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🌠 Pandoc, Happiness, & Dataview Tricks

Weekly notes, Eisenhower matrixes, and my new job with Readwise.

Eleanor Konik
Written by Eleanor Konik

I write stories & articles inspired by all eras of history & science... so I wind up putting notetaking software like Obsidian & Readwise thru their paces.

5 min read.

In The Community

  • Dan Allosso is hosting a book club using an Obsidian vault for Poorly Understood: What America Gets Wrong About Poverty, by Rank, Eppard, and Bullock. If you're interested in joining, you can probably contact him on Twitter.

Plugin News

  • Oliver, the developer of the Pandoc plugin, has rejoined discord and we will be going through his repo and issues and pull-requests / forks through the next week or so and make a plan how to go forward and whether and how to organize the repo in the future (which org, maintainers etc). If you'd like to take part in this in any capacity, please check out the Pandoc thread in Discord.

New in Community Plugins

These plugins went through code review and are now available in Obsidian's plugin list. For the full list, check out the plugin stats page.

Pending (as of Friday morning)

Note: Not all new plugins are available in the community list yet, as they need to go through code review first. You can manually install plugins that aren't in the community list yet by using the Beta Reviewer's Auto-update Tool. Note, though, that this is not as safe as waiting for them to go through code review.


If you want a comprehensive list of what plugins updated this week, check out this plugin updates index by Ganessh Kumar.

  • Front Matter Title Plugin, v2.2.0 added an option to change only links without aliases, show a modal before changing links, and a manager to replace displayed names of links to files with resolved titles.
  • Tasks plugin, 1.14.0 added an option to hide and show urgency, and all "hide" commands now have a "show" equivalent. It's also now compatible with Alternative Checkboxes from @SlRvb. 1.15.0 added an 'Only future dates' checkbox.
  • Metadata Menu 0.2.0 has lookup fields that work like Dataview's inline expression but are persistent. Here's a demo and documentation.
  • Another Quick Switcher 7.0.0 got some breaking changes, and a bunch of features, including customizable hotkeys in dialogs, backlink search integration, and an "open all in new tabs" command. 7.1.0 added an "open in new tab in background" command in the dialog.
  • You can now use the built-in tab titlebar breadcrumbs to drop down Quick Explorer menus and browse through your vault using Obsidian 0.16.3+. You can even switch off QE's titlebar/statusbar crumbs using the Style Settings plugin.
  • Note Auto Creator v1.3.0 made it possible to limit where note suggestions are collected from, include folder paths in suggestions, and use relative paths when inserting links.
  • Latex Suite 1.5.0 adds popup preview windows for inline math.

For Developers

  • I'm told it would be helpful if someone put together a tutorial for esbuild with Obsidian -- perhaps as an Obsidian October entry?

Feature Requests


  • SynthWave by @marcoluzi is inspired by a VS Code theme of the same name. It reminds me a bit of CyberGlow.
  • Minimal 6.0.6 made it so that focus mode supports tabs and tab title bar as separate elements.



Food For Thought

  • I was reading an article about the difficulties of making a career with "pure" writing and someone joked that I should write an article about my perspective on Getting Things Done. My response was essentially that I subscribe to the Luhmann-esque philosophy of "if I feel like something is difficult or I'm feeling blocked, I go do something else," but right after that exchange I stumbled across an article called excuse me, but why are you eating so many frogs? that summed up my feelings pretty well. It starts off with "I think the devil is real and he wants you to be more productive. He’s everywhere, spreading wickedness disguised as wisdom" and is by the same guy who wrote "why aren't smart people happier?" which I found particularly insightful.

Ancillary Tools

  • Folks who use obsidian but sometimes wish they could use obsidian from the terminal should probably check out Jot -- it's not totally compatible yet but the dev is an obsidian user and discussed adding that feature in the HN comments.


On the topic of pursuing happiness...

Remember how over the summer I was seriously considering quitting teaching, but some financial considerations tipped me into the direction of going back for another school year? Well, I'm a month in and while I don't regret the decision... things are not going great. They're probably going as well as I think they could be given my location and the impact the pandemic had on American education (especially from a bureaucratic perspective), but I still miss being able to eat and use the bathroom whenever I need to, if nothing else. And there's a lot else, especially on the technology front.

But right as I was starting to get that panicky "I gotta get out of this" feeling in the pit of my stomach, though, the stars aligned. It turns out Readwise is looking for someone with my skillset – the bug hunting stuff, not the newsletter writing stuff.

I agreed this week to do some part time work for them as a quality assurance specialist. I start next month. It will only be a few hours a week while I'm still teaching full time, but if all goes well I'll be transitioning around June. If you're a Readwise user, you might see me around helping out with some customer-facing things occasionally, but at least for the next few months, the majority of the actual "job" will be behind the scenes.

In fact, during the hiring process they made sure to emphasize that this is not a community management / marketing position and they aren't trying to "buy" any influence over the Roundup or pull me away from the work I currently do in the Obsidian community. I'm going to continue mentioning Readwise's competitors here, along with everything else I think is relevant to the community. That said, it does mean I'll be appending a little conflict-of-interest disclaimer thing to all future mentions of Readwise in the Roundup. It also means I'll be learning more about other notetaking apps, which should be interesting 😅

Note: There are a couple of affiliate links & codes scattered around, but these always come from links I was already recommending and usually I share them because they benefit you too (i.e. getting you extra time on trials).

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