Links in text paragraphs vs section of 'Related Notes'

I was thinking quite a lot about this, and I would like to know if you guys have an opinion or practice to share.

The thing is, sometimes I feel that adding links to other notes in the body of the note, can add some friction when the name or title of the linked note doesn’t fits very well in the narrative of the text.
Of course we have ‘aliases’ so we can refer to the target note in the ways we need, but you know… I’d like the complexity of the system to keep low rather than increasing.

An option is not to ‘polute’ the body with links, but have a separate section (at the top or bottom of the body) with links to all the ‘related notes’.
I think i has some benefits, like:

  • Body text is more clear, not with dynamically sized paragraphs (what happens when I put the cursor over a link)
  • I don’t have to think hard about note names to be generic enough so they could be referenced from any context
  • I don’t have to use aliases if the previous point is hard to accomplish
  • Other than ‘related notes’ I could be even more precise and distinguish notes that would be useful to read ‘before’ and ‘after’ the current note
  • Is more ‘procesable’ in terms that I could use external tools to parse and get that information from the markdown files

Rarely use aliases. Mainly use pipes.

To make the link display different text than its real note name in Preview, use the vertical pipe (Shift+| )

[[filename|onscreen text]]

Yeah, for me it looks good in ‘preview’ mode, but sort of ugly in ‘edit’ mode, which the mode I use almost all the time.

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Rather than at the top or bottom of the body, you might put links after each paragraph to put them closer to their context. Or use footnotes.

The approach I use:

  • Use note names that work generally (this has become easier with practice).
  • Sometimes put links somewhere else.
  • Sometimes reword a sentence so the existing note name fits better.
  • Sometimes just accept awkward phrasing in my notes.
  • Occasionally use pipes (but I like to avoid it).
  • Rarely, use an alias.
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I tried the inline approach to linking out for a few days a while back and found that I spent too much time trying to make the language flow. Even a few seconds just felt like “why?”

So I went back to a separate links section. Only in this section I make sure to give context to every one. I always write why I’m establishing the connection.

I will say, though, that the inline approach did seem to have some proper benefits in the connectivity dept. I definitely felt as if the ideas were really speaking to one another. Referencing myself in the text made the connections feel very…strong? Sticky? Full? Not sure. There defs something to it.

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