Why are you a Believer?

The title says it all. Why are you a believer? The use of roam is axiomatic. Who wouldn’t want to use the greatest thought enhancing tool since the invention of the wiki. (I personally would argue since the printing press but then #RoamCult might be showing to much.) There is a bit of a different world when you decided to spend a decent amount of money and commit to using the same program for 5 years. While I suppose you could pay the money and bounce that does not seem effective.

So what made you decide to invest in Roam early, and become a True Believer?

7 Likes

The steady and noticeable improvement curve.

I haven’t experienced anything like this with an organizing tool, ever… six months in, and my ability to leverage Roam as an organizer, just

Has. Not. Stopped. Getting. Better.

6 Likes

I’ve been looking for a PKM tool for many years, even wrote a few but none got me close to this. And it’s barely begun! Can’t wait to look back a year from now and see both Roam and I.

3 Likes

RoamResearch gets me.

3 Likes

Honestly, as soon as I saw my first video about Roam (and I think it was on YouTube from Keep Productive), I immediately saw the potential for Roam and my writing. And quite frankly, I became a believer because I need Roam to survive. I need them to exist and grow, and expand because I need this. Nothing else out there allows for me to create the kind of structured and interconnected notes that I need for my writing and world-building.

And I know that Roam Clones exist, but I wanted to invest in the man that birthed this idea, because that the kind of person who (I believe) will continue to innovate. So, long story short, why am I believer? Because I believe in what they’ve built; and I believe they’ll continue to make it better.

9 Likes

I have tried lots of PKM tools and the upfront decision about hierarchy fails me every time. Roam works and it gets better week on week with the improvements and community tools and knowledge :star_struck:

1 Like

It wasn’t an easy choice for me. But an inevitable one.

I need a tool to capture my notes and thoughts. When I discovered Roam, through YouTube videos from Notes with Ren, Shu Omi, and Anonym.s, I got excited about how this could change everything I thought about capturing my thoughts.

I spent a bit of time comparing Roam to RemNote, Obsidian, Notion, and even OneNote. But Roam kept winning on the features, the ease of use, and the promise. But not the price.

At $15/mo, I said no. At $500 for a 5 year plan, it became a much easier choice because it reduced the cost to $8.33/mo. That was the tipping point for me.

I believed in the possibilities, I believe in the Roam team, I liked the flow, and I could get the cost down to where I felt any risk was effectively mitigated. And I have not had the first second thought about that decision. I’m proud to be a Believer.

5 Likes

Ten years ago I discovered a need…

Maybe I read a book, and then I read an article and listened to a podcast etc. and felt the urge to connect the concepts between these sources. But I couldn’t.

I looked for a tool and a process, but couldn’t find any that worked.

I tried mindmanager, and The Brain, and Evernote, and Workflowy, and Notion etc. but either they didn’t have the features needed, or the process/workflow was too clumsy.

Until I found Roam, and it just worked the way I needed. Not perfectly yet, but in a way that had a plausible roadmap for getting where I need to be with my notes and my thinking.

That’s why I’m a Believer

4 Likes

Because when I started using roam, I wrote up a big list of concerns I had. Today, most of these are solved or on the roadmap. I’m used to software getting worse over time, not better! One of the biggest issues I had previously with Roam was the lack of a clear monetization plan, making me hesitant to just pour my data into it without knowing the long game.

Personally, it’s also about taking an ethical stance. I’m sick of paying with my eyeballs or my data, and I want to support alternatives to that.

4 Likes

Ditto. The hierarchical structure of Roam is a killear feature for me.

1 Like

I have been using roam since last november and I think I have only missed maybe a couple days of putting something in it. Early on when there were outages I felt actual withdrawal symptoms. For me, my mind always has felt like a mess of interconnected thoughts and I struggled to make progress - roam seems to allow me to get my thoughts down and then out of my head, allowing me to move on to the next thing, knowing that I wont lose those thoughts and ideas, and the ability to go back and refine them over time which is why I never wanted to let things go in my head in the past.

If roam was to disappear tomorrow, I would have to stop everything and write a replacement for myself - maybe nowadays some of the alternatives would be good enough - but I certainly couldn’t go back to the way it was.

I’ve tried simple markdown and text files, org mode, all the standard note taking apps - the block level organization is the key.

The decision to spend $500 wasn’t easy but was straight forward - I couldn’t live without the tool and can easily see myself spending 5 years with it - but also even if I find something better its obvious that this tool has pushed forward the thinking about how a tool like this can work. Its an important advancement and I wanted to invest in it. I didn’t really spend $500 on the tool I have (although it was probably still worth it) but on the tool I believe this thing can become. Its also why I have spent so much time with my experiments trying to push it a little further - when we get some more features built on top of the primitives this thing has in place, we are going to see some real fireworks I believe.

6 Likes

I have lots of various interests and consume tons of information to feed my endless curiosity.
Until I found Roam, most of that was just wasting away in the back of my mind.
I would lose myself in research, failing to produce any actionable plan because I don’t know how to stop my mind from coming up with new associations and ideas (which I can’t keep fresh in my mind or put down somewhere in any meaningful way).
I’m slowly learning to “save” some of my connected thinking over time.
Roam is helping me build compounding interest on my own thinking, after aimlessly struggling for years.
This is why I’m a believer.

3 Likes

Roam has replaced ToDoist and Workflowy combined; and the result is exponentially greater. I have been on every tool under the sun. Starting with Evernote, then OneNote, both coupled with ToDoists, then Workflowy and Google tasks, then back to ToDoist (3-4 years later) and WF. It’s all about the backlinks baby. To be able to take notes on any subject, and know who, when, where, how and why. Cross-linked to each of those elements across the realm of my work. It’s a beautiful thing. And the backlinks provide the most important piece - context; and it’s there for everything!!!
Add in the ability to add in Markup, drop in images, external links, aliases, diagrams. And, since everything I do is in the cloud- all of Roam’s content is available on any device, anywhere. It is truly a second brain. Now, if I could just remember where I left the first one.:wink:

2 Likes

With Roam, nothing is wasted.

I read something, I notice something, I think something, I feel something - it all gets documented in Roam’s Daily Notes, and thanks to page and block references (and backlinks), I know that it will be found again, and used again.

This creates a virtuous cycle, because I know my efforts are useful, I make more of them. The more I create, the more results I see - the more connections I make and the more thoughts and ideas I have.

All this is fun. It’s like nutritious food that tastes good too.

So I paid the $500 because I know I will be using Roam five years from now. I want to support it - and for five years, it’s an amazing deal.

3 Likes

I like the simplicity of Roam. It’s very text based and it gets out of my way and lets me write what I want. I haven’t had the time to look into queries and everything so there’s probably a lot more I can get out of it.

Roam kind of reminded me of the early days of the internet when it was mostly textual and hyperlinks were a big thing. Roam gives me my own private internet where I can organize my life and thoughts.

1 Like

Flow, the amount of flow time thinking and writing that Roam has helped facilitate for me. It’s like my usage of Roam has resurfaced an expressive inner voice in me which I’m super grateful to have reconnected with.

And of course, the community. The Roam community’s competence, sharing and feedback culture have helped me form a set of great habits with the keystone habit of journaling.

1 Like

I see the vast potential of Roam — first as a tool that will finally let me harvest the fruits of my creativity as it opens the floodgates of my thinking and writing.

But even more importantly I see it In the future —opening new doors of collective creative potential among us all. That really inspires me, especially during these changing times. The problems we are facing will require new orders of collective intelligence, and I think Roam has the potential to support that emergence. I like being near the beginnings of that seed coming to life.

4 Likes

Simple, elegant tool that encourages me to write, create, capturing fleeting thoughts and building on those thoughts over time. Most other tools I have tried/used in the past, I end up 1) spending more time figuring out the tool; 2) write it down and never revisit again.

2 Likes

For me, the Nat Eliason YouTube video was the aha moment: Watching him effortless connect thoughts and surfacing earlier but as yet unconnected thoughts was transformative. I have started using Roam with Tinderbox.

Tinderbox is the first half of my process, analysis. When I have a difficult or not-fully-formed thought, I use Tinderbox to break down what I’m thinking about into small, manageable thoughts—analysis.

Roam Research is the second half of my process, synthesis. When I’m ready to start creating, when I need to bring my thoughts together in new ways Roam Research is perfect! With no effort, I type [[ and I get a page, or type (( to connect blocks. I don’t even have to stop what I’m writing as I add the pages or blocks. The Muse doesn’t linger, and when she whispers in your ear, you need to capture the inspiration or risk loosing it, or capturing a dimmer, less nuanced version.

Episodes of Roam end with “what does Roam Research mean to you?” or “How would you describe Roam Research to someone?”

Roam Research is a neural markdown language! Just like surrounding a word with an asterisk creates italics and ** creates bold, so [[ and (( creates and links new ideas and thoughts while allowing me to continue developing the idea.

Brilliant! :heart: How could I not be a believer?

3 Likes

I’ve been using TheBrain since 2002. What made me switch were:

  • The ability to write my own queries
  • Extensibility. roam/css; roam/js; and the promise of a roam API
  • A more frictionless experience creating notes, links, etc.
  • My assessment that Roam is finally the tool where I can combine task management with PKM.

$500 is a lot of money, but when compared to the annual TheBrain subscription, it is actually slightly cheaper.

Before committing to Roam I invested a lot of time into researching alternatives. I found tiddlywiki a very compelling option. While it misses block references, for example the query capabilities in Tiddly are stronger. Tiddly also has a very strong community. What made me go for Roam was the very steep improvement curve which made me believe Roam will outperform all the alternatives quickly. I figured I would rather spend money and have someone own the development of my note taking tool, than spend my time taking notes.

3 Likes