Organizing research by creating traceable links in the Canvas

I put together a system to track all of the logic steps between evidence sources and research takeaways.

Pages are added into a canvas and then linked together to illustrate the exact thought process that leads to a research takeaway. Metadata Menu converts the canvas links into frontmatter “links” that are then traceable with a few scripts.

This allows you to map out logic steps and then trace them back to their original sources.

The system relies on these plugins along with the Canvas core plugin:

  • Dataview
  • DB Folder
  • Metadata menu
  • Simple CanvaSearch (optional)
  • Templater (optional)

There are also a few scripts I use to trace back through all of the links. I go over everything in this video walkthrough:

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This plugin is better than Metadata Menu for create “links” from canvas link.


You can try it.


Thanks for your suggestion. What makes it better than Metadata Menu for creating links?

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I also used metadata menu before.

The metadata menu

  • requires presetting keys
  • need selecting which canva first
  • setting up a range of content
  • slow in large vaults.

This plug-in is simpler and updates the key.

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Okay cool. I will test it out. Thanks!

I tested out Semantic Canvas and really liked it. I did not have to configure anything before converting existing arrows in a canvas into links in the YAML metadata of connected pages. It also kept the direction of links in sync with the direction of arrows in the canvas - this is a key piece of my current system.

I’m not going to commit to Semantic Canvas yet though because it’s so new and doesn’t have the user base that Metadata Menu does. Luckily, as long as it continues to get support, switching to it in the future should be very simple.