Maximizing the Benefits of Obsidian: A Holistic Approach

Tara H

Hatched by Tara H

Feb 14, 2024

3 min read


Maximizing the Benefits of Obsidian: A Holistic Approach


In the pursuit of perfect note-taking, it is essential to strike a balance between structure and adaptability. While it may be tempting to aim for uniformity and rigid templates, long-term use of Obsidian, a popular note-taking app, requires a more flexible approach. This article explores the importance of embracing imperfection and employing second-order thinking to optimize the benefits of Obsidian.

Striving for Perfection: The Illusion of Uniformity:

Many individuals initially embark on their Obsidian journey with the desire to create flawless notes, meticulously organized and standardized. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that the quest for perfection is an ongoing process. Attempting to find the ideal template right from the start can be unrealistic and impractical. Instead, it is more beneficial to focus on refining and adapting note-taking methods over time.

Chesterton's Fence: Embracing Second-Order Thinking:

In his concept of Chesterton's Fence, G.K. Chesterton emphasizes the importance of thoughtful consideration before making changes. This idea can be applied to the process of note-taking in Obsidian. While it is tempting to discard or modify existing notes that may seem obsolete or unnecessary, it is crucial to pause and reflect on their original purpose. Chesterton argues that the original builders of a fence had reasons for constructing it, and until we understand those reasons, it is unwise to dismantle it. Similarly, before deleting or altering a note, it is essential to evaluate its original intent and potential future relevance.

The Redundancy Paradox: Questioning Assumptions:

Although second-order thinking encourages us to consider the consequences of our decisions, we must also be cautious about assuming the redundancy of certain notes or ideas. It is easy to dismiss information or concepts that may appear pointless or irrelevant at first glance. However, this overconfidence can lead to missed opportunities for creativity and innovation. By challenging our assumptions and exploring the underlying value of seemingly redundant notes, we can uncover unique insights and connections that enhance our note-taking experience in Obsidian.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace Iteration: Instead of striving for perfection in your note-taking process, allow yourself room for experimentation and adaptation. Continuously refine and adjust your methods based on what works best for you. Remember, the journey towards effective note-taking is a dynamic and evolving process.
  • 2. Practice Second-Order Thinking: Before making significant changes to your notes, take the time to consider the potential consequences of those actions. Reflect on the original purpose of each note and evaluate its relevance in a broader context. This thoughtful approach will help you make informed decisions and prevent hasty modifications.
  • 3. Challenge Assumptions: Instead of dismissing seemingly redundant or irrelevant notes, actively seek to uncover the hidden value within them. Question your assumptions and explore potential connections and insights that may enhance your understanding and creativity. Embracing the unexpected can lead to novel ideas and a more enriching note-taking experience.


In the realm of note-taking, Obsidian offers a powerful platform for knowledge organization and synthesis. However, to harness its full potential, it is crucial to adopt a holistic approach. By embracing imperfection, practicing second-order thinking, and challenging assumptions, users can maximize the long-term benefits of Obsidian. Remember, the true value of note-taking lies not in attaining perfection but in the continuous growth and evolution of our ideas and understanding.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)