Use Obsidian Dataview Plugin to Automate Our Vault

Learn views, data annotation, and query.

Amy Li

--

Image by Amy Li using Canva.

Why Problem Does Dataview Solve for Us?

Before going over how to use Dataview, let’s step back to the first principle — what kind of important problems does Dataview solve for us?

Suppose we have accumulated a bunch of notes for the books we read, how could we visualize them in a table view with meaningful table headers such as author, cover, status, rating, etc? Especially if you come from Notion, you might miss the table view. The good news is we could achieve that by using Dataview plugin in Obsidian. Dataview not only displays our notes in the forms of tables, lists, etc. with or without filtering but also makes our life much easier by automatically importing the updated notes.

In this article, I will walk you through what is Dataview, how to show our notes in forms of views like tables, lists, etc., how to query our notes, and lastly, I will also provide personal use cases.

What Is Dataview?

Let’s have a brief knowledge about Dataview based on its official documentation.

Dataview is one of the most powerful plugins in Obsidian. It allows us to create tables, lists, tasks, and calendars to manage our notes, track our tasks, etc. but it can get overwhelming quickly from the very beginning when we read the definition of Dataview: According to the definition of Dataview the author:

You can associate data (like tags, dates, snippets, numbers, and so on) with your markdown pages, and then query (like a filter, sort, or transform) this data. — obsidian-dataview doc

Don’t worry if you don’t quite understand what that means. Let’s break down the concept into three main components:

  • Annotation
  • Query

But I would like to add another component which is View. Now let’s dive deep into each of the components.

  • View
  • Annotation
  • Query

Install and Enable Dataview Plugin

--

--

Amy Li

Software Developer | Ph.D. in Medicine. I write about programming, productivity, personal development, and entrepreneurship. https://www.youtube.com/@amyjuanli