Mar 20, 2022

Taking Inventory

Taking Inventory
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Ship It Post #
Mar 20, 2022
Meta Title
🧠 Second Brain
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I’ve been feeling stuck with my second brain.
I want to inventory all my possessions. But I’m having trouble coming up with a good system.
I’ve been trying it out in Notion and in Obsidian.
I want to be able to categorize each item, and then mark where it’s located. I also want the categories and locations to be hierarchically related. For example:
  • House → 2nd floor → Bedroom → Dresser → Top shelf
  • Item → Electronic → Hard Drive
In Notion, I set up 2 related databases: Items and Categories. The items include rooms and furniture as locations. With a 2-way sync relation property in each database, I can set up the hierarchies. Then with a relation between the 2 databases, I can “tag” each item by its category. Then on each item page, I can include a photo and additional notes.
In Obsidian, I’ve decided against using folders for hierarchy. I want to be able to quickly make a new note, and mark the location and category on it without having to move it into a folder. This bottom-up way will make things easier. The nested tags can be used to form a hierarchy, like: #House/2nd-floor/Bedroom/Dresser/Top-shelf. However, there are still limitations to that (no spaces or symbols in tags, and can’t open as a page with a description of what the tag is).
What I really want is to be able to go to each location or category, and see a list of items that match. In Notion, I would have to set up a database template, and insert that into every page manually.
In Obsidian, the tag search doesn’t give me all the information I want at a glance. I’ve been playing around with the Dataview community plugin, which lets me create table views of my data, with columns showing properties.
But something I want that neither method does is show me the all the parents in a hierarchy.
Enter: DataviewJS. This is the most advanced, but also offers the most promise. If I can come up with JavaScript to pair with Dataview, I may be able to unlock the full customizability that I want. This also lets me create a view in a .js file, which then can be placed on each page. The plus is if I change a template, I don’t have to update all other pages using the old version of a template (both Notion and Obsidian). Since the template can link to one file, any changes I make there will reflect to all of them.
And with JavaScript, I may be able to recursively load the parent and child nodes of the hierarchy and display all of them, instead of only one level limitation in either direction that Notion and Dataview normally have.
Then in Obsidian, I can add additional properties as I want, like clothes washing instructions, or price of the item, or Amazon link. In Notion, these properties would apply to the entire database, even if it doesn’t make sense to have machine washing instructions property for a hard drive.