Gems of the Year 2021

Winners are first nominated and then selected by number of votes by community members. Lucky winners were chosen randomly among all participants of the same category.

1st place Dataview by Michael Brenan
From the nominator:
My words pale in comparison to what it can do for the various users of Obsidian, but personally? It allows me to build landing pages and dashboards, automatically generate tables from hundreds of notes, create my own wiki, and even fetch me news about upcoming video games.
2nd place Templater by SilentVoid
From the nominator:
This plug-in is a life saver and is by far my most used plugin, saving me a lot of time entering information but also helping me give consistent structure to those notes that need it. So flexible and powerful!
3rd place Excalidraw by Zsolt Viczián
Excalidraw plugin
From the nominator:
Life changing for me. In fact, it’s the only plug-in that I’ve installed that I kept. Often, I use images & spatial layouts to think & deep dive on notes, thoughts & topics. One of the limitations I often run into in most knowledge base apps is they excel in text but fell short with visual layouts. This plug in let’s me sketch things all & stay in my knowledge base (Obsidian). The fact that links work in the images is game changing.
1st place Things by Colin Eckert
Things theme
Credit and special thanks: kepano of Minimal, Chetachi E. of Yin and Yang
From the nominator:
I’ve long been a fan of the clean design aesthetic behind the Things app, and the Obsidian theme wonderfully harks back to it. It’s modern, minimalist, clean, with subtle details that are brilliant — bullets, arrows, numbered lists all have a deep grey to them that has them distinguished from the body font, the iconography is clean and wonderful. The color combinations are well-designed. And as someone who knows a thing or two about design and CSS, Things serves as an amazing base upon which I could easily make my own modifications, tweaking in small ways to my personal preference with relative ease. A wonderful, wonderful theme that when paired with key extensions like Hider has Obsidian achieve a more Mac-friendly app design feel that I absolutely adore.
2nd place Yin and Yang by Chetachi E.
Yin & Yang theme
Credit and special thanks: mgmeyers of California Coast
From the nominator:
What Chetachi has built is nothing short of brilliant. From scratch, she’s created one of the most beloved themes in the community. Yin and Yang was my theme of choice before making my own, and I leaned heavily on her work (namely Y&Y’s awesome custom icons). The love and sweat evident in the theme’s robust design, from supporting all kinds of customization to the uncompromising level of detail that makes the app feel so native, make it one of if not the best theme available. I particularly enjoy using it on mobile, where the UI/UX design choices really come into focus. Y&Y made opening Obsidian on my phone each day to jot quick notes and tasks a blast and it deserves a nomination, if at the very least for Chetachi’s warm passion and willingness to help those in the community. She’s become someone I consider a friend and is always there to offer help.
3rd place Sanctum by José Daniel Mourão
Sanctum theme
Credit and special thanks: kepano of Minimal, mgmeyers of California Coast
From the nominator:
Sanctum supports all of my weird fiddly requests, like styling <cite> and <aside>, faux admonitions using data-task with checkboxes, and beautiful touches for plugins like wordsprint, fantasy calendar, etc. It does this while having an incredible attention to detail, making the entire Obsidian interface feel smooth and modern, and only using one (incredibly unambiguous and easy to read) font so I don’t have to think about fonts. The developer is responsive, responsible, and most importantly, prioritizes all the little details that make a theme great — even on publish and mobile. Sanctum is everything I wish I had been capable of building when I put together Palatinate, and I’m thrilled it exists, mostly because it has finally allowed me to stop caring about CSS.
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