Using Obsidian to Track Writing Projects
This post describes my writing process for sort-form articles which are typically between 1,500 to 3,000 words (currently these are Medium posts, but may expand to include other online platforms in the future).
I have taken up writing online approximately 12 months ago and until now have been using Microsoft Word as my primary writing tool; using word files in various folders to manage my writing workflow, capture ideas, and manage notes and research.
I have been unhappy with this MS Word and file folder solution and have recently begun using Obsidian as both my writing and knowledge management tool.
This is part 1 of a planned three part series. Part 2 will cover using Obsidian to cover academic papers and industry journal articles of 4,000–7,000 words. Part 3 will cover book length writing in the order of 40,000 to 70,000 words.
The following are the core features of Obsidian that I find most useful for writing,
Obsidian supports automatic bidirectional linking of notes. This is through wiki-linking, where a link can be inserted into text by surrounding it with double brackets, as in, [[A linked document]].
This will be rendered as follows (when the document has not been created),
To create a new note, simply clicking on the link will create it.
Obsidian allows for research notes and other writing to be linked to a new piece of work, and for research notes to be available in the same tool as the new piece of writing that is being developed.
Bidirectional linking includes both forward links (described above) and backlinks. Backlinks are other notes that link to the note currently being displayed. Obsidian automatically tracks backlinks and displays these as a table at the bottom of a note (this can also be shown in a separate pane in the editor) as shown below,