Roam is for collecting the internet

I’ve moved away from Roam for many reasons, but keep it around since it’s really good at grabbing things from around the web.

Highlights. Concepts. Knowledge. Wisdom. Text.

Roam is the catch all for words and ideas from around the web. It’s a web app so it is sandboxed to the internet, but it is not for processing personal thoughts or wisdom.

Roam is the inbox where I can send anything to and then process later. By using Command Browser on iOS, and integrating with Readwise which integrates with Roam Research, I’m able to grab anything from anywhere on the web—including what I highlight in Instapaper—and have it appear in Roam. By tagging the highlights with # to-process, they’re delivered straight to Roam for processing according.

Obsidian is for building my body of work

Notion is my workspace

Roam syncs with Readwise which makes it easy to capture highlights from readings, and tag things as # to-process from around the web. It catches whatever I discover on any device and gives me an easy way to dump it all into one place.

From there, everything gets routed to the appropriate tool, most of which go to either Craft or Things:

Why I don’t like relying on Roam Research

  • Their privacy policy scares me

    while Roam has the technical ability to access private content, we agree to never access private content without written or verbal consent from you - excluding cases where we are compelled by legal authorities

In no world will I take the word of strangers seriously when something as personal as digital privacy is on the line.

That’s my main reason, but here are a few more:

  • The app takes ages to load—like, 30-60 seconds—which makes workflows frustrating
  • No mobile experience means no mobile capture or quick recall of my most important notes and ideas
  • No offline mode nor native architecture means it relies on cloud servers and is vulnerable in numerous ways

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