RoamBrain newsletter #3
News about Roam Research, links to useful Roam resources and updates about new content on RoamBrain.com.
Welcome to issue #3 of the RoamBrain newsletter.
What’s new on RoamBrain.com
#RoamWorld news and information
What’s new on RoamBrain.com?
Improving the effectiveness of clinical knowledge
Pharmacist and entrepreneur Andrew Kirby discusses the role Roam can play in enabling clinical knowledge to become more effective and usable through its ability to re-structure content and connect knowledge. Read more.
Roaming in the past: Thinking, Siri Shortcuts and workflows
Historian Mark Robertson discusses how he uses Roam to explore and understand his own knowledge – and gives examples of some of the complex workflows he uses. The post includes links to Siri Shortcuts that can be downloaded. Read more.
Roam and Research
Michael Malt-Cullen explains how he uses Roam to do the research for his masters dissertation. Read more.
Useful Roam resources
Making individual Roam pages public
Zack Fan has produced a really helpful and quick (at only 2 1/2 minutes long) video on how to share individual pages with others in Roam, as opposed to your whole database.
However care should be taken as this is still only an experimental feature.
You can watch it here.
Roam and Notion
Whenever a new app comes on the scene and you’ve decided you’re going to use it, then other decisions have to be made. You will need to work out how it’s going to fit into your existing app ecosystem - and which apps it’s going to replace and which apps it’s going to work in tandem with.
Judging from Twitter comments, some people have decided to ditch Notion totally in favour of using Roam.
August Bradley has taken a different approach. He continues to use Notion about 95% of the time for running his life or work. However, while he uses Roam for a much smaller amount of time, it still plays a critical role in his workflow.
He transfers only the most valuable and insightful information he comes across into Roam (a process he calls hyper-curation). This means he has a high signal to noise ratio when he’s using Roam to connect ideas and generate new insights.
August shows how he combines Notion and Roam in this video.
#RoamWorld news and information
Roam now a paid app
As you may well be aware, new Roam users now have to pay to use the app after a 14-day trial period. It costs $15 a month, $165 a year or $500 for 5 years on the Believer plan.
Charges for existing beta users have not yet been introduced.
Discounts for Roam Scholars
Conor White-Sullivan has tweeted about the qualifying criteria for joining the Roam Scholars program. There is a standard 50% discount for teachers, researchers or full-time students as well as for those who are under 22, on a low income or unemployed. Higher discounts can be applied for and are considered on a case-by-case basis.
The Roam Scholars application form can be found here.
Library of Roam
The Library of Roam has recently opened its doors at www.roamlibrary.com. They will be creating Roam databases of a number of canonical texts with the additional aim of producing enhanced versions of these texts with commentaries, summaries and re-structuring.
You can read their manifesto here.
The RoamPublic directory now links to 43 public texts formatted for Roam. The eclectic range includes religious and philosophical texts, a William Shakespeare play and many famous speeches. The directory can be found here.
If you're interested in adding a public text to the Directory, please let me know via the RoamPublic Submissions form or by replying to this email.
RoamPublic.com is now a dynamic website, which means that each individual entry won't now need to be manually formatted. This will allow new entries to be processed much more quickly when they arrive.
The next iteration of the website will include separate pages for individual categories as well as a search function.
Roam policy on public databases
Conor White-Sullivan has confirmed the Roam policy on public databases:
i) Roam is keen to encourage people to create public databases. These can feature public copyright-free texts or other information that has public benefit.
ii) At the moment, Roam doesn't have the ability to allow users to have more than 3 databases.
iii) So, for the time being, if you want to put up a public database, you will need to use one of the three databases you get as a Roam user.
iv) However, when Roam does allow users to pay for additional databases, there will also be an option to apply for free public databases to be added to your account.
Subscriptions to Roam databases
The intriguing possibility of subscriptions to Roam databases being sold through Substack was floated by Conor White- Sullivan.
Andrew Kirby then gave some good reasons why this could be valuable.
New Roam email course
The four existing courses on Roam have all been video-based. Now Andy Henson has launched a free email course on Effective Note-Taking With Roam Research.
So far I’m on Day 5 and it’s shaping up to be a comprehensive course with lots of useful screenshots, gifs and commands.
You can sign up for it here.
That’s it for today! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the newsletter.