Bidirectional note linking?

Devs - is this option possible for Agenda in the iOS/iPadOS ecosystem?


You can create links in each note to the counterpart, but there is no way to make the two links in one hit at this point.

Indeed - bidirectional note linking is the craze these days e.g. Roam Research, Amplenote, Tinderbox and Obsidian. It would be good to have - I expect that in 6 months from now if a notetaker does not have bidirectional linking, you may not be considered anymore. It is raging like a wildfire at the moment. Bidirectional linking will become mainstream. Not having it, may become a liability. So I think it would be wise to have a serious developers meeting on this.

Without trying to downplay it’s usefulness (I can see it being useful), this reminds me of the arguments of how Wiki’s would take over the world and not having wiki like features would make you irrelevant. We know how that turned out, they have a place yes, but it’s not the first thing most people think of. In fact if you go to the Amplenote website you’ll see it isn’t exactly the first thing that they highlight.

The issue I have is not so much on the part where you insert the link (in fact, that part we have already of course), it’s more what should happen on the other end, the backlink to the note that is linked to. Should the backlink become part of the text, and if so, where should it be inserted? Or should it be metadata? One of the ideas we are playing with is to make sure that these linked notes are shown under the related notes section in the inspector.

This all also plays into another aspect and that is being able to more precisely indicate what the part is being linked to within the text, rather than to the note in its entirety. All areas we have ideas in, and where you can expect improvements over time, but to be perfectly honest, and to set expectations I guess, it’s not in the top 10 highest priority items.

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Right now I’m using Obsidian on the Mac for the heavy lifting, e.g. bidirectional linking and iAWriter on the iPad. Hoping Obsidian releases their promised app soon. For Agenda, I’m thinking it’s not so much whether the Devs will employ bidirectional linking as much as whether Apple will bring it to iOS/iPADOS. Obsidian has a Mac version that can store its files in iCloud.

at the bare minimum, linked notes should be indicated in the “Related Notes” section.

E.g., If I create a link to Note A from Note B, then when I look at Note A’s “Related Notes” Note B should absolutely show up and vice versa. This currently doesn’t not happen and I find it maddening. Is there any better criteria for a “Related Note” than a direct link? Programmatically this does not seem difficult to implement.

+1. Would love to have related notes show all linked note rather than current algorithm that show some notes that shouldn’t be be shown “related” to it. w even pay attention to current related notes. Simply don’t like the way it is set up now. Please give an option to show linked notes only.

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Alas, some things that look difficult are sometimes easy, while other are more difficult. This falls in the latter category alas, we hope to improve things in the future.

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I suggest to take a good look at Obsidian. You probably would say that the backlink is part of the metadata as there is a separate pane that you can open to see backlinks. In Tinderbox they also have a separate pane in which you cna see outbound links and inbound links. Incidentally, Tinderbox has had bidirectional links since its inception which was in the previous decade!

I do think it should become a top priority. In a few months all major note taking software will have it. YOu advertise yourself as An Elegant New Take on Notes. That was certainly true when you started, but in January 2021, anyone who is looking for an elegant note taker will look for bidirectional linking. Those bidirectional note takers that are hosted now, such as Roam, will increasingly have offline versions. Most of them have daily notes, which is what you offer- date-focused notetaking. It would be a shame if you lose out simply because you have it on your roadmap for end of 2021.

I suggest you take a hard look on both your roadmap and what would you like Agenda to be for your users compared to the competition out there. What would be the top 3 arguments why people who want to take notes choose Agenda? How will a comparison table look like with Agenda vs other notetakers? This is strategic I think. And stratgey moves at warpspeed in this software world!

Very much appreciate the feedback, we’ll certainly have a look. Without trying to dismiss the fact that it’s super useful, I don’t see it as such a critical feature. Back in 2018 there were a thousand different note taking apps, all with crucial features, today there are even more, and 3 years from now even more. Our unique approach is to focus on dates, and I don’t see any of the ones you mention be competitive in that space. With so many apps out there to take notes, what each person should do is pick the app that fits him/her best. If mind mapping and heavily linked note taking is your thing, then perhaps those app you mention are just a better fit. If your note taking is more centred around the concept of dates and events, we believe Agenda is still a much better fit.

If there’s one thing I learned when it comes to why people choose a certain tool is that it doesn’t involve comparison tables, but rather a much more soft combination of many different aspects. Back when I made Papers we were always asked how it would stack up feature wise with Endnote, Mendeley and a bunch of other tools. The point was that most of the reasons given when you ask users is that most of those reason don’t have a place in a feature comparison table. The same is through for Agenda we believe :slight_smile:

Thank you so much for your reply and also the link to your talk. I have not seen it yet, but will.

I can imagine that it is easy not to see it as a critical feature. But as we all know in the world of software, people don’t realize how critical a feature can be until you give it to them and they start using it and see how the feature can benefit their personal workflow. I also think that over time people’s workflow changes because of new possibilities through technology. I do consider that bi-directional linking has now reached a tipping point in usage.I think wiki links were at the time seen to be for nerds/cognoscenti only. But Obsidian, Tinderbox, Roam Research, Amplenote, REM are all changing that. I would look more for how Agenda can stay relevant in people’s personal workflows. How do people use it and can it become part of people personal knowledge management workflows - or can it be replaced by personal knowledgement notetaking software because they start building in date-centered note-taking?

I take your point about comparison tables. Thank you.