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Organizing Obsidian for D&D | 3 Principles

Once you’ve started using Obsidian for D&D, one question looms large: what goes where? In truth, there’s no right answer. And that’s the beauty of using Obsidian to manage your campaigns and worlds. It’s up to you.

In this article, I’ll introduce three principles to guide your organizing efforts. If you haven’t already, learn about the big picture on vaults.

Organize the Unorganized

We want to remove any and all barriers to creation. When inspiration strikes, add it to your vault immediately without worrying about where it should go. To make this easier, we organize the unorganized. Choose a location where all “unorganized” notes go first. You can always come back later to find a better permanent home for them.

These unorganized notes can also serve as a to-do list. It’s a collection of things that need further attention. But for now, they just need a place to sit. Some people like this to be at the root of the vault so they can see them piling up in the side navigation. Others might choose a separate Unorganized folder or something similar. Wherever you choose, be sure to set your vault’s default note location to match: Settings > Files & Links > Default location for new notes.

Gandalf looking through the archives in Gondor.

Connections Over Structure

Learn to value connecting notes more than the structure of your vault. Search is really powerful and fast in Obsidian, which makes finding notes easy. So while file structure/folder hierarchy looks nice, a sophisticated strategy for it isn’t really necessary. It’s more of a “nice-to-have.”

Prioritize connecting ideas. In Obsidian, you can achieve this in a number of ways. Frontmatter and tags are one way that I’ll speak to in an upcoming article. For now, focus on linking relevant notes. Linking ensures that related ideas are always connected. A settlement might link to the region surrounding it and the kingdom that governs it. A magic item might link to its current location and a note about its creator.

If those underlying connections are made, the location of the notes in your vault is secondary.

Perfection is Your Enemy

Arguably the most important principle is that perfection is your enemy. Your vault will never be perfect. Accept that. Don’t let it bring you down though. Your vault can improve. Focus on small changes made over time. Experiment on a small scale when trying new things.

Avoid overhauling your entire vault’s organization at once. While it’s fun to think about, we want to focus on our worlds and games. A vault is just a place that keeps our notes. It shouldn’t drain our time and energy.

With these principles in mind, you can organize your vault the way that works best for you while avoiding common pitfalls. Bit by bit, we’ll build amazing vaults to organize our D&D life so be sure to subscribe below to get notified when the next article in this series drops.

Game on.