Suggest YOUR favorite resources for learning Obsidian quickly!

I’ve always just collected notes that are themselves collecting dust.

I’m in LOVE with the idea of bi-directional note taking, while fully admitting that I’m not sure it’s full value/functionality has “clicked for me” yet.

I’d like to reach that Tipping Point of understanding bi-directional linking as quickly as possible.

So far, I’ve watched most of the Linking Your Thinking YouTube channel and probably 20-ish other random YouTube videos on Obsidian, Roam, or Athens.

I’m interested in YOUR FAVORITE resources to:

  • thoroughly explain how/why/when to backlink
  • best practices for backlinking
  • best practices for what to backlink
  • any explanations that helped it “click” from hierarchical to networked (if you needed that help, ha)

We all struggle wit the same issues @Court1 :smiley:

I find Josh Duffney has some of the more thoughtful and insightful content.

Hope this helps somewhat.

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Second this - he’s one of if not the best especially from approaching things from a developer’s mindset.

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@aluciani , @jimbrig2011

Thanks, I’ll check him out! Do you recommend Josh Duffney if I’m a total noob–specifically NOT a developer?

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That is such a good question to be asking. A noob must be a beginner like me. Noob for life.

lol, yep…noob|newbie. So far the more I learn, the more I realize I need to learn.

I’m fairly new at note software myself… but,

If you don’t have a lot of connections between notes, you probably are not creating Atomic Notes. Maybe search on that concept.

The whole idea of Zettelkasten is to create concepts, and then connect the concepts together into a web of knowledge and wisdom. If a note is longer than a paragraph or two, its probably too long.

There is nothing wrong with long notes, some uses of Obsidian may require it, but if you are not referencing your notes or finding new connections as you add new notes, you either are not trying or you are writing self contained notes.

I do think it can be hard to find connections if you tend to write in a prose manner, verses a bullet point manner.

Maybe start with finding common concepts within your sentences and creating notes for those concepts, you might find strange attractors that you are circling around and you didn’t even realize it.

I have a “### Related” section in my default note template and I add links to other notes there. I do add mid sentence links as well, but often end up using the pipe method to reference the link with an alias for the sentence I’m writing as the note name is not the same word I want to use in the sentence.

Maybe tell us what your use-case is?

Personally, I’ve got Graph view, Backlinks and Outgoing Links turned off. Not because I don’t think they’re cool features…I just don’t use them and I find them, honestly, a little overwhelming. I’m not writing or importing huge mounds of content all the time. I use Obsidian for a few simple to do lists, a couple of creative projects, and some records and imported web pages here and there.

For me, the coolest and most useful features of Obsidian are:

  • headers and lists (and to some extent tables)
    You don’t need to have multiple notes to organize your thoughts. You can organize your thoughts with these intranote Markdown features. I have “Fold headings” turned on in Settings > Options to assist with this (I think that’s on by default; not sure), as well as the core Outline plugin. And you can link to the various headers of your note from within different parts of that same note, so that you can jump around in your note by clicking/tapping if you want to.
  • the way Obsidian autocompletes when you do start writing a link to another note from within your note.
  • the way it autocompletes in general, such as (but not limited to) when you’re using Ctrl-O to open a note
  • being able to use Alt-left arrow key and Alt-right arrow key to navigate through your history of opened documents, essentially the same way you would in an internet browser, which is a pretty intuitive way to navigate.

I just looked up the definition of backlink and it’s just a link from one site to another. So really, any link in Obsidian, as long as it’s not a link to an anchor or heading in another part of your same note, is a backlink. So you don’t technically need to use the Backlinks or Outgoing Links core plugins to use backlinks. If you have one link to one other note in one of your notes, you’re backlinking. :stuck_out_tongue: So, it’s up to you as to how often you want to backlink/link and why.

I’m just going to call it linking for the rest of this brief monologue…

Personally, I’ve found that linking sparingly is better than linking a lot. It helps me concentrate. But I love the ability to link notes all the same, and Obsidian’s abilities in that regard are not limited to just the links themselves, or to the Backlinks or Outgoing Links panes. That philosophy is built in to its speedy autocomplete features and back and forward navigation hotkeys as well, and it’s embracing of Markdown in general.

Just my two cents’. :slight_smile: I think it would be helpful to hear what you want to accomplish or how you think Obsidian will help you better than other tools, to get a sense of what might work best for you!

Hey there, I personally would recommend checking out Obsidian Publish for some different approaches to structure a vault. There is also one that covers Andy Matuscheks concept of Evergreen Notes, which I really recommend if you are not already familiar with this. This gave me a good fist glance of how it could work out for me. The rest is really up to your personal use case. Regarding backlinks, tagging and the whole pain of folders/categories I came to the point, that this has to be found on the way. It seems Obsidian is a bit like learning to ride a bike: one might support you, or you try using supporting wheels, but you won’t know how it works out unless you hit the ground a few times (meaning cleaning up your mess, restructure, adapt new workflows, …). I personally would have loved to join one of Nik’s programs the last months but didn’t make it. I think learning how to let your notes collide and get more juice of your concepts or ideas is something very big. Also, Sönke Ahrens books on Zettelkasten an “How to take smart notes” are a good foundation to your thinking about structuring your Obsidian Vault. Hope that helped, and thanks for bringing that topic up @looper. I’m excited what pops up here in the next days :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Curiously, if you don’t really utilize the linking utility, then why not stick with something like Evernote that allow for much easier collection of notes (at least as far as I’ve learned so far).

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