Logseq links thoughts like synapses

Linking Content

Perhaps you have created thousands of notes over the years. Navigating through them can be difficult. Logseq does not follow the top-down design principle when working with folders; instead it uses a bottom-up design [11] in the form of graphs.

Logseq supports you by automatically creating graphs that ressemble mind maps [12]. These graphs work along similar lines as the human brain, where categories are created by linking synapses. As a result, the more often an entry is linked to others by backlinks or hashtags, the more prominently the entry is displayed in the graph. A graph also helps to see which pages are not linked but would benefit from a link. The usefulness of these graphs increases with the number of entries and links (Figure 7).

Figure 7: The Graph view visualizes the links between pages and journal entries.

You can also search at the word level. To do this, either use the search mask (Ctrl+K) or hold down the Shift key and click on the title of a page in the sidebar or a linked term in an entry. The respective page with its links then appears in the right sidebar.

Linking with square brackets or hashtags in Logseq proves to be a powerful tool. To create connections, create a new bullet point in an entry and type the title of an existing or yet-to-be-created page in double square brackets. Depending on your preference, you can use a hashtag instead to create the link. Backlinks or hashtags form the links in the graph.

Learning Curve

Logseq may seem a little confusing at first until you find your workflow – sometimes this takes several tries. I start each morning with a journal entry that summarizes the day's tasks. It has a header of Tasks in double square brackets, which means that it can be linked to an existing page on the topic, or I can create a new page with that name. If I then click on the Tasks page, I will see a continuous list of daily tasks with their respective dates. Combining this with the to-do function, I quickly have an overview of what I have done and what I still need to work on.

This work approach saves a great deal of time, because you can work with shortcuts instead of folders. You don't have to think about where to store entries or how useful a heading is: The meaning is derived from the links. You can write about a wide variety of topics in a daily journal entry and then link them meaningfully to other pages that already exist or you plan to create.

As a result, you generally don't have to worry about finding entries in Logseq. However, if you want to use graphs productively, you should think about a sensible structure in advance and test it. When doing so, start by looking at the Graph view from the left sidebar after making changes to the entries and then decide if this makes sense for your use case.

In this article, I can only hope to present a fraction of Logseq's feature set. I have only been using Logseq for two months in parallel to my long-time favorite local wiki Zim, and I still feel very much like a Logseq novice. It takes a few months of use for Logseq to fully reveal its secrets. The documentation, FAQ, and an option for defining keyboard shortcuts are all hidden behind the Help link at the top of the right sidebar.


Logseq's reception in the open source community is evident from the 120 or so contributors on GitHub and a Discord chat with 1,300 active participants at the time of testing.

The only negative point I noticed in testing is that Logseq collects telemetry data without asking the user. If in doubt, you may want to check out the relatively brief privacy policy [13].

Logseq has gleaned many features from Roam Research and made some things better, such as PDF integration. Although the application is still in the beta phase, the software's potential is already becoming apparent. An Android app is in the testing phase and can be found as an APK on the GitHub page. A Pro version of Logseq with synchronization is in the planning stage. The developers just received about $4 million in venture capital, but you can also support Logseq by donating on OpenCollective [14].

The Author

Ferdinand Thommes lives and works as a Linux developer, freelance writer, and tour guide in Berlin.

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