Kamil Gierach-Pacanek
CyberEthical.Me: Hacking for the Security Awareness

CyberEthical.Me: Hacking for the Security Awareness

Move Your Notes to Obsidian Right Now

Move Your Notes to Obsidian Right Now

Mind-mapping app for Markdown freaks (myself included)

Kamil Gierach-Pacanek
ยทNov 8, 2022ยท

4 min read

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Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • The mess
  • Obsidian's killer-features
  • My experience
  • Synchronization
  • ๐Ÿ” Your turn
  • Additional materials

Introduction

When I was collecting materials for this article, it was hard to not get a feeling that Obsidian is either THAT genius or authors did some homework and created a viral promotional campaign by early adopters. The number of YouTube videos about Obsidian is overwhelming.

obsidian-yt-3.gif

So, I did give it a try.

This article will neither guide you through the process of creating your first Obsidian vault, nor how to configure it. If you are interested in these, please see the linked videos in the bottom section.

The mess

When I started learning ethical hacking, I thought it could be useful to have a database of some useful scripts, techniques, links, etc. For example, during the CTFs, I tend to use the similar Python code to communicate with exposed binaries using telnetlib. It really grinds my gear when I jump into the challenge and spent another 5 minutes searching my offline notes or blog articles for the boilerplate code I always use.

I know many folks recommend cherrytree - as far as I remember it was also included in the older Kali distributions, not sure how it is now - I have tried to force myself a bit to use it, but it is not my cup of tea.

Then I tried organizing my snippets and tips using VNote. I did it that way for some time, but that was a demanding "partnership". As the Nicole van der Hoeven mentioned - you can't put a single file (note) in two different folders (category, and well, technically it is possible via symlink, but it feels more like a workaround than an actual feature).

So, I have forsaken the VNote, Evernote (that one always feels awkward to use, no matter how many times I approach it) and now I have my notes, scattered around in three GitHub repos and multiple write-ups... image.png

Also, recently, I've won a great book about web application security (physical book) that I'm eager to start reading - but I want this experience to be as useful to me as it can be. And so, I've recalled Obsidian.

Obsidian's killer-features

I think the first time I've heard about Obsidian was from a video of a girl nicknamed morganeua on YouTube. I thought of it as an interesting alternative of what I was doing back then with my notes. It also feels unique and distinctive from other applications because:

Encourages mind mapping approach
Notes can be mentioned from other notes, creating associations between them, which can be displayed as a neat graph.

Notes are Markdown files
Which means the product of your note-taking is future-proof because *.md files are text files, so even when (somehow) Markdown parsers would be dead, you can still read the files.

Lightweight
It is Electron-based application. It launches quickly, works fluently - basically these are my favourite types of apps. That is precisely why my code editor of choice is Visual Studio Code.

My experience

I've watched a few videos about different systems of note-taking to see how others do that. I have configured some folders and templates. Created to-do note with all resources I would like to have imported to Obsidian.

I was trying to keep the goal in my mind, so I tried not to get distracted with all plugins and different methods of note-keeping, so overall I can tell that I needed two days to feel comfortable within this environment. What do I mean by saying that I feel comfortable?

  • I take significantly more time on actual note-taking instead of browsing the configuration options or internet resources how to do stuff or is it possible to do;
  • I don't struggle so much on where to put this note, which tag should I write down or is it tag or a reference - I do developed my own workflow

And most important - it just feels right, what I do.

And this is how my graph looked after one day: image.png

And after two days: image.png

Also, this a folder structure I'm having so far: image.png

I'm happy with the direction where it's going.

Synchronization

That one I actually have to think about. I love git but I must verify how to work with it on Android, so I'm also thinking about Google Drive. Especially when they've recently announced increasing free tier space from 15GB to 1TB.

See? I've even linked the Google blog post about it - because I have that one stored in my Obsidian in References folder. Try look for that original announcement on the internet - pain in the ass: lots of citations, but noone references the original page.

๐Ÿ” Your turn

  • What note-taking system are you using?
  • Are you satisfied with it?
  • Would you consider switching to Obsidian?
  • Did you learned something from this article?

Additional materials

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