OtiumFM is an upcoming show deep-diving into the world of Tools for Thought, or TFTs! Featuring insights on note-taking, making connections between thoughts, and serendipity, host Norman Chella brings you conversations with individuals in this space so you can better your note-taking experience. Expect guests from various TFT apps, independent researchers, and varying professions who bring with them note-taking insights, from analog to digital and even hypergraphic!Coming out soon.In the first two seasons, this show was called RoamFM, the podcast all about Roam Research, for members of the Roaman community. In these two seasons, join us as we dive into the minds of amazing Roam users, taking a peek into how they use Roam to create wonderful connections.
Cato Minor: Roam Experiments, Medieval Knowledge Work, Memory
Join our AirrSpace to talk about how Roam could scale! You can find it here
In this episode, we talk with Cato Minor, who is the Duck of Roam, quacking his way into fun, ridiculous experiments with physical controls, crazy CSS, and much more. But behind these experiments, is the intention to explore something deeper.
Coming in from medieval Twitter, Cato Minor focuses on digital humanities studying medieval, Latin, as well as classic Latin. In the midst of trying out many note-taking apps throughout the years, he had stumbled into Roam.
We talked about:
Knowledge workers of the past and now, what are the differences between them? Memory as a process of internalization and digestion, and how outsourcing this to a tool hinders our ability to learnAdventures of note-taking: the differences between the many note-taking apps Cato has triedHow do we make the digital word more physical?The interesting physical experiments, from using a train set controller to a TV remote to use Roam!The power of medieval diagrams: how can we learn from people who have drawn outlines in the Middle AgesHow do we create win-win situations for the individual in the PKM space?How will Roam scale?Enjoy!
3:48 Where Cato Minor got his name from5:19 Medieval Latin and Cato's fascination with it7:13 In the Middle Ages, all knowledge should serve us in our seeking of God9:20 Memory is what gives us material to transform16:34 Make your notes unique18:59 Roam is a great motivator for experimentation22:47 Physical touch gives us food for thoughts24:21 Everything is a touch screen29:28 Cato's adventure in experiencing other apps41:00 How to make peace in the continent of Note-taking48:39 What you can do now with CSS55:09 How do we foster a tinkerer's community?1:05:00 Roam's growth via the community1:09:18 How will Roam scale?1:16:25 On Featuritis vs. Engelbartian Intelligence1:25:23 [[What does Roam mean to you?]]Links
Cato Minor's TwitterSupport the show
Bardia Pourvakil: Autodidact, Roam Team, and Fulfillment
Warning! This is an explicit episode!
In this episode, we talk with Bardia Pourvakil, AKA @thepericulum. Bardia is a member of the Roam Research team, having started off as a technical writer and dove into the world of Roam.
We talk about:
Bardia's origin story as a technical writer to discovering Roam ResearchWhat are the key components for a tool autodidacts use to learn?How he joined the Roam team and built up his Clojure skills through contacting ConorRoam team's workflow, and Roam pairing sessionsBardia's emphasis on community, building things for developers to build upon and the search for fulfillment Enjoy!
4:16 Bardia's origin story as a technical writer10:43 Joining Roam as Support13:26 "You're being really annoying but I like you" - [[Conor White-Sullivan]]15:34 The 3-hour pairing session with the CTO18:48 The power of the Roam Community22:46 Build things for developers to build upon24:57 The search for fulfilment and finding that answer27:50 Never fall in love too much with what you're doing31:21 Bardia never believes in institutions34:08 Learning by Design40:34 Roam Team workflow43:36 Roam Pairing and Roam Games47:37 What Roam is still missing and documentation53:05 What Bardia is excited about: Mobile apps58:10 The wonderful world of Roamania/Roam Manor1:04:10 The cross pollination of ideas and inviting Roamans to Roamania1:08:36 The Roam House Guestbook1:11:28 [[What does Roam mean to you?]]1:13:30 Bardia's dstryd.albums and creating art naturallyLinks
Bardia's Twitterdstroyd.albms Instagram
Support the show
Beau Haan: Roam Book Club, Block-level Zettelkasten, Roaman Community
WARNING: This is an explicit episode!
This is for Lydia.
In this episode, we talk with Beau Haan, a trained actor, model, and one of the key pillars of the Roaman community. Leading the Roam Book Club, he's built a space for many participants to share their thoughts with a Roam-specific Zettelkasten method. With up to 300 actives in RBC3, they found the chance to discover more of themselves and their thoughts at block-level.
We talked about:
Beau's origin stories, from running away from home to entering rehab and telling storiesThe loss of loved ones and the impact that has on one's lifeDiscovering Roam Research and how he became a true believer without even trying the appWhat he learned from his personal coaching sessions with [[Sönke Ahrens]]How questioning the way you learn is questioning your identityEnjoy the episode!
3:55 How Roam has changed how Beau behaves in the world7:13 "I'm supposed to be dead": Beau's origin story11:35 "I wish they had Roam" losing loved ones to drugs or alcohol13:06 The story of Lydia19:29 Discovering Roam Research for storytelling21:21 Signing up for the Believer's Plan22:25 [[Sönke Ahrens]]' private coaching sessions25:31 Roam granularity and the power of the community27:40 Testing Roam Zettelkasten with Roam Book Club29:16 "You're wrong about Zettelkasten"32:18 The Angel named [[Matt McKinlay]]36:19 Learning who you were in Roam Book Club 340:29 Preparing for the next wave of Roamans45:35 Questioning the way you learn is questioning your identity50:49 Becoming defensive from questioned identity53:17 Outsourcing our learning methods to others and blaming them for failure 55:55 We have the fear of public speaking and thinking as ourselves57:55 [[Sönke Ahrens]]: Forget about the tool and focus on the writing1:03:50 The rush of being at the peak of a mountain1:10:17 Emitting the same energy as the believer's call 1:13:59 The friend, and the RBC Workflow1:18:30 The beauty of Roam is the people1:22:07 The Roam Energy, and articulating infinity1:23:58 Protect the Roamans from those only wanting to make profit1:29:52 Join the town and be part of Roam1:31:37 [[What does Roam mean to you?]]1:33:22 A Letter to LydiaLinks
Beau Haan's TwitterRoam Book Club's TwitterBookclub 4 Waiting ListSupport the show
Abhay Prasanna: Aesthetics, Personal Salience and Sovereignty
In this episode, we talk with [[Abhay Prasanna]], Founder of Roam Bounties, and active Roaman in Slack as well as the Twitter Roaman community. Abhay is always up to date when it comes to everything related to CSS and adding in visualizations to one's roam graph to make it look prettier, more functional, and much more.
As someone who has created one of the most, used Roam themes, Dracula Pro (adapted set of colors from another theme), Abhay has been on a long journey to explore himself through the usage of Roam.
We talked about:
Life before Roam: From engineering to management consultingGaining a vision once he discovered Roam: The perfect notebookHis daily notes workflow where 90% of his blocks live only in his daily notes! Aesthetics and how they play a part in him viewing his own knowledge graph Tackling the voice of the unreliable narrator, defining who you are through making connections and building evidence on yourselfWhat do you really want from your Roam graph and how does that affect you in life? From algorithms of thought to algorithms of feeling. Enjoy!
3:47 Abhay's origin story and the little breadcrumbs of our lives5:40 Connecting life experiences and emergent writing in Roam9:46 The anticipatory regret for not writing something and not making a connection12:47 You write for the entirety of your knowledge graph14:05 Abhay's workflow is an evolution16:34 Marginality, Mattering and the Roam Community19:43 The writing happens in conversations, and Pokemon evolutions24:06 Valuing the structure of your mind and your Roam graph30:54 We are completely innocent and blameless and make mistakes32:39 The shadow of optimization, and wanting to feel functional35:33 CSS and the power of aesthetics38:32 Learning CSS with Roam as the experiment 40:14 Providing the act of service for the Roam community46:28 Why purple is a memorable color49:01 How do you plan for Roam experiments?51:20 There are things that we value, but do not have exclusive rights to our attention52:31 Salience, sovereignty, and protecting our own attention59:54 How do we tackle the Unreliable Narrator, our lies and our truths?1:01:50 Continuity of contact, not closure into conclusion, and facing heuristics1:03:34 Finding what you don't resonate with helps with answering what you really want1:10:52 The only agenda is to figure out what is actually salient1:15:01 Algorithms of feeling and using Roam templates for your emotions1:20:00 Revelation and illumination are hard to distinguish1:20:49 What Abhay is looking forward to in Roam1:23:42 [[What does Roam mean to you?]]Links
Abhay's TwitterDracula Pro Roam ThemeMasonry Vanilla CSSSupport the show
Jeff Morris Jr.: Investing Frameworks, Product Management
In this episode, we talk with Jeff Morris Jr. aka @jmj on Twitter, who is the Founder and General Partner of Chapter One VC. He was previously the VP of Product Revenue at Tinder, and in the role, Tinder became the number one top-grossing apps in the app store.
He invests in early-stage startups who are passionate about the future of work developer tools and subscription businesses. So if you are interested in having a product person on your cap table, Jeff is the person to go to.
As someone who I've been following for quite a while on Twitter @JMJ, he is quite the enthusiastic person when it comes to Roam Research and tweeting about it quite a number of times.
I've brought him onto the show to talk about:
His origin story, how he dreamed of becoming a professional NBA player, to screenwriting and diving into tech startupsBecoming connected with Roam Research after glancing at the tool from someone's screen-share and getting connected with [[Conor White-Sullivan]] later on. What to look out for as an investor In companies like Roam: staying far away from the San Francisco Bay area startup scene, becoming non-conformist to tackling problems and moreWhat is it about Conor's decisions that has compelled Jeff to invest in Roam Research? Jeff's workflows on how he keeps track of investor meetings, learnings, health and moreWhat will Roam look like 40 years from now, and why it's the Jimi Hendrix of the PKM space.Enjoy!
3:00 Jeff's dreams of becoming a professional NBA player, and Jumpsoles4:53 Catcher in the Rye, Screenwriting and getting a script picked up by Sony8:26 Discovering Roam Research through an engineer's screenshare9:55 People who invested in Evernote did not think Roam was a good investment idea10:39 The 10-hour pitch on the porch and beers12:54 Evernote vs Roam, from an investor's perspective16:04 Jeff's note-taking workflow before and after Roam17:13 Roam Consultants and Multiplayer Graphs21:03 Conor's truth seeking and conspiracy theories21:58 How do you measure scalable complexity?24:09 "Roam was meant for power users at the start"24:42 "I think the goal of Roam should be to make Roam accessible to as many people as possible"26:15 New users can get overwhelmed by all the power users30:18 The Non-Conformist Personality of Roam Research, and Jimi Hendrix33:06 Hiring the Roam team, and why Conor needs to find his lead guitarist36:03 The flaws of the Bay Area, and tech talent groupthink40:16 The rise of distributed companies and what that means for investors44:32 What will Roam look like decades from now according to the both of us49:35 The metric of company durability51:12 Infopop, the information management system for the physical world53:59 When is Jeff going to hire a Chief Meme Officer?57:06 How Jeff structures his Roam graph for investor meetings and more through templates1:00:00 Product frameworks and investing frameworks1:03:16 [[What does Roam mean to you?]]Links
Jeff's Twitter (@jmj)Chapter OneSupport the show
Ryan Muller: Fractal Inquiry, Spaced Repetition, Education
In this episode, we talk with Ryan Muller, the author of Fractal Inquiry. Focusing on learning and education at Google For Education, Ryan wrote Fractal Inquiry in pursuit of a system for building knowledge in Roam.
It covers the tools you need, plus six tips and eight use cases in building your knowledge graph through one of my favorite methods of knowledge expansion: questions. How do you develop the right questions to dive further into a field/thought/idea?
We talked about:
How evergreen and atomic notes are tied together via questions, using fractals as an analogyRyan's origin story, how he dove into note-taking and spaced repetition, from learning languages to other fieldsFractal inquiry: What is a fractal? How do you shape the right questions? What constitutes a good and bad question? When should you delete them? When should you filter them out?Would a public fractal inquiry graph work? The education system and how the field as a whole is slow in growth compared to others.If you're on the journey to cultivate a quality knowledge graph, Look no further. Let's dive into my chat with Ryan Muller, the author of [[Fractal Inquiry]].
5:19 Ryan's origin story and obsession with spaced repetition7:11 Discovering [[Stian Håklev (侯爽)]]'s research system9:47 Combining the spaced repetition system with block references12:56 When do you stop inquiring into one atomic idea?15:26 What is a fractal, and how does it help with questions20:38 Can you do fractal inquiry in a public graph? What do you need?23:39 Current focus on macro-economics 27:13 Formulating useful questions using spaced repetition31:20 A very small percentage of Ryan's inquiries in his graph are future-oriented34:04 Changes in education, learning with YouTube and Minecraft39:00 Where the US education system may be going and where does Roam fit into that 48:32 Excited feature request: more support for incremental reading in Roam51:37 [[How would you describe Roam to someone who hasn't started using it?]]53:35 [[What does Roam mean to you?]]56:12 What compelled Ryan to start asking more questions in the first place? + How to do it in RoamLinks
Ryan's TwitterFractal Inquiry
Support the show