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How to Use Obsidian Notes? The Ultimate Guide

Obsidian is a powerful note-taking app with many useful features that allows it to differentiate itself from other apps. However, because Obsidian offers so many features, it can be difficult to get started. So here is a complete overview of how to use Obsidian Notes.
how to use obsidian

Obsidian is a powerful note-taking app released in 2020 by Erica Xu and Shida Li to address their frustration with other note-taking apps. Obsidian is aimed to have a simple plain text format with markdown and interlinking capabilities to help users navigate between notes. These features make Obsidian a powerful tool but a bit daunting to use. So this article will discuss how to use Obsidian to help you get started.  

How Does Obsidian Work?

Obsidian works by allowing users to create separate notes and collect and organize them in plain-text files saved in Markdown format. This is extremely powerful and allows you to use HTML syntax (a markup language) to customize the markdown in the exact format you want. This allows Obsidian to be used in different situations and future proofs it, as you can simply move your Markdown notes to any other note-taking app you want. This makes Obsidian compatible with any platform so that you can use Obsidian on mac, windows, or Linux.

beginners guide to obsidian

You can use Obsidian for various purposes, and you do not need to be a productivity gig to appreciate the features Obsidian offers. Some of the most popular use cases for Obsidian are listed below.

Programmers: Programmers know the importance of using the correct syntax so having an app that lets you create a knowledge base is particularly useful for programmers. They will also appreciate the ability to port their notes to a different platform, as files generated by Obsidian is not platform specific.

University/Graduate students: It is uncanny how many notes students have to take. A personal note-taking app like Obsidian is perfect for addressing their needs. They can also interlink different parts of their lecture to give a wholesome experience, and to top it off, most of Obsidian’s basic features are free to use, which most students will appreciate.

Writers/Researchers: It is difficult to predict when a writer or researcher will have a revolutionary idea that they want to remember. Obsidian offers mobile apps to quickly take notes on the go, enabling them to develop their ideas at a later date.

How to Use Obsidian for Note-taking?

Obsidian is incredibly powerful and highly extensible, which can make it a bit overwhelming to get started, so if you are wondering how to use obsidian note taking app, here is a detailed step-by-step guide for you to follow.

Step 1: Download the Obsidian app for the device you are using. Obsidian is available for Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android. You can download the software for free by clicking on the link.  

Step 2: Install the Obsidian app by following the steps on your screen and agreeing to the terms and conditions of the app.

Step 3:  Once installed, you will find options to create a new vault or open a folder as a vault.

Create new vault in obsidian

Step 4: If you are setting up Obsidian for the first time, tap on ‘create,’ choose a vault name and a folder to keep your files, and press create again. Follow the image below for reference.

Set name for vault in Obsidian

Step 5: You can now choose a theme by heading over to Settings>Appearance and choosing a theme.

Choose a theme for Obsidian

You should now have your Obsidian set up; it may look a bit empty as you do not have any folders. Here is a guide on how to take notes using Obsidian.

Step 1: First, create a new folder by tapping on the “New Folder” button. You should find it in the File Explorer tab on the upper left side.

Create new folder in Obsidian

Step 2: Name the folder, and it will be arranged alphabetically.

Step 3: To create a new note, simply press the keyboard combination “Ctrl+N” (Windows) or “Cmd+N” (macOS). You can also click the “New Note” button on the upper left side of the File Explorer tab.

Create new note in Obsidian

Step 4: Enter the note name, and a file will be created on your computer with the .md extension. You can also find the file in the folder you choose when creating the folder.

Step 5: Once you create a note file, you can type your note or include any Markdown formatting you prefer. You have the option to use bullets, add lists, add headers, highlight text, bold, and so many other options.

obsidian text editor

(Optional) Step 6: You can also organize your notes or put them in a different folder by dragging and dropping them into new folders. Obsidian also allows you to manage notes by tags to help you find them quickly.

Create new note in obsidian

After knowing how to take notes using Obsidian, you customize your notes by adding a link to a new note in Obsidian.

Backlinks are one of the Obsidian key features that allow you to easily link different documents to help you remember the correct context of the information. Here is a guide that you can follow.

Step 1: To link a folder, press the left square bracket twice on your keyboard ([[)

obsidian backlinks

Step 2: Now, choose the file you want to link from the dropdown menu.

How to Find Obsidian Notes?

When you have a ton of files to go through, it may be not easy to organize them all. Here is a quick guide to finding any files quickly on Obsidian.

Step 1: Using the keyboard shortcut, press Ctrl+Shift+F (Windows) or Cmd+Shift+F (Mac) and type the file name you want to find. You can also tap on the “Search” button on the upper left side, next to the File Explorer tab.

search in obsidian

Step 2. Press enter once you put the keywords or search the keywords in the options to find the notes you need.

Final Words

Obsidian is a powerful app that allows you to create and organize notes in the exact format you like. If you are a beginner, this article will guide you on how to use Obsidian and get started quickly. However, Obsidian offers many other features that can truly transform the way you take notes and organize your workflow so if you have any confusion or want to know about any particular feature that Obsidian offers, feel free to let us know in the comment section below.  


Q1. Is Obsidian good for beginners?

Yes, Obsidian is suitable for beginners, as most of its features are available for free. You can use our guide on how to use obsidian notes to get started.

Q2. How many kills do you need for Obsidian?

As Obsidian is good for beginners, you do not need any skills to use it.

Q3. How do you connect things in Obsidian?

You can use “[[“to connect Obsidian to other files and folders.

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