Whats the advantage of using MOC vs just tagging?

Im new into this note management world and wonder whats the benefit of using MOC vs tags. You only have to tag once and the relationship shows in the graph. Whereas in a MOC you have to make a link in the note (which is some sort of tagging) and then reference back to the note in the MOC file, so, double the work.

And if you want to automate the MOC part, you can use something like Dataview, but you need to use tags anyways…

Perhaps there is something Im missing here about MOCs?

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MoC lets you describe the document you are linking to, and also order and format the documents in a manner appropriate to the work at hand.


So, a MOC would be like a wikipedia page of sorts where you give context and link to notes related to the concept.

a MOC is akin to a Library reference system, where every topic is part of the whole system, but unique. At the same time its part of a whole Knowledge collecting system.

Yes, very much like that! Specifically, it’s like the Topics section of a Wikipedia Portal page. Scroll down to “Topics” here, for example.

Some people get fancy with theirs. Mine are basic–just links to related documents, with as much description as I need to remind me of what I need to know about the document.

You can also think of a MoC as a being like the front page or section pages of a news site. Or the table of contents of a magazine, if you’re someone who is familiar with print magazines.

One recommendation I’ve seen in a few places is to start with tags and only add a MOC once a particular tag area becomes large enough to warrant the extra effort of creating and maintaining a MOC.

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  1. I find links easier to navigate visually than tags in Obsidian. I stated by using topic tags and just never look back at them, because it was annoying. YMMV.

  2. In an MOC you can add descriptions, put links in orders other than alphabetical, etc. It becomes a workspace and not just a list of links.

  3. You can link MOCs non-hierarchically, just like links. I could have an MOC that is a sub-MOC of two other MOCs.

  4. The bi-linking feature is easily overcome. I make lots of blank MOCs that are just uncreated pages. I link anything relevant back to them. They’re generally topics I don’t have time to work on now, but would like ot later. So whenever I get to them, I can generate the uncreated page and have a list of all my notes relevant to that topic. This is the same as tagging. But if I used tags, once I created that MOC, I’d have to go through and replace all those old tags with links. With my system, once I create the MOC, I only have to work on that specific note, not the others.