How to Use Obsidian Dataview: A Complete Beginners Guide

A Non-technical Guide

Prakash Joshi Pax


Obsidian dataview is one of the most widely used community plugins in obsidian. It turns your knowledge base into a database that you can query from.

If you are a non-technical person, dataview can scare you. But it doesn’t have to. This non-technical guide will help you to go from scratch to building your own database of personal knowledge in obsidian.

Using the dataview plugin in obsidian is like using obsidian on steroids. Before we begin the guide, let me show you some of the possibilities of obsidian. The setups I’ve used in my obsidian vault:

View the most recent notes

From ""
Sort file.mtime DESC
Limit 5

It searches my entire vault and lists the recently modified 5 notes:

View notes that need to be processed

Table file.ctime as created
From #todevelop and -"008 TEMPLATES"
sort ASCE
Limit 20

It searches my vault with notes tagged #todevelop and lists them in ascending order excluding notes from the Templates folder. Here’s the result:

This is kind of mess. Showing all the books. But you see the result.

View books that I’m reading currently

Table ("![|100](" + cover_url + ")") as Cover, author as Author, total_page as "Pages", category as Category, Bar as Progress
From #book
where contains(status,"Reading")

It searches my vault for #book and where the status is reading. It is rendered in table format with a cover, author, pages, category, and progress bar. Here is the result:

Table transformed to cards using minimal theme CSS

Reading list



Prakash Joshi Pax

Avid Reader| Writer| Observer| On a journey to be a Better Self| If you follow, you will never feel hollow. Writings on PKM • Tools • Personal Growth • Money