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My Ultimate Capture System For Notes & Ideas in Obsidian
Optimized workflow for effective & efficient capturing
As a creator, I’m always looking for ways to improve my workflow, especially when it comes to capturing notes and ideas.
When a great idea pops into my head or I come across something interesting to read, it’s important to jot it down before it gets lost in the chaos of everyday life.
At first, I thought I could rely on Obsidian, an app that stores notes and helps connect them in cool ways, to handle all my needs. But I soon realized that it fell short when it came to quickly capturing ideas.
I tried different approaches, like using fleeting notes and integrating Obsidian with other tools like Webhook, but it still felt clunky and far from ideal. So, I decided to change my strategy and not rely solely on Obsidian.
In this article, I’ll share with you the tools I use to create an effective capture system for notetaking. This system allows me to capture ideas quickly and seamlessly, without any hassle.
My Favorite Tool
One of the apps I rely on for my capture system is TickTick. No, it’s not TikTok, but TickTick! It’s been my favorite to-do app for a long time.
Even after trying out other apps, I always find myself coming back to it.
What I love about TickTick is its user-friendly interface, which makes it super easy to use. It has a bunch of powerful features that help me stay organized.
The best part is that it syncs seamlessly across all my devices. So whether I’m on my phone, tablet, or computer, I can access my tasks and ideas wherever I am.
There’s just one thing I wish TickTick had: a two-way sync with Google Calendar for time-blocking. That would make it my powerhouse for productivity.
Since I spend most of my time on the computer, TickTick’s hotkey feature is a game-changer for me.
It lets me quickly capture tasks, writing ideas, or any other thoughts that come to mind. Instead of getting distracted by the process, I can stay focused on my work and easily jot down anything important.
On my phone, I use TickTick primarily for capturing tasks and writing ideas. However, when it comes to recording thoughts and ideas that have more detail, I turn to another fantastic tool called Otter.
TickTick truly enhances my productivity and helps me keep track of everything I need to do. It’s the most important tool of my capture system.
Capturing Detailed Thoughts on the Go
Another tool I rely on in my capture system is Otter. It’s a really powerful voice recorder app that has a special feature: it transcribes what I say into text.
This is super handy because it means I don’t have to type out all my ideas — I can just speak them out loud and let Otter do the rest.
Using Otter makes capturing fleeting ideas a breeze. Instead of struggling to type everything out, I can simply record my thoughts on the go. It saves me a ton of time and ensures that I don’t lose any valuable ideas in the process.
Once I’ve recorded my thoughts, Otter’s transcription feature kicks in and works its magic. It takes my spoken words and turns them into easily readable text.
This is really helpful because it allows me to review the transcripts later on. I can go back and see what I said, and then seamlessly transfer the most important information to Obsidian.
To take it one step further, I use Chatgpt to convert my messy thoughts into well-organized text. And the results I get are impressive.
This is an idea I took from the app AudioPen.
Capturing From Books
Kindle has completely transformed the way I read. I recently got the 2022 version, and it’s so compact that I can carry it with me wherever I go — it fits right in my pocket!
Before I owned a Kindle, I didn’t quite understand why people raved about it. But once I experienced the Kindle’s e-ink display, everything changed. It’s incredible how comfortable and immersive the reading experience is.
I love it.
The best part is that I can easily access the highlights and notes I make on my Kindle directly within Obsidian.
Now, whenever I come across something interesting or important in a book, I can highlight it and take notes on my Kindle, and have it automatically synced to Obsidian.
It’s a fantastic way to capture my thoughts and ideas while reading, and it keeps everything organized in one place.
Capturing From Podcasts
While I’m not a frequent podcast listener, there’s one app that I find incredibly valuable: Snipd. It’s an app that helps me discover the most insightful moments within different podcasts.
It’s quite like TikTok, but for podcasts.
One of the features I love about Snipd is it's For You page. It’s a curated selection of popular snips, so I can easily find interesting and valuable clips from different podcasts.
What makes Snipd stand out is its use of AI. It’s able to generate key takeaways and transcripts from podcast episodes. This means that I can capture the essential ideas from my favorite podcasts without having to listen to the entire episode.
It’s a huge time-saver!
Once I’ve found a valuable snip, I can export it directly to Obsidian. This makes it super easy to integrate those key ideas into my note-taking system and further expand upon them.
Capturing the Web
When it comes to browsing the web and doing research, I’ve found the Eloquent Chrome extension to be absolutely indispensable. It’s a tool that simplifies the process of capturing important highlights and ideas right within the browser.
I love its user-friendly interface. It makes it super easy for me to select and highlight content directly on web pages.
This comes in handy when I’m doing research and need to collect relevant information effortlessly.
Once I’ve gathered the highlights and notes, Eloquent offers different options. I can choose to add them directly to Obsidian or manually export the content. This flexibility allows me to seamlessly integrate the captured web content into my note-taking system.
It streamlines my research process and ensures that I don’t miss out on important details.
Read-it Later App
Readwise Read is an incredibly powerful tool that I have in my PKM arsenal. When it comes to read-it-later apps, I’ve tried pretty much all of them — Pocket, Instapaper, Omnivore, you name it. However, every time, I find myself getting back to Readwise Read.
One thing that initially bothered me about Readwise was its pricing. But I discovered a clever workaround.
By referring Readwise to three of my friends, I unlocked 90 days of free trial! It’s an amazing deal.
So, if you have friends who are eager to read more and expand their knowledge, you can refer them and gain an additional 30 days of free trial for each referral. The more referrals, the more free trial days you can accumulate. It’s a win-win situation!
Readwise has a clean and minimal interface. It provides a clutter-free reading environment. This design choice ensures that you can fully immerse yourself in the content without any distractions. It’s all about pure reading enjoyment and focusing on what matters most — the words on the page.
It allows you to easily highlight passages, take notes, and sync your saved highlights seamlessly with Obsidian using the Readwise official plugin. This integration makes it a breeze to capture and organize your reading insights, bringing them directly into your note-taking system.
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