Show tag-connected notes in right sidebar (or links pane)

As I have already mentioned here and further elaborated here, the zettelkasten method could be improved a lot if by opening the right sidebar I would see a complete list of all note headers/titles that share one or more tags with my currently active note. Ideally, there would also be an option to sort this list - for example by grouping the results under the respective tags, or by showing the results according to how many tags they share. I hope this is described in a quite understandable manner - maybe for clarification:

Let’s say I have currently opened “Note 1”. In the right sidebar, besides the backlinks, tags and outline panes, there would be an additional pane named “cross references” or so:

Note pane Sidebar
Note 1
(active/opened)
Cross references:
- Note 13 (shares 3 tags)
- Note 7 (shares 2 tags)
- Note 54 (shares 1 tag)

Alternative sort order:

Note pane Sidebar
Note 1
(active/opened)
Cross references:
tag 1:
- Note 13
- Note 7
tag 2:
- Note 54
- Note 18
- Note 7
- Note 126
_tag 3:
- Note 65

Would this somehow be possible to implement within obsidian?

Have others established any workarounds for similar purposes?

23 Likes

I agree. I thought there might be an opportunity for a plug-in to do something similar to what you have here.

@I-d-as That could be another approach, yes… But I am not completely convinced if that makes sense (or maybe I misunderstood what you want to achieve). As an additional function to the one proposed here, sure - but be aware that this severely limits your possibilities to name your files (in case you mean “file name” - then, for example, you couldn’t use time-related UIDs anymore)! If, however, by “note name” you mean the main heading of the note, that would force you from the beginning to think about reasonable headings that summarize your main arguments as good as possible. That could maybe hinder your workflow, in case you just want to add a quick note (I think it’s easier to quickly add a couple of tags related to content - you can still reduce the number of tags at a later point - than to reflect about meaningful and encompassing headings). Plus, some of your linked connections get lost if you change your heading later on…

You are right. When I created the idea, it was more of an automated tool to find immediate and initial connections between large groups of already created notes, as a starting point.

At the time, I was only putting text within the title and the same duplicate text in the body. As I wrote the post I probably just said within note because I knew that no one else was keeping their notes empty like I was. I didn’t think it through, but you get the general idea. I should have read it through more carefully before pasting it. My bad.

1 Like

I guess this forum is not about a competition on who delivers the best-elaborated strategies in order to finally get a promotion… :wink: All feature and plugin ideas and propositions are, in the end, related to specific working habits and routines - and even by reading others propositions and comments in this regard, you sometimes realize that you have established a couple of dumb working routines over years that may even not be the most intelligent ones for your own purposes. So each proposition finally triggers useful discussion and rethinking and thus can rarely be labelled “good” or “bad”… :slightly_smiling_face:

I can say that, for me, this feature request is really a must-have for an app that takes the zettelkasten approach seriously, because I haven’t experienced any other feature so far that can trigger your brain unexpectedly in a comparable manner. But this may also be related to me having overseen other - possible even better - ways to achieve the same result.

6 Likes

I have great appreciation for what you wrote. I have been basically solely using Obsidian to experiment with various strategies of triggering unexpected connections between my ideas, not so much to organize them but to hybridize them to achieve a unique version that kind of represents and is influenced by the the rest, but also in itself says something new that changes the meaning of everything else.

It is such an interesting and iterative process that in itself changes how you see your past present and future, which is coincidentally (but not really) a major theme in the story I am using Obsidian to organize in the first place. It’s nice to meet you. :slightly_smiling_face:

4 Likes

fully support this proposal! switched from zkn3 (lüdecke) to obsidian and this function would really enhance my worksflow in obsidian.

1 Like

Me too! Would be nice to maybe have a chat about how to best transfer some of the (really amazing!) features of zkn3 to an obsidian workflow! :slightly_smiling_face:

Having played around a lot with obsidian during the last two months, I dig up this request again as I think there should (?) be a quite easy way to achieve at least the basic functionality of what I was asking for.

As far as I understand, the backlinks function just works by doing a kind of regex (?) search for notes that contain a link to my current note. Couldn’t it simply be extended so that it searches for tags in my current note and then searches for the same tags in all my other notes?

Or does anyone who is more familiar with regex expressions than I am know a way how to execute this kind of search?

1 Like

Obsidian is a beautifully crafted tool, a genuine pleasure to use, and like all tools can be put to many purposes.

If we use Obsidian as a note taking tool, a feature that auto-populates tag-connected-notes is a nice feature and well-implemented would even have a little of the cool to it.

If we use Obsidian as a PKM tool then a tag-connected-notes feature graduates from nice and cool to clever and potentially useful.

If we use Obsidian as a knowledge exploration tool and idea generation platform an auto populated tag-connected-notes feature becomes near-vital and a core component of what Obsidian value-adds to our second brain.

More generally, for the knowledge exploration and idea generation use case, any feature that offers a different perspective on our encoded knowledge would be of considerable value to Obsidian users. In a very basic sense it would be as if Obsidian was employing a rudimentary Socratic Method to elicit from its users what they ‘know but do not know’.

4 Likes

I’m moving trying to move from Zkn3 to obsidian, and really need something like this to make a longterm knowledge database.

As a temporary workaround we can use the dataview plugin to show tag-related notes:

table file.folder
Where contains(file.tags, this.file.tags[0])
sort file.path

If you are working with templates, put this code at the end of your template. Alternatively, you can use espanso with the following match:

- trigger: ":rel"
    replace: |
            ## related notes
            
            ```dataview
            table file.folder
            Where contains(file.tags, this.file.tags[0])
            sort file.path
            ```
    force_clipboard: true
2 Likes

Yeah this would be useful. At the moment local graph is able to show secondary links from notes but not tags.

oh, this would be fantastic! i tend to be able to make the ‘obvious’ links as i make the note (context being: i am a uni student in the social sciences).
so when writing up notes about a source discussing international intervention, i might link to pages [[sovereignty moc]], [[democratic peace theory]] etc. because i know they’re related (even if i haven’t teased out the ways), or i expect to need a page on that in the future.

but i want my notes to force me to think in unexpected or interdisciplinary ways. sort of like talking to a friend who has an entirely different worldview and going “wait, why didn’t i think of it that way?”

i read one of OP’s replies in another thread. just off the top of my head, possible applications of tags-as-novel-suggestion could be tagging characteristics or approaches. with my earlier source i might tag something like #remember-the-human, #system-transferability, #universal-ethics??, #authority-structures or #is-theory-useful.

those might lead me to a (sociology?) note about who tends to gain authority in communities / ways of gaining authority - which might then get me thinking about the differences between, say, an NGO which sets up a short-term program for women to be upskilled, versus a locally-initiated movement that arose when the community was left with fewer men due to past conflicts - and then, on to how approaches might be changed, but whether we need to move away from theories at all when writing about this stuff.

(caveat: i am only an undergrad. this^ isn’t a super novel thought and one that i would probably have made eventually, especially at a higher level of academia. but i do think being able to create the conditions that these sorts of prompts would reduce some of the mental fatigue or friction involved in doing a lot of synthesis/producing new thoughts. it could also reduce the tendency to take too many notes, or forget about notes you have not seen for a while.)