Part 3: Project Notes and Backlinks

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Now you know how to handle Daily Notes and how to manage tasks. But how will you keep track of larger things? It can be quite stressful to balance multiple work projects with things happening in your private life.

And nothing is more relaxing and empowering than a well-organized system that helps you master the most daunting projects 😌.

In this article, you will learn more about Project Notes and linking.

Schedule Tasks from Project Notes

It's time to create your first Project Note and link it to your Daily Notes.

You can create folders and Project Notes in the left sidebar. Inside a Project Note, use headings, bullet points and line dividers to give your project a structure.

Tasks you enter into your Project Notes can be scheduled for a specific date. Adding a date to any task in your Project Notes will automatically create a backlink in your Daily Note for that specific day in the reference section above the text of the note. 

To assign a date to a task in your Project Notes, append a date to the end of the task using the notation >date or [[date]]. While you type, an auto-complete form will open so you can select a date.

You can also type out the date using the following format: >YYYY-MM-DD / [[YYYY-MM-DD]], or by clicking on the arrow button left of a task and selecting a date. On iOS, tap on the clock symbol in the toolbar above the keyboard.

While viewing the Daily Note, you can check off tasks from Project Notes scheduled for this day directly in the reference section, or click on the text of the task to view it in its Project Note.

Scheduling tasks from your Project Notes allows you to keep track of multiple projects by linking the relevant tasks to the relevant dates, so you can complete projects step by step and never miss a due date.

Note: when you schedule a task that is created in a Daily Note, the behavior is slightly different, and depends on which approach you use to specify the date.

  • Using [[date]] format will create a reference just like it did in a Project Note.
  • Using >date format, however, will not create a reference.

Finally, recall from our previous email that you also have the option of re-scheduling the tasks from one Daily Note to another — in this case, a new copy of the task will be created, and the original copy will show a “scheduled” symbol (this way, only one of the copies will be shown as an unfinished task).

Link between Project Notes

You can create a "web of notes" by linking between your Project Notes. Start typing [[note name]] and here, too, an auto-complete form will open and suggest titles of existing notes. On iOS, you can tap on the note symbol in the toolbar above the keyboard as a shortcut for typing [[ in the current note.

Once you have created the reference, a backlink to the original note will appear in the reference section above the text of the note. 

Folders work well for a small number of notes, but as more pile up, it can be hard to keep track of all these separate files. (Back)links allow you to create a system to organize and cross-reference information in various spots. In the next email we will explore some more advanced ways to organize notes.

It's your turn

Create your first Project Note in the left sidebar, describe the context and add your next action points. Schedule tasks into your Daily Notes using >date. Then, create another related note and link it to the first one using [[note name]].

Pro Tips

  • Manage multiple smaller projects in a single note and fold headings (use CMD+/) to hide irrelevant information.
  • Use the auto-complete form when linking and scheduling. Besides >today, you can also type >nextweek, >Friday and more.
  • Link between Daily Notes by appending [[date]] to the end of tasks.
  • Link a task to multiple days with * Task [[date1]], [[date2]].
  • Go back and forward between recently opened Project Notes using CMD+[ and CMD+].
  • If you create a link to a non-existing note and click on it, it will create the note and pre-fill the note title.
  • Chain your notes together with [[note name]] and navigate back up the chain using the reference section at the top.

Next up: → Part 4: Project Notes Best Practices

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