Why I stopped using Obsidian Tasks

Why I stopped using Obsidian Tasks

Obsidian Tasks is a fantastic plugin for Obsidian. With the plugin you are able to not only have your tasks inside your vault but you can schedule them for certain dates, have them recur, set their priority and do almost as much with them as you can with a task management app. It makes Obsidian more into a project management solution than a note taking solution. I used Obsidian Tasks for a week and I could not continue using this. In this article, I’m going to explain why I stopped. Let’s get started.

What is Obsidian Tasks?

Let me grabt this from their website

Track tasks across your entire Obsidian vault. Query them and mark them as done wherever you want. Supports due dates, recurring tasks (repetition), done dates, sub-set of checklist items, and filtering.

You can toggle the task status in any view or query and it will update the source file.

You can view their site for how it looks but I will share 1 screenshot:

As you can see, you can query the tasks using a form of SQL language. It works with Obsidian’s Dataview Plugin as well. They use a similar language to query items throughout your vault. You can use headers to separate tehm and on the right side you can see the items that have recurring dates as well as priorities.

While there are a lot of queries you can run on the tasks inside your vault to see them in a multitude of ways, doing so takes time and is difficult to do, even for me a Full-Stack Developer. I am no stranger to learning coding languages and using SQL so while I have memorized some of the scripting language, I still have a lot more to learn. I have only scratched the surface.

Why do you like Obsidian Tasks?

I like it because it is actively developed by a developer who uses Obsidian & Obsidian Tasks on their own vault. Plus, it is a 1-2 person team developing the plugin so you don’t have any of the red tape that other task management organizations have so updates get to you sooner and you are able to really understand the limitations of the plugin and why they are there. You aren’t left in the dark with any part of why or why not something happens. The primary developer, Clare, is active on GitHub and Discord daily and helps out in the task management channel in the Obsidian Discord Server.

It is an amazing plugin and makes Obsidian much more user-friendly to use if you want to have all of your tasks and notes in a universal format that will be usable in 20 years if Obsidian ceases to exist. As long as computers do, you will be able to use and read these notes and tasks. That’s the goal of Obsidian and Obsidian Tasks upholds this goal.

Why do you not use it then?

Well, that’s easy. I need separation. In a future blog (which I will link here when it is completed) I will be going over why I left Obsidian entirely. Long story short, while I value the privacy and security that Obsidian provides me, I need something that I don’t have to fiddle with. I spend too much time customizing when I have something as customizable as an Android phone or Obsidian. I wasn’t getting any work done, at work or at home. So, I had to leave for OneNote.

Anyway, to the topic at hand, I need separation. I need my tasks separate from my notes. I need my completed tasks to automatically hide away in a logbook when they are completed. I need an automatic view of tasks I need to do today that I don’t have to set up myself only to have 1+ tasks fall through the cracks cause I didn’t set it up correctly.

All of this can be done with my separate task manager, Things 3. You can read on App Seeker why I use Things 3. I switched back because of this separation. Even before I left for OneNote, I switched back to Things 3. My mind needs the separation. While I was using Obsidian Tasks, I felt like my brain was super cluttered. All of the icons next to the tasks made them harder for me to read.

Tasks with icons
Tasks with icons

You can see what I mean. There are icons, more text, links to the pages where the tasks live and it is just a mess. This is in comparison to Things 3.

Things 3 Tasks
Things 3 Tasks

This isn’t to say Obsidian Tasks is bad in any way. In fact, that’s why I started with what I like about it. It is a fantastic plugin for a fantastic note taking app. More power to you if your brain can handle seeing all that information. Mine can’t and works well with this minimal look that I have via Things 3. If I want more details, I can click on the task(s) to get more details but if I just want a list of stuff I need to do, I have it right on my today view.

Plus the groups of Someday, Anytime, Today, Upcoming, etc. are all made for me. I don’t have to remember some programming language.

This goes for all task management apps. Even Todoist can have Someday and Anytime if you use their AI to create you filters. Again, you don’t need to remember any language. Whatever task management app you name, does it for you in some way, shape, or form.

I didn’t like all the tinkering I had to do on my notes and tasks to get them to show how I wanted. More power to you if you have the time and patience for that.

What do you think? Do you like Obsidian Tasks? Do you use a separate note taking app?

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