In an age where information is everywhere, note-taking has become an essential skill. Obsidian is a powerful note-taking app and knowledge base that works on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files.

Installing Obsidian

First things first, you need to install Obsidian. Visit the Obsidian website and download the installer for your operating system. Run the installer, and once the installation is complete, launch Obsidian.

Creating Your First Vault

When you open Obsidian for the first time, it will prompt you to create a new Vault. A Vault is essentially a folder that contains all your notes. Choose a location for your Vault, give it a name, and click “Create”.

Exploring the Interface

Obsidian’s interface is clean and intuitive. On the left, you have the file explorer where you can see all your notes and folders. In the center is the editor where you write your notes. On the right, you’ll find the backlinks panel and various other options.

Creating and Editing Notes

To create a new note, click the “New note” icon in the upper left corner. This creates a new file in your Vault. You can start typing immediately.

Obsidian uses Markdown for formatting, which is a lightweight markup language with plain text formatting syntax. For example, use # for headers, * for bullet lists, and [link text](URL) for hyperlinks.

Linking Your Thoughts

One of the powerful features of Obsidian is the ability to link notes together. To link to another note, type [[ followed by the name of the note you want to link to. This helps create a network of related notes, building a connected knowledge base.

Exploring Your Knowledge Graph

As you create links between notes, Obsidian builds a visual graph of these connections. Click on the “Open graph view” icon on the left sidebar to see your knowledge graph. This graph can be an excellent way to see the big picture and discover unexpected connections between your thoughts.

Plugins and Customization

Obsidian supports plugins, which can add new features or modify existing ones. Go to “Settings” > “Third-party plugins” to explore and install plugins. You can also customize the appearance of Obsidian with different themes. Go to “Settings” > “Appearance” to explore and select themes.

Syncing and Backing Up Your Notes

It’s crucial to keep your notes safe. Obsidian stores your notes as plain text files in your Vault, so you can easily back them up or sync them using services like Dropbox or Google Drive.


Obsidian is a powerful and flexible tool for note-taking and building a personal knowledge base. Its use of Markdown and the ability to create links between notes makes it especially powerful for connecting ideas and information. As you get more comfortable with Obsidian, you’ll find that it can be an invaluable tool for organizing your thoughts and knowledge. Happy note-taking!