Email Notes to Obsidian

Introduction

Obsidian is a powerful knowledge base on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files.

I have been using obsidian for several months as a personal knowledge base, research, and writing tool.

The key benefits that I have found to date are,

  • Automatic internal linking (wiki-links)
  • Powerful search
  • Plugin support
  • Storage using plain text files

One of the really useful features of competing solutions like EverNote is the ability to create notes via email.

In this post, I describe how I have added the ability to create notes in Obsidian through email.

Implementation

My Obsidian vault is stored in a Microsoft OneDrive folder. OneDrive is a file hosting service that synchronizes defined folders on a local Windows machine, cloud storage, and any number of other hosts.

Storing my Obsidian vault in OneDrive enables me to,

  • Use Obsidian on multiple computers
  • Enable external applications (including IFTTT) to interact with files in the vault

The IFTTT service will be used to,

  • receive email messages from a nominated email address
  • extract information from the email message and create a .md (markdown) file
  • save the markdown file in a nominated folder in the Obsidian vault

IFTTT

IFTTT (If This Then That) is an online service that enables user-defined integration of web services.

Configuration

The following simple workflow is crated in IFTTT,

The ‘Create Text File’ step is configured to,

  • Connect to my OneDrive account
  • Create a file named as per the email subject line
  • Save the file into the ‘emailed-notes’ folder in my Obsidian vault
  • Include the email body and a link to any attachment in the note text

Usage

Email

Send an email to ‘trigger@applet.ifttt.com’, the subject line will be the name of the note.

After some time (up to 10 seconds), the .md file will appear in the Obsidian vault.

Obsidian

If Obsidian is open it will not automatically recognise the new file. To force a refresh, reload the app (use Ctrl + P to open the command menu).

Obsidian will now show the new file,

Opening the new file, we see that the email content has been transferred to Obsidian,

Conclusion

The method described here enables new notes to be added to Obsidian, I find this useful to enable ideas to be quickly captured when the Obsidian app is not available.

Planned future improvements to the workflow include,

  • Setting up a Gmail forwarding rule to enable me to send notes to Obsidian from my work email address (i.e. work email -> personal email -> Gmail rule -> IFTTT -> OneDrive -> Obsidian)
  • Create an Obsidian plugin to automatically download linked attachments
  • Create an Obsidian plugin to allow the use of templates

Let me know in the comments if you would like to see a future article on any of the above items.

Read Further

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed this article.

My other writing related to Obsidian includes,

To explore further,

To support medium authors, consider a subscription.

Remember to click on the subscribe and follow button,

--

--

--

Industrial Process Control, Operational Technology, Industry 4.0, Cybersecurity, Digital TX, AI, ML, Data Analytics https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrickcberry/

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

$30,000/year Scammed by Wix.com Affiliate Program

Top 10 Capstone Projects for Computer science engineering students

My 2018 Retrospective.

Arming Yourself For The Future

How would you communicate between two Fragments?

Criminal Lawyer Utah

EXPLORING MORE INTO .NET ASSEMBLY

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Patrick Berry

Patrick Berry

Industrial Process Control, Operational Technology, Industry 4.0, Cybersecurity, Digital TX, AI, ML, Data Analytics https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrickcberry/

More from Medium

How to Create a BookShelf To Track Books in Obsidian

How I Use Obsidian To Take Action On The Content I Consume

Obsidian Writing Template Update: Simple But Better

Sepia toned closeup of the structure of a leaf, with a list of 5 words overlaid in white text: structured, branches, create, flexible, serendipity

Why I Don’t Believe in PKMs Based on Plain Text Files

Why I Don’t Believe in PKMs Based on Plain Text Files