There are two types of plugins you can install in Obsidian, Core Plugins and Community Plugins.
Core plugins are included with Roam when you download it for the first time and officially supported.
Community plugins, as the name implies, are created and shared by individual users and developers who use Roam and have a vested interest in making it better.
Plugins make Obsidian an absolute delight to use, and the wide community support was one of the key factors in my decision to switch to Obsidian from Roam Research.
Once you understand how to install plugins, you’ll be able to customize your Obsidian Vault to make it work in ways that are more supportive of your individual needs and how you intend to use it to create your personal knowledge system.
New community plugins are being added every day, as people dream up exciting new and productive ways of using Obsidian.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the power of plugins, because it’s not immediately apparent when you log in for the first time.
Obsidian relies on the innovation of individuals to move the product forward.
Here are just a few of the community plugins that you might want to consider checking out:
Better Word Count
Better Word Count counts the words in the document you are working on. If you are writing atomic essays like this one, this is a super helpful plugin!
I use Obsidian for my daily journal practice, as well as my daily review. The calendar plugin makes it easy for me to go back in time and see exactly what I was writing about on a particular day in the past.
The Homepage plugin allows you to set a single page in your Obsidian Vault as your home page, meaning it will open every time that you load Obsidian. This is great for creating a dashboard, or organizational menu of your personal knowledge management system.
Outliner makes Obsidian notes work more like Workflowy or Roam Research, where you have bullet points and lines that show you where you are in the outline. I find this very helpful, and honestly am surprised this is not a default feature.
These are just a few of the features you can enable with plugins. I’ll cover more of my favorites in a future post, but for now, let’s get you set up to take advantage of plugins in your own vault!
Here’s how, step by step:
Step 1: Navigate to “Settings” From the Left Sidebar
Step 2: Click “Community plugins”, and toggle off Safe Mode
You will receive a pretty scary looking warning when you do this. While this message reads like something out of an apocalyptic playbook, there’s no need to over worry. As long as you only install well documented and reviewed plugins, your risk is minimal.
That being said, before installing something new, it does pay to do a quick search to ensure that the developer is trustworthy.
I’ve vetted any plugins I share here to the best of my ability.
Step 3: Click “Browse” to search the Community Plugin Directory
This is where you can find all the plugins that I mentioned above, as well as so many more. Simply search “Better Word Count” for example, as this is a great first plugin to install.
Step 4: Install Your First Plugin!
To install a plugin from the community directory, simply click the plugin from the list on the lift that is returned with your search results.
Click the “Install” button.
Click the “Enable” button.
That’s it! Your plugin is now installed, and ready for action
Sometimes you need to restart Obsidian before it will start working, however most of the time the effect is immediate.
If you ever want to disable an Obsidian plugin that you’ve installed previously, you can do this by toggling it to the “off” position from the bottom of the Settings → Community plugins screen.
Ok! That’s it for now. Would love to hear your thoughts on your favorite Obsidian plugins as you start to customize your setup.