How to Master the Obsidian Outliner - A Comprehensive Guide

For me, organizing thoughts, taking notes, and creating documents has never been easier with the Obsidian outliner. It provides a convenient way to track information and see how my ideas connect, making it a valuable tool in my workflow.

Getting Started with the Obsidian Outliner

To begin utilizing the Obsidian outliner, you personally prefer to install the outliner plugin first. To do this, navigate to the Obsidian settings, then click on the "Plugins" tab. Search for "outliner" and install the top result.

Having installed the outliner plugin, it can be accessed by clicking the "Outliner" tab in the toolbar. The outliner opens in a separate window for you.

Understanding the Different Views of the Outliner

In my experience, I think the Obsidian Outliner has three unique perspectives to choose from: the default main view, the insightful details view, and the organized list view.

The main view, as its name suggests, is the starting point and it displays a comprehensive list of all your notes. I personally prefer this view as I can easily collapse or expand each note to see more or less information, depending on my needs.

For those who want to delve deeper into a specific note, the details view is perfect. It provides you with more information about that particular note, including its title, tags, and any attachments associated with it.

And for those who like to keep things organized, the list view is the way to go. It offers a list of all the notes in a specific folder, making it easy for you to manage and keep track of your notes. You can also collapse or expand folders to see more or less information.

Creating a New Note

Simply click on the "New Note" button in the toolbar to create a new note. You will be asked to give a title for your note.

You have a note created, now you can start filling it with information. You can include text, images, links, and other forms of content.

Adding Tags to Notes

Tags are a great way to organize your notes. You can add tags to notes by clicking on the "Tags" button in the toolbar. Then, type in the name of the tag and click on the "Add" button.

You can add multiple tags to a note. And, you can use tags to find notes later.

Attaching Files to Notes

You can attach files to notes by clicking on the "Attachments" button in the toolbar. Then, select the file that you want to attach and click on the "Add" button.

You can attach multiple files to a note. And, you can use attachments to find notes later.

Formatting Notes

You can format your notes by using the toolbar. You can change the font, the size of the text, and the color of the text.

You can also use the toolbar to create lists, tables, and other types of formatted content.

Creating an Outline in Obsidian

An outline is a hierarchical list of items. Obsidian's outliner is a powerful tool that can be used to create and manage outlines.

Creating a new outline file

To create a new outline file, open the Obsidian Editor and click on the "New Outline" button. You can also create a new outline file by clicking on the "File" menu and selecting "New Outline".

Adding and organizing sections and subsections

To create a new subsection within a section, click on the "+" button next to it. If you want to add a completely new section to your outline, simply click the "+" button.

You have the flexibility to rearrange your outline by dragging and dropping sections and subsections as you please. You can also make use of keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+Shift+U and Ctrl+Shift+S to add or remove sections and subsections efficiently.

Customizing the layout of the outline

You can customize the layout of your outline by changing the font, the size of the text, and the spacing between items. You can also choose to show or hide the outline header.

Using Features of the Obsidian Outliner

The Obsidian outliner has a number of features that can be used to manage and organize your outlines.

Tagging items in the outline

You can tag items in your outline to make them easier to find. To tag an item, click on the "Tags" button and enter a tag. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+T to tag an item.

Filtering items in the outline

You can filter items in your outline to show only the items that you want to see. To filter items, click on the "Filter" button and enter a filter. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+F to filter items.

Moving and reordering items in the outline

You can move and reorder items in your outline to organize your information. To move an item, drag and drop it to a new location. To reorder an item, drag and drop it to a new location.

Tips for Using the Obsidian Outliner

For me, organizing information with the Obsidian outliner is all about utilizing tags and filters. I personally find that tags are a great way to categorize my information by topic, date, or any other criteria. And when I need to quickly find something specific, filters come in handy. I think the keyboard shortcuts in Obsidian are also incredibly useful for saving time, and I highly recommend experimenting with the various layouts available to see which one works best for you.

Tips and Tricks for Mastering the Obsidian Outliner

Obsidian's outliner is a powerful tool that can be used to create and organize notes. Here are some tips and tricks for mastering the Obsidian outliner:

Using templates to speed up outline creation

Templates can be a great way to speed up outline creation. You can create a template with the basic structure of your outline, and then use it to create new outlines quickly and easily.

Integrating the outliner with other Obsidian plugins

There are a number of Obsidian plugins that can be integrated with the outliner. For example, you can use the Autolinks plugin to automatically create links between your notes, or the Folding plugin to hide and show sections of your outline.

Best practices for organizing and maintaining outlines

Here are some best practices for organizing and maintaining outlines:

  • Use tags to organize your notes.
  • Use the outliner's search function to find specific notes.
  • Use the outliner's export function to back up your outlines.


In conclusion, the Obsidian outliner is an incredibly powerful tool for organizing your thoughts, notes, and documents. With its intuitive interface and ability to visualize connections between ideas, it can greatly enhance your productivity and workflow. If you're just starting out with the outliner, be sure to install the plugin and take some time to familiarize yourself with its features.

And if you're already an experienced user, feel free to share your tips and tricks in the comments below to help others get the most out of this amazing tool. Don't forget to share this article with your friends and colleagues who could benefit from mastering the Obsidian outliner!