I USED A TIMER to allow myself two hours for my first hands-on routine with Roam Research, a note-taking and personal knowledge management service that I used to produce this InsideView.ie blog post. I'm confident that if I could save at least 15 euro a month by focusing my note-taking inside Roam because I could reduce my annual consumption of Moleskine journals (see samples in my photostream below). I'm still going to use pen and paper for some of my sketchnotes but the recurring tasks were always more efficient using a template. During my two hour stint with Roam, I created several of those templates and I linked them to the left hand panel (seen above) that displays when Roam launches.
I got my ideas about Roam templates from a playlist of tutorials by anonym.s on YouTube. Dozens of YouTubers from the Roam Cult believe Roam is a "brain dump for journaling". I like Roam's blank canvas, the way it opens each day with a page for Daily Notes, and how it uses bidirectional linking of all content. It's nice to see Markdown respected through software as a service and to be browser-based instead of being constrained by an app.
During the past 12 years, I have migrated from Dropbox to Google Drive to Evernote to OneNote. Because of the hierarchical structure served by SharePoint and the Microsoft Teams framework used by the Clonmel Digital Campus, I plan to synchronise major blocks of content between my Roam and my OneDrive.
I wrote some first impressions of Roam onto the Daily Notes for June 24, 2020 and then simply pasted them onto this blog page.
First two hours of Roam
- ^^Hashtags and bracket links are treated the same in Roam.^^
- The "graph overview" of Roam could expose currently unlinked blog content I've accumulated since 1997. But the visual representation of Roam's "graph overview" is awkward. I need to zoom into it with my mouse scrolling command.
- It's good to nest all projects on the Projects page that I created.
- Although I can scrape web pages and paste them into Roam, simple web scraping does not harvest audio embeds. I need to see whether Spider Pro can do a better job.
- In my personal practice, Roam Research emulates my 1995 use of AskSam. Roam can gather unrelated thoughts and serve up serendipitous relationships when I try to find content through Roam Search. This means I can reduce the number of pages I need in my Moleskine journals.
I've used Roam to set up dates on my summertime calendar to view 45 short video clips showing how other people have used Roam Research to squeeze more efficiency from their daily routines. I've also joined the Slack channel for Roam and started listening to subredditors who claim to have lost data while using Roam. I'm confident of my back-up routines and very appreciative of how Roam can help me extract learning materials from thousands of pages of notes I've accumulated during the past 25 years of journaling.