Re-reading goals

For the last several years, I've taken part in the Goodreads reading challenge. I tend to come up 3–5 books short each year, but I'm happy overall with how much I've been reading. However, I'm not crazy about what I've done with the books I've read. Often, I've done very little beyond reading the words on the page. I made highlights and perhaps a short blurb somewhere in my notes. But as this was all before I had delved into the world of smart note-taking and making the most of what I read, so most of the books I…

Read More

Roam vs. Obsidian

Roam vs. Obsidian

In a recent post, I made an offhand mention that Obsidian might be a better fit for some people than Roam Research. What was that all about? Well, for one, I believe both are good tools. If you're looking to use Roam as a Zettelkasten tool, Obsidian offers many of the same benefits. I've been keeping my eye on its development all the months that I've cautiously used Roam. It's super easy to try out with these few steps: Export your Roam content (I did that regularly and added it to a Git repo on my computer)I would open…

Read More

Making sense of Roam Research

Just over a month ago, I gave an intro tour of Roam Research to the Wildbit team. We have a call of this type on the first Friday of each month, and I'd wanted to do this for a while as a few people on the team started to use it. But each person seems to come away from the first few log-ins to Roam with this same question: How do I use this thing? The truth is, after months of using it, I still didn't have a firm sense of how I wanted to use Roam myself. Ever since…

Read More

How Andy Matuschak's notes compare to a Zettel

I mentioned Andy in the last issue. If you spend any time in the Roam community, you've heard of this fellow. And it's due in large part to his own "Digital garden" and his public notes. How and where he stores those notes aside, I spent a lot of time going over this note, plus all its offshoots. My practice of writing Evergreen notes is heavily inspired by Niklas Luhmann’s Zettelkasten practice and its contemporary advocates. I use a different term both because there are some distinctions and because I want to give myself space to explore ideas in…

Read More

The Roam cult

Well, that escalated quickly. I went from disinterested when I first heard about Roam from Drew Coffman, to mildly curious when I saw a lot of chatter about it, to pretty sold on the idea. I’ve been using it consistently for a little over two weeks and I can see it’s likely a better tool for creating a Zettelkasten than any other product I've explored. But one aspect that has caught my attention is the community using the tool. It reminds me a little of the hype of Slack in its early days, or more recently, the hype…

Read More

Roam: why I love it and how I use it

I continue to hear a lot of positive feedback about Roam Research. And although I'm hesitant to embrace new web apps that are VC funded, the number of people saying good things about this one has me intrigued (but it would have to be a life-changing tool to get me to invest my time and energy in a funded team that is not charging for their product). Here are a few related items: Roam: Why I Love It and How I Use It by Nat EliasonHow to Take Smart Notes: A Step-by-Step Guide also by NatWhat's to great about Roam…

Read More

A system for making the most of what I read

Regular readers will know that I’ve been focused a lot this past year on a couple of ideas. Namely, the Zettelkasten method and the idea of having a digital “second brain”. Those are names other people have given the concept, but it’s simply about making the most from what we read and the information that comes our way. And these concepts are all about creating a trusted system that is used routinely, all for the express purpose of producing quality output. I’ve shared most of these items in the past, but here’s recap of the various…

Read More