Change cross-note linking protocol to match Obsidian?

Not sure if this has been discussed before; I tried looking it up in Search but didn't find this specific question get answered.

Can we adjust the cross-note linking protocol to match the way Obsidian links?

In Joplin, the internal markdown link looks like:

link to [another](../tester%20book/

In Obsidian, the internal markdown link looks like:

link to [another](

This "" is even in a different folder than the note that is linking "" on Obsidian. (which has me wondering if Joplin is using the more acceptable protocol)

Even if I manually delete the "../" in every internal link, Obsidian would go and create a new folder before the note.

My intention is to get to "seamlessly" switch between Joplin and Obsidian. In my opinion, Obsidian is an overall stronger editor, while Joplin is notably safer and easier to collaborate with cloud-synced notes. If I want to get me and my group of friends on a single "second brain ecosystem", it is significantly cheaper to use Joplin. Since we would all need pc-to-mobile sync anyway, using something like Google Drive / Dropbox seems redundant with an Obsidian sync plan (for each of us).

Another intention is to build on long-term security. These are my first apps and I've been reading horror stories of export hell, so I would prefer to build on the most universally-acceptable methods.

With this intention and long-term security in mind, would it be better to change Obsidian's or Joplin's linking protocol? If either is even possible..

Also, huge thanks for being such a solid community!! I'm just getting in to (finally) organizing my life together and I seriously appreciate the passion the developers here pour in to this project. You all set the bar in my book. The world needs and loves heroes like you :heart:

Joplin doesn't store notes as .md files so a link like that would only work when pointing to .md files outside of Joplin.
An internal Joplin link (right click on a note > copy markdown link) looks like


I'm guessing what you have there is what the link looks like once you export the notes as markdown, changing to Obsidian "style" doesn't seem possible to me for two reasons:

  1. Joplin can have more than one note with the same name in the same folder (notebook) - which is something you can't do on a simple filesystem based heirachy.
    When you export the notes Joplin solves the problem by making the duplicates with names like mynote, mynote-1, mynote-2.
  2. There isn't an "index" of the data so when the notes are exported it has to have a real link to that note. The markdown export from joplin will maintain the notebook structure within it - if you just had a simple link to the note then I'm not sure how any other application could make sense of it.
    e.g if my Joplin looked like
> Notebook 1
--> Note 1
--> Note 2
> Notebook 2
--> Note 1
--> Note 2

Then when I export it from Joplin a link within Notebook 1 to Notebook 2 > Note 2 has to include the link to Notebook 2 otherwise how would it work? This doesn't matter inside of Joplin because the unique ID for each item.


Interesting :thinking:

What I thought was the more "future proof" option is the one that seems more limited by its nature, handling simply just markdown files, that could be converted via external apps, but Joplin has that easy native support :sunglasses: html, pdfs, here we go!

I guess I was aroused by a "shiny program" syndrome and felt convinced that Obsidian was the superior program.. After investigating each with my own intents and purposes in mind (after about a week straight :hole:), I think Joplin is the best notes & "second brain" app available now. It has the strongest foundation, the most promise, and right now the most flexibility in use cases. Obsidian has plugins to make up for what it doesn't offer vanilla, but Joplin with plugins can do everything Obsidian can and more :thought_balloon: (perhaps the open-source nature of Joplin will allow any possible gaps to be filled with future plugins - of course currently Obsidian can do some things that Joplin can't, but I'm looking at the overall potential)

I'm honestly very excited to see how this class of personal management apps will affect our cultures. I might be out there with this but I think the "second brain" concept in general is the next most innovative global technology.

1 Like

Obsidian is very nice, until you decide to rearrange your notes. Say you have a folder Recipes and would like to split that in Dinner, Dessert and Snacks.

The notes move all right and all looks fine, until you look at your files. All your pictures are still in Recipes and good luck getting them in the correct folder. Delete a note? Pictures are not removed, because Obsidian assumes that you might have linked to them from another note.

For someone with just text notes it might be magic, but for me it became a logistic nightmare very quickly. Joplin looks after all that so that I don't have to :joy:


Obsidian can be configured with these settings

And it actually works more akin to Joplin than the default "shortest path when possible" (which might look cleaner in markdown edit but proves to be dirtier in practice - I've "accidentally" duplicated notes by linking them and then moving them, as you described.

Since configuring these settings, Obsidian seems to be much more stable with these practices. If this is insufficient, there is also a plugin here from the list here in case this doesn't prove reliable.

Joplin is really nice, but kind of old at this point.. "@@workaround" for [backlinks](../ takes just too many extra steps to accomplish compared to how simply "[[Ob*tab* = [Obsidian](../ gets it done. These seconds that I spend configuring Joplin's links to work will eventually add up to hours, after writing enough. This tedious step actually had me come back to Obsidian. They are currently working on "shared sync notes", according to their roadmap, so the one major thing that Joplin had over Obsidian (in my opinion and use case) is being developed!
It's only a matter of time..

^ Is actually precisely how I feel, but in the other sense :sweat_smile:
Joplin became my logistical nightmare in a sense that Obsidian looks after what I'm looking for so I don't have to

(edit: Creating new notes with a [[method]] in Obsidian will effectively write the note in WikiLinks format, so if the note is moved with these settings on, the link becomes [[../the/filepath/method]] and is displayed as such in the viewer. Joplin has the superior technology in this case with encouraging more deliberate steps along the way to avoid tedious results later, being that one selects "new note" for deliberate action in Joplin)

This makes no sense at all. The Obsidian way requires one more character. And what happens, if there are many notes that start with Ob?
In Joplin after using @@ you already start searching for a note (with live search).

P.S.: I was referring to the Quick Links plugin, when talking about @@

I'm using the Note Link System which I assumed features the Quick Links plugin within it, and I'm not able to auto-complete the name of a note. Sorry if that was ambiguous..

The "search" on this plugin is completely broken, maybe it works better as just Quick Links :thinking:
And after trying it, I see that the search is nice and snappy, but doesn't give me the option to create a new note, which is essential to my workflow.

I do see that my use case of typing 2 characters, few letters and hitting tab does work with Joplin as linking the latest note in the same way Obsidian does. They use the same amount of characters to function.

I can link headings and blocks as well in Obsidian using clear, discrete modifiers without plugins in a snappier, robust search, which shows me subtitled note locations (more resourceful if I do have more than one Ob.. note). It also let's me create a new note without going any bit out of my way with any menu-diving, as simple as typing [[a new note]].

Until Joplin offers this level of seamless internal note-linking, it won't compare to Obsidian with the "Note Wars"...

It does. Don't get me wrong, a bit of research and looking at the most basic things like description of a plugin or its settings goes a long way. :wink:

While I do get your point, how about asking for a feature request in the plugin's repo or the forum topic of the plugin? Who knows, maybe the dev is going to implement it.

On the other side, if you're happy with Obsidian just use it. I am not going to try to persuade you to move to Joplin.

right.. :man_facepalming: I had to configure the Note Link System plugin to let me create new notes too, I just hastily jumped to radical conclusion.

It would seem odd of me to request a program to be developed to work somewhat identically to another, instead of appreciating it's quirks and just using it in different scenarios..
But they are really similar :thought_balloon: though it's been ~5 years since Joplin launched, this is still the beginning of a new age.

Does Joplin have any plans to implement an internal linking system straight into the app? Or will it forever rely on plugins? I might just be ignorantly assuming the nature of FoS, but why not just develop it into the core app? This is clearly a very desirable function and could easily turn off a potential market from enjoying this app. Joplin is really friendly and I'd love to see it stay relevant

1 Like

I admit I didn't spend more than half a day with Obsidian, so I'll very happily be corrected if I'm wrong. That's exactly how I set it with Obsidian (your screenshot) and sure, it works fine... as long as you don't MOVE any of your notes to another folder, because all your images will stay behind in its original folder.

So now you have a an empty Recipes folder full of images, and three new note folders called Dinner, Desserts, and Snacks without any images. However the NEXT time you add a note to Dinner with a few pictures attached, those will end up in the Dinner folder. And don't even talk about changing your mind with your folder structure once again... your images and attachments will end up all over the place.

As I said, if I'm wrong there please correct - this is not a pee*ng contest whether Joplin is better or Obsidian. I'm just enjoying the discussion :laughing:

Edit: I had a look at the plug-in you linked to. It seems as if that moves attachments to the right folder, but oh boy, what a huge list of requirements, disclaimers, rules, do's and don'ts! Not even to mention the fact you need a plug-in for something so basic to start with. Whereas with Joplin, I click the note, drag it to the new notebook, done.

Again, not saying one is better than the other, it's just something I personally prefer!

Another edit (sorry): you actually got me playing with Obsidian once again - fun :slight_smile:

I can't say, because that would be Laurent's decision. However, IMO plugins are better for that? Why? Because you can pick and choose. If it's in the core app, it will be in a certain way, and if you don't like it you'd have to use a plugin anyway.

With apologies to OP in advance for making the cross linking post into a little more of a generic Obsidian post :slight_smile:

I toyed with Obsidian again, especially that plug-in. Although it certainly moved some attachments into a subfolder under the notebook, the majority of attachments weren't updated at all:

Screenshot 2022-01-24 12.03.19

This is just one example.

I also tried the Android app, OH BOY what a convoluted mess... and I hate the icons that assume you know what they do... and of course they never do what you expect them to.

But the final nail in the coffin for me: I enabled the Sync plugin on Android... and it informed me right away that I need to purchase the sync subscription. The fee? If you pay for the entire year, $8/month, otherwise $10/month. Just for syncing!

Of course the Obsidian website tells you that you can install some 3rd party sync app to sync "for free", but why would I spend 3 days tinkering when Joplin does that out of the box with multiple services including Dropbox?

Joplin, whether you like it or not, I'm here to stay (not that I doubted it). But thank you @Timoy for at least getting me to play with Obsidian again :smiley:


I see what you mean, and found a way to get NLS to work as you might expect by setting Filter For Quick Link to /"$keyword". The additional functionality that NLS provides over the original Quick Links plugin is the ability to link to headings (after selecting the note, a list of headings pops up). Linking to blocks, though, takes a little more effort.

1 Like

I've missed this! I set it to $keyword* and that might be what I need. Thanks!f

After using Obsidian for a bit more, I have to come back to Joplin.


  • The usability is more intuitive as with existing apps - Joplin packs formatting options that just make sense.
  • Web Clipper
  • Much cheaper
  • Notebook collaboration & note publishing (tho, has Joplin branding.. Obsidian's published sites are dang nice but for $16/month I'd rather host and post :man_shrugging:)
  • Straightforward cloud storage protocol (I'll be using a lot of images)
  • As @Sophia stated, Joplin's file sorting is on point compared to Obsidian's "convoluted mess" and if I'm using all these images, I'll need this sense of ease!

Joplin is an Evernote alternative and Obsidian is a Roam alternative. 2 totally different apps, but with how close Joplin is with Obsidian, its hard to differentiate the use cases until its compared from the alternatives..

Obsidian was just updated so links from Joplin in markdown export fully works in Obsidian.
Finally, I can relax with my ideal setup of using Joplin for a workspace and Obsidian as a thinking space that I build bodies of work in.


I'd be interested in knowing more about this. If you feel like it, would you share more about how you do it? How does it work?
(It's quite off topic, so maybe it'd be best to start a new one, or shoot me a DM.)

Sure! :grin: I just posted an article about it here in my garden.
I have to say, I ended up choosing Amplenote purely for their mobile support and Tasks integration. When (if) Joplin supports mobile plugins, I might use that instead.

Fleeting thoughts, memos, daily journals, and odd stuff I should remember is kept with (Joplin). Trying to apply a rigid structure here only adds friction to the creative process. Instead, I use tags. Nested tags work just like folders, except that I don't have to use a mouse to organize my notes and also the same note can exist in multiple "folders" at the same time. This keeps the data predictable and accessible.

I have tags for:

  • Ideas I'd like to develop further
    • Topics to grow in my Digital Garden with Obsidian
  • Projects I'm working on
  • Information I'd like to be immediately accessible to me
    • Quotes and Mantras that shape my world
    • Exercises, Routines, and Recipes
  • Research Topics (usually fits in one of the first 3 categories)

Obsidian is for growing my ideas. Building bodies of work make a lot more sense to me than trying to write entire books or condensing it all into articles. Since, I'd like to make writing my profession, Obsidian is where I'll be developing more "formal" information. I tried using Scrivener before, but that was way too formal for my taste. I really enjoy the versatility and durability that Obsidian has, since every vault has unique settings. This means, I can cater the program to work efficiently with each of my projects. This level of "instability" is great for fitting in to new places, but not for being a solid point of reference to my life.

Conversely, Joplin's consistency in "WYSIWYG" is great for developing myself with. For instance, I don't have to make sure the same .css snippets are applied universally across all my devices. It simply is what it is, and I can develop more consistent information from there. If too many items are variable, it can become too confusing to deal with on a normal basis. More options are not always better, when practicing good habits is the priority.


A garden? I like those. I'll surely check it out. :slight_smile:

Is there any interaction at all between your amplenote, joplin and obsidian?