How do you increase the ease of finding commonly accessed notes?

Currently, I am trying an MOC approach with branching topics for resource and idea collection notes. I am at a vault size I can easily remember the titles of the notes I need, but the search is not optimized to find titles, instead finding instances of a word within notes before notes containing the word in their titles. This is frustrating, taking much more scanning than I think there should be.

I’m thinking about ants and about human memories. When ants find food, they retrace their steps back to the nest and leave a trail of pheromones, strengthening the probability that other ants can follow the trail and find food as well. As the food source is accessed more, more ants are likely to access the food source. My current understanding of the human brain is that a similar phenomenon occurs with memories and habits. As the brain fires the circuit associated with a memory or a habit, that connection is strengthened and the circuit becomes more prone to firing in the future.

Clicking numerous links is a bit arduous and I find the search function leaving much to be desired. How do you think about accessing commonly referenced notes in Obsidian?

I was like that 2-3 years ago. Then I started forgetting my topics. It was MS Office at the time for me. I did not do any serious research in Evernote or Onenote.

Everyone uses Obsidian for different needs. Some people do people, projects, etc. Some people do elaborate frameworks of MOC’s (now within canvases). Some people do extensive tagging. Yeah, but what if you forget to tag something you’d need to find in a year or two?
For me the most important feature is aliasing. You start typing in Quickswitcher and no need to go into the vault search. You can add as many aliases as you like for a note.

If all else fails, use the vault search or alternatively the ripgrep function of the Another Quick Switcher community plugin (must install ripgrep on your OS first).
Both support regex searches, which in our case comes in handy for so-called proximity or range searches:

Vault/Core search syntax:


  • The slash you need to add for Obs to know it’s a regex pattern being used; the .* part takes care of any number of characters between the two search terms.


  • The same as above but without the slash.

The above regex pattern you can use in any notepad proggy as well, including Notepad++ and Sublime Text, VSCode, etc.

You may want to check out also Omnisearch (a community plugin – no regex pattern there; also, I cannot stand the long wait as it starts caching all notes in after starting up Obsidian).

Now I stand a far better chance of finding my stuff (and much faster, at that) than when I was in MS Office, where I printed PDF’s of my work and indexed the PDF’s to perform range searches on them.

  • A free program called DocFetcher [Windows, Linux, Mac] can do that with a similar syntax:
    "searchterm1 searchterm2" ~35
    • Where 35 is the maximum number of words between the two search terms (you can play around with lower and higher numbers).

I understand you were asking for commonly accessed notes, but the idea is to prepare yourself for the future. The mind has a way of accumulating fleeting needs and passing fads.
My answer focuses more on finding anything at all and fast.

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If you’re specifically seeking a note name, use the Quick Switcher (Cmd/Ctrl+O, has an icon in ribbon, is also middle icon of bottom bar on phone). It only searches note names and aliases.

In search, you can collapse the previews to show only note names and you can change the sort order.

In terms of accessing frequently-used notes, I put links where I think I’ll use them — potentially on the homepage, on a project page, in a hub note, on the text of a note, etc.

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I use a home page with the home page plug-in and a couple Dataview queries in combination with tags. If the Dataview lists get too big I review how often I’m touching the notes in question.

Now in v1.2, we can use Bookmarks core plugin to store these notes.