Can I think of links as keywords?

Hi All,

Newbie here, limited skill set.

I have been stumbling around trying to wrap my head around the idea of linking, as per zettelkasten, evergreen, smart notes, etc. I have not created many new notes yet, but have imported hundreds of snippets and musings, mostly from social media posts. Obviously, their only function at the moment is as a dumb archive of limited value.

Anyway, I think I just heard the penny drop regrding linking, but maybe you could tell me if it was really a penny or maybe a turd? Is my thinking on the right track?

It occurs to me that as I don’t have many links yet, and no way to link to my existing stack of data, that links may serve as somethng like “key words” or a specia kind of tag. In other words, if I am typing away and a connection of some kind occurs to me, just make it a link. They won’t be pointing to any content, I will eventualy be able to populate those empty notes with content from new or existing data.

Does that make sense? Do you think I am on the right track with my thinking?




Yes. I do this extensively. In fact, I’ve stopped using tags to track topics and content almost completely. Whenever there’s a topic I don’t have time to write about, I just make a dead link with its name and stick that link in a few different notes (so I’m less likely to forget I made it). Whenever I want to write about that topic, I create the note, click “backlinks,” and boom, I’ve got stuff to work with. I think of it as a poor man’s MOC.


Do what suits you best.
If you think this approach is good for you – do it.
Yes, you definitely can do this and as I saw, many do this in their PKB.
There is my reply to related topic. I guess, it may help you a bit with decision.

Also, I don’t suggest to you trying to make you personal knowledge system with all details. Usually what you are planning at beginning and what you actually get when you have like 50-100+ notes are very different. Your system will involve with time and you will find best approach that fits to you.


Most of my tags have become links over time, mostly because:

  • Soon i want to add a value to the tag, which obsidian doesn’t have, so it becomes a property/attribute
  • Soon i want to add context to the tag, and then i want a note attached to it.

So i realized tags are only suitable for things like document status (draft, done, todo…), while link offers much more functionalities and context thanks to the attached note.