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    • This is a bit of a diversion from the general look and feel of my feed here, but wanted to share something that some people, notably @paulduplantis , I think, might enjoy.

      Being a computer geek, I tend to favour command-line and text-oriented tools whenever possible, On top of that, I am forever (and pretty unsuccessfully) trying to organise the hodgepodge of information filtering through my decidedly info-junkie head into something usable, not to mention trying to dip my toes into various "quantified self" and GTD-like methods of the day.

      Over the years, I have gone through a number of tools, including self-hosted wikis, various sorts of mind-mapping tools and software, and some such (with, surprisingly, paper-based Bullet Journal thing taking a bit of a hold). Ultimately, they usually become either too unwieldy, or start to require too much grooming while offering increasingly smaller returns on my time. Then I just get lazy and the "knowledge repository" becomes yet another dumpster of links to check out and bits of text to read and summarise and whatnot.

      Anyway, over the last year or so I was eyeing as a convenient wiki-like instrument to use day-to-day, partially helped by the fact it was, to my surprise, adopted as a common tool at work.

      But couple weeks ago I found this - - and while it is definitely in an early beta, it seems to synergise with me very well, and I am actively looking forward to use it more. Hopefully they won't charge through the nose when they go paid :)

      Would be delighted to hear what other Cake users think of the tool, and, of course, what and how do others use similar tools.

    • I’m intrigued enough to check out the demo videos 👇 but I tend to reject 95% of the organizing information systems out there.

      I accumulate links to resources that I end up never reading. When I spent 100% of my time on desktop, it wouldn’t be unusual for me to have 30 or 40 tabs open: I would go through it and purge when it got beyond that. But on my phone, it’s just the current page with 150 pages behind it and a links folder that never gets checked. Plus I have files of essays that are not organized at all on Google docs.

      If this system looks like it will make my phone life more productive, I’m willing to give it a try.

      I’ll post here again after I’ve had a chance to watch the demos.

    • Interesting. I've never conquered notes or todo lists. People used to rave about Evernote but it never really stuck with me.

      Their demo videos get straight into the nitty gritty. Here's the main one about using it to manage tasks:

      And for what I want to use it for: research.

      Giving it a go.

    • I too have been trying since windows 3.1 cardminder to find such a tool, quick, flexible and most importantly with a way to "instant recall" content. To make a long story short, currently after having used Google "Keep" and "Save to Keep" extension - I am pretty happy with it for allot of stuff from cooking recipes to groceries shopping lists to technical articles and web sites.

      I love it's simplicity and unpretentious look, it's available everywhere, stays in sync both on desktop and mobile, the notes can contain any type of object including pictures and videos, and of course the search works great. There is even a dark colored scheme. I found out that rather than spend time making an organizational tree and filing things into separate buckets, simply placing everything in same place with an easy way of finding information works very fast and conveniently saves time.

      I would say - give it a try..

    • I have been using Zotero and it's okay. As with anything else in the get organized genre, keeping up with it all can be exhausting! I seem to default to OneNote which is severely limited but at least I can find what I'm looking for. I am going to take a look at Roam Research. Thanks for the thread, @mbravo!

    • I just signed up. Have a project I’m working on and will try to organize stuff with Roam. I can tell already that I need to rewatch the videos because it’s not intuitive how to create a project on my phone. And contrary to their welcome email there is no “help database” that I can find.


      Anyone figure out the shortcut keys to use for this on an iPhone?

    • Help database is here -

      [Keyboard] shortcuts and helpful links (including the link to the help database above) are behind the question mark icon in the lower right corner.

      Since this tool is so intensely text oriented, I haven't actually tried to use it on a phone. Just opened it on my Android phone and it works fine, but I can't see the help icon, indeed.

      On a computer, there's an Intercom chat icon floating down on the right side, the creators are quite responsive so if you want to inquire about their support for mobile browsers, I'm pretty sure they will tell you everything they know and what their plans are.

    • Thanks, I was able to create a project and will start adding my research to the page. It does remind me of One Note, which I was a big user of on Desktop.

      Excited at the prospect of actually being organized!

    • You know me well then. I had a chance to take a look at the demos @Chris provided below. Very interesting indeed. I am in the process of signing up to take a deeper dive. This reminds me of what Ted Nelson and Douglas Engelbart were working on back in the 60's - 70's that had never taken hold. Especially on Nelson's Transclusions where information is cross referenced back to the source. This seems like it would be a great app to integrate into the new Solid Framework being built by Tim Berners Lee and the team at Inrupt. This notion of unifying and liberating the user experience at the same time has been an obsession of mine. I attempted to build a web app (QUI) for a medical group about 6 years ago to help empower doctors, nurses and admin with patient data that never went anywhere but remain hopeful a new crop of technologies will begin to help free information from the silos we see today. Thanks for sharing this. Very interested to see how Roam works.

    • I feel I should update this conversation with a couple of tools I have discovered since starting it.

      One is loosely related to RoamResearch via the ZettelKasten topic, it is called TheArchive and is not free, one-time purchase of $19.99 I believe, 60 days free trial is available, you can find it and read about it here - (the website itself and the blog are pretty interesting material on their own)

      Another one seems to be a Russian startup, but looks interesting as a casual diagramming tool and as far as I can see is free for now -

    • I gotta tell you so far I am digging Roam. I haven't used the advanced features yet but it is a very simple layout. And so far it is working pretty well on my phone. I had to download an excel keyboard to be able to tab but I can accomplish quite a bit on the phone. Which I live on for productivity. I'll check out these others ones but I am all in with Roam to finish this next essay!!!

    • If you have android go to the play store and download the excel keyboard. Then just make it your default keyboard. There is a warning on there to be careful of entering passwords as they may be stolen. Me wanting to explore a cool feature on Roam on my phone threw caution to the wind. I was planning on doing more research on this to see if it is a viable threat. Or is it like a pharma statement of certain death if you take their pills. lol. I would imagine Apple store would have an excel keyboard as well.

    • I love my new iPhone!!!

      (But I never would’ve thought to search for this if you hadn’t triggered it with your excel keyboard comment. Thanks!)

      Note: You need to add one space to a new line before saying tab key. Otherwise it will just type the words.


    • In this morning’s inbox from the founder of

      Beloved Roamans,

      As some of you already know - this week, Roam committed the cardinal sin for a writing app and failed to save some of our community's notes.

      Even if you weren't affected or the impact on you was minimal you deserve to know what happened, so I'm emailing everyone who has signed up for an account.

      As best as we can tell, here is what happened. 

      There were a number of windows of time this week where we saw a huge spike in users writing large amounts of data. This was predictable result of Nat Eliason's excellent intro to Roam post (see here: hitting the top of hacker news recently, and a big influx of new users ramping up usage with Roam. What we did not predict was that during these windows, our backend servers essentially got "clogged" as we hit our write limit.

      When this happened, Roam failed in a few ways
      1. Users who had multiple tabs open, or who were using on multiple devices, or collaborating with others on a shared database saw their devices go out of sync and start writing over each other
      2. Some changes may have been dropped completely if you closed your Roam tab or refreshed the page before the server had processed them.

      What was especially bad about this failure is that we did not have any way of knowing that the server had failed to process changes, so all of this was happening silently. 

      We've had largely the same architecture for saving and syncing changes to Roam workspaces for the past 2.5 years, and this sort of thing has never happened before. But things change as you scale, we were wrong about how long we could keep doing things the way we've been doing them, and the responsibility for that is on the Roam team - in particular myself.

      This afternoon PST we pushed up some changes that should solve the problem of clogged servers during peak use times -- and we're working on larger changes that so that silent failures to save data don't happen in the future, and for a more robust offline saving system so that even if you lose your connection you'll still be backing up the changes locally. 

      I don't know when we'll have these improvements finished. I can tell you that we're working on it now, and reliability is our highest priority. 

      We know it takes a lot of trust to put your second brain into an unproven startup, we're exceptionally grateful for that trust, and it pains me that (rightly) we lose some of that trust every time a failure on our end causes anyone in the community to lose notes.

      The #RoamCult has been growing by leaps and bounds in the past few months, we went from a few dozen workspaces in August to tens of thousands today, but the team is still just myself and Josh full-time at the moment. 

      We really appreciate the patience and support we've gotten in the slack channel, and on intercom, and those of you who messaged us there and over email to first report these issues. 

      I hope we can continue to win some of this trust back. 

      As a final point - a few of you have asked how you can help

      Right now, my personal focus is on hiring. At the end of last year (thanks in large part to all of the noise you all have been making on Twitter) we were able to raise a sizable war chest to ensure that Josh and I can keep working on Roam indefinitely, and I'm happy to say we now have the resources to grow the team and pay competitive salaries. 

      Our goal in the next few months is to hire 1-2 full time senior engineers (with experience in Clojure and preferably Datomic) to help us improve our backend, ship offline apps on desktop and mobile, enable more granular sharing and develop an API for all of you who want to start building apps on top of Roam and pulling in notes and data from other tools you use. 

      We're also on the lookout for someone with extensive React experience -- and preferably some experience with Clojurescript -- who can help us speed up performance and rendering across the site and ship a host of new features and workflow improvements that we hope will make Roam an even more powerful tool for thinking, learning, and organizing your life. 

      If you, or anyone you know might be a good fit for either or both of those roles, please send them our way -- ideally via this link

      Thanks again for all your support, for those of you whose notes have been lost from this bug - or any other - know that we're mourning their loss with you -- even if we aren't always promptly responsive on Intercom or to your emails.

      With love, 


    • Seriously, try Google Keep. The ability to allocate several labels to a given note is a remarkably effective way to organize research or other materials.

      What's more you can archive old notes, thus keeping the note space tidy.

      You can add most things to a note except application files, but you can insert a link to the file in Google Drive which amounts to the same thing.

      Adding voice notes is a great thing too...

    • I am not familiar with Google Keep and am happy with my experience with Roam: I only had one day where it failed to save my note; otherwise it’s been quite handy.

      Keep does sounds interesting. However, I’m going to have to ask @mbravo for a second opinion on Roam versus Keep.

    • Sigh, I logged in this morning and got this lovely “text message” from Colin. I guess it’s new found popularity is causing growing pains. However, I love how they quickly communicated an issue to me so that I didn’t waste time losing my work or reloading a gazillion times, which becomes a self-inflicted DNS. I think it would be cool if Cake had something like Relay to communicate technical difficulties.

      (Tagging @Chris @Vilen @kevin )

    • I believe that message, plus the next one stating everything is back to normal, is part of their help system implement with Intercom.