Daniel Prindii | My Obsidian plugins selection after 10 months of use

My Obsidian plugins selection after 10 months of use

What plugins I have installed after using Obsidian for ten months.

I started my Obsidian adventure in February this year, after 5 years of using Evernote as my default note-taking and archive application. Before deciding that Obsidian will be my default note tool I had a few attempts in the last two years of testing it. Since then, the updates made by the team elevated the app and changed completely the interface, ease of use, and capabilities.

As most of you know, the strong point of Obsidian is the plethora of plugins and CSS options to customize the app and what it can do. At the same time, these options can impede having a stable working environment.

During my last 10 months, as I was testing and defining my workflows, I tried the most downloaded plugins, and a few of the niche ones, that are available via the community plugin market.

My guidelines for selecting a plugin to use in my system were:

  • if the plugin is not maintained and is proven to crush, my workflow should not suffer much;

  • the code knowledge necessary to run the plugin day-to-day is minimal;

  • all changes made on files to remain in the files, in the metadata;

  • the changes that the plugin is adding to the system, will not make me redefine my whole process.

A bit of clarification on the plugins. There are two types of them: the core ones- created by the Obsidian team and part of the default app- and the community plugins– created by community members and vetoed by the Obsidian team for quality, security, and reliability.

These plugins can offer a new way to manage your files, edit them, visualize, or improve the visual interface of Obsidian.

I’ll segment my list of plugins into two categories: the workflow plugins– necessary for a faster, better, work process- and the enhance plugins– that are bringing visual changes, or changes on how some data is shown, or expand the capabilities of a core plugin.

The thinking behind this is that you will not be extremely impacted by the plugins from the second category if they break.

Workflow plugins

Backlinks– it’s a core plugin that manages the links between your notes. Toggle on the Backlink in the document radio button for a better view.

Bookmarks– a core plugin that lets you make a series of bookmarks in the sidebar. You can bookmark notes, folders, and saved searches. Also, you can group them.

Canvas– a visual editor where you can add images, and notes, and create mindmaps and connections. Like Figma Jam or Miro. It is a core plugin.

Command palette– a core plugin to run all commands from your keyboard.

Daily Notes– another core plugin that will create a new note every day. Useful if you want to use daily notes as a journaling space and ideas depository.

File recovery– a core plugin that takes regular snapshots of your notes. You can select how long those are kept.

Files– core plugin to browse the files and folders of your vault.

Note composer– A core plugin that lets you merge two notes or extract part of a note into a new note.

Outgoing Links– The core plugin that will show external links from your notes.

Outline– A core plugin that will show the heading from a note. Similar to Coda’s outline. It’s in the right sidebar, and it’s useful for navigating long notes.

Properties View– a core plugin to show all Properties of a note. Find out more, here.

Quick Switcher– core plugin for jumping between notes with your keyboard.

Search– the core plugin for search. Accepts search operators like tag, path, etc. All the details about it are here.

Slash commands– with this core plugin you can initiate commands using the “/”.

Sync– activate it only if you have the paid add-on. You can sync between devices.

Tags view- a core plugin that lists all tags and on how many notes contain the tags.

Templates– a core plugin for creating pre-defined text for your notes. For example, you can create a template for the read books, and insert in every new note you make about a book.

Advanced tables– a community plugin that adds a menu for working with tables. ( Probably will be deprecated by the WIP feature of the team: Tables)

Auto Note Mover– a community plugin for creating rules to move notes in dedicated folders based on tags. (Useful when you need to move a lot of notes).

Kanban– a community plugin for creating kanban boards. You can link notes with the double brackets, create notes from a task, and you can drag and drop between columns.

Minimal Theme Settings– a community plugin for the Minimal Theme which is the most supported and customizable theme. Necessary if you only use the theme.

Editing Toolbar– a community plugin that brings a Microsoft Word-like toolbar for the most important editing commands. It can be set to appear only on mouse hover.

Style Settings– community plugin that is used by many themes, and plugins. Offers extra options for Minimal theme and other plugins, themes, or CSS variables.

Omnivore– community plugin that will sync your saved links from Omnivore to Obsidian. You can sync the whole Omnivore library, or based on custom queries. Here you can read about my syncing workflow..

Text Transporter– a community plugin that offers copy block embeds, line push, pull, copy, quick capture, and more.

Enhance plugins

Graph view– a core plugin that shows the visual connection between notes, based on a few filters. Good to play around or to find untagged notes.

Page Preview– hover over an internal link to preview its content. One of the core plugins. Most of the time I forget it exists.

Random note– It’s a core plugin useful for surfacing notes from the vault. Great way to discover what you have in there.

Word Count– a core plugin to show a word count in the status bar. Shows characters and words.

Banners– community plugin for adding a banner in the note’s header, like Notion. (V2 is in beta which will solve the overlap of the image with the Properties view)

Chronology– community plugin for a calendar and a timeline of the notes created or modified.

Tag Wrangler– with this community plugin you can rename, edit, or search tags. Extends the core Tags View plugin.

File Color– a community plugin to set colors to the folders and files in the left sidebar.

File Explorer Note Count – a community plugin to show the number of notes in the folder on the sidebar.

File Info Panel– community plugin that will show details of the note, in the right sidebar: creation date, size, writing statistics, word frequency analysis.

Find orphaned files and broken links– good for finding notes that don’t have tags, backlinks, or empty notes. It’s a community plugin.

Footnote Shortcut– community plugin that creates a hotkey for adding footnotes. It will speed up the process of adding footnotes.

Iconize– a community plugin that will add icons to folders. It has 4 libraries to choose from. Also, you can add your own.

Natural Language Dates– community plugin to add dates and times with the @ character: like today, tomorrow, etc.

Zen– a community plugin that will hide sidebars, menus, and tabs. Actionable via a hotkey or the icon in the top menu of the sidebar. It can create a writing experience similar to Ulysses’s.

Zotero Integration– community plugin to connect and import PDFs, and citations from Zotero, the reference manager.

Open in new tab– community plugin to open files in a new tab. Sidenote: you need to deactivate if you want to use the core option Open file to the right, which will split your screen.

Outliner– community plugin that offers extra options for lists.

Recent Files– community plugin that will show the most recent files you opened. You can control how many recent files will show.

Smart Typography– community plugin that will convert dashes to em dashes, quotes to curly quotes, and more.

Mentions

Projects– a community plugin that can make a kanban, calendar, gallery, and list based on the notes in a folder. The Properties update made by the Obsidian team added a new variable, the list, which is not recognized by the plugin. It appears that the creator is working on a new version.

Data Loom– a more recent community plugin that offers Notion-like databases and can work with all Properties types. At the moment has only a table view, but the creator is working actively on it. Worth mentioning that the Obsidian team has in its roadmap the Databases- to create dynamic tables based on the metadata.

Choosing the plugins that will bring value to you is time-consuming and, sometimes, frustrating. I hope my list will help you speed up your work.



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Daniel Prindii

Community Designer. Marketing Strategist.

Art Historian. Photographer.

Cluj, Romania/ Vicenza, Italy

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