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Top 5 Roam Alternatives

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Posted by Oxytoxine
Sep 13, 2020 at 06:45 PM


Hey guys

Long time lurker, first time poster - thank you all for the enlightening and interesting discussions here, I have learned a lot from reading your arguments and discussions!

I am in a very similar position as the OP - currently trying roam and also looking for alternatives. After playing around with many of these, I currently gravitate back to roam because it seems to find the right balance of feature set, solid functioning, and ease of use (I am not a programmer, and even installing things from Github is quiet the adventure for me).

I think that RemNote (http://www.remnote.io) should be on the top 5 or even top 1 list; in my experience it is actually very close to roam and in some regards “better” (in the sense of more powerful and has more features).

It actually preceded Roam and is developed by a very enthusiastic and modest guy / team (nice antithesis to the “Roam cult”). It’s still early days, but the foundation seems solid, and the updates appear in breathtakingly short intervals. It is extremely sophisticated - RemNote can do (almost, just to be on the safe side ;) everything that Roam does, and then much more. For example, it has, besides being conceptually very similar to Roam, powerful tools for spaced repetition.

Unfortunately, there is not so much talk about it, and it seems to mainly target students. Which is a pity, because all the things for a fabulous PKM tool are there (backlinks, transclusion, etc.). As opposed to Roam, there is no differentiation between blocks and pages; in RemNote, everything is a rem (=the smallest unit, equivalent to blocks in roam). In my experience, it is a bit more complicated, offers more options and I have not yet figured out all the conceptual details (at times, RemNote seems to be a bit “nerdy” in the sense that the programmer is clearly a – ehm – programmer), but the added complexity also makes RemNote potentially more powerful than Roam. The flipside is a steeper learning curve. The documentation / help / tutorials is much better than in Roam.

I have experienced some bugs here and there, but nothing drastic until now.

So yeah, I think if you like Roam it might be worth having a look at RemNote.

I am not affiliated in any way with the devs, I’m just speechless that RemNote does not get more attention - there are quite a few tutorials on Youtube and some blog posts, but nothing close to the hype that Roam has currently generated, and I have no idea why.

Best, Oxy


Posted by bartb
Sep 13, 2020 at 11:24 PM


Listing alternatives to Roam - I think I hit the motherland! (just keep scrolling down) 




Posted by Luhmann
Sep 14, 2020 at 04:10 AM


Thanks. I had posted that link earlier in a separate thread, but I came up with this list because I strongly feel there are diminishing returns in lists that are too long or whose criteria are too vague. I wanted to suggest a limited number of projects that, while perhaps different from Roam in key areas, are nonetheless viable projects that I feel could give Roam a run for their money on the long run. I just don’t think there are that many projects that fall in this category…


Posted by Luhmann
Sep 14, 2020 at 04:11 AM


RE: @ Oxytoxine

Yes, Rem Note deserves to be on the list. Thanks.


Posted by bartb
Sep 14, 2020 at 02:13 PM


Oops ... must have missed that link.
Good point about narrowing down a list for desired features.
To me, its just a little crazy how many active projects are occurring in this field! 


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