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What is Timeattic and how to use it

Last updated Jan 14, 2023

Timeattic allow you to create a personal website from a set of notes written in a markdown format. You can create and edit your notes in any text editor, for example Obsidian.md.

You’re not limited in your choice of the markdown editor in any way, if Obsidian doesn’t work for you, you can choose something else.

You’ll also need a GitHub account, which you can create for free in one minute and a custom domain that you can get on GoDaddy or Namecheap. If you don’t yet have a Timeattic account you can create it at app.timeattic.com

For a getting started guide visit 5 Steps From Markdown Files to a Digital Garden

# Directory structure

Your vault must have a markdown file named _index in the root directory. The content of this file will be displayed on the front page of your website.

Timeattic uses filename based routing. This means that the URLs of your website will depend on the filenames that you choose. To avoid broken links and boost discoverability of your content, we suggest never updating a filename after posting.


If you do decide to update your filename, make sure to update all internal links to it. Obsidian has a very nice feature that automatically updates all references to a file when you update it’s name. Make sure it’s turned on in Settings.

Here’s an example of how filename based routing works.

Consider the following file structure in your vault.

├── articles
│   ├-- _index.md
│   ├-- How to write well.md
│   ├-- Why everyone should have their own domain name.md
├── notes
│   ├-- Digital gardening.md
│   ├-- socially-acceptable.md
├── private
│   ├── family.md
│   ├── personal-finances.md
│   ├── new-article-draft.md
├── _index.md
├── favicon.png
├── logo.png

If your custom domain name were example.com, here’s the list of URLs you’d get after setting up your Timeattic website:

Files logo.png and favicon.png are optional. If you’re just getting started and don’t have a custom logo, you can skip them.

# Title and page metadata

All metadata should be included in the frontmatter. It’s a section in the beginning of your markdown file that’s wrapped in three dashes.

The two most common things that you’ll use would be title (self explaining) and lastmod (date of the most recent update).

# Private notes

The content in the /private folder is excluded from the build and won’t be published. It’s a good place to store personal notes and drafts.

# Logo and favicon

To add a custom logo and favicon, you should place the files logo.png and favicon.png in the root directory of your vault.

# GitHub

To use Timeattic you’ll also need a GitHub account, which you can create for free in a few clicks. Once you have an account, you need to create a repository and push your markdown notes there.

Timeattic requires write permission to your GitHub repos to add a workflow action to your repo. This action is a script that builds a website from your markdown vault, which is later uploaded to AWS S3 and served via AWS CloudFront.

Timeattic tracks the branches master and main for changes. These are the default branches and unless you try to do something clever, you won’t need to worry about anything here.

The repository can be private if you wish. This is especially useful if you’d like to use the /private folder in your Vault to store private notes that won’t be posted on your website.

There are multiple ways to get your markdown notes into a GitHub repo. For Obsidian I suggest using a communit plugin called Obsidian Git.

# Custom domain name

Websites created via Timeattic are only available on custom domain names. You should own what you create and publishing your work on a custom domain is the best way build a recognizable brand from day one.


We’ll give you an SSL certificate immediately after you put it a domain name for your new website. You’ll need to verify the ownership of the domain by adding a CNAME record in the DNS settings.

Successful completion of this step enables secure communication with your website via HTTPS protocol.

# Callouts/admonitions

Timeattic supports Obsidian callouts format (also known as admonitions).


Don’t post anything illegal!


Some callouts can be folded by default.

Extenal links should be prefixed with the protocol, like https://example.com. If you just put in example.com it won’t work.

Internal links should be written in the common markdown standard, [click here](notes/socially-acceptable). Wikilinks like [[socially-acceptable]] aren’t supported.

If you’re using Obsidian go to Settings > Files and Links and alter the default settings:

# Limitations

By default you’re limited to 100 MB per website (tens of millions of words). It’s plenty if you’re writing in markdown and use occasional images. If you’d like to have that limit increased, please contact us at welcome@timeattic.com and describe your usecase.

The key thing is that you shouldn’t treat Timeattic as a media hosting platform. We’re giving a way for our users to create websites from a set of markdown notes and current limitations exist to prevent abuse.