Capture Workflow

This note is part of the series of notes about My Workflows.

High Level

The goal of my capture workflow is to quickly record any thoughts, ideas, links or resources I might have to be able to use those resources sometime in the future. I like to capture things such as:

  • academic papers and other sources to review for research projects
  • ideas and thoughts I might have throughout my day
  • interesting links for further reading for entertainment or something not directly related to a current project

Current Implementation

I want to capture a variety of different types of inputs for different purposes, so I’ve decided to use a few different apps to keep things organized. I use browser extensions or sharing on mobile to save resources from all of these apps. Right now I use:

  • Zotero (academic papers)
  • Obsidian (ideas and thoughts, quick capture)
  • Matter (email newsletters, other purely fun reading)
  • Raindrop (links that don’t fit in the above categories)


I have an inbox folder in each collection of an active project that I am working on that I store new articles in. I generally do not bother to use tags or any additional processing, preferring to do that in Obsidian or Roam after I’ve read the article.


I use Obsidian both for quickly capturing thoughts, links, and ideas on the go on both mobile and desktop. I then have a series of scripts that I use to process all these notes (usually 10 or so a day). I wrote a detailed write up of this system on the Obsidian Forums.


There are many email newsletter aggregator type apps out there right now, but I like Matter because it has a nice user interface and if I want to I can highlight with notes and sync those to Readwise. I can then export my highlights/notes to Obsidian or Roam. I save any fun articles to Matter to read when I’m on my phone or iPad.


I am trying out Raindrop as a catch all for things that don’t obviously fall into the other categories. These are likely long form articles I’d like to read in depth and take notes on on my computer, or they are links that I want to be able to reference but I don’t want to clutter up my notes with. Before using Raindrop I was using Pinboard, but it turned into a bit of a link graveyard, so we’ll see if Raindrop gets better use.

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