Backlinks should include context

Backlinks are becoming increasingly popular in note taking applications, such as Obsidian and Notion. But sometimes these apps fail to supply context in their backlinks and thus make them worse to use.

For example, below in Notion you can see that the current page Horror Movies has 8 backlinks. But we do not know why. Does Caitlin Floyd direct horror movies? Is Justice Fears a Horror Movie critic? Who knows!

The equivalent Backlink in Obsidian includes some context, like this:

obsidian backlink

By supplying some context around the Backlink, we know why the link was made, and it becomes far more interesting and useful. This is so important to me, that it is part of why I chose Obsidian and Logseq over Notion.

Regardless, it is also helpful for the note to have a good title so that we do not have to rely entirely on the context. Titles are a promise of good content.

Further reading

Jared Gorski agrees that backlinks should be context rich.

Sascha replies, disagreeing.