8 Factors for Effective Use of Obsidian Tags, Links, and Folders

Denise Todd
25 min readAug 8, 2022

Aesthetics, search, graph view, plugin usage, flexibility, and future-proofing preferences will impact how you use Obsidian.md tags, links, and folders.

Obsidian Tags Links and Folder | Image created using Canva by Author

How to use (or not) Tags, Links, and Folders— the perennial debate. There are a myriad of ways to use these organizational tools, and just as many articles and videos on the topic, many of which are linked at the end of this article.

For example, here is some of the advice from very experienced Obsidian users. You’ll quickly note that what works for one person — doesn’t work for another:

  • Use only tags
  • Use tags for people, places, and things
  • Use tags of categories of items such as books, videos
  • Use only links
  • Start with tags, then turn them into links as the importance of the note increases
  • Use Tags for less important things “Books-mentioned-that-might be-interesting-to-someday-read” tag compared to “Books- recommended-by-people-I -respect and definitely want to read” link.

Who’s right?

They all are! Tags, links, and folders (TLFs for short) are like clothes. Everyone’s preference for what they wear is different. Color, style, length, material, retro, or fashionable are all personal choices. Your age, body type, and geographic location can impact what you wear. What works for me, may not work for you.

How does all that translate to using TAGS, LINKS, and FOLDERS (TLF) in Obsidian? It means — how you use TLFs depends on how you use your vault, your objectives, and your preferences related to aesthetics, search, graph view, plugin usage, flexibility, and future-proofing. In other words, it depends on you.

Well, that doesn’t help me at all! 🤬 I’m new to Obsidian. My preferences? I’m not even sure what options are available, much less which I prefer.

It could be argued that it really doesn’t matter which you use. I know, I know that’s not very helpful, but it is important to remember. Don’t go round and round on this decision instead of actually writing.

Denise Todd

Author/Speaker writing about supporting other writers, critical thinking, knowledge management, story structure, and other things that matter.