It’s all about those backlinks. Backlinks are the breadcrumbs you leave behind to find your ideas later. If you leave good bread crumbs, you can let the thought out of your brain without worrying about forgetting it. It’s now in your exobrain.
A real world example:
I have an idea. I record it on my day page:
/### [[Great Ideas]] Create a #tutorial about [[Why Backlinks Are Awesome]]
The ### logs my idea as a heading, which can be directly referenced in Obsidian later with heading-level transclusion. The \ is only there to escape the characters on this forum so you can see them. I don’t put that in my note.
The [[Great Ideas]] link does three things: when clicked it creates a new note called ‘Great Ideas,’ it creates a link to that note in the current note, and it creates a backlink on the new note back to the current note. That’s the kind of efficiency that really butters my toast!
Next I write down my idea. Any subject or interesting words or concepts that I think might be interesting I might hashtag along the way, as a sort of second route to linking ideas together later. I might also link it to other related notes I can think of.
Last is another link. This one does our triple whammy again: creates a note, links to it, and adds a backlink to it. Joseph-tap-dancing-Smith that’s good!
I may jot down another few bullet points about the idea. But as soon as it grows beyond a few lines, I go back a ctrl+click on the [[Why Backlinks Are Awesome]] note to open as its own note and work there. I start by “formalizing” the backlink (this is what I call it) by officially adding it to the top of the note itself. If the note belongs in a larger collection I will tag that, or any other related notes. This really starts getting ideas connected through backlinks that will appear back on those notes as well.
Later when I have another great idea, I will do the same thing again, using Obsidian’s inline link searching feature (which is the game changer*) to connect with the [[Great Ideas]] note.
As these ideas build up, I will eventually ctrl+click on the [[Great Ideas]] note, link it to a few of its related notes, search through the backlinks for the ones I want to formalize into my note. I will begin coalescing notes that act only as lists and indexes of links that I fish from the backlinks pond.
You will always have a network of active clusters of ideas. Over time, some clusters will fade away and gather dust. But when you start working on new ideas and projects related to those old clusters, you will see them again in both the inline link search and the backlinks pools.
Those old clusters will reactivate and form new superclusters which will themselves link to clusters large and small and eventually you get the thing implanted in your brain and import your exobrain to your real brain our export your real brain to your exobrain and live forever in the Matrix.
One quick note: Obsidian’s inline search is incredibly powerful, and is the key to linking ideas together. When you create notes, try to use a few words in the title that describe the concept well enough that you would most likely run into it later in obsidian’s inline search while writing. If you are in the mindset of creating these connections, linking to them later will come naturally as part of the capture process.
One more example of backlink goodness is using them as reminders. If I know I will need to remember something in the future, I can tag that future day page, even if it doesn’t exist yet. Down the road when it does exist, I will immediately see the backlink upon opening it and formalize it into a task. Bangarang!