Digital Opsessions
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Digital Opsessions

Bi-directional Linking in Notion

Me and other Notion Pros, got the chance to try this feature in advance of the official release

Bi-directional what?

If you haven’t heard the news…Notion just dropped actual bi-directional linking! 😱Here’s my breakdown and take on this awesome new feature. Two weeks ago, we got a pretty lit little teaser when backlinks started showing up in Notion pages and for #productivity nerds like myself this is basically equivalent to Christmas

But if you’re unfamiliar, a bi-directionally linked page, as explained by Maggie Appleton “has social awareness — it knows about other pages or ‘nodes’ that point to it, and can make them visible to people. This means we get a two-way conversation flowing between our web locations.” This is the opposite of mono-directional linking or “one-way pointers we follow in a linear sequence.”

Previously in Notion, you could tag pages int two ways:

  1. @
  2. Link to page block

However, both of those ways created a one way ticket from a page to another. In other words, if you referenced a page called “Ted Mosby” or less obvious “Slapsgiving” or even more obscure “Red Dragon” because during the episode “The Pineapple Incident”, that’s the red mixed shot that Carl the bartender whips for Ted….on say a page about “How I Met Your Mother”, you wouldn’t be able to create and act on any of those relationships outside of creating a few databases, making those pages records and building relations.

Now you can

Here’s How

Type [[ in text blocks, titles, text properties to:

1. link to an existing page

2. create a new page

Once created the pages will be linked together and viola! (inked pages show up as “backlinks” at the top)

Pages can be created:

1. on the local page

2. in other pages and databases

Note that

  • permissions apply, so other can’t see your private pages
  • but public pages can be accessed, double check your Notion websites for backlinks you don’t want to share!

Power Moves

  • You can create templated pages with bi-directional linking. See here.
  • You can bi-directionally linked pages in new windows by pressing cmd/ctrl + enter

The Good / The Bad


also known as “my review”

The existence of this feature is AWESOME!

I’m now moving my writing from back to Notion due to this. that said, Notion continues to build for width of features as opposed to depth, so this iteration is very limited. There are no powerful blocks and refs like in

If you’re a power Roam user, don’t even consider switching because:

  1. This feature does not come close to Roam
  2. You probably bought a lifetime license
  3. You like Conor and his marvelous hair

If, on other hand, you have not committed to any bi-directional software and you’re considering to give Notion a whirl, now is the time!

Are you excited?

I’ve compressed this article into a sweet sweet Twitter Thread. Share your thoughts, questions or criticisms there!

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Originally published on on September 17,2020



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Tem Nugmanov

The “Workspace Guy” → Empowering a million distributed teams to work better together. One workspace at a time.