How I quickly navigate in time

I’ve been using Roamresearch for two weeks and i’m loving it!

I’m an intensive user of daily notes and I find it a bit tidious to navigate in time right now in Roam only using the two features provided :

  • search bar (assuming that you already have created the page for the date that you are looking for)
  • daily note page (scrolling back in time, not in the future, and same as search assuming that you have already created the page of the date you are looking for)

So I’ve written a framework to help me on this:

Year Page

I’ve created a page for the year that contains links to each month of the year in a single line

[Jun 20]([[June 2020]]) || [Jul 20]([[July 2020]]) || [Aug 20]([[August 2020]])|| [Sep 20]([[September 2020]]) || [Oct 20]([[October 2020]]) || [Nov 20]([[November 2020]]) || [Dec 20]([[December 2020]])

So when i go to the page of a given month, the linked references at the bottom provides me a good way to navigate between month. I’ll show an example right after.

This “year page” contains references to my long term goals and may also be usefull to store my yearly review in the future

I’ll eventually star this page for quick access

Month page

having created a year page with links to each month of the year has provided me with a page for each month with linked references that looks like this

From here it’s super easy to navigate from a month to another and go back to the year page

in this page i’m adding two bullets.

The first bullet contains a list of links to week pages:

[W27]([[2020W27]]) || [W28]([[2020W28]]) || [W29]([[2020W29]]) || [W30]([[2020W30]]) || [W31]([[2020W31]])

The idea is the same as for the “months bullet” in the year page : whenever I will go to the page of a week, i’ll be able to navigate between weeks of the month in the “linked references” section of the week page

The second bullet is a table containing the calendar view of the month with links to the daily page of each day of the month. That helps me quickly pick a day and go to the page of the day

here is a sample of the structure of the table

- Mon
    - Tue
        - Wed
            - Thu
                - Fri
                    - Sat
                        - Sun
-  
    -  
        - [1]([[July 1st, 2020]])
            - [2]([[July 2nd, 2020]])
                - [3]([[July 3rd, 2020]])
                    - [4]([[July 4th, 2020]])
                        - [5]([[July 5th, 2020]])

When i’m done my month page looks like this

This page also contains references to my “short term goals” and is usefull for my future monthly review

I’ll eventually star the page of the current month for quick access

The week page

having created a month page with links to each week of the month has provided me with a page for each week with linked references that looks like this

From here it’s super easy to navigate from a week to another within the month and go back to the month page

I’m adding one bullet in this page containing links to each day of the week (starting on Monday in my case)

[Mon 27]([[July 27th, 2020]]) | [Tue 28]([[July 28th, 2020]]) | [Web 29]([[July 29th, 2020]]) | [Thu 30]([[July 30th, 2020]]) | [Fri 31]([[July 31st, 2020]]) | [Sat 01]([[August 1st, 2020]]) | [Sun 02]([[August 2nd, 2020]])

You get the point: The idea is the same as for the “week bullet” in the month page : whenever I will go to the page of a day, i’ll be able to navigate between days of the week in the “linked references” section of the day page

What’s interesting in this case is that Week 31 is both belonging to July and August so i’ll get an extra navigation capability for this specific case: linked references to both July and August month. That’s super usefull in my case because I have a lot of topic that slips from a week to the very next one and unless the week ends the last day of the month (which wont occur so much), I’m always provided with the “next week” link when i’m in the week page

Here is what my “week page” looks like when i’m done

This page also contains my weekly review and i’ll eventually star the current week page for quick access.

Daily note

At this point each day page will have a linked reference to the week page it belongs to, with links to other days of the week, and a link to the month page just like that:

Conclusion

I’ve been using this configuration for a week and I find it super convenient to kind of “zoom in - zoom out” navigation + lateral navigation in a given level of time. “Lateral navigation” really helps me being productive, while “zooming out” help me taking some higher view of my long term goals and achievements.

The setup of a whole year (in fact half of a year since I don’t think i’ll use past days prior to July) took me 30 minutes thanks to an excel formula to generate the writing of the links

It’s a bit hacky right now and I’m sure that the Roamresearch team will provide us with great time navigation capabilities in the future

20 Likes

Super ingenious thanks for sharing this!

The use of aliases to make the numbers on the calendar-view into links to daily journal entries, is great.

4 Likes

You can make an eternal journal this way. Like the 5 year or 3 year journal. Connor said it’s coming up something similar.
Other possible approaches? Other ways to implement this awesome workaround @mat?

I created a script to generate the links suggested by @mat (but I prefer to divide my year into quarters rather than months). If you scroll to the bottom of my script, you can copy-paste the output!

Thanks for sharing this. Any chance you could share the spreadsheet, or at least a few lines of it, so we can see how you generated the strings?

Hi! sharing an excel file isn’t enabled on this forum: ping me on slack @mathieu

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So… I didn’t read the whole thread. Others have already done this… I’ll keep the text below, but don’t want to add noise. Got carried away. :slight_smile:

I love this idea so much. I’ve attached an export of just the calendar parts so people can import to populate all this stuff. Unfortunately I already had a different naming convention, so the naming is different. Hope that’s OK!

I think this graph is public, so you can poke around and export from there: https://roamresearch.com/#/app/jjt-2020

If that doesn’t work, here’s a link to the raw data: https://gist.githubusercontent.com/jjthrash/31c157b50cf8e23ab06d802853e07017/raw/baf48a932c4377d35b0cc31010e5ce010b11509b/roam-2020.json

That link was empty. The json looks promising, I assume it’s to be imported? I’ll check it out.

OK, thanks. I tried making a public database, but I guess it didn’t work.

Yes, the JSON file is intended to be imported. Hope it’s useful!

@jjthrash I see that you changed 2020W33 to Week 33, 3030

Downloaded, imported, working fine. Thanks.

@mat I would LOVE, love, love to see what your weekly review / weekly plan looks like on the weekly pages!

@laj2100
My week page is composed of a header with links to the daily pages of the days of the week.

Then I have a section with all recurring meetings that i’m responsible for/contributor of.

I have a block for each [[name of the meeting]] | [[week page]].

While working, reading, thinking about topics or actions that I need to discuss with people in a given meeting, I add them in the dedicated block.

This is much easier to find them in the week page than putting a block in the daily page of the day those meetings will occur. This is because i don’t want to remember which day a meeting is planned to be able to add ideas to the dedicated bloc. Clicking to the week page in the left menu is much faster.

In my left menu I have a shortcut for current week and a shortcut for next week so: that’s enough to go the next instance of a given meeting. Next week’s page is usefull if the day of this week’s meeting is already passed and i want to start putting ideas in next week’s meeting block.

This is what it looks like

Then in the daily page, when i’m sure of the schedule of the meeting (my agenda is moving a lot along the day/week) i embed the bloc at the time the meeting is occuring like this {{embed: ((block of the meeting in the week page))}}.

As you can see in the picture I have two other sections:

  • 1:1 meetings works the same way as Recurring Meetings

  • Ideas for the week-end is a container so that I’m sure to have a lot of fun ideas and things to do with my family and don’t waste hours on Saturday morning to wonder what we could do alltogether.

For my weekly review, I follow the worklow proposed by Anonym.s https://youtu.be/LmDaDIkr9lQ

3 Likes

After you download and import the Json file, what are you supposed to do?

Has anyone built this out for 2021 yet?

This is gorgeous. I’ve been relying on your 2020 format - also for placing tasks within a specific week that don’t yet need to be on a specific day. Thanks so much for sharing your template! Super useful!

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import into your graph :slight_smile:

Hi again, @mat ! + cc @jjthrash @roam_user
Any chance any of you guys have created a script for 2021 yet? If so, would you mind sharing? plz & TYIA :slight_smile:

@laj2100 No, but I’m working on it! Will post here when I get a chance. I’ll post it as a JSON export, unless someone else gets to it first.

Here you go! I’d recommend importing it in a temporary graph just to make sure it does what you want.

  • Load this link in your browser.
  • Save it to your computer
  • Import it into your graph

I’ve also created 2022 and 2023 here: https://gist.github.com/jjthrash/56dfa39cd775492b23db3fd404f1ac97

Click the “Raw” buttons to get to the downloadable version.

4 Likes

you rock! thanks so much!!

1 Like