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Roam Research to Explore Ideas

theianjones profile image Ian Jones Originally published at on ・1 min read is a tool that I have been using for the past couple weeks as a sort of daily log/research tool. It as completely changed what I expect out of a note taking tool. The best part is its easy of use. Theres zero friction to start recording your thoughts on a topic.

I keep track of everything I do in the "Daily Log".

Roam Research Daily Log

There are handy short cuts for mark down syntax and everything.

Roam is a networked not taking app 🤯

When ever you get to some topic you want to reference, you can add [[]] around the string to create a page. Now that you've created a page, you can reference that page from anywhere.

For example, I use rails for work, so Ive created a [[Rails]] tag.

This is the page that Roam created for me:

Roam Research Tag Page

This page gives you a place to put any content you want around this tag. You'll notice that you can reference other tags on this page. If you shift-click the tag, it opens that page in the sidebar:

Roam Research Side Panel

This is the networked aspect of Roam. It allows you to easily navigate through your notes. I can see this being an amazing tool for researching a topic to write about or just generally keep your notes in.

Discussion (5)

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bobwalsh47hats profile image
Bob Walsh

Hi Ian,

Are you still using Roam and what are your thoughts now that you've been using it for a few months?


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Ian Jones Author

I have been enjoying it a lot! I've found that I use it mostly when Im trying to learn a topic or write a blog post. Which is definitely what it excels at.

My current flow is:

Article I find on the web -> Instapaper
Read/Highlight in Instapaper -> Readwise (automated)
Copy notes from highlights into Roam and progressively summarize.

Its been really nice!

bobwalsh47hats profile image
Bob Walsh

Thanks Ian - and thanks for the pointer to Readwise - just the tool I was looking for to corral my highlights in PDFs and kindle!

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Ian Jones Author

They have a spaced repetition feature that is nice if you download their beta app. It feeds you your highlights and you have the option to create questions out of them.

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bobwalsh47hats profile image
Bob Walsh • Edited

Read the intro post for that - knowing more than a little about spaced repetition et. al. from building
LearnShortcuts, they've put together a really elegant solution.

But what I'm really liking is being able to for the first time reliably bookmark in PDFs and save those bookmarks. The process is taking the pdf, importing it into Books (formerly iBooks), then with the readwise books tool, pull your bookmarks into Readwise.

Now when I buy a pdf, I have a process for extracting what I want from that pdf, and learning the concepts I want to learn from it. Awesome! (I wrote it up, it was that good).