Obsidian's iOS app can be a little bloated, and I don't really recommend using it directly. However, what I can recommend is using iOS Shortcuts to make adding Fleeting Notes (in-the moment notes) quick and painless. In this tutorial, I'll go over how to add these notes directly to your Kanban Inbox. It's up to you what you want to do with them later!

🛠 Configuring Obsidian

The Obsidian portion of this just requires you to have an active Kanban note file somewhere in your vault. If you followed my GTD Tutorial, you should already have one, and if you don't, I would start there.

You'll also need to download the Advanced URI plugin (Git) and have it enabled. Without it, we won't be able to specify that whatever we're capturing should land in the appropriate Kanban Inbox (more on that later).

In the following screenshot, I've created a new "Fleeting" Kanban with just an Inbox list to start.

📱 Configuring iOS Shortcuts

I've made the shortcut available here, but I'll break down the components below so that you can tweak at will.

  • The Text component ensures that the task is formatted correctly as a "task". We then URL encode the task formatting (- [ ]) so that when we send this to Obsidian via a URL (the last step), it'll be read correctly. I've also labelled the variable as Task Var to make my life easier.
  • Next, we have an input prompt for what you're trying to capture as a Fleeting Note. We'll have to URL encode that as well.
  • Finally, we have the actual URL scheme. Without the Advanced URI plugin, we wouldn't be able to specify the heading (Kanban list) we want the captured note to land in, nor be able to prepend it to any existing items in the list.
Make sure to change the vault name to the name of your iOS Vault, the filepath to wherever your Kanban is located in the vault, and the heading to the name of the list in Kanban that you want the note to land in.

Also ensure that your two URL encoded variables follow after data For example Task Var and Text. This will merge the task formatting and the text you're capturing into one line.
  • Then, Open the URL. This sends everything you specified above into Obsidian.
  • Finally, I've added a Go to Home Screen step, since I don't want to be staring at Obsidian after the shortcut finishes running.**

🧪 Testing

With your shortcut completed, feel free to add it to your Home Screen in order to launch it quickly. I decided to use the Shortcuts widget, but you can also add it as an icon– whatever suits your fancy. Try it out, and if all goes well, you should see your captured note in your Kanban Inbox.


  • I'm using Obsidian Sync so that my iOS Vault syncs with my Desktop Vault, and vice versa. Obsidian Sync is a paid option, but there are a plethora of other alternatives out there that are free if you don't care about syncing your installed plugins and all your settings– I just chose the simplest route.
  • I've noticed that if Obsidian isn't already running in the background, the Go to Home Screen step doesn't give Obsidian enough time to load and therefore the note isn't captured. You can remove it from the shortcut to ensure it's added, or just run Obsidian once so that it's already loaded before using Shortcuts.

Here's what it looks like in action.


Quick Capture in Action!

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