My Every Minute With Obsidian

Sometimes I feel like a chronic thinker. I can–and have–done nothing but think while pacing for hours.

As I've grown, this unassuming thought continues to feel more and more like a waste of time. That's what brought me here... and I still wonder if I'll ever get out.

The Journal Journey

Back when I began self-studying, at some point, I went to look for a journal. This, of course, would be a digital one.

My then goal was simply to just write ideas and notes. I never considered making a "bullet" journal until recently. In that I'm blaming Ali Abdaal for his reference to "Homework for Life" and Penn Jillette for his envious journal ongoing for 34+ years.

I was always interested in Notion, but you'll cringe if you look into their Privacy Policy for more two seconds. They may start with a reassuring summary, "Notion does not own your data, nor do we sell it to others... It's your data..." That may be a legal truth, but it's an actual lie. I'm not going to peer over their privacy policy, but below I've listed a clause which I find common among "privacy policy".

If we are involved in a merger, acquisition, financing due diligence, reorganization, bankruptcy, receivership, purchase or sale of assets, or transition of service to another provider, then your information may be sold or transferred as part of such a transaction, as permitted by law and/or contract.

(This means your data is for sale. Or, at least, "transfer[able]".)

So due to my interest in InfoSec, most products were out of consideration. The few I did try–like Joplin, Turtl, and Simplenote–failed to be, you know, enough for me. I'd use one for a couple of months and switch to another.

Although not FOSS, last year, I stumped upon Obsidian, and I've been endlessly unsatisfied with it ever since. I mean, who could be satisfied with such a capable tool?

What Is Obsidian?

I don't know man. A journal? A "second brain"? Linked text files? Make up your own damn mind. I've listed some resources below. Enjoy :D


What Makes Obsidian So Appealing?

One word: JavaScript.


Yes, JavaScript. For the unaware, I highly suggest you learn.

With JavaScript under your belt and far more time than I'd like to admit, you can build just about anything in Obsidian. Want to notate Chess positions? Someone made that here. Juggling patterns? Here. Wanna track nearly every minute of your day? Well, apparently, I do...

Tracking Every F$*king Second

Why? Because its fun, reflective, and relevant? Not really. At this point, it's just a matter of momentum. I don't think I could stop if I wanted to. Sure, I enjoy it, but it's clear I'm addicted.

How? Now there's a good question. I didn't realize it at the time, but originally, this started out as a simple bullet journal. Yet, overtime, it seems I've just complicated things.

Regardless, below is an example of what it would look like if I was... Santa Claus?

Now just take that into your mind and convert it into what you think I do in a day. Okay, now stop, it gets creepier the longer you think about it.

Only The Beginning

Ya... that was only the beginning. The levels of which I've tried to engineer Obsidian are ridiculous. Many functions were abandoned and even more never came to be.

I've tried to move everything into Obsidian because it's my bitch. It does what I tell it to when I tell it to–for the most part. My journal timestamps? Those are automatic. I just type in the duration and it gets handled. The daily temperate? Generated upon creating of the note. Though, for some reason, it says Santa lives in quite the warm place?

Tracking what I do has turned into tracking everything. Someone told me their cat has cancer? Better write that down. I watched a movie? Better notate what snacks I ate and how long it was. (Not to mentioned my review process.)

Maybe I end up meeting a stranger in their home, and I'll immediately start to look for their last name. It's just... I... I can't have two Johns in my journal. I mean, how's that gonna work? It'll annoy me back into reworking my whole system. And, sure, I could ask them, but it's not like I know them. Plus, if I know their last name, maybe one day it'll come up on the news? Okay, fair enough, I don't watch the news...

That only actually happened once, but you get the point, sometimes I go a bit too far. And this is only the beginning. You don't know half of it, and I'm sure I don't either.

Conclusion and You

I love creating well thought systems and Obsidian lets me do that, and JavaScript makes it easy.

But... should you use Obsidian? If you're looking for a digital journal, absolutely. But, if instead, you're looking to track every minute of your day, you're just a crazy son of a b$^ch like me, so you've already made your decision.

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