During the PKM Summit last week I saw Zsolt Viczián do several amazing things with his Excalidraw plugin in Obsidian as part of his visual thinking efforts.
I’m very much a text person, but do recognise the role of visual elements as part of my thinking process. Shifting concepts around, thinking about connections, clustering etc. It engages the spatial parts of the brain, and humans are good at that. As most tools do either one thing or the other, when a tool can do both as just different perspectives on the same thing that draws my attention. It is why I’ve used Tinderbox and e.g. The Brain. Zsolt showed me how Excalidraw in Obsidian can do both too. Any Excalidraw-in-Obsidian image can have a regular note on the other side, and you can switch between them. All this because it’s just one note in markdown with some parts interpreted by Excalidraw and other parts by Obsidian.


A sketch of the elements needed to post my own slidedecks in a nice viewer, now that I’m no longer satisfied with how I’ve ‘brought slides home‘ the past four years.


The same file but now shown as text, where I’ve written a few tasks as part of creating the setup I’ve sketched in the image. Zsolt calls this the backside of the image. I’m more reminded of Tinderbox where you could see something as outline, as timeline, as tree map, as canvas etc. all interchangeable.

Zsolt very much gave me a great nudge to play with this more, and relearn that I do care about visual elements in my notes, and that it’s just that it wasn’t easy enough to build into my routines in making notes.