Why is everyone crazy about this astrolabe note-taking app?
I mean, they even have a cult!
I didn’t get the hype back then. I thought of Roam as another note-taking app like Evernote and Notion.
Boy, I was wrong.
Roam is not a note-taking app. It’s a tool for thought. It’s an app that helps you think and makes up for the limitations of your brain.
I started using Roam Research in October 2020, and I can say that it’s one of the best things I discovered in 2020.
Roam has a bit of a learning curve, but you can get most of its benefits by knowing the fundamentals. It was a bit daunting when I tried to learn it, so in this post, I’ll share some of the resources I wish I knew when I started using Roam.
Nat Eliason’s Roam Article
This article was my introduction to Roam. Nat Eliason talks about why Roam is great and how to use Roam for knowledge management, productivity, and CRM.
NessLabs has a step-by-step guide on using Roam, from how to use Roam to write articles to the best themes in Roam Research.
Andy Henson’s Effective Note-Taking With Roam Research course
This course is a free 14-day email course by Andy Henson that covers the fundamental features of Roam as well as the advanced use cases.
How to build a Zettelkasten
How to Take Smart Notes
This book introduces the Zettelkasten Method, a method of taking notes by Niklas Luhmann which produced 70 books and 400 articles.
It’s a very wordy book, but it’s worth a read. The first half of the book is about taking smart notes, and the second half of the book is about why you should take smart notes.
Andy Matuschak’s Evergreen Notes
Andy Matuschak’s Evergreen Notes are a real-life example of how a Zettelkasten looks like in practice. He goes over why evergreen notes are essential, and how you can start taking evergreen notes.
Andy’s site is a bit confusing, though, so I’d recommend reading this article for clarity.
This course is a free course I found recently. It’s community-made and is recent (December 2020).
It’s also use-case driven so that you can set up your Roam database in no time.
Anonym.s’s From Beginner to Superuser: A Complete Roam Tutorial Course
This YouTube course covers Roam’s basics and how to use it for project management, habit tracking, knowledge management, and so on. It is incomplete, though. (March 2021 update: the videos are gone now :( )
Robert Haisfeld has a series of videos where he becomes the host for MTV Cribs, but instead of exploring houses, he explores their Roam databases. It’s a great series to look at how other people use Roam for knowledge management and note-taking.
My favourite ones would be:
Enough with the resources. Roam is one of those apps where you actually have to use it to know how amazing it is. My suggestion would be to read up on one article or two about Roam, start discovering Roam on your own, and dive into the Roam Untangled course.
You can use it for free for 30 days, and after that, it’s $15 a month. It is a bit expensive, but you can also apply for a scholarship if you’re a student, under 21, or facing financial difficulties.