Tags or links for companies and people? How to organize and search content

Hi all,

I have a startup company and I would like to use one vault to record and manage all my personal and work data. I am not quite clear if I should use notes or tags for people and companies (including my company) and for exploring the relationship between different notes/data later.

1- Tags:

  • Tags are more intuitive to use and they are great for searching content.
  • Tags can be great for searching/filtering tasks that are assigned to a person
  • Local graph doesn’t always show all the notes that have the same tags (even with 5 depth levels and neighbor links enabled)
  • Tags do not have aliases. So, it’s difficult to use them for people and company names (especially if those people have multiple names such as a nickname or if their original name is in another language)
  • Tags can have hierarchies. So, I can define some tags like #mycompany/marketing, #mycompany/onboarding_material/

2- Notes

  • Notes can have aliases which makes them great options for people and companies.
  • I can also add some general (or temporary) information about each person/company to its respective note.
  • Backlinks show up in both global and local graphs.
  • However, notes and their backlinks are not easily searchable (especially in tasks). Maybe I don’t know how to do that though. e.g. How can I use Obsidian’s search bar for filtering tasks that are assigned to a person in the company if I only had used [[]] to mention their names in the body of the task? In general, other than the side pane, how can I search for backlinks visually (not using custom dataview queries for each case)?

At some point, I decided to go with tags (e.g. #John, #mycomany, #Microsoft) and create a MOC page (e.g. Microsoft_MOC) for the people/companies that I work with more. My logic was that I can use tags to tag everything easily and if necessary, I use the associated note (Microsoft-MOC) to collect all the small/relevant information.

However, this solution didn’t work well because:

  • In practice, it’s difficult to mention/link both tags and notes for these contacts/companies in all blocks and notes (and it doesn’t look good when reading those documents). Sometimes, I had only the tag or the reference note in a note/block. So, search results were not better than just a simple text search.
  • Because of the same reason mentioned above, global and local graphs are not useful anymore as some notes are linked just to the tag, some others are only linked to the note and some others are connected to both!

I have searched for the right answer in this forum, Reddit, YouTube and etc. Apparently, I am not the only person who has this question and there is no one right answer. However, I would like to start this topic again to get some suggestions and ideas to solve this challenge. Thank you!

I use links so I can keep notes on the people or companies.

To search a link, just search for 2 brackets followed by the name (leaving off the closing brackets allows for aliases). "[[Knowledge Guy"

If you have other links that start with the name, you can exclude them by including the end brackets if you don’t use aliases. If you do use aliases, you have 2 options, both of which are a bit of a hassle:

  • Use a search term for each possible end character: ("[[Knowledge Guy|" OR "[[Knowledge Guy]")
  • Use a regular expression: /\[\[Knowledge Guy(\||\])/