes.

New

  • Obsidian Annotator is a plugin for reading and annotating PDFs and EPUBs in Obsidian. It's based on hypothes.is but stores annotations in a local markdown file.
  • Dynamic TOC lets you create a dynamic table of contents in preview mode by using a code block.
  • Obsidian Card View Mode has some nifty sliding panes style views and the ability to gray out unfocused panes.
  • Open With lets you open notes with other software (like Typora or Notepad) using the command palette.
  • Obsidian Image Toolkit lets you click on an image and rotate it in preview.
  • Hover External Link lets you get a tooltip with the website URL when you hover over an external link in preview mode. It's another one of those nice little quality of life things.

Task Management:

  • The Task Archiver will automatically move completed tasks to an "Archived" heading. It's meant to be a (partial for now) implementation of the similar org-mode feature.
  • There's a new Trello integration that can retrieve data from Trello and display and add comments. Note that this requires the MetaEdit plugin.
  • The Reminder plugin will notify you of tasks at a time you specify.

Prettification:

  • Obsidian banners adds pretty banners to your notes.
  • Obsidian Icon Folder lets you add icons to folders without having to mess with emojis or CSS.
  • Code Mirror Options allows for some fancy appearance alterations and selector improvements, like changing the color of selected text, and better syntax highlight consistency.
  • Code Block Enhancer adds a copy button, linenumber, and language name for code blocks when in preview mode.

Commands:

Calendar stuff:

  • Jump to Date is a popup calendar for quickly navigating daily notes.
  • Weekly note semi-automates weekly note templates.
  • Daily folder adds some improvements to the core daily note functionality, like better next/previous functionality.

Advanced:

  • Shell Commands lets you run terminal/shell commands from within Obsidian. Desktop only.
  • CustomJS should help folks with complex dataview/templater codeblocks by letting users access functions from multiple plugins. It serves as a bridge.

Remember: You can manually install plugins that aren't in the community list by copying the main.js, manifest.jso and (optionally) the styles.css files into {vault}/.obsidian/plugins/{plugin-folder}. It can then be enabled like any other plugin (you may need to refresh the list first). Usually these files can be found at the GitHub repo under Releases. Note, though, that this is not as safe as waiting for them to go through code review.

For Developers

  • @shabegom created a hot reload for mobile thing. You should update pjeby's Hot Reload for desktop before using it, I think. If we're being honest it's way over my head, so if hot reload + mobile sounds good to you, go check out the discussion here.

Workflow Stuff

  • @pseudometa shared all the documentation for their Alfred workflow for Obsidian (mac-only). It covers plugin search, OCRing screenshots and toggling CSS snippets.
  • Moonbase59 updated the clipit script for getting clipboard snippets into Obsidian to include YAML frontmatter with date and tags. It also has better Pandoc options, daily clipboards, and bugfixes.
  • @d.w.frank shared a series of blog posts about how they use Obsidian, along with how they're using it for a job search.

Feature Requests

Appearance

Knowledge Management

  • I wrote a guide for evaluating the reliability of stuff you read on the internet.
  • How to Take Smart Notes in Obsidian by @joshduffney got resurfaced a couple of times as a nice primer.
  • @SlRvb shared an incredibly comprehensive explanation of how they use Obsidian as a media database.
  • There was a nice discussion on Reddit about the value of using camelCase for tags. I'm actually really terrible about doing this even though I know it's better. Actually there were a bunch of discussions about tags this week, including the perennial links versus tags discussion. Here's another one on the Obsidian forum, which I contributed to. Also here's another one from Reddit about whether to place tags at the top or the bottom of a file.
  • @blizzingout shared their for-medical-use variant of zettelkasten, called "CSI," which is a nice modern practical update on the methodology that I quite like. It uses sources, inputs, summaries and "connectors" to link things together, and is a nifty new paradigm.
  • @otolith shared their "digital country estate," an expansion of the "digital garden" that works a bit better for clinical neuroscience than a publication-focused "digital garden." @PaperbackCook also shared another alternative to the "digital garden" metaphor, involving toilet paper emojis.
  • Here's how Tara made a dictionary using Obsidian.

Ancillary Tools

  • Mathpix will turn handwritten formulas into LaTeX formatting. LaTeX-OCR has better local-first privacy but apparently isn't quite as good, so, tradeoffs.

Housekeeping

Awhile back, somebody requested a community talk about project management for fiction, with bonus points if the talk could cover managing marketing in Obsidian. I didn't pick it up at first because I didn't feel qualified, but now I've got The Iceberg, my weekly newsletter where I share short fiction & the nerdy history & obscure biology research that supports the stories. It's doing pretty well, and apparently almost 50 people want to hear the talk, so I decided to go ahead and get over my imposter syndrome. Expect it sometime next month.

Anyway, I figured I ought to spruce up my workflow documentation in preparation. That's how last week's article about the gardening metaphor for notetaking got started. This week, I set out to update my "How I use Obsidian for Writing" article to sort of consolidate all of the different quirks of my personal knowledge management system. It ... got bigger than I expected.

You can see the saga of how the article metastasized on Twitter but since apparently I'm writing a book (16,000 words and counting in under a week!) and I don't know a ton about nonfiction publishing, if you do I would love recommendations / referrals for things like decent nonfiction copy editors, resources for typesetting, viable alternatives to Amazon, etc.

Thanks!

Eleanor Konik

Professionally, I teach pre-teens about ancient civilizations. In my downtime, I enjoy combining storytelling with my love of sharing obscure history and science.