Importing an Obsidian vault of Markdown files loses the folder structure

I am investigating replacing Obsidian with Anytype. When I used the “Import Markdown files” option to import my vaults, it did away with my carefully organised folder structure and just dumped them all into one huge collection. Is there any way I can fix this?

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Same with Notion imports I think :confused:

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Hello @Southpaw1496
I’m not deep in Obsidian (couldn’t get warm with it in three weeks) but I can tell a bit about Anytype.

OK, you lost your structure. But that must not be a problem at all.
In Anytype you can built structures (using many Collections). But there is no need for it.
In principle is one big Collection enough.
The graph will look a bit boring then, but that’s all.
Instead, you can use multiple Views in the Collection, or adding some Sets, to group all your Objects as you like.
Many ways lead to Rome …

But, off course, you also can rebuilt your structure if you want.
This can be made relative fast, it’s not necessary to link hundreds or thousands Objects one by one.

The way I suggest (in short words) is to tag your Objects (one by one, but it’s a fast thing), then filter them (one Filter View per Tag), then select the wohle bunch of same tagged Objects and link them together “in one go” to a new Collection which has the same name as the Tag.
If you need 20 Collections, then use 20 Tags with the same names as the Collections.

Do it this way:

  1. Crating a Tag Relation:
    Goto Library and create a new Tag-Relation. Call it “Structure” (to have the function clear).

  2. List all your Objects in a table (grid):
    In your Collection apply a new Filter View (type: Grid). Call it “Rest”. Move it to the left at first position.
    Make the filter setting for “Rest” so that it grasps all Objects (Object Type = ALL).
    Now you’ll see a big table (grid) which shows (at the moment) ALL your Objects (this will change later).

  3. Creating the Collections you need:
    Create as many new Collections as you need to rebuilt your structure.
    Write down their names.

  4. Tagging (the most time consuming part):
    Go through your grid and tag all Objects. Doing this, create as many Tags as you have Collections and give them the same names as the Collections.
    This action may need a hour, if you have some hundred Objects. It’s the most time consuming thing but not as boring as it seems. It’s even interesting because you’ll find long forgotten things.

  5. The fun begins: moving a bunch of tagged Objects in their Collections:
    Apply a second new Filter View in your big Collection. Set the filter so, that it grasps only one of your used Tags.
    Voila, here you have all of the so tagged Objects together!
    Now select them all, then make a right click and link them all to the Collection with the same name as the Tag.
    If you want, have a look in the graph to see the result.
    A new star is born!

  6. The magic part:
    In the old big Collection go in the Filter View “Rest”.
    There modify the filter so that it excludes the Tag you just have used.
    In the result these Objects dissappear from the grid!
    The View “Rest” contains less Objects now. None of them has the Tag you excluded.

  7. Repeat the last two steps for all the other Tags.
    That means, that you link the tagged Objects to their new Collections and the View “Rest” contains less and less Objects.
    In the end, the View “Rest” in the old Collection should be empty. No rest left!

All Objects are now linked to their new Collections, but also still to the old one, what doesn’t look nice in the graph.
But you don’t need the old collection anymore, so delete it!

  • Now your Graph will look like a nice firework, full of stars!

If you had many connections between Objects in Obsidian, criss-crossing the whole structure, then this has not yet been restored jet.
But such links immediately ruin the most beautiful star structure. It is therefore worth considering whether it would be better to use tags again to achieve a roughly similar result (tags do not create lines in the graph).

I personally avoid links wherever possible. They can’t always be replaced by Tags, but very often. If possible, I prefer Tags.

Most of the time, I just want to have Objects that belong together clearly organised.
This is done quickly and flexibly with a Filter View in the Set and some Tags.
It’s in practice much quicker and much easier to change than real Links.

It’s even so much faster, in fact, that I’m doing without the feature of being able to jump directly from one object to another.
Instead, I call up the first Object via the filter in the Collection, scroll back to the Collection if necessary (just one single mouse click) and call up the other object from there.
If I then need to go back again, I can do this quickly using the magnifying glass icon in the navigation bar, because the last used objects are at the top!

###############

I come from OneNote.
In the first few days, I was trying to recreate my huge structure from OneNote in Anytype.
But I realised that rethinking is a win-situation!
OneNote basically uses a simple tree structure. It can’t do such flexible “magic tricks” as Anytype!
There is no need in Anytype to have a fixed structure. One CAN built one, yes. But it’s not necessary.
Sets and Tags fulfill the needs better than the best structure. And changings are made much faster.
No need to copy Notes from her to there all the time. Simply change a filter, or add a new Tag here and there, to show the Objects in more than one Set or Filter View.

Many ways lead to Rome.
In Anytype you have many ways to do things.
To be honest, it has cost me 3-4 weeks to understand the different Concepts. But now I never want to go back to OneNote!

Obsidian can do more things then OneNote. Maybe you’ll miss some of its features in Anytype.
But I personally like Anytype so much better than Obsidian that I do without its countless features (but in the hope of updates).

It would be interesting for me to hear your opinion after 3-4 weeks. In other words, whether you see a benefit in using Anytape instead of Obsidian by then!

The markdown import will indeed not keep your folder structure.