Backlinks, Roam & Obsidian

Love inkdrop - have been a customer for a while now and really appreciate all the effort you put. In particular, the fact you’re one of the only encrypted, cross platform note taking applications is amazing.

I’m really interested / impressed with where Roam and Obsidian have gone with note taking, in particular the backlinks function and the ‘daily note’. The backlinks/tagging makes it kind of incredible for interconnected notes, especially where you may not see the connection initially. Obsidian is based on local markdown files (a bit like Inkdrop, I think?). Roam is in the cloud. Neither have encryption.

Have you looked into a ‘linking’ function, like either of the above? I think they’d be crazy useful!

Again, thanks for all the work.

Links:
https://roamresearch.com/
https://obsidian.md/
Recent HN chat about Obsidian

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Hi Ben,

Thank you for your kind words and suggestion. I’m happy to know you like it.
That’d be a big change for Inkdrop and I need to understand how backlinks work and how people use them for their note-taking.
I checked out Obsidian and found that it has a dedicated large pane for backlinks.
As they say, it focuses on interconnecting your knowledge.
On the other hand, Inkdrop was meant to be an alternative to Evernote for programmers in the first place and I am basically happy with it.
So, there is a significant difference in concept between Inkdrop and Obsidian.
Supporting backlinks would require the app concept to be changed.
Besides, it looks similar to Evernote’s Context feature and I felt it’s great, but I rarely found it useful personally to be honest in the last few years as a premium user.
So, I think the feature strongly depends on personal preference.

In terms of UI, since Inkdrop focuses on its simplicity, adding more big features basically makes the UI more complicated and hard to use. As one user already complained that the desktop app UI looks noisy:

I kind of agree with him and would like to clean it up sometime soon.

So, at this point, I don’t feel like supporting backlinks.
But if you think adding it is simple and easy, you can create a plugin for it :slight_smile:

Thanks again for letting me know your thoughts!

Hi @craftzdog ,

A backlink pane is nice but not necessary for interconnecting. The main component is the ability to link notes by title, using [[note_name]] to link to note_name, as you’d do in wikipedia. If no there’s no existing note_name exists, clicking it in preview mode creates the note and redirects to it, so that the user can write his thoughts. If a note exists, the link text autocompletes with the possible note names, so that you can find the exact wording of your precedent notes.

Basically, it allows to connect notes much more instinctively. This is great as it allows non-linear notebooks without taking away the basic functionality of your product. It’s really the future of the market, I think : once you start to use an app allowing easy interlinks, it’s really hard to go back to classic notebook for your daily workflow/note-taking.

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Hi Maxence,

Thanks for letting me know your thoughts.
I understand the wiki-style linking would be useful for you and some people.
But Inkdrop is meant to be a Markdown note-taking app which should not break the compatibility with CommonMark in the first place.
Note-taking is like a private blog, but it looks like you want something like a private wiki.
The difference is completely based on a personal preference as we got a lot of similar apps out there.
If you really want it in Inkdrop, you can make a plugin for it, which does:

  1. extend Markdown syntax like math plugin
  2. search with note title
  3. create a note if not existing, or open a note

If I find it’s necessary for me, I’ll be happy to consider supporting it. But, to be honest, not necessary at the moment.

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I am too interested in adding Roam-like functionality to inkdrop but I totally understand your explanation why this is not feasible for you. I really like the idea of adding plugins to Inkdrop to extend it with Roam features and whoever needs it can install it and use it. I have the following questions:

  • Is it possible to create a customized sidebar on the left-hand side that would allow displaying something similar to Roam sidebar?
  • Is it possible to use plugins in the mobile app?
  • Is it possible to create a plugin that offers shortcuts if I press a predefined key? like I am entering the / and it offers me all the shortcuts that Roam does?

Thanks for your help in advance :slight_smile:

Krisztian

Hi @Krisztian_Gyuris,

Great to hear that you are interested in creating a plugin for this.

Is it possible to create a customized sidebar on the left-hand side that would allow displaying something similar to Roam sidebar?

Yes, you can add custom panes:

Is it possible to use plugins in the mobile app?

Please read the documentation here:

Is it possible to create a plugin that offers shortcuts if I press a predefined key? like I am entering the / and it offers me all the shortcuts that Roam does?

Please read the Keymaps section in the plugin dev tutorial here: