Stacks & Board Stacks (mocs, collections, document spaning and fluxograms in 2 features)

Thinking about what i miss in obsidian an tought ocurred to me that could potentially fit the bill for a bunch of usecases: helping in the creation and upkeep of mocs (and potentially solving other requests for structure), tying in together notes when needed (for example chapters in a sequence) and maybe even fluxograms and mindmaps (using the notes/files thenselves).

Its more of ‘‘how many features could be implemented’’ then a individual request

Two features: Stacks(or collections), and expanding on it with Board Stacks


In essence it would be very close to creating mocs as a top level feature (instead of a note handcrafted for that)- collections would be notes grouped together, regardless of where they are. In that sense it would work akin to tags, but the idea would be for a new pane (alongside files and starred itens) listing collections, and allowing for then to be created more fleetingly per current need instead of classifying content as with tags.

  • for all practical effects notes are just linked within a collection, assigned as, without separation like folders

By default a collection would have 2 possible views: vertical or horizontal stack.

Vertical/Horizontal Stack:

clicking on a collection would open the first note on the list, followed by every other in sequence; On a vertical stack they would follow one bellow each other (like in Scrivener or opening multiple notes on Roam), as suggested in Document Spanning - while horizontal would open then side by side in order (perhaps with a ribbon, with the name of the collection, and the option to close the entire stack at once).

Additional Ui/use suggestions:

  • right clicking a note, add-to-collection → list of collections (or a pop-up similar to move-to)
  • dragging a note on top of another poping up a label ‘‘create or add to collection’’ - prompting a pop up with a list of collections plus section to type and create a new one
  • right clicking a link with the same add-to option (many uses, including quickly sending links to a collection like ‘‘Read Later’’ or ‘‘Next’’)
    • doing so probably should create a empty file when done on empty links, so they would appear in the collection proper (or the collection could show empty links added differently)
  • right clicking a tag: create tag collection

Tag Collection: same as a collection but automatically listing notes under one or more tags specified (updated accordingly)
(i for one dont like tags just filtering search results, and would use this a lot, alongside creating collections with one tag + others manually added, without creating even more tags)

Board View

An additional view to stacks.
Would show the notes as smaller blocks stacked over a slight different background tone (to make it clearer its not a normal note)- allowing then to be dragged and repositioned, and lines draw to each other.

Some ideas:

  • List ‘‘outside’’/alongside: list of notes on a collection besides the board empty. Any one clicked or dragged would be added to the board. New notes added to a collection would then avoid cluttering a carefully arranged board (since they need to be dragged into it first), and it would make boards even more flexible (users could drag or not notes into the board, effectivly having 2 tiers of distinction in one collection)
    • would work well with collection note (further down)
  • Preview(small) block: the blocks would look like smaller preview panes (hovering over links in preview)
  • Folded/minimized: an arrow before the title of the block would fold it, turning it into just the title
  • Expanded block: another button or option would make a bigger block showing the contents, scrollable on hover
  • types of lines: lines draw could have different styles like single and bidirectional arrows, ticker lines or different colors

Bonus: collection note

A note/file created per collection, sharing its name or called index; It would work just like a normal note except its bottom is pre-defined: showing a list of notes in the collection and perhaps with buttons for opening then by view (open vertical stack, open board view, etc). Would work better if the list could be re-ordered here too.

Above the list and buttons it would be a blank note like any other to type whatever, taggeable, linkable, mentionable and all - wich in turn would show collections in the graph working just like notes, wich would further help in using then as mocs integrated in the graph

Use Cases

  • collections would fit right in for mocs, even more so if coupled with collection note and tag collections. If they have/count as their own note as suggested above it would be the de facto best way to make mocs, with room for taking notes, graph view and plenty of ways to quickly add notes and links to any collection (plus they would exist in their own pane, making it easier to sort then from notes)

  • vertical stack view for chapters, papers, reordering notes that can be treated and switched isolated and read in one go (as if they were one document)

  • horizontal stacks would use the same collection feature for some ease of use session-like features; Much like how some extensions and apps save and open a set of windows or tabs at once, this would allow to open a number of notes youre working with, save then as a collection and just open then side by side all at once

  • kanban: coupled with a setting/toggle/plugin to remove content dragged from a note to another would allow to save a collection of notes created for ‘‘collumns’’, then dragging and dropping content between then…

  • …or even more advanced, with collection-notes (every collection having/being a note as well) someone could save a collection of collections- thus opening then as a horizontal stack would imediatly work as kanban columns, dragging notes from their list to one another shifting their assigned collections as well

  • Tasks or prepping work: most best uses of then would be practical rather then classificatory; Collections like read later, ‘‘review’’ and such would work better then folders, and with the suggested options (like assigning via right click) would be much more practical then individually assigning tags as well. Its not my usecase but given how i see people mentioning gtd and tasks a lot, 2do and later collections would be a no brainer.

The rest is easy to imagine, given how much flexibility a board/minmaping view would give, and i bet folk would find plenty more smart usecases for vertical and horizontal stacks

Final Toughts

Rather then more and more separate features being tackled on, or trying to predict or cover all sorts of requests, i believe tools are better the more a few features are flexible enough to be shaped/applied by users as they see fit. Something like this could probably check lots of checkboxes for many, covering multiple popular requests and likely providing a solution for way more then predicted; Given the flexibility chances are people will find more ways of turning then in what they need then miss fullblow features for specific usecases

Related feature requests (optional)


Some inspiration for horizontal-stack layout:

I think, “Board View” would deserve it’s own thread/request being linked here with explanation/justification of relation.
From OP it seems to be able to be standalone feature. Or is there any reason why it could not be untangled from “collections”?
It will allow comments to be grouped by discussed feature. Mixed thread might discourage potential readers/contributors/voters who are interested in only one feature.

Neo4j Graph View Plugin is currently able to display text content within graph.
It does not currently allow to save relative positions / node coordinates within graph but there were some discussions about it too.

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