Managing projects and tasks in Obsidian may seem odd.
Obsidian is not a task manager, it’s a note-taking application. Why would we manage tasks in Obsidian when there are so many other apps specifically made for managing tasks?
It’s a good question.
I’ve used dozens of to-do apps over the years, but I’ve never found one that really clicked with me. They’re either too simple, which means I can’t effectively plan my projects in the app. Or they’re too complex, and I eventually stop using them because it’s too much of a pain to maintain.
So on a whim, I decided to try to manage my projects in Obsidian.
And surprisingly, I love it. I manage everything in my work and life in Obsidian now, and it works better than any to-do app I’ve ever tried. (including apps that I paid hundreds of dollars for)
Why is Obsidian Great for Projects?
Obsidian is so flexible and versatile, if you want to manage projects and tasks in Obsidian, it has some huge advantages over a traditional task manager. For instance:
- You can embed tasks in any note, allowing you to organize projects however you like
- You can link related notes together, allowing you to keep things clean but still accessible
- You can keep track of your progress via custom dashboards or Daily Notes
- You can create visualizations in Obsidian that may be hard (or impossible) to do in another tool
- If you already spend a lot of time in Obsidian, it’s handy to have everything in one place
But there are a couple of downsides as well:
- Obsidian doesn’t have push notifications
- Managing tasks effortlessly requires a few community plugins. These plugins are free, but they add some complexity to the process.
If you’re curious about creating a digital bullet journal, or a Life Operating System, setting up tasks in Obsidian might be a great fit for you.
Recommended Plugins for Managing Tasks
If you want to try using tasks in Obsidian, there are a few plugins I recommend:
- Calendar plugin (if you’re using daily notes)
- Tasks plugin
- Obsidian Charts plugin (if you want visualizations, more on that below)
All four of these are community plugins. Learn how to use community plugins.
Adding Completed Tasks to Daily Notes
Do you use Daily Notes in Obsidian?
I’ve kept an daily journal for over a decade now, and I find it tremendously helpful to look back on the progress I’ve made in life and work.
But a lot gets lost between the lines of my journals. I often write about the progress I’ve made on a project, but as time goes on, I forget the details. One way to add more context to your journals without adding any more effort is to keep a log of your daily to-dos inside the journal.
Best of all, if you’re already using Daily Notes and the tasks plugin, this only requires a single line of code.
You can learn how to do that here: How to Add Tasks to your Daily Notes in Obsidian
Creating a Today view in Obsidian
If your work involves deadlines, or you struggle to keep track of projects within Obsidian, you’re going to love this next tip.
I created a “Today” view in my Obsidian vault, and it automatically generates a plan for me to follow every day. It really frees my mind to focus on important work without having to think about or remember the repetitive work I do. If that sounds interesting to you, see this tip:
Managing Projects in Obsidian
Managing tasks is well and good, but how do you handle bigger picture items?
I have a few tricks up my sleeves when it comes to projects. We’ll go through how to track the status of your project, creating custom reports, and much more.