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Evernote backlinks


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On new update today there was:

New 🌟

  • Introducing backlinks! Now you can see which notes link to the one you're working in, so it's easier to connect ideas and keep your information organized.

Did anybody managed to figure how this is working? Or where this is shown?

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I believe this isn't rolled out yet (even while the release notes say so). Perhaps they need to activate something on server level...

I've created a support ticket to request for more information.

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20 minutes ago, bwydoogh said:

I believe this isn't rolled out yet (even while the release notes say so). Perhaps they need to activate something on server level...

I've created a support ticket to request for more information.

I think the same. Thnx on info, waiting to see.

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Today note links are still not  exported by ENEX files because it doesn't save the note ID. Hopefully EN finally fixed that as well. Otherwise notelinks will lock you in...

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9 hours ago, Frki2 said:

On new update today there was:

New 🌟

  • Introducing backlinks! Now you can see which notes link to the one you're working in, so it's easier to connect ideas and keep your information organized.

Did anybody managed to figure how this is working? Or where this is shown?

What is the version number in which this update appears? I don't have anything later than v. 10.50.10, in the Web client and Windows desktop app.

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1 minute ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

What is the version number in which this update appears? I don't have anything later than v. 10.50.10, in the Web client and Windows desktop app.

It is 10.51.7. MacOS desktop, downloaded from EN web and installed newest version in app store.

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Thanks. I'll look out for it -- updates tend to roll out over time (and space); maybe by the time it hits Windows desktop it'll be fully implemented. :D Or maybe it was just a case of a premature announcement, as someone suggested.

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1 minute ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

Thanks. I'll look out for it -- updates tend to roll out over time (and space); maybe by the time it hits Windows desktop it'll be fully implemented. :D Or maybe it was just a case of a premature announcement, as someone suggested.

I would say premature announcment 😜, but backlinks could be nice thing, if it will work :)

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If it is false information, I would expect Evernote to send some kind of correction/explanation? 🤔

I got an EN android (10.46) update yesterday, also telling about backlinks as a new feature.

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It is definitely a feature that is coming. I'd take the announcement to mean soon. 

Of course, whatever had been implemented when it arrives, I guarantee a flurry of comments to say it still isn't what was wanted ;)

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interesting, i can see now backlinks on iphone but not on Mac OS desktop.

On iphone i can see it when i go on 3 dots in upper corner in note, there i have option backlinks.

 

I will check ipad also.

Update: it works on ipad too.

 

 

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On MacOS, it shows the backlink count and gives a dropdown list of notes with backlinks.  However, when you click one of those notes it briefly takes you to that note then immediately back where you were.  Hopefully they fix this soon, as it will be an INCREDIBLY useful feature!

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9 hours ago, agsteele said:

It is definitely a feature that is coming. I'd take the announcement to mean soon. 

Of course, whatever had been implemented when it arrives, I guarantee a flurry of comments to say it still isn't what was wanted ;)

Which is somewhat to be expected. Obsidian, Roam research, and others have been polishing this feature for quite a while now, so I'm not expecting Evernote to hit a home run on the first release. I do hope it's a very solid first pass, though.

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11 hours ago, agsteele said:

Of course, whatever had been implemented when it arrives, I guarantee a flurry of comments to say it still isn't what was wanted ;)

Aye - you are right! Almost perfect for me except for one thing...

image.png.a12eb28a4ec54835026b39805fc16549.png

No way to open the backlink in a New Window (on Desktop) that I can see! 😃

I just have to say though, that I think this is pretty awesome. The iOS implementation seems pretty great too.

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4 hours ago, aukirk said:

However, when you click one of those notes it briefly takes you to that note then immediately back where you were. 

It doesn't do that to me and behaves properly as I'd expect. (10.51.7-mac-ddl-public)

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23 minutes ago, Boot17 said:

It doesn't do that to me and behaves properly as I'd expect. (10.51.7-mac-ddl-public)

Same...for me it works normally as expected and i must say this is move in right direction + massive upgrade of functionalities.

Additionally, now adding internal link with cmd K is very easy so credit were credit is due to Evernote.

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17 minutes ago, rbianchi said:

but in version 10.50.10. It is not weird?

Interesting. Based on that and because I didn't see them when I first upgraded to 10.51, it sounds like it was supported as early as 10.50.10, but there was probably some back-end switch that was being enabled and rolled out across all accounts.

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4 minutes ago, Kyle D. aka macfixer said:

Just went into

 Help > Troubleshooting > Force Reload

and am now getting backlinks. Maybe it was just switched on for me?

And don't forget that  if you don't see "troubleshooting" as an option try ctrl+clicking Help rather than just simply clicking.

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On 1/5/2023 at 10:36 AM, eric99 said:

Today note links are still not  exported by ENEX files because it doesn't save the note ID. Hopefully EN finally fixed that as well. Otherwise notelinks will lock you in...

Came here to see the answer to this. If the links are proprietary and not included as part of an export, I hesitate to get involved in a system that links notes together.

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The links reporting is just that, a reporting of links that already exist. So they don't link anything in anyway differently to the process that has previously been in place.

I just exported an ENEX of one of the notes displaying backlinks. I see no reference to the linked note in the ENEX.

However, you cannot opt out of these backlinks other than by choosing to not link notes together.

HTH

 

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18 hours ago, aukirk said:

On MacOS, it shows the backlink count and gives a dropdown list of notes with backlinks.  However, when you click one of those notes it briefly takes you to that note then immediately back where you were.  Hopefully they fix this soon, as it will be an INCREDIBLY useful feature!

I have also noticed this system behaviour.

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16 hours ago, agsteele said:

The links reporting is just that, a reporting of links that already exist. So they don't link anything in anyway differently to the process that has previously been in place.

I just exported an ENEX of one of the notes displaying backlinks. I see no reference to the linked note in the ENEX.

However, you cannot opt out of these backlinks other than by choosing to not link notes together.

HTH

 

Yes, the backlinks don't have to be saved in the enex because they could be derived from the forward links. However, the forward links in the enex are dangling pointers to   unspecified note ids. For some obscure reason note ids are not part of the enex format.

That means that forward and backward links are lost when porting your enex to another note tool or even evernote itself.

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6 hours ago, rbianchi said:

I have the backlinks working... but in version 10.50.10. It is not weird?

edit: in Mac desktop

As of just now, me too, on a Windows 10 laptop (but not yet on the Web client). I look forward to using the new feature.

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22 hours ago, eric99 said:

Yes, the backlinks don't have to be saved in the enex because they could be derived from the forward links.

Yes - and because of this (as it is server-based functionality because a client doesn't have to have all note bodies locally) I wonder why this feature did take such a long time to be implemented 🤔

Now as it is available, client's should be enabled to

  • open a backlink in a new window
  • copy the list of backlinks to the clipboard to paste it elsewhere
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Bug: when you delete a note (in the trash as well) with a forward link in it , the corresponding backlink in the referred note is not removed. The backlink sits there forever and there is no way to get rid of it.

 

Edit: the backlink is removed after a couple of minutes

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I love the backlinks.  

I've been messing around with Obsidian backlinks and that is an exercise in fragility.  Evernote really got this right!  This opens up some other future possibilities as well.

Very Nicely Done Evernote Team!!

 

w/r to the backlinks being removed, I've not personally experienced that.  I have, however, noticed that it often takes a number of seconds (~15/20 s) to sometimes add or remove a backlink.  I'm very satisfied with the performance of this particular feature.  the wait is minimal.  I have a measly 6k+ notes, so I figure a few seconds isn't all that bad...

 

 

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Dave Edwards in his YouTube video indicates backlinks will be introduced in version 10.51.7 MacOS/Windows and 10.46 iOS/Android. I have version 10.50.10 MacOS and 10.45.2 iOS and don't seem to have access to backlinks. Do some of us have to wait?

 

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Just now the Web client updated to 10.51.7, and announced that backlinks were in place. Same experience as @Frki2 initially: no backlinks yet. Maybe it's something that's just a potential until the servers grind them out for each updated client for each user?

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Is there any information why backlinks are implemented differently on iOS from the rest of the platforms?

On Web, MacOS and Android you can see a little green icon on top os the note, but on my iPhone I can't. I need to click on the 3 dots to see if I have backlinks...

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58 minutes ago, agsteele said:

This is, I think, the mobile way of displaying backlinks.

... or not 😉
On my Android-Mobile I can see the the small little green icon - but not in WEB 🤔 - even after starting it from a completely new Windows system and after the backlinks have been used within the Windows APP.
But I think this feature is it worth to wait some time so see it stable on all platforms 👍

PS: Because most functionality is implemented on server site, it should be enabled in Legacy also - as a very last concession to this good old great flowy and heartly beloved program 🙏

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1 hour ago, agsteele said:

Not in my Android app. I have to go via the three doors menu.

My Andoid Phone  (Samsung A70) has a miniature green note symbol with a number if there are backlinks in a note pressing the three dots opens the the menu and backlinks is also one of the menu options (indicated by the number).

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For those who are technically challenged can somebody explain what backlinks are, how we would use them and how to test if this feature is working.  I updated both my desktop EN and my iphone.  Desktop is 10.51.7 and ios is 10.46.  I do not see anything new on either one of these but perhaps I don't know what I'm looking for.

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Ah, I see.  Backlinks would only be useful for people who link notes in the first place.  I tend to that when I do a travel itinerary eg: I have a note with links to the airline ticket, hotel reservation, car rental etc.  Until now I could click those links and it would take me to the linked note; but at that point I was kind of stuck there with no actual way of getting back to the main note.  Now, if I'm in the airline ticket note I will see that it is backlinked to the master itinerary note and can go there immediately.  I can see that this could be useful but will make an effort to do more note linking from now on since it has become a round-trip feature.

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The origin is in methods like Zettelkasten, or in the idea of building a Wiki. Other apps (I think Roam started it, Obsidian followed) offer back linking as a key feature. EN now added it, based on the existing linking capability.

It really makes moving between linked notes easier than before - you only add the link, and get the return route automatically.

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On 1/10/2023 at 9:57 AM, AlbertR said:

... or not 😉
On my Android-Mobile I can see the the small little green icon - but not in WEB 🤔 - even after starting it from a completely new Windows system and after the backlinks have been used within the Windows APP.
But I think this feature is it worth to wait some time so see it stable on all platforms 👍

PS: Because most functionality is implemented on server site, it should be enabled in Legacy also - as a very last concession to this good old great flowy and heartly beloved program 🙏

WRT Web, I've had my Web client updated to 10.51.7 on 2 Windows computers, but I still don't get backlinks on either one of them. Meanwhile, on my Win10 machine I have the desktop app v. 10.51, and backlinks are functioning properly (in fact, they started to appear even while I was still on v. 10.50!) So whatever server-side processing was needed to generate backlinks in my notes has happened, but like @AlbertR I'm not seeing them in the Web client yet. @Scott T., can you comment on the Web client issue?

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I also have the problem of the backlink sending me to the linked note for a split-second before I am returned to the original note.

This will be a great feature when this bug is fixed! Thanks Evernote!

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Evernote Experts were told that "There is a delay with updates in the Mac App Store and on the Web."

I'm not sure if the arrival of v10.51 on web indicates that this is resolved or that Backlinks are still not available on the web even though 10.51 is released. Or that it affects some and not others. Like the 'pill' button that appears for some on mobile and not others.

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39 minutes ago, agsteele said:

Evernote Experts were told that "There is a delay with updates in the Mac App Store and on the Web."

I'm not sure if the arrival of v10.51 on web indicates that this is resolved or that Backlinks are still not available on the web even though 10.51 is released. Or that it affects some and not others. Like the 'pill' button that appears for some on mobile and not others.

Thanks. I'm going with "still not available on the Web.," in the confidence that they will soon appear there.

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19 hours ago, Scott T. said:

 @Dave-in-DecaturWe just finished rolling out the web client to 100% of users, so please let me know if you are still not seeing backlinks in our web client and I can look into it further.

Yes! Working superbly in Opera on a Windows 7 desktop and Edge on a Windows 11 laptop. Thanks!

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This visual note connection perspective existed from 3rd party developers, based on tags, not links.

All projects failed and are not available any more.

To bring something to the attention of EN, send them feedback, or issue a support ticket.

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Evernote introduced a new feature called ‘backlinks.’ Now when you add a link to a new note, you can track your link backward to the original note. Here are some practical uses of this new feature.

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Really digging these backlinks -- came in super handy (again) just now. Can't wait for the mobile fix to show backlinks above the title when the note also has tags.

Great job Evernote team!

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Hi, I'm a very occasional poster here, but a long-term user of EN (12 years and counting). I'm excited about backlinks, because it's a feature I have long wanted (and contributed to a feature request for). 

Having had a very brief play, it seems that backlinks aren't created immediately - there appears to be a delay between creating a new link and it appearing in the backlink count. I assume that there's some asynchronous offline stuff happening in the backend. 

What I'd really like to see is an ability to list out the backlinks in the note itself - that would lend itself to creating automatic "hub pages" for a particular topic. That said, any backlinks feature is better than none. 

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2 hours ago, rogfrich said:

What I'd really like to see is an ability to list out the backlinks in the note itself - that would lend itself to creating automatic "hub pages" for a particular topic.

How do you see  these "backlinks in the note",  a static snapshot or should these be updated dynamically whenever a new backlink is created?

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13 hours ago, eric99 said:

How do you see  these "backlinks in the note",  a static snapshot or should these be updated dynamically whenever a new backlink is created?

There is no way that I want EN messing with a note automatically. In fact, one of the things I really like about EN, is that it never changes the contents of a note that you are not actively, knowingly editing. The backlink list is already updated dynamically and that is enough for me.

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Backlinks are by definition dynamic - they are a mirror of a newly created link.

Since I create the link myself, the backlink is based on my own action. It doesn’t mean that EN does anything with my notes I have not initiated. In fact I could create a „backlink“ manually myself, by inserting the same link manually.

Backlinks are just a very efficient way to support this. Good they are now available !

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27 minutes ago, PinkElephant said:

Backlinks are by definition dynamic - they are a mirror of a newly created link.

The context of the discussion was a proposal to be able to insert the backlinks into the body of the note and whether these inserted backlinks should be dynamic.:

17 hours ago, rogfrich said:

What I'd really like to see is an ability to list out the backlinks in the note itself

 

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Now as it is available, client's should be enabled to

  • open a backlink in a new window
  • copy the list of backlinks to the clipboard to paste it elsewhere 😉
  • and/or give us a possibilty to insert a list of (dynamically generated) backlinks within the note text (updated with every display of a note) - something like "##backlinks##"
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12 minutes ago, AlbertR said:

Now as it is available, client's should be enabled to

  • open a backlink in a new window
  • copy the list of backlinks to the clipboard to paste it elsewhere 😉
  • and/or give us a possibilty to insert a list of (dynamically generated) backlinks within the note text (updated with every display of a note) - something like "##backlinks##"

Certainly agree with one and two. Much less sure about number three for reasons explained above.

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24 minutes ago, Mike P said:

Certainly agree with one and two. Much less sure about number three for reasons explained above.

Have added three exacly because of reasons explained above with "updated with every display of a note". This would reduce server load but offers great possibilities to create TOC (table-of-content) notes where needed.

And if "##backlinks##" would have possibilities to format the backlink-URLs like "##backlinks@bullets@upd@title##" it would be a real killing feature 😉 (wheres "@bullets" means "create a bulleted list, "@upd" to insert the update-time of the referenced note, "@title" to insert the title a.s.o.)

These formatting possiblities might be defined globally (even better?) to display all backlink-list with the same format (within an EN-account)

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@AlbertRMy concern, as I explained above, is purely that I don't want EN messing about with my notes in the background. I like to know that the only way a note's content is going to change is if I have it in front of me and I'm editing it. Call me paranoid but, while the principle is fine, there are so many potential ways that this could go wrong that I feel very uncomfortable.

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14 hours ago, Mike P said:

There is no way that I want EN messing with a note automatically. In fact, one of the things I really like about EN, is that it never changes the contents of a note that you are not actively, knowingly editing. The backlink list is already updated dynamically and that is enough for me.

Proving the truth of what I will start calling "the Decatur postulate," that no matter what improvement is proposed for Evernote, a non-zero number of people will consider it a potential disaster. I loooove these forums.

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Em 16/01/2023 at 05:19, Mike P disse:

There is no way that I want EN messing with a note automatically. In fact, one of the things I really like about EN, is that it never changes the contents of a note that you are not actively, knowingly editing. The backlink list is already updated dynamically and that is enough for me.

Friend, my point refers only to the possibility of creating a dynamic note, which demonstrates a "visual network" of connected notes, as this, demonstrably, facilitates learning, given that our brain operates in this way: making connections between different subjects, which , through connections, are stored in our long-term memory. See this article, stored in my Evernote account: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s32/sh/1de71658-0e35-4b5a-b929-6e4372fcdac7/aa524f5705dfb669fe7e486d0914a1d2 

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That’s probably a property of EN: Each note is a little website, and carries a unique identifier in form of an URL.

Place, tags and other stuff is just metadata that sticks to the envelope designated by the URL-UID. Moving it doesn’t even need to update a (back-)Link - it still points to the same object.

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4 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

That’s probably a property of EN: Each note is a little website, and carries a unique identifier in form of an URL.

Place, tags and other stuff is just metadata that sticks to the envelope designated by the URL-UID. Moving it doesn’t even need to update a (back-)Link - it still points to the same object.

I mention that because I had some experiences in the past whereby I constructed a master itinerary/log and then put in hyperlinks to point back to other notes eg: "Flight to London" on the itinerary would point to the note containing "British Airways ticket".  However, I then realized that if I moved the British Airways note to other notebooks the hyperlink wouldn't work anymore.  Now that I am playing with backlinks I notice that the problem with hyperlinks has also gone away ie: as I change the location of hyperlinked notes the links (and now, the backlinks) take me to the correct note.  This is a nice feature for people who use hyperlinks but then change around the location of the master note.

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11 hours ago, idoc said:

I constructed a master itinerary/log and then put in hyperlinks to point back to other notes

This is great, We did something similar in creating Office SOPs (Standard Operatin Procedures) or a Manual essentially, with the main note as Contents page linking too chapters or procedures. In each of those notes we had line with Hyperlink back to the main SOP. So now I see backlinks recognises this and provides the list of backlinks, up to 60 (also forward links technically) on the main SOP page. 

What I'm curious about is if this is authored as before? i.e. Copying note link (App or Web link) and pasting it into the new note for Backlinks to recognise that and list it? 

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14 hours ago, idoc said:

... However, I then realized that if I moved the British Airways note to other notebooks the hyperlink wouldn't work anymore. ...

Oups - I did and do this every day and it works! Internal links between notes are based on an unique internal ID with no relation to the notebook they're stored in. (See @PinkElephants explanation some posts above...)

2 hours ago, Jono James said:

Copying note link (App or Web link) and pasting it into the new note for Backlinks to recognise that and list it? 

Yes, of course 🙂 - after a short time that is necessary to update server databases. The new note that contains the copied link has to be synced (which will be done in the background...) (@Scott T. please correct me if I'm wrong with the assumption that backlinking is calcuclated on server site...)

 

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11 hours ago, Scott T. said:

... backlinks are being calculated on the server as part of the indexing of notes for search.

Just for my understanding: Legacy was able to generate and hold a local index for search. If all note stuff was synced to the local device, it was/is possible to work completely offline (with the exception of generating links to new notes - which is possible only after syncing the new note because the note's GID is generated on server site).

Question: Does EN-10 also generate/hold a local index to support offline work in a similar manner?

And if so: Why wasn't it implemented to generated backlink information also during local index generation?

 

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Legacy desktop had an independent local index (which led to have special repair functions, because it used to accumulate mistakes).

As I understand it, the local search index of v10 is a virtual twin of the server search index. The index is created and maintained on the server. The clients receive an update.

Client copies are not complete - at least on mobile clients search does not cover attachments content, AFAIK.

If the index gets corrupted, it seems to be the only solution to replace the entire local database.

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5 hours ago, Scott T. said:

@AlbertR v10 does have a local indexing service that is used for search. I checked with devs and it sounds like backlinks indexing support will be coming soon.

That's good news. Can we expect any significant performance improvements with respect to how quickly this local index updates? For example in the legacy client, I could be searching or filtering on a tag, and if I then web clip a page with that same tag, it would pop up in my filtered notes list almost instanteously. It was delightful. It provided immediate feedback that I had tagged something properly. With v10, it happens far too slowly to give that warm and fuzzy feeling.

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@Paul A. a local indexing service already exists in more recent versions of v10, so you won't generically see a performance improvement for all searches. Specifically for backlinks, potentially (would need to check with devs on that). I'm not intimately familiar with the local search implementation myself, so sorry if I'm somewhat vague.

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19 hours ago, Paul A. said:

That's good news. Can we expect any significant performance improvements with respect to how quickly this local index updates? For example in the legacy client, I could be searching or filtering on a tag, and if I then web clip a page with that same tag, it would pop up in my filtered notes list almost instanteously. It was delightful. It provided immediate feedback that I had tagged something properly. With v10, it happens far too slowly to give that warm and fuzzy feeling.

Just checked this out on v. 10.52.8 of the Windows desktop app. With the list of notes for a particular tag open, I clipped a series of random Web pages and included that tag. It seemed a little slow to update at first, but the last couple of pages took maybe 15 seconds to show up in the list. 👌

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I'd say 15s was reasonable for a web clip to appear. 

The clip first syncs to the cloud as a new note and then the note had to be synced to devices.

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