How do you use UIDs?

@Mike Obsidian doesn’t work without UIDs :slight_smile: It won’t allow you to name a file the same. :slight_smile: yes I’m being pedantic and get what you mean (Time IDs vs. Word IDs).

@lizardmenfromspace

Looks you went the other direction while working on your theme with UID only file names, What was that all about? Test data? I have been curious since I saw that.

@Mike ya I’m experimenting with titles. Haven’t landed on a preferred format yet. Direction I’m currently going in is with some notes having just a TID and some having a TID + traditional title combined.

The funny part is my public zettelkasten uses luhmann IDs :upside_down_face:. On my to do list is to collect a bunch of the discussions from various places on IDs, synthesize them to a degree and then think about IDs using my layers of structure framework and the core note functions.

If you’d like I can try to remember to mention you when I create a note sequence on IDs.

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Yes please, thank you.

Would this idea work?

[[YYYYMMDDhhmmss|whatever words you want]]

Rather than zettelkasten auto titles, having this as an available stamp would make it easy to have as a note title, but could be inserted anywhere in a document for easy linking. As is, it shows only the words but prompts for a new file.

If you don’t want to do that, but only have it as a marker in a file, you could precede it with <!–
And it would disappear from preview but still be searchable. And that could easily be reversed if you decided you did want a new document.

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Interesting… I’m new to this and was leaning toward doing the opposite. Naming and filing a document is a fraught decision that I often avoid by saving work in progress to the desktop as “asdfasf.doc” when I leave work and forgetting about it the next day. :wink: Having a timestamp as the default reduces the friction of creating a note. Once the note has matured enough that I know what it’s trying to say, I can aspire to rename it with a declarative phrase as recommended by Andy Matuschak.

But I could see how a UiD only might be less intrusive when writing. Has anyone used their zettels to compile a draft? Were the links easy to clean up?

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Obsidian allows to link to headings in the document using syntax [[file#heading]]. It will even suggest the headings in a file when you press # after picking a file in the suggestions.

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I’m in the exact spot right now: I use [[UID]] links in my Zettelkasten in The Archive, mainly for readability but also since that doesn’t break links should I change the title and file name of a note.

But that also means that moving my Zettelkasten into Obsidian is not as easy, since my current links doesn’t work.

How did you solo ever this, @KevinR?

I stopped using UIDs.

Obsidian will change links if you change the note title. And I think (crossing fingers) that this will become a common feature in other apps. I’ve also been slowly getting rid of them on my old notes as I work with them.

Someday I might be sad, but I’m tired living with practices that make my everyday experience worse in the name of avoiding a hypothetical problem in some hypothetical future.

I have thought about appending note titles with a UID for the purpose of avoiding duplicated note titles in the future. But I haven’t been diligent about it…still on the fence.

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Hmm. Don’t know if I’m ready to do the same. But, on the other hand, I have (and can continue to have) my UID in my YAML frontmatter. If I get rid of the UID from the file name for now, I could easily revert that change with a script should the need arise again.

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That’s a good solution. I keep meaning to think about what YAML could do for me.

One thing I like about Obsidian and the community here is that it is much less dogmatic. Experimentation and exploration is celebrated, and is rarely met with a condescending response about why what you’ve chosen to do is “wrong”.

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I’m not so concerned with what others think is “right” or “wrong” as I’m concerned with changing a information structure that has served me well for the last couple of years and as I want to keep that way for many years to come. That makes me hesitant to change fundamental aspects of how I work – and this is really one of them. :slight_smile:

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Yep. I totally get it!

Hello. I’ve discovered Obsidian for these days and I have the same doubt.

Some issues i had.

Using identifiers will disturb the graph view that for me it’s very important. You will have a great amount of numbers linked, not concepts connecting with each other.

Other problem i see, for example, when i’m writing about pizza then i think: the pizza taste would be better if i use natural fermentation. I want to link this pizza note with natural fermentation note. Using IDs, the code complete could help me only if I remember the number id of fermentation note. Let’s see it’s 2020209… or it was last month 202008… Intead, if i use the name natural… the code complete the name for me.

Has anyone experienced this kind of problem?

Good example! Was wandering exactly the same when I read this thread…
Suppose you’ll have to do a search for “fermentation”
Then the note will pop-up in the search result after which you can reference it in the pizza note.

Unless there are other/better ways to achieve this in Obsidian.

Auto completion also works when you have UID + Note Title, i.e. “202009081517 - Natural Fermentation”. As soon as you write [[natural… the note will show up in the auto completion.

Using UIDs only as titles really would make the whole benefit of auto completion obsolete.

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I kept the UIDs

I want to make sure the links will work even when I don’t use Obsidian anymore, other Zettelkasten based app may support migrating. In case with apps that don’t support wikilinks, those not-so-human-friendly-numbers is there to show me which note to reference to

The UIDs (time-based) also give me a glimpse of my note taking journey, there were moments like this when I browse the notes “Oh I took this note around the mid of June 2019” and recognize that my point of view have changed

And thanks to @argparse for a wonderful tip, this can be another reason for me to stick with the UIDs

Until now, I have made it a habit to put links like this [[UIDs Note title|Text I want to display for this specific context]]

  • I keep the title along with the UIDs since it will come in handy in search
  • The display text I choose will always be there even when I change the title (useful when this note have linked to a bunch of other notes, the new title may not fit with the context)
  • Supposed I want to switch to The Archive, just remove everything after the | and the links will work like normal
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I think this is a major blow to the argument for using exclusively UIDs as titles. I want to use only UIDs so bad but it ruins the graph.

@Mike just stumbled across this post again and noticed I never gave you an update. I settled upon Time ID + Title (e.g. 202009141037 Unique Identifiers) but still am unsure if it is the best strategy. I wrote out my partial thoughts in a note. I will finish the note sequence on it when I feel inspired again.

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