The Great Newsletter Consolidation of 2023 is happening now. Don't panic but some things might break or be wonky while I hunt down unexpected problems and fix them😅I've got professionals helping me but technology has a way of breaking when I'm around no matter what I do, and the actual changes will stretch into next week.
Anyway, the website looks a little different, and more importantly, there are lots of new articles on a wide variety of topics. As such, there's a new name: this is now the Obsidian Iceberg, of which the Obsidian Roundup is a (large!) subset. Email subscribers should continue to only receive Obsidian Roundup content unless you specifically opt in to the extra stuff (sign in, there should be a list and a checkbox), but RSS subscribers might want to switch their feed over to the Roundup specific tag if they aren't interested in book reviews, musings on AI, the history of sleep across species and cultures, etc.
For the roughly 500 of you who were subscribed to both Eleanor's Iceberg and the Obsidian Roundup, this should make things easier for you. It will certainly make things easier and cheaper for me, and I'm grateful that Ghost has added features that allow me to do this, because while my actual publication schedule will not change at all, this means I can stop maintaining two entirely different sets of newsletter infrastructure.
In The Community
- There's a new Community Code of Conduct.
- If anyone's curious about which licenses are most commonly used for Obsidian plugins, the Obsidian team was kind enough to share that data in Discord. For those who don't want to click through: the vast majority are licensed under MIT.
Insider v.1.1.10 got a bunch of quality of life improvements, like a new “Narrow to block…” menu option for Canvas, and a new Canvas settings tab for configuring Canvas preferences for your entire vault. v1.1.11 and v1.1.12 involved small bugfixes.
Mobile Insider v1.4.2 brings Canvas to Mobile, as well as a vault picker and a configurable ribbon menu (for phones).
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.
- Short Internal Links to Headings by
@scottwillmoorewill display internal links to headings as just the heading name.
- Vega Visualizations by
@Some-Regular-Personmakes it easier to create highly-customizable data visualizations like line charts and scatter plots using Vega or Vega-Lite.
- Canvas CSS class by
@Lisandra-devwill add a CSS class to the canvas, along with other attributes. If you are trying to export a canvas, please check out these directions in discord about how you should set the behavior of the plugin.
- Terminal by
@polyipseitywill open terminals in Obsidian directly.
- Smart Connections by
@brianpetrofinds links to similar notes using artificial intelligence from OpenAI.
- Contacts by
@vbeskrovnovmakes it easier to manage and organize your contacts.
- Canvas Random Note by
@jmilldotdevadd random notes from your vault to the Obsidian canvas
- ArchiveBox Plugin by
@invariantarchives links to ArchiveBox, a self-hosted archiver, upon file modification.
- Hints Flow by
@neoantoxlets users save data directly to Obsidian with a specified template. Capture from Telegram, WhatsApp, Slack, Email, SMS, Raycast and more.
- Hyphenation by
@7596ffenables justified text and hyphenation
- Link Nodes In Canvas by
@Quorafindis a plugin for you to add edges between notes in Canvas based on their links.
- You are now able to export your document (or whole vault) on Windows as a fully interactive html website using Webpage HTML Export. It supports Kanban and Canvas, as well as custom themes and snippets.
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.
- Unicode Search by
@BambusControlmakes it easier to search and insert Unicode characters into your editor.
- Awesome Image by
@AwesomeDogmakes it easier to automatically download images from the internet so you always have a local copy in your vault, process them, and put them into a user-defined folder.
- Babashka by
@filipesilvaallows users to run Clojure(Script) codeblocks in Babashka.
- Obsidian Tab Key by
@jrymkallows users to insert a tab basically anywhere, including mid-sentence, or inside code blocks.
- Brainframe by
@pedersenis a set of tools to help Obsidian manage extras (such as storing links like products and software) that it doesn't currently do.
- Weather & Moon Phases by
@mubarizahmedallows you to insert weather and moon phase information into your notes.
- Omnivore by
@sywhbimports your saved Omnivore articles and highlights into Obsidian.
- Kindle CSV Converter by
@alvaro-caslets users import Kindle notes in .csv format to Obsidian.
- 3-D File Viewer by
@kiichilets users drag and drop 3-D model files, such as .glb, .gltf, and .obj file, and have them render in reading view.
- YTranscript by
@lstrzepekwill fetch transcriptions for Youtube.
- Folder Notes by
@alangraingeradds Folder Notes to the default file tree.
- Tolino notes Import Plugin by
@juergenbrimports notes from a Tolino E-Reader.
- Quip by
@sblakeyprovides commands to publish Markdown documents to Quip.com
- Clockify by
@davojcintegrates with the time tracker Clockify to submit timers.
If you want a comprehensive list of what plugins updated this week, check out this plugin updates index by Ganessh Kumar.
- Plugin Groups 1.3.0 got a major UI rework that makes it possible for editing groups to be organized in tabs. It's also possible to bulk (de)select and filter.
- Obsidian Chat View now supports LaTeX Rendering, and you can escape the pipe character using a backslash, i.e.
- Map View v3.0.0 is faster and has note embedding support, which allows for use with the Canvas plugin among other things. There were also some other fixes and improvements.
- Make.md spaces have been rebuilt for scalability and customizability, has support for tables and databases and lets you sync frontmatter and inline dataview fields, and got some improvements for the flow editor that lets you directly edit backlinks in the Context Explorer without leaving your note.
Note: these plugins have not yet been submitted for code review, and are being made available primarily for testing purposes.
- Task Collector beta release 1.0.1 drops the task flow state-machine-like behavior, and switches to task configuration groups. Task Collector can now move around unchecked tasks, or deferred tasks, or just tasks with questions, or outstanding high priority tasks, etc.
- Insider v.1.1.10 fixed
Menu.showAtPositionnot working when user has enabled “native menus.” and
processFrontMatterpassing null when frontmatter section is empty, fixed not working with CRLF line endings.
- Johnny is looking for a new maintainer to continue development of the Workspaces Plus plugin. Please see Issue #93 for more details.
- Minimal 6.2 is now available and adds the Ayu color scheme
- Abyssal is an upcoming theme by
@tazpellegrinithat improves the reading and writing experience without dramatically changing Obsidian’s interface by upgrading the typesetting of system fonts. It focuses on white space and mute colors while respecting accessibility standards.
- Shiba Inu v1.0.2 (formerly Shiba Uni) added custom colors palettes and some other fixes. 1.0.3 added folder and files icons.
- Aura v1.5.0 has an all new alternative layout and new color customization options.
- Ultra Lobster had major performance improvements, enhanced support for community plugins, and more customization options.
- AnuPpuccin v1.2.7 added the
kanagawa.nvimcolorscheme, support for rainbow tags by
@raisabelatrix, and the option to invert icon colors in colorful frame.
- Prism 3.2.0 got a bunch of fixes, support for more community plugins, and a new roadmap.
- Nicole van der Hoeven has an Obsidian course now. Obsidian for Everyone focuses on practical tutorials instead of methodologies. It's self-paced, has an accompanying sample vault and PDF handbook, and focuses on a plugin-free experience. The first lesson is available free on Youtube.
- Nick Milo's Obsidian Flight School 2.0 vault launched on ProductHunt. It's designed to make users faster, more skilled, & more confident using plugins, hotkeys, formatting, etc.
- Here's how to use Mermaid and Dataview to create an automatically updating Gantt chart of what you've read throughout the year.
- This is a fantastic guide about how to use Obsidian as an academic operating system.
- Here's how to add "on this day" photos to your daily journal.
- Here was a great discussion on Reddit about how different people take notes while browsing.
- Here's how Nicole van der Hoeven gets stuff done using Rapid Logging in Obsidian, along with a really neat sketch note via Ellane W.
- Here's Leah Ferguson on using Dataview for daily logs.
- Bramses' Highly Opinionated Vault, which incorporates a great many knowledge management philosophies like zettelkasten, PARA, AGILE, etc., was updated for 2023.
@edmundshared a neat way to use Canvas for Zettelkasten in Discord. Other Canvas showcases included a workout plan and this tech stack canvas.
- Here's Nick Milo's top 44 plugins and a Reddit thread of plugins people think people should know.
Food For Thought
- Here's some insight into what how AI might influence our notes in the future, and a response from Benjamin Shafii on the forum about how actually the real advantage of plugins like AVA is that they let you turn messy jotted notes into coherent longform things you could send to a friend. Like Benjamin, I don't look forward to any of the things in that article: I don't really want AI to organize my notes for me at all. I don't particularly trust it, because if I could programmatically and intelligently do that in a way even another human could do, I would have already automated the process already). I do not want automated linking and tagging and I have yet to find the autocompletes valuable for writing. That said, one thing I have found super useful is Readwise's Ghostreader function, which lets me input my highlights and summarize an article based only on what I cared about; it's been useful to shove at the top of my notes. There's no obvious reason this can't be replicated with one of Obsidian's many AI plugins.
- Here's how to send Mastodon Bookmarklets to Readwise using Zapier.
- Here's a neat weird old book finder I stumbled across recently. The idea of it is to get away from algorithmic content and just ... read an old book it serves up to you, one at a time.
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).
Check out one of these related posts
Tasks now supports custom statuses, table experiences are enhanced, & there are new tricks for emacs users.
Obsidian's nominated for a Golden Kitty in Productivity, there's a new RGB theme. Plus, fancy new dataview & templater scripts for day planning & YouTube metadata.
Improvements to academic workflows, an upcoming successor to Dataview, and the return of AnuPpuccin.