How to Use Community Templates in Obsidian

Obsidian is a powerful note-taking and knowledge management app that allows you to organize your notes using backlinks and graph view. One of the most useful features of Obsidian is templates – they allow you to quickly create notes with a predefined structure and content. In this article, I will explain what community templates are, why they are useful, and how you can use them effectively in Obsidian.

What are Community Templates

Community templates are templates created by members of the Obsidian community and shared publicly for anyone to use. They are available in template galleries hosted on sites like GitHub or shared directly on the Obsidian forums.

The key benefit of community templates is that you don’t have to create everything from scratch – you can simply find a template created by someone else for your specific need and use it as a starting point. This saves a tremendous amount of time and effort.

Some examples of community templates:

  • Book note template with fields for metadata like title, author etc.
  • Meeting notes template with sections for agenda, notes, action items etc.
  • Habit tracker template to track habits daily/weekly/monthly
  • Template for planning projects with sections for tasks, deadlines etc.

Why Use Community Templates

Here are some of the key benefits of using community templates in Obsidian:

1. Save time

Creating notes from scratch, especially those with a complex structure like tables or metadata, can be time-consuming. Templates eliminate this effort.

2. Learn from others

By looking at templates created by experienced Obsidian users, you can get ideas for improving your own note-taking system. Their best practices are baked into the templates.

3. Standardize notes

Use templates to ensure notes like meeting minutes or project plans have the same structure every time. This also makes them easier to scan and refer back to.

4. Share templates

You can share the custom templates you create to help the community. It’s a great way to showcase Obsidian best practices.

How to Use Community Templates

Using community templates is easy – just follow these steps:

1. Find Templates

Head over to forum posts, GitHub repositories or sites sharing Obsidian templates to find one you would like to use. Some good starting points are:

Look for templates that match your specific needs.

2. Download Templates

Once you’ve identified one or more templates to use, download them to your device. Usually you can download templates directly as individual files or an entire demo vault.

Make sure to unzip any archives into a separate folder.

3. Set Template Folder

In Obsidian, head over to Settings > Plugins > Templates > Template folder location. Here, specify the folder path where you downloaded the template files.

Now Obsidian can access these community templates.

4. Insert Template

To insert a community template:

  • Ribbon icon: Click the template icon in the left ribbon (or under hamburger menu on mobile).
  • Command palette: Use the command palette and select “Insert template”
  • Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl/Cmd+T (customizable in settings)

Select the template you want from the modal that appears. The template will be inserted into the current note.

5. Customize Template

The inserted template is just a starting point. Customize it to suit your specific requirements:

  • Add/remove sections
  • Modify styling like colors or text formatting
  • Include additional fields or metadata

The template will now match your personal note-taking preferences.

Examples of Community Templates

Here are some examples of useful community templates you can use in Obsidian:

Book Notes Template

This template lets you take book notes in a standardized format, including fields for metadata like:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Genre
  • Rating
  • Summary
  • Key ideas
  • Quotes

Habit Tracker

Use this template to track habits over time and review your progress. It includes columns for:

  • Habit name
  • Monthly/weekly/daily tracking
  • Streaks
  • Notes/observations

Meeting Notes

The meeting notes template has sections for:

Agenda – Planned discussion points

Notes – Details discussed, decisions made etc.

Action Items – Tasks assigned to members

Next Steps – Plans moving forward

Conclusion

Community templates help you save time, learn from other users, standardize notes, and share your own templates back with the community.

To get started, find templates that match your needs, download them, set the template folder in Obsidian settings, and insert into notes. Finally, customize them to suit your personal requirements.

So next time you need to create structured notes like meeting minutes or project plans, look to the Obsidian community templates for a head start!

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