All Articles

Roam Research - Note-taking software for interconnected knowledge

Roam Research knowledge management software

For years I turned to Evernote for organizing documents, notes and other information for my business and personal projects. Since Apple made working with files on the iPad more practical since the last few iOS releases I started to first move my scanned documents away from Evernote to iCloud folders. It’s a simple and effective solution. Paper documents are scanned with Doxie and put in their respective folders. The PDFs can be accessed from all my devices since they’re on the iCloud drive.

That’s a good solution for PDFs, but what to do with freetext notes? I never really liked the Evernote interface for editing text anyway. Modern minimalistic text editors like Ulysses, Bear and the like are much better. I also think a Markdown approach to formatting text helps to declutter and keeps texts more consistent.

„The first note-taking tool that works exactly how my brain does.”

— Drew Coffman (drewcoffman.com)

Recently I discovered Roam Reasearch, “A note-taking tool for networked thought” as it says on the homepage. It’s currently still in open beta, but fully usable and generally stable. The software gathered a growing tribe of fans from researchers and other knowledge workers under the hashtag #RoamCult recently.

Roam works similar to a Wiki. You create pages by linking to them with double square-bracketed [[Tags]]. What’s special is that each page shows all backlinks from other pages in your Roam database.

Some people like to implement the Zettelkasten method (originally by Niklas Luhmann) with Roam, as your personal knowledge database.

I find Roam by far the most advanced and easy to use software for interconnected knowledge management. Highly recommended. According to the co-founder Conor White-Sullivan, it is planned to launch the software sometime 2020 and is going to cost about 15$/month.