The Best Features of Roam

  • Daily view for convenience and organization
  • Individual nodes serving as pages with dates
  • Easy way to make changes and build structures
  • Tagging for topics and decision tracking
  • Advanced filtering options
  • Ability to use as an individual or in a team
  • Large data handling
  • Chronological logs for each topic or contributor
  • Metadata in the form of schemas
  • Copying and pasting of block references
  • Ability to move block references and maintain historical context
  • Block-level reactions and versioning
  • Use of bracket links for referencing
  • Maintenance of original context in conversations
  • Moving work forward in time while maintaining history
  • Basic markdown formatting and unique highlight features
  • Interactive sidebar for easy navigation and thought organization
  • Outliner with back links for connected thoughts and ideas


[00:01] So this is Rome. One of the things I actually enjoy about Rome is the daily view and that you are always starting on today, or the list of views and today being the top one, where these are individual nodes that serve as pages with dates. So like if you click on that it's actually February 20th, 2024. So that is this page. So it's a page with the date.

[00:36] I think that's neat. And the reason I like it is because of the way you can make changes and do things and make decisions and build things. And it floats away, right? Like, so it goes away and I build up a domain or an information architecture or a taxonomy or whatever you want to call it. It just kind of floats on down the river.

[01:01] And there's some things that I want to get back so like usually for me it's like I'm tagging a topic and then I'll think about it underneath and there's different ways to do that but this is this has worked pretty well and then I love when I click into that so I click into whatever my tag is. We don't spend a lot of time in here. We're not building that up, but the way that you can then filter, so being able to click that tag and come in here and see all these by date. And then you can do things like this where I can come in and say sketching and filter that down and remove that. In the egghead one we have people's names.

[01:42] So whenever I come into the daily view I would be like Joel And then I can put in whatever I want. And then when I come in here and I go into Joel, I can see everything that I've contributed for a while. So here it is in the Egghead, which is pretty robust to the point where it won't load on mobile, because there's a lot of data in here. And the reason it does that is because it downloads your entire graph, your entire database into memory or local storage or whatever. All right, so click that.

[02:23] You see the about. And now you can kind of go back through and you get all of this just dating back for years and years and years. Four years maybe? A little over four years? And this becomes filterable too, so you know like there's many taxonomies built in to this structure, but I can come in and, you know, I can look at total typescript and kind of get a chronological log of every, everything that's happened.

[02:58] And that could be like, Oh, I want to now look at total TypeScript. So let's jump over there. That's great. And here we do add some metadata. So you can add a schema inside of these.

[03:10] But these are more like topics than pages. We're not using these as pages. And literally 99.99% of the work ends up being done in the context of a single day. One of the things is, well, how would you then advance something if you were interested in bringing that forward. So you can go down here, and I love this idea of copying a block ref.

[03:42] And you can come in here and then I'll paste that, and that's denoted by the parentheses, and then this is the ID of whatever the block is. And then I can click on this and I can replace that with original ring nested items along So the replace with is really dope. And then apply children is also pretty cool. But replace with original, oops, it has an undo. I think that's pretty nice.

[04:13] Replace with original ring nested items along makes this the original now. So it moves that forward and what it leaves in its place, back here where we yoinked that from, is a reference to the new block. So it basically swapped out this little tree, put a back reference to it, and then moved the entire tree over here, but leaving the reference in place. So when I was working on this previously in April, now I'm thinking about this again so I can bring that whole thing forward, but I do not lose that marker, that denotation in time that I've done something in the past. And you get that for any of these, you can come in and, you know, look at the, the set of filters that we, we have, and we're able to bring that down.

[05:10] And we can see that Taylor's been working on the book, and these spaces, you know, like he's, got a checklist in here and in the book, and just works inside of that. And frankly, it's his, so he can do that. And then you can see all the spaces in the past where this has been brought up and worked on and thought about back to the first bits in October when it started to get worked on. So I love that. Block rafts.

[05:45] Frankly, and this is kind of silly, I actually love being able to do block level reactions. That's kind of cool. This delta thing is actually really neat, but not one of the things that I would probably look at. Versioning, it seemed like cool in practice, but I never did that. Here is maybe one of the coolest features to me, and this is directly related to CourseBuilder and thinking about, okay, well, I love this block and I want to have it in my current context.

[06:18] So if a piece of content had this idea, this is basically, it's kind of like a scratch pad. So, total TypeScript, Say I wanted to have this node over there, so you can shift-click that and you can bring things to think about. But I was thinking about, what if this persisted? So these are references to a particular piece of content that you're writing and you could stack it up over here and it has these you know like the ability to pin I don't know if that might persist it between between loads if you pin it it does that's pretty cool But this gives you this kind of informational graph scratch pad at the end of the day. The bracket links, love those as long as they are going to pages, daily notes, being able to bring forward notes and have that reference just flip-flopped.

[07:28] And then you can, you know, like we'll hear where this is we encourage people to so you like I love this where Josh has has quoted this Or this is in reference to her and answer to Josh's original statement here not 100% how it's Peter oh there it is So it's like I say this and Josh is able to grab that and then comment on this, where the reference to mine, and it's a conversation, but it's held in place. So it's not destroying what I've learned here or wrote here, it's adding on or adding commentary to what's been written. RUM also has like a comment system which is just kind of a trying to be more convenient way to make that. But I love this, right? Like so or if I was like, well I like this thought, I want to bring that up, I'm going to put that here and add some more thoughts or details.

[08:30] And now this, you know, we can see down here, you get these two references and those can be, you know, add some more thoughts or details. And then it's like later on, if I wanna add more to this conversation, even more. So there's two references here, one reference here that we can bring out even more and you can kind of chain this thought. And this is like, it's this idea of moving work forward in time as you work on it over time, but not, but leaving that kind of that forensic breadcrumb back through the work. And I just love that as a concept.

[09:08] All in all, that's about it. It does it like it has like this, like it has basic like markdown formatting and, and all that kind of stuff. And that's great. It adds some unique stuff, like actually being able to do these highlights, which look like that. So you get this kind of thing, which is actually cool in practice, but kind of secondary.

[09:29] This one was, I think, a hassle for them to get working properly. Just the editor nature of this and I don't, you know, it's like how much value does that actually add is questionable. But I do love it. I love the highlights and I love the ability to be able to bold inside of highlights and have those actually function. Yeah, I think that's really it.

[09:55] The shift-click bar over here, your sidebar, is pretty rad. And if you could pull things into here at will, I think that's awesome. And then kind of this flowing view, like I get in there and I get to start thinking and pulling thoughts forward and linking and connecting and all that fun stuff. That's kind of typical in this style of outliner with back links and all that. I think it's cool.