Roam Research has quickly established itself as a unique tool for knowledge workers and is generating a lot of buzz and excitement.
Before the paywall, I played around with Roam a bit and I was impressed by some of its distinctive features.
What stuck out to me most was that the atomic unit of Roam is the hierarchical bullet point, rather than a note or file. This fine granularity promotes very specific linking to other pieces of information. I think this feature is actually the most powerful of all of Roam’s features.
The other feature distinguished Roam was the bidirectional linking (Backlinks). Other tools such as Obsidian have also implemented bidirectional linking. Backlinks are cool but I didn’t find them as useful as I originally imagined they would be.
Ultimately, I have decided to not make Roam my primary tool for personal knowledge management because it is proprietary and a web-service. I want full control and ownership over my notes, and so I opt for a plain text approach, which is fully mine and as futureproof as possible. Nevertheless, I think the attention that Roam has brought to the topic of personal knowledge management is incredibly important and all the activity in this space now is sure to promote the development of new and better tools and methods.
If you use Roam, what are your reasons? What do you like? If you don’t use Roam, why not?