Obsessed with Obsidian and Personal Knowledge Management (PKM)

One of my struggles has been that I’m not an organized person and even though I spent a whole lot of time doing things (researching, working, reading, coaching, team building etc.), if you’d ask me at the end of the day that how my day went by or what I accomplished – I’d feel blank and wouldn’t have a convincing answer.

During the day, I felt instant gratification, I’d feel that multi-tasking is working in my favor and that I was accomplishing a lot more, however the truth was far from that. In fact, this kind of lifestyle left me feeling unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and worked against me. It made me a workaholic and an unproductive person. While I consumed tons of content, it always left me wanting for more, making me suffer in my personal life and other areas. In short, the balance in life was missing and for the lack of a better word, it was a mess.

It was high time; I took control of my life and even though I had used a ton of tools in the past (Listed in this post), there was no organization or for some reason nothing really worked. I needed something that would allow me to document my daily life, manage my tasks, plan my week, month, and year as well. The research brought me closer to the subject called Personal Knowledge Management which Bing AI describes as follows –

What’s Personal Knowledge Management?

Personal knowledge management (PKM) is a process of collecting information that a person uses to gather, classify, store, search, retrieve and share knowledge in their daily activities. It is all about organizing personal information such as data, knowledge, ideas, notes, and thoughts. It involves creating systems, adding your own context, and making information easy to surface when you need to reference it.

Bing Chat AI

Tools that I’ve used in the past to organize knowledge & myself

  1. Google Keep
  2. Click-up
  3. Bullet Journal
  4. Simple notebook
  5. Kanban with Trello
  6. insert your favorite notetaking, project/task management tool…

Yes, I’ve tried countless high-touch & low-touch methods (too big a list that it’s not worth the effort) and none of them worked for me. Even though smarter people than me said that high-touch systems like pen & paper, bullet journal are the best ways to document and manage your daily journaling, it just didn’t click with me. I believe it’s the curse of being a digital millennial – where I needed the convenience of typing, searching, spell checking rather than scribbling on paper and never getting a chance to refer to or organize the information in a way that was malleable.

Enter Obsidian

Then I came across Obsidian, a software with the following claim – A second brain, for you, forever. Which was enough of a hook line to get me intrigued and to kick start the obsessive nature in me. For the next 7 days, I had just one topic on my mind and that was Obsidian, followed by Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) and later Visual PKM.

I’m no expert in any of these subjects, however, using these tools & techniques by following a few subject matter experts, I’ve produced a system that has changed how I operate daily and brought organization and mental peace in my life that suits my needs.

I’m NOT claiming that this is the way for everyone, but I’m hoping that some of the tips, techniques and resources shared in the post may be beneficial for others as I found them useful in my pursuit of happiness (oh! I’m totally geek-ing out and exaggerating!).

Well, without further ado here’s my research – so that you don’t have to invest your time and energy for few days:

Obsidian community plugins that you should install & learn

At the time of writing this blog post, there are 916 plugins published on Obsidian’s directory and are responsible for making it an immensely powerful software. These plugins give you the power to tweak Obsidian’s workflow to suit your needs. That is if you’re a fan of Kanban or if you fancy Calendar view of your tasks or if you are fan of checklist – then you won’t be disappointed because there is a plugin for each method.

However, since it’s an effort by the community – some plugins may be outdated or can cause issues as well – so it’s especially important to ensure that you only install limited plugins that you truly can’t live without and the ones that are actively developed. These are some of the plugins that I’ve found particularly helpful –

* = has a learning curve.

Yes, these plugins are so powerful that you’ll need to learn and invest some time to use them to make use of the power of Obsidian. The good news is that they have good documentation, and the community is helpful in case you get stuck somewhere.

So far, I’ve found these resources to be helpful and I believe if you have a use-case that you are not able to figure out a solution for, it’ll be best to refer to these resources. Remember, the reason Obsidian is awesome is not because the software itself is magical, it’s because the community around it is magical!

I hope you find these resources useful. In upcoming posts, I’ll share how I use various of these resources and will share daily notes templates and various other resources on how you can utilize Obsidian at work and be more productive.