Must have Obsidian community plugins — the best tools for your knowledge base

Must have Obsidian community plugins — the best tools for your knowledge base

Obsidian is a popular application for working with knowledge bases. One of its main features is the ability to customize it to your needs. This is facilitated by an active community of plugin developers. In this article I will describe the must-have plugins for organizing your knowledge base in Obsidian, which you should at least get acquainted with for productive work.

Installation

To use the plugins, you need to turn off safe mode in the settings and install the necessary add-ons from the catalog. It's a simple process - follow the steps below:

Go to the Obsidian settings panel by tapping the gear icon in the bottom left corner of the app or the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + ,. Click on «Community Plugins» in the left sidebar. Click «Turn On Community Plugins» to disable safe mode and install plugins.

The section will rearrange itself to manage installed plugins.

Open the plugin catalog — initially they are sorted by number of downloads, but you can select other options. You can use the search to find plugins. Descriptions and plugin names are in English - if you don't speak English, don't forget to use a translator.

Click on the plugin you want to install and click «Install» - it will start loading plugin files into the repository.

Once installed, it will need to be enabled. Click the button on the plugin page, or toggle the checkbox in the list of installed plugins.

The files are downloaded and installed into the active repository — if you have several of them, you can customize different sets of add-ons in each.

In this section you can also see the list of installed extensions, enable or disable them, change keyboard shortcuts and settings if the plugin has them.

Also plugins that have their own settings are in the menu — scroll down the settings menu to the «Community Plugins» item.

Descriptions are usually in English, but generally the gist is clear, or you can google the documentation or review of that plugin.

After installing some plugins, you need to restart the application. You can close and reopen it. The second way is to press Ctrl+Shift+I to open developer tools.

Then press Ctrl+R to reload the application. Yes, just like a web browser.

Now let's move on to the review of the plugins.

Scheduling

Scheduling is an important part of knowledge management, and Obsidian offers several plugins to help you manage tasks and projects more efficiently.

I don't like the idea of turning the knowledge base into a task manager or calendar with a lot of drawbacks. It would be convenient to keep notes and tasks in one place, but then the functionality should be embedded at the level of the application itself, with all the necessary features - notifications, filters, priorities, recurring tasks.

But to each his own, so the list of plugins for planning will also be on the site — maybe someone will find it convenient to use them in Obsidian.

Kanban

Allows you to create kanban boards to track the progress of tasks and projects.

Obsidian Kanban plugin

You will be able to use the standard functionality of Kanban boards: move tasks from one column to another, add tags, descriptions and deadlines. At the same time, each task can also be a separate note, with pictures, audio, files and useful information.

Now I didn't use this plugin because I keep tasks in a separate task manager application. Also, I noticed during testing that sometimes tasks from a note are deleted by themselves. It was a long time ago, and after that I didn't use the plugin because I'm worried about the safety of tasks, but I have to share my experience.

Calendar

This plugin adds a calendar view to Obsidian. It is very convenient to view notes and tasks organized by date.

Obsidian Calendar Plugin

This plugin is especially useful for planning schedules and tracking task starts and deadlines.

I have tried to use it, but for me the main functions of the calendar are to schedule time for tasks or events in advance, which the system will remind me of later with notifications. Obsidian doesn't have this, so it's more convenient to use Google Calendar, for example, or a special task manager.

Day Planner

Adds in the ability to view notes with a timeline of tasks and activities, like a calendar. You can also track their completion there.

obsidian day planner plugin view

Combines well with the Calendar plugin, providing a complete overview of the schedule. But for me, again, a similar problem to Calendar persists - not much automation and notifications.

Convenience

Obsidian plugins can also make taking notes more convenient.

Advanced Tables

Advanced Tables adds new functionality to markdown tables - automatic alignment, sorting, styling, export to CSV, formulas. This plugin is very useful when working with tables in Obsidian, I consider it a must install.

Advanced Tables plugin for Obsidian

However, I also came to the conclusion that if there is a lot of information in the table, it is easier to make an HTML table, because Markdown tables are quite specific and it is inconvenient to fill them with a large amount of text.

And HTML table can be easily styled as you want, you can add CSS styles from Bootstrap, for example, or customize your own custom styles.

LanguageTool

Adds a spelling error checker. I really missed this feature at first, after typing in Google Docs and MS Word. I think that you should definitely put it if you write notes not only for yourself and they will be read by other people. You don't want to be known as illiterate, do you?

Useful plugin, because with it it is much easier to check documents intended for public access, or that will be exported somewhere.

Outliner

Allows to manage lists conveniently - adds hotkeys for moving items, vertical and horizontal indentation lines. Recently it has become possible to drag list items with the mouse, which is also very convenient. I think you should download it, activate it and enjoy it.

Templater

Create templates for notes or individual blocks of text or code and quickly use them when needed. With this plugin you can create, for example, templates for basic HTML tags, a template for a standard Zettelkasten note, a customer brief. Somewhat similar to Emmet when writing code.

Visualization

These plugins present the information in the knowledge base in a more informative or aesthetic way.

Editor Syntax Highlight

Adds syntax highlighting to the editor, making it easier to read and understand code snippets in notes.

Editor Syntax Highlight in Obsidian

A block of code is organized with ``` tags, and you can specify a specific language, ```js for example. A copy block button appears - no need to select frequently copied text with the cursor, just click the button. If you work with code, this is a must-have addition.

Icon Folder

You'll be able to add custom icons to notes and folders in the menu, making them easy to recognize in a large list. You can use the basic icon library or upload your own.

Admonition

Syntax special widgets in notes - remarks, warnings. You can customize icons, make nested and dropdown notes.

admotion view in obsidian

Mind Map

Create mind maps directly in notes for a beautiful visual representation of the idea structure.

Functionality

These plugins add advanced features to Obsidian, making it more powerful and flexible.

Excalidraw

Create sketches, outlines, and diagrams in Obsidian, making it easier to illustrate your ideas and concepts.

Excalidraw

Created sketches can be stored as files and inserted into Obsidian notes with links, or exported in a convenient picture file format.

Dataview

This powerful plugin allows you to query and display data from your notes in a variety of formats.

dataview obsidian plugin work example

With this plugin, you can create custom queries that retrieve specific data from your notes and display it in the desired form.

Tag Wrangler

Adds advanced tag management capabilities to the standard tag panel - rename, quickly search or create new notes with that tag.

tag wrangler plugin in obsidian app

A very handy plugin as it allows you to quickly rename tags in all notes at once.

Conclusion

The Obsidian community provides a wide range of tools to improve the application. Of course, not all of them will be useful for you, so you can try the most common ones, and if they don't work - turn them off or delete them altogether.

But it is advisable to go through and familiarize yourself with them to get new ideas and raise the knowledge management process to a new level.

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