Five tips to make backlinks more useful and easier to work with in Obsidian

Austin Govella
Obsidian Observer
Published in
7 min readMay 23, 2022


Five tips to give backlinks more context and make them more useful

This is one of several posts on backlinks. There’s a super basic intro to backlinks, this post on understanding and navigating your backlinks, and another on using backlinks to generate information.

It took me a while to figure out the fuss about backlinks. I started with a zettelkasten-eque, research-focused PKM system in Obsidian where backlinks don’t offer as much value. But when I started using Obsidian for Daily Notes, the backlinks really started to shine, and I discovered five tactics you can use to make backlinks more useful.

  • Uncollapse backlinks to see more context
  • Add links in headers to surface more context
  • Expand backlinks to show more context
  • Add backlinks in lists to surface more context
  • Turn on the Page preview plugin to see more context

Uncollapse backlinks to see more context

I felt like a doofus when I figured this out. By default, my Obsidian had backlinks “collapsed”, so I could see all the backlinks, but not much else.

In the note, Backlink tips, we can see Daily note 1 listed as the first backlink under “Linked mentions”. (That’s what Obsidian calls backlinks.)

It’s useful to know Daily note 1 links to Backlink tips. If you know why it links, that’s more useful. Some context would be nice. Right now, the backlinks are collapsed.

If you hit the “Collapse results” icon, each backlink will expand to show some more context.

When the backlink results expand, we see every instance where another note linked to the Backlink tips note.



Austin Govella
Obsidian Observer

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