When do you make a new note vs making a block in an existing note?

Hi all - I’m pretty new to Roam, the way I do things is probably pretty inefficient and any tips would be appreciated!

In any case, this is a situation I commonly face: I’ll be taking writing in a note about a topic - for example the Unix operating system. And then I’ll want to write some stuff about a subtopic - say the Unix Shell - but this applies to any topic/subtopic kind of relationship.

Here I can basically choose between making a new note for the ‘subtopic’ and linking - either a link to [[Unix]] in Unix Shell, or a link to [[Unix Shell]] in Unix, or both. Or I can just create a block in Unix about the Unix Shell and write inside that.

It’s a tricky choice IMO because blocks in Roam are first-class citizens - they can be linked to directly, searched for directly, and I can click the little bullet point next to a block to view the block as a note. I

So I’m not exactly sure how to make this design choice each time I come across it, so I thought I’d ask if anyone here has any tips for the best way to approach this?



I think this is a great and fundamental question. I don’t have the answer, but I’m interested to see what people say. Thanks for asking!

Hey good question, this is something I’m currently wrestling with but I have some thoughts.

With Roam I think it’s easy to forget how quickly you can find content/blocks at some point in the future. It also takes time to change your behaviour from previous note-taking apps where tags, folders, and organization are important to prevent losing things.

Going back to your question I would opt for nesting or just making a new note. Assuming you’re using some of the same tags you’ll almost always find a way back or find a way to make a connection between the blocks.

At some point you can create a page or a block where you decide to merge more of these related sub-topics and that’s the power of Roam, you can do that without affecting the original context of the blocks.

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