Better Backlinks

Use case or problem

In addition to links between notes, I use what I call “conceptual links” that are similar to tags for some people. E.g.: Tags: [[democracy]], [[social theory]], [[elections]]. Each of these pages has a Dataview section that create a table showing my notes that have the particular link in them, along with YAML data.

As I work I often decide on an idea (for which I create a new conceptual link, e.g., [[public sphere]]) that is likely in older notes, but which I did not encode because I wasn’t thinking about it at the time. Once I create the link, I use “unliked mentions” in Backlinks to go through my old notes that contain the words and, if appropriate, add the link.

The problem is that unlinked mentions goes through EVERY file in my vault, which includes writing, my teaching materials and other stuff that’s neither useful nor appropriate. If I could exclude these, or only include my notes folders, I could find and connect my information more efficiently.

Proposed solution

Add the search options (or something similar) from the “Search” page to the Backlinks. Being able to point to a particular folder or use a particular #tag would be awesome and do the trick. I can imagine other advantages too.

Current workaround

I use a datetime prefix on my notes and so putting the year into my search in Backlinks can help a bit (except that some of my writing is dated :person_shrugging:). I could go to my notes files and prepend a unique character or coding (e.g. NT for note, as in NT202203070923) but it’s no particularly elegant and I have to make sure no connections get broken.

A simple workaround would be to search the note name in the left sidebar, where you can filter and exclude by tags, folders, etc. If there are filters or exclusions you use often, you can save or embed the search, and change the note name when you reuse it, or copy them into a note so you can copy-paste them later.

1 Like

Thanks for this. That actually works quite well if I switch the right sidebar to outgoing links. When I click on a note that appears in the left sidebar search, the right sidebar with unlinked mentions in outgoing links shows my possible missing links.