Trails in the graph-view!

I was thinking about how one would make a public knowledge base and realized that when notes are connected to many other notes, one may find it difficult to navigate them, particularly if new to the subject. One can (& should) create a structure-zettel or a table of contents – basically a sequence of links – but they fail to show interesting diverging paths from the main path.

What I’d like to see are trails in the graph view. Each trail uses a different color. The idea is to show suggested paths through your knowledge base. That is, map a structure-zettel (SZ) to the graph-view using a trail! This way you can see how each note relates to other notes as well as following a suggested path. May be even have more than one SZ mapped this way. The reason for the latter is also that different people learn differently so one can fashion each SZ accordingly. The trail idea can be used for many different things: learning a new subject, keeping track of visit history (“bread crumbs”), preparing a set of notes for writing an article/blog/paper etc.

Further, such a trail should show a you are here sign to mark how much you have traversed along a path (a bookmark if you will). In a shared knowledge base one should even be able to see such markers for others! Also useful to a teacher to gauge students’ progress.

Probably by now I am talking about building an app on top of Obsidian :slight_smile:

If you are having trouble visualizing, think “Billy” (from the Family Circus comic strip), meandering through his neighborhood! Here:


I was just pondering a very similar idea, but with time as the path, either with a synthetic timeline, or by using daily notes as the root. From there, every note branches out from the day they were created and then links to the rest of your KMS as normally.

It would be neat to show what days you’ve had bursts of thought on particular topics, how long it’s been since you’ve given thought to something or compare your KMS to some sort of external zeitgeist to figure out how your thought patterns are being affected by the outside world.


The concepts presented here are next level and I’m glad you’re bringing attention to them now.

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A seperate Timeline-Tool would be very interesting, which logs and shows all the notes you are working on, like a stream. It helps finding notes, eg notes used in a row turn out to be more important. In the other hand, it allows you to analyze your workflow and your stream of notes.

A Timeline introduces another layer of interacting and looking at your notes definitely!

here is a similar approach: Daily Notes timeline in graph, linked to graph


I like the idea of a timeline very much: All notes regardless of the folder they are sitting in listed on a timeline! That would be awesome!

A simple list would do at the beginning:

But it could become more sophisticated, eg. with filters, assigning files to days they were created on or last edited, showing more file details when hovering over them, spacing the days according to the time difference between them, and more.

Remembering a note to me not always is about content. Sometimes it’s about date (“sometime at the end of last month”), sometimes about location (“I know, I was London when I took that note.”).


very good. I would also welcome such a Trail-functionality. When a node is selected in the Graph view, currently only first-degree nodes associated with it are displayed. It would be useful to make a greater depth visible; i.e. to see not only the first-grade successor nodes, but also the later successor nodes. It would be ideal to be able to choose the degree of depth yourself.

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Related to this idea but a slightly different take: create a heatmap overlay in graph view of all vault navigation. Display the total counts for visiting each note and for clicking a link.

Similar to the strava global heatmap.

Would be most useful if you could filter this heatmap by time of navigation (ie last month’s navigation).


@Kornhuber your suggestion is related to request about Styling nodes by distance from active/central/selected node. (Original request is for local graph but it can be applied to global graph too.)

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