Link Obsolescence? Should we be concerned?

Over the last couple of years (and one could argue especially last year), the use of backlinks to connect documents and apps has grown significantly.

This has me thinking and a little, but not overly, concerned. Given the investment we are making in linking our documents and apps using Obsidian, Hook, Notion, Craft, Things, OmniFocus, Apple Notes, to name just a few, what does one do if there is a desire or need to move to another app? The links created in our current apps will no longer work, which if I am correct, means that we would need to create new links where needed. This may not be a problem for shorter term uses, e.g., connecting a project note to a task manager but what about PKM uses such as linked research in programs like Obsidian, Craft, Notion, DEVONthink, Hook links, etc?

What are the implications of losing all of one’s links?

Obsidian links are pretty much as future proof as they can be in my opinion. If I ever need to migrate away to a different solution, the links will still be there (you can search for linked block IDs in worst case scenario) and the info is in plaintext, so it won’t be too hard to script.

Cross-app is a bit tougher, although I haven’t bothered to investigate that much since 99% of my cross-app links are ephemeral and the other 1% are easily replacable manually.


I think as long as the name of the file is in the link information, you can retain the same function as link, even if the software changes.

These things break links:

  • The link is typed or copied wrong in the first place
  • The resource at the link address gets deleted
  • The resource at the link address gets moved

Probably not an exhaustive list, but it sums up my own experience. It’s called link rot and is unavoidable.

So my answer to future proofing is: if that thing at the other end of the link really matters to you, then make a copy, or print to PDF, or take a screenshot, or make a web archive, or do something that improves the likelihood it will be around when the link dies. Otherwise, be aware that one day you’ll get bored of Obsidian and move on.


Good advice. So the short answer is, use the links until they rot but make your backup plan to preserve content. I will then not be concerned about this and just accept the situation for what it is.

Otherwise, be aware that one day you’ll get bored of Obsidian and move on

That never happens to anyone on this forum. :wink:


OT, but I’d bet anyone who is still on this forum in 10 years – which no one will be – who is still using Obsidian should get rewarded with a lifetime membership to the forum.

Don’t forget the badge!!! :rofl:

I am not yet retired and plan to spend the time in retirement doing nothing but forum surfing. I expect a healthy period of time at it. :upside_down_face:

You mean T-shirt. I am waiting on the MPU equivalent to BBEdit (it still doesn’t suck).


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I’m probably the odd duck here but I never wear a T-shirt except for my daily runs or a white one under a collared shirt. I’d much rather have a nice mug for my coffee. :coffee: :slightly_smiling_face:

T shirts are over rated. :smile:

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No odd duck you; same here. I do have a collection that I wear under my sweats for exercise and ‘lounging’ sometimes. Otherwise oxfords. I do have the old macpoweruser T. Which my wife uses to her delight to push the ‘restart’ and ‘off’ switch. :grinning: Well I think it is funny.

That made me laugh! :joy:

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