Mindful Consumption: Navigating Knowledge with Obsidian

Obsidian: My content input hub, turning insights from various sources into organised, linked pages. Affordable and enhanced by plugins, it's my go-to for streamlined thinking in the digital realm.

What is obsidian

Obsidian can be best described as a personal wiki for all your notes, however, Obsidian would describe themselves a a private and flexible writing app that adapts to the way you think. For me personally I use it to store all the content I find important and useful. I also use it to take notes on key ideas I am currently focusing on. The 2 most powerful features of Obsidian are back linking and the graph.

  • Back linking is the ability to link your pages together. The easiest way to understand this is to look at Wikipedia and how every page is full of blue links to other pages. Obsidian allows you to do the same with your own pages.
  • The graph view is an easy way to visualise how your pages are related to each other through the backlinks. The pages are the vertices and the backlinks are the edges.

Essentially you can use Obsidian for anything you can think of, however, below I am going to explain how I use the tool.

Obsidian - Sharpen your thinking
Obsidian is the private and flexible note‑taking app that adapts to the way you think.

My Obsidian

In my case I use Obsidian as a content input system, with ideas written in my own words as the output.


The inputs for all my content comes from, Podcasts, Books, Articles, Youtube videos, websites, etc. To make it frictionless for me to capture ideas from these I use the “share with apple notes” feature making it only a few clicks to store the content. Then when I have more time I sort through these notes and load them into obsidian. I don’t store whole text or transcript, only highlights of text which I want to explore further.


Once I have extracted all the insights from a piece of content then I move to building out pages. These pages are MECE (mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive) so that I can maximise my breadth of understanding and also so that I never have to second guess which page an insight belongs to. I write the ideas from the insights in my own words while also creating new pages for areas I need to look into later. Each sentence or paragraph is linked back to the extracted insight which itself is linked back to the original source incase I need to reference it later.

Final Thoughts

I have previously written about Roam Research, which is a very similar tool to Obsidian. The main reason for my move to Obsidian was the price, if you don’t mind storing all your notes locally on device, its essentially free to use.

The community of 3rd party plug ins basically means as soon as you think you have an original idea for how you think the tool should work, someone has already had the idea and built a free plugin.

With the rise of Generative Artificial Intelligence and ChatGPT I find myself asking if you really need to build out anything like a personal wiki or 2nd brain. ChatGPT has likely already consumed all the articles you have found along with everything else. But I still find it very useful taking the time to digest each piece of content, extract the key information, make sure I understand it, and then link it to other ideas I have. After teaching, I find writing ideas down in your own words the best way to unsure I understand a topic.