Working with existing notes

I have an existing directory of MD notes from nvAlt. I named them with category prefixes, like _Book, _Photog, _Work1, _Work2, _People. I never linked notes together so the prefixes didn’t bother me. But now they seem to get in the way of linking and backlinking, or well would look bad.

So I might have had a note for an employee like:
_WorkPeople John Smithfield

So to get links, i would have you use [[_WorkPeople John Smithfield]] wherever I wanted links?

I am considering renaming the core file to be just Smithfield which then will allow a lot of Unlinked Mentions to be discovered.

This is more of a general purpose note system than following a specific method.

Thoughts on adapting existing MD notes to Obsidian?

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Tags would be a less intrusive way of doing categories.

Not sure why you’d want Smithfield as a title rather than John Smithfield.

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So I use tags to designate note “types”: person, idea, book, etc. I also use folders, but they are redundant to the tags. I find folders useful when using Obsidian’s link autocomplete.

In the end, it’s really up to you. You’ll find a lot of discussion on this topic in #knowledge-management.

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Sorry was not clear. In a bunch of other notes I tend to reference just last names and I understood the Unlinked Mentions only to find an exact match. Otherwise I have to find all mentions of Smithfield and add John.

But I am open to the idea that there are other ways of thinking about this.

Depends whether you want to reference any Smithfield or one particular person. To do one person you need to know whose note it is.

Generally easier for notes on people to have one note per person (usually in title) and then everything else relevant can be linked to that note.

Thanks for replies… a couple key points for my setup:

  • currently my MD file names have some tags in them, it is just the way I did it, like _WorkPeople John Smithfield

  • Throughout the rest of my notes (without linking), I use “Smithfield” and for this subset of people I don’t have any duplicate last names.

So I am trying to figure out how important Unlinked Mentions are in this case, as the way I would get them is if i named the file or if i manually updated all references to John Smithfield in which case I might as well add the link and not rely on Unlinked Mentions.

Maybe what I am getting at is Unlinked Mentions only has utility for One Word file names or very specific phrases, and it took me a while to realize this.

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Yes, i face a similar problem as well. The nodes in my graph are like Vectors, vectors, Vector, vector. Are there any ways (other than renaming the link) to treat them as one link or entity?

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No, but it’s a very popular request

Yes, I’ve also had this issue with Unlinked Mentions, and I rarely use them except for dates. Instead, I’ll do manual searches for note title variants and either link manually or do a global search/replace (Obsidian doesn’t have this feature yet so I use other tools).