How to Make a List in Obsidian

Obsidian is an excellent markdown editor that operates like the human mind – through interlinked ideas. With elegant and functional lists that you can spawn in just a few clicks, you can connect your thoughts and ideas in Obsidian with ease.

How to Make a List in Obsidian

If you’re wondering how exactly to create lists in this markdown editor and note-taking tool, we’ve got you covered. This article will explain how to make a list in Obsidian.

How to Make Your First List

Before you create a list, ask yourself, “What kind of list do I want to use for this note?” There are a few different types you can use for different purposes. Here’s how to make them:

  • Bullet point lists – To create a bullet point, insert a hyphen (-) into your text and follow it with a space. This way, you can create any list of bullet points, just like this one.
  • Numbered lists – If the order of items on your list matters, you can type a number, add a period, and space it out. For example, you can type “1.” to start from the beginning.
  • Lists with sub-items – If one layer isn’t enough, you can nest your lists with sub-points. Press Shift and Enter, then type either a hyphen or a number-period combo like in the previous steps.
  • Indentations – If you want to use lists with sub-items, you will almost certainly want to indent them. To accomplish this, all you need to do is press Tab within a list item.
  • Mix and match – Since you can nest several levels of lists, you are free to mix and match bullet and numbered lists as you see fit, and Obsidian will display them properly.

Going Beyond the Basics of List-Making

You now know how to generate some basic lists in Obsidian, but there are still a few neat tricks you might find useful.

  • If you’re not a fan of hyphens, thenAsterisks (*) are at your disposal, too. They, too, can produce bullet lists just as well.
  • In Obsidian, each paragraph, heading, or list is a block. You can link these blocks to create a web of interconnected ideas.
  • If you need to track tasks, start with a hyphen, space, and then [ ]. Then, check off tasks as you conquer them.

The Essence of Lists in Obsidian

No matter what you’re thinking, writing, or exploring, lists give you the structure and precision to make sense of it all. With neat, ordered lists, you can capture ideas to bring order to the chaos of interlocked thoughts and make your workflow better and more freely.

Break Down Ideas

Lists in Obsidian aren’t just about organizing information. They go much deeper than that. Lists are an anchor for your ideas – they break down complex topics into small pieces that are easier to understand, no matter if you’re sketching out a novel, planning a project, or recording research points. Working with lists means you can think on different levels – the main idea is that you can pick it apart further by adding sub-points and more layers of knowledge.

Create Order

The reason people love using lists in Obsidian boils down to the way our minds work. Our brains crave order and rhythm, patterns that we can predict and follow. Lists provide exactly the structure that satisfies our natural inclinations. With Obsidian, lists turn into interactive entities that can be linked together in any way possible. Connecting different list items to different notes or to separate sections of the same note, these once-static lists now mimic the neural networks of our own brains.

Provide Direction

Obsidian can organize and store an expansive collection of ideas. At some point, everyone has felt lost in their thoughts, but lists bring clarity and direction. They provide a quick overview of the content so you can easily get your bearings.

More Tools to Pair With Lists

Beyond taking notes, Obsidian opens up a wealth of possibilities to refine your productivity skills. And the deeper you explore, the more ingenious features you’ll uncover. Many of these features combine excellently with your lists to create something personalized that helps you work exactly the way it feels best to you.


Your every note in Obsidian may be one-of-a-kind, but sometimes they deserve more than one name. That’s where aliases come into play. Assign a special nickname to each note (or only some of them, to make these particular few stand out), and you can look at things from a different angle. Giving your notes aliases is fun and practical and helps you sort things out in more creative ways than you might’ve thought.

Search Power

Obsidian’s search will save you if you’ve ever had a note seemingly disappear into oblivion. You can type out and find any word or phrase in your notes so you can be sure that nothing goes missing again (unless you delete it permanently).

Split Window

Obsidian’s split window feature lets you explore your notes from different angles without having to switch back and forth between them constantly. Get an overview of notes or distinct sections of your current note to compare, contrast, and boost productivity and brain power. It’s a much faster and more convenient way to multitask than manual searching and comparing.

The Obsidian Ecosystem

Obsidian is a handy way to sort your notes and make them look good. But it’s also a chance to bring out your creative side. Of course, it supports the basic markdown syntax, but then it goes further. Some of its special features and touches can help you craft stand-out notes rich in style and content.

In regard to additional features for Obsidian notes, you can include a few things in the lists you create within your notes to make them even more useful. Here’s just a small number of them:

  • Use links and backlinks to turn isolated notes into a network of ideas that interconnect on a grander scale.
  • Use Graph View to visualize the complex and layered web of your thoughts.
  • The Canvas is your playground for brainstorming and diagramming with virtually no limit.
  • Take advantage of the plugins galore, such as calendars, Kanban boards, and more, to make the tool cater to your needs better.

Lists Look Different With Themes

Obsidian is about getting things done the way it works best for you. You can customize your workspace so it feels more comfortable and personal. This customization extends to your lists, too. With a wide variety of themes, you can make it look however you want: dark and moody, classic and clean, or vibrant and seasonal.

  • Dark mode is for the night owls and those who prefer a subdued look.
  • Minimalist themes are clean, clutter-free, and focused on content.
  • Vibrant themes are bright, colorful, and full of energy.
  • This is also custom CSS for those who know their way around stylesheets. The sky’s the limit.

Listing-up Your Notes

Lists in Obsidian are simple but powerful. They help you collect your thoughts and put them in order within a tool designed for the modern mind. As you explore Obsidian, remember that It’s not just ticking off checklists but stitching together a quilt of interconnected ideas.

Have you ever made a list in Obsidian? Do you have any other Obsidian list-making hacks up your sleeve? Let us know in the comments section below.

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