I switch note taking systems every few years it seems. I’ve gone all digital, all paper (thanks, Bullet Journal), and various mixes of the two.
The biggest leap forward for me with computer-based note taking was switching to nvALT, which is Brett Terpstra’s fork of Notational Velocity. The key insight and feature was keeping each note as a Markdown file, living in a directory of all of my notes. NV has a “search or create” mentality that is empowering.
A few months ago I switched computer-based note taking completely to Obsidian. There are enough additional features that I’ve found myself enriching my note taking practice, building new and better habits.
Keeping notes as individual files in a directory meant nearly zero transition cost.
While I use Markdown checklists - see below - I manage my projects and tasks with other tools. Notes - e.g., links, snippets of thoughts, longer form writing, daily journaling - are distinct and now very happy in my Obsidian vaults.
I’m not the only one that’s found Obsidian recently. So this series is to capture the configuration, patterns, and practices I’ve found that are working for me. Your mileage will vary.
For me, it all starts with the Daily Journal plugin.
After that, here are the rest of my tips.