You've tried every note app and stopped using them. Why? We're too damn lazy to organise things top down. We just want to scribble them down and auto-magically they get organised. I don't want to FIND my bucket list to add things to it. I want to write down my bucket list idea and it finds my bucket list and adds itself to it. Roam Research is how you do it. It's a lot more than just bucket lists but this is a good starting point to understand basic features.
Half way through the day I have a new blog post idea
Previously I'd have to remember where that blog post ideas list was, then add to it.
Now I just open RoamResearch and start to type in "blog" in square brackets and type in the idea. That's it. Move on. Carry on with your day.
While walking around I see a new restaurant to try.
I come across a book I want to read.
I see a podcast to listen.
I have a bucket list idea.
I list them all down, one under the other, and I just don't give a damn about organising them because Roam Research has got this.
A couple of days later I have a few more ideas
There's a couple more restaurants I go past. I like food ok.
I have another blog post idea, see another book I want to read on Amazon and someone in an article mentions a podcast I should listen to.
I dump them down on the Roam.
The day arrives when I'm like "What book shall I read?"
I do a search on RoamResearch for the word "books" and it gathers all those notes marked "books to read" and shows them here.
Podcasts to listen to
Blog post ideas
It brings all my dumped down thoughts together. I never try and 'find a list' again.
Using Roam Research to do research for a blog post
Here's an example of how it's great for organising research notes which I guess was its core purpose.
The normal method is chaotic where I read lots and create a big giant list of information which I scan through multiple times to put it together into a post.
For example, in the old method, I would read 20 articles and just list down key points from each. If I then want to write about "Growth of customer support software" I'd have to read through it all to pick up those key points mentioning growth statistics.
Now I do this:
- Start with a rough premise for a post with say 5 key questions I want to answer. For example "How much has the support industry grown? #growth" (note the has tag at the end). "What are the key new challenges within that industry? #challenges"
- I then read articles that help answer those questions and note down key points as indented bullet points under each article title within Roam and put a tag against them as I did above with #growth.
- When I come to write the post I will write down the question in my document and then click #growth and it shows all the points I wrote down tagged with growth.
In short, I'm now first writing down a giant connected bullet point list and the tags help organise it under each key question I want to answer.
I reckon this could halve my blog writing time when I've refined it. I'll write a follow up post on this at some point.
What else can it do?
There are shortcuts, tags, the ability to make it look like a doc.
It can be used for writing articles, books, and doing actual research.
They are planning to expand it greatly into something that we probably would not imagine right now, considering they have built in-apps.
For example it has a built in pomodoro timer. You can type /pomodoro and it kicks off a 25 minute focus boost session right there.
You start it by typing /pomodor0 and it shows the following little bit of code which you can edit to set the time. Default is 25 mins.
When you hit enter it starts.
You can type /TODO to create tickable to-do list items and of course you can gather all the todo items by filtering just by that.
The company is adding APIs and features for teams.
However, even the simplest bucket list type use solves so many problems. I've started using it for writing blog posts and I already reckon it will cut down research + writing time by 30% to 50%.
It's $15 / month for the basic plan. I hear Notion are adding the same bi-directional link features but for me this is my own personal note taking app. We use Notion as a team. Still, good news for the team.
Go see RoamResearch. They've got a 30 day trial. The onboarding videos are hilarious because the guy doing them is such a hard core brain that you can see he's almost frustrated at having to explain something so simple. I can hear the lift of his finger before it slams down on the keyboard.
See a further visual review by checking out Omi Shu's videos. Start here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTSHhj92pvM&t=162s