My Life OS in Obsidian: Part 0 - Introduction

Productivity Sep 5, 2023

Unlock your potential with Life OS, a systematic approach to managing goals, habits, projects, and more. Discover Obsidian, a free, private note-taking tool that revolutionizes productivity. Connect your life elements seamlessly—from goal setting to travel plans—in a fully customizable interface. Elevate your life management with Obsidian and Life OS synergy.

This is the first article in the Life OS Series that describe my Life OS.

What is a Life OS

The idea behind a Life OS is to adopt a systematic and organized approach to managing different aspects of one's life, including personal goals, habits, relationships, career, health, and overall well-being. It aims to provide a framework for optimizing and balancing different areas of life, much like an operating system manages the resources and processes of a computer.

What is Obsidian

I discovered Obsidian at the beginning of 2022 and it completely changed my life. After trying many different tools incl. MS OneNote and Evernote, I finally found a tool that covers all my needs and let's me be as productive as I want.

At it's core, Obsidian is a free and private note-taking tool, that uses Markdown. In my opinion the one feature that makes it so powerful is connecting notes through links, which you can even visualize with the graph view.

Graph View in Obsidian, the larger the dot


  • Plain-text Markdown files, easy export to other systems or use with GitHub
  • Offline file storage, the files are yours and can be edited even if you don't have internet access
  • Fully customizable interface, change everything from the background to the color of bold text
  • Hundreds of powerful plugins to extend the capabilities of Obsidian, e.g. KanBan boards, drawing tools and much more
  • Free for personal use

Elements of my Life OS

Below you can find the different elements of my personal Life OS. I'll publish detailed articles on each of these elements, describing how they work and how you can set them up yourselves. At the end of this Life OS series I'll provide an example vault that you can download and use right away.

Homebase and Areas

Every journey in my Life OS starts on the Home note. I copied the idea from Dashboard++ from TfTHacker. It is like a lauchpad to the topic I want to work on. It contains links to the overview notes such as the project dashboard, the recipe database or the planner view.

Home Note

Another important launchpad is the Areas note. It contains links to the notes for the different areas in my life such as Career, Travel or Personal Finance.

Areas Note

Project Management

With the help of some plugins, I use Obsidian to manage my personal projects such as remodeling our bedroom. Below is an overview of all my active projects (generated automatically) and a calendar view of all the projects tasks.

Projects Dashboard

I also use a KanBan view to manage the status of my projects and easily drag them around to change their status when doing planning sessions.

Projects KanBan

A sample project can be seen below, pretty simple with some tasks, overall progress and all files that belong to this project.

Sample Project

Task Management

All my tasks live in Obsidian as well. These are tasks from the various projects, household chores and some other unrelated tasks such as getting a present for a friend's birthday.

I have different views to see all my tasks.

Tasks in Timeline View
Tasks in Calendar View
Tasks scheduled for Today

Goal Setting/Achieving

One level above projects and tasks are my goals and the milestones for these goals. The projects are then linked to the respective goal or milestone.

Goals Dashboard

Each goal has some number of milestones and lists all projects related to the goal as you can see below.

Sample Goal

There's also an overview of all the milestones grouped by different timeframes. In addition you can see the goal to which the milestone belongs.

Milestones Overview

Projects can also be linked to a milestone directly. Below is an example of a milestone.

Sample Milestone

Review & Planning

I do reviews on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis. The reviews contain checklist of things to do, like cleaning up my mailbox. They show my journal entries from the daily logs, the habits, what I read and so on. With the help of these reviews I reflect on the previous period and plan for the next period.

Below is an excerpt from a weekly review.

Weekly Review

The Planner views shows my scheduled goals, milestones and projects for different time periods such as the current quarter or the next year. This allows me to see what needs to be done on a high level in a compact view.

Planner View

Habit Tracking

Another usecase for Obsidian is tracking my habits. The dashboard gives me an overview about my progress.

Habit Tracking Dashboard

Each habit has a cue that triggers the habit, the smallest step for a successful execution of the habit, the target for the habit and the reward I get from doing the habit. This is a concept from the book "Atomic Habits".

Sample Habit

Personal Knowledge Management

I also use Obsidian for Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) gathering everything I learned.

Below is an example of a Map of Content (MOC). A MOC is like an overivew note for a topic that summarizes a topic and links to relevant notes.

Sample MOC

And an example of a note from my PKM collection.

Sample Note

One part of the PKM system is my literature "library", it contains an overview of all the books I read.

Literature Overview

The book notes contain a summary, the highlights from the book and a link to the notes I created from the information in the book.

Book Sample


I do daily journaling and also capture some other information on a daily basis such as my habits or books/articles I read. The information in the daily logs is then grabbed by different views to summarize it over specific periods.

Sample Daily Log

Travel Planning

Yet another usecase of my Life OS is planning and documenting travels.

An overview shows all my upcoming trips, past trips, a bucket list of countries to visit, the most important documents of our family (passport, credit card, etc.) and a statistics about the countries we visited.

Travel Overview

The Travel notes contain important information about the travel, such as hotel booking confirmations, flight tickets, travel dates and more.

In addition it contains links to the pack list, preparation tasks and the travel journal.

Travel Sample

Recipe Database

I love cooking and adapting recipes to my/our taste. That's why I also use my Life OS to store my recipes including all the ingredients used, how much it costs (calculated automatically) and a picture of the final meal.

The recipe note also shows when we cooked it the last time.

Recipe Sample

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned, in the upcoming weeks and months I'll publish detailed articles about the different elements of my Life OS incl. detailed instructions to rebuild them yourself.

Coming Next is the article about my goals/milestones system.