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Writing down what I hold – in Obsidian

Assumed Target audience:

These that are attracted to working effectively, critically with an observe to keeping track of accomplishments, building brag medical doctors,” and loads of others.

Whenever you’d admire this identical general whisper, but in video make, it is seemingly you’ll perhaps well perhaps survey the screencast I made:

Over the previous yr or so, I even hold transitioned my inform-taking out of Have and into Obsidian. The half of my notes system I took longest to transition over, for a diversity of causes, modified into my dependancy of writing down what I hold (spy right here and right here for old write-ups). Getting my general Obsidian config to a diploma where I modified into mostly overjoyed with the typography intended I modified into snug sufficient with the usage of it for work monitoring.

Sitting down final Friday to wrap up my week, I modified into doing my normal dance of copying over my day-to-day summaries into the week-level inform to again with my weekly evaluation and its summary. This has been a moderately repetitive and blunder-susceptible process for me in the previous. On occasion writing up the summary of the week jogs my memory of something I did one in every of the days, which I wish to consist of for posterity, so I even wish to jot down it up in both the week inform and the day-to-day inform. It is easy for these to fetch out of sync. Yes, right here’s a feature of my hold fastidiousness about this inform-keeping, but I indisputably fetch that very vital after I see wait on at these for mid-yr or annual opinions. But it is a inconvenience in the neck to hold.

Then I had a flash of inspiration: now that I’m the usage of Obsidian, I by no plot wish to hold that all once more.

How my work notes work

My work notes hold a fractal structure to them: Every watch is nice a extra granular or extra summary watch of what I’ve completed over a given length of time, but by definition has the an identical structure, although perhaps with extra sub-structure. Most importantly right here, each single inform has an Outcomes heading, with Abstract and Artifacts subheadings. The Abstract piece is nice what it sounds admire, whereas Artifacts is a pleasant situation to list out objects I will actively share to indicate my work to someone else — pull requests opened or reviewed, documents written or reviewed, and loads of others.

Having that list of Artifacts is large beneficial when inserting together an annual evaluation, info for a promotion, and loads of others. — any time I need a brag doc. I don’t consistently preserve the excellence between Abstract” and Artifacts” but it is most steadily beneficial in distinguishing between the gist of what I did and the evidence of what I did.

Every level of inform above the day-to-day inform has hyperlinks to the decrease-level inform which makes it up, so weekly notes hyperlink to day-to-day notes, monthly notes to weekly, and loads of others. (There are hyperlinks the opposite design for easy navigation, too, but these are now not as related to the work of summarizing!) Historically, I goal correct did that with hyperlinks and duplicate-and-paste. A new week would possibly perhaps perhaps well perhaps see admire this, shall we embrace:

## Outcomes- [[Work/Tracking/2022.08.29|2022.08.29]]:    - mostly 1:1s    - made some progress on project q- [[Work/Tracking/2022.08.30|2022.08.30]]:    - did some things    - more things    - artifacts:        - [some PR](link-to-github)        - [some doc review](link-to-Google-Docs)- [[Work/Tracking/2022.08.31|2022.08.31]]:    - (etc.)- [[Work/Tracking/2022.09.01|2022.09.01]]:    - (etc.)- [[Work/Tracking/2022.09.02|2022.09.02]]:    - (etc.)

…and loads of others for the remainder of the week. By copying this data over, I modified into in a position to amass a summary at the discontinue of the week/month/quarter/yr without drilling down into the newborn notes to determine what I had completed. But as I described above, it modified into a host of error-susceptible work to hold that, especially if I vital to tweak a summary on rereading it! That intended it modified into easy to now not hold it instead.

Obsidian’s block embeds alternate that calculus completely.

Working with embeds

Obsidian has the sparkling conception of block embedding.1 Block embeds are wiki-vogue hyperlinks that embed the whisper of the corresponding share of the linked inform. That works most straight and without whisper with headings, although Obsidian would possibly perhaps perhaps even generate references for paragraphs, lists, and loads of others. whenever you so make a choice.

You write a block embed to a heading admire this:


Since I already structure my work notes with a heading for the bits I care about at the discontinue of every level, beneath Outcomesall I even wish to hold is change the manual copy-and-paste dance with a block embed instead.

Here’s how that looks to be, given the an identical example weekly inform:

## Outcomes- [[Work/Tracking/2022.08.29|2022.08.29]]: ![[Work/Tracking/2022.08.29#Outcomes|2022.08.29]]- [[Work/Tracking/2022.08.30|2022.08.30]]: ![[Work/Tracking/2022.08.30#Outcomes|2022.08.30]]- [[Work/Tracking/2022.08.31|2022.08.31]]: ![[Work/Tracking/2022.08.31#Outcomes|2022.08.31]]- [[Work/Tracking/2022.09.01|2022.09.01]]: ![[Work/Tracking/2022.09.01#Outcomes|2022.09.01]]- [[Work/Tracking/2022.09.02|2022.09.02]]: ![[Work/Tracking/2022.09.02#Outcomes|2022.09.02]]

This renders the contents of the Outcomes piece of the day-to-day work inform straight in line. Including the burly, absolute route (from the foundation of the notes vault”) in the wikilink, admire [[Work/Tracking/2022.09.02|2022.09.02]]plot these wiki-hyperlinks work in each instrument that understands wiki-hyperlinks (shall we embrace: I take advantage of iA Creator in conjunction with Obsidian comparatively plenty, especially on iPad) and amassed see good. Then the block embeds merely fetch replaced with the related piece from the target inform.

The end result looks to be something admire this:

The end result is that every work monitoring inform would possibly perhaps perhaps even be the provision of truth for that speak day/week/month/and loads of others. — the opposite inform goal correct involves it. I don’t wish to repeat backward and forward to preserve issues in sync anymore. Here is unbelievableand I recommend it extremely!

In practice

With that change to my workflow in situation, issues see an identical to how they did after I first wrote up my day-to-day notes design a few years ago, but there are tons of other little tweaks — some from Obsidian and some goal correct on story of my work looks to be quite completely different as a tech lead for LinkedIn than it did as a product engineer at Olo.

The elemental workflow for me now is: On the start up of on a normal foundation, create a new inform, and use the shortcut I even hold for inserting templates (T — “T” for template”) to generate the body of the day-to-day inform. After advent, I blueprint a few further tweaks:

  • Update the hyperlink to the weekly inform. (I will positively use a templating plugin to blueprint this happen automatically, but haven’t spent the time on that yet.)

  • Write down my overall needs for the day, pulling from the needs I space at elevated ranges in the schedule.

  • Worth my meetings for the day. Here is technically a duplicate of my calendar, but:

    1. Copying it over into my day-to-day inform helps me indisputably internalize the schedule in a design that having a see at my calendar watch does now not. Here is likely related to:

    2. I abominate calendar apps. No longer in the sense that I in point of fact hold a ache with any particular app, but comparatively in the sense that I hate calendar apps as a design of managing my schedule. (Weird and wonderful? Maybe, but it is a thing I even hold arrive to phrases with about myself over the final five years.)

  • Accept as true with out what I hold all over the day, taking notes on the a host of chunks of time in the day. I’m now not at the second in the dependancy of the usage of a pomodoro timer a whole lot of the time, so I hold now not alarm about that level of granularity as I did in the previous — it’s extra in regards to the big strokes and anything else price noting as an artifact” I generated. (If I’m in a season where it issues, I will most steadily preserve monitoring of my working time all over the day right here, too.)

  • On the discontinue of the day, I summarize that work into the Outcomes piece of the inform: I summarize what I did in Abstract and list out any spirited artifacts (documents, pull requests opened or reviewed, and loads of others.) in Artifacts. Here is the key bit that Obsidian unlocked for me, but it depends on the remainder of it to be effective, at the least for me!

On the start up of every week, I hold the an identical thing with a weekly inform, all once more the usage of the template utter and goal correct selecting my weekly inform template in preference to the day-to-day inform template. Filling this out works nearly the an identical design as filling out the day-to-day inform does. I hyperlink to the monthly inform and in my needs for the week in step with my needs for the month. I hold now not copy over my schedule right here, although I will inform sooner than time if I even hold day without work deliberate or if there would possibly perhaps be a firm holiday or such. On the discontinue of every week, I summarize it in the Outcomes piece of the inform. As with the day-to-day notes, this automatically rolls up into the corresponding monthly inform, courtesy of Obsidian’s.

I hold the an identical for monthly notes before every little thing up of every quarter, pulling my needs from my quarterly needs; and for quarterly notes, pulling my needs from my annual needs. In principle, I’ll perhaps perhaps even further lengthen this if I fetch to a diploma where I wish to be monitoring at even longer phrases than annual, but as much as now I even hold now not indisputably vital or vital that.

Finally, I’ll perhaps perhaps even blueprint this even more uncomplicated for myself the usage of the Templater pluginwhich can perhaps well fetch rid of the remainder of the manual work eager after generating issues from my templates — but as issues stand I haven’t discovered it price it yet to creep mucking with the related bits of JavaScript. (I hold sufficient of that for my true day job!)

Bonus: Templates

Day-to-day inform template
---aliases: ["{{date}}"]---**Week:**==TODO==## Goals### Quarterly deliverables- [ ]==TODO==### Miscellanies & administrivia- [ ]==TODO==## Meetings## Details### Session 11. **Goal:** **Actual:**## Outcomes### Summary### Artifacts## Hours Standing- [ ] 1- [ ] 2- [ ] 3- [ ] 4- [ ] 5
Weekly inform template
---aliases: ["YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD"]---**Month:**==TODO==## Goals### Quarterly deliverables- [ ]==TODO==### Miscellanies & administrivia- [ ]==TODO==## Details- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD|YYYY.MM.DD]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD#Outcomes|YYYY.MM.DD]]- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD|YYYY.MM.DD]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD#Outcomes|YYYY.MM.DD]]- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD|YYYY.MM.DD]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD#Outcomes|YYYY.MM.DD]]- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD|YYYY.MM.DD]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD#Outcomes|YYYY.MM.DD]]- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD|YYYY.MM.DD]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD#Outcomes|YYYY.MM.DD]]## Outcomes### Summary### Artifacts
Month-to-month inform template
---aliases: ["YYYY.MM"]---**Quarter:**==TODO==## Goals### Quarterly Deliverables- [ ]==TODO==### Miscellanies & administrivia- [ ]==TODO==## Details- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD|YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD#Outcomes|YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD]]- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD|YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD#Outcomes|YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD]]- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD|YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD#Outcomes|YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD]]- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD|YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD#Outcomes|YYYY.MM.DD – YYYY.MM.DD]]## Outcomes### Summary### Artifacts
Quarterly inform template
---aliases: ["YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM"]---**Year:**==TODO==## Goals- [ ]==TODO==## Details- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM|YYYY.MM]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM|YYYY.MM]]- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM|YYYY.MM]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM|YYYY.MM]]- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM|YYYY.MM]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM|YYYY.MM]]## Outcomes### Summary### Artifacts
Annual inform template
---aliases: ["YYYY (FY)"]---## Goals- [ ]==TODO==## Details- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM|YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM#Outcomes|YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM]]- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM|YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM#Outcomes|YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM]]- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM|YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM#Outcomes|YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM]]- [[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM|YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM]]: ![[Work/Tracking/YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM#Outcomes|YYYY.MM – YYYY.MM]]

  1. An apart: I had the true identical conception when working on rewrite… but my conception by no plot went anyplace, on story of I place that work on indefinite hiatus. Strategies are low-rate. Execution is what counts. ↩︎

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