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Do you use Notion and Roam/Obsidian? What's your workflow

First-time poster here - this looks like a great community, thanks for having me :)

Is anyone here using both Notion and either Roam or Obsidian? I'd love to hear about your workflows.

I'm using Notion for task/project management and Roam for knowledge management, but there are a few sticking points - in particular, I'd really like to be able to tie my projects in Notion to the relevant notes/highlights/etc in Roam, but I can't find an elegant way to do this. Also, I'm finding that I have ideas split between the two platforms, and it's sometimes not clear what should go where.

I know the answer might just be to go all-in on Roam and use it for project management too, but I do really like Notion and I find the interface more palatable for project management stuff.

Would be keen to hear any thoughts :)

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jonhainstock's avatar
2 months ago

Hey @JoshAJHall! I use Notion and Roam. Notion is great for anything that requires collaboration with others. Roam is my favorite tool for thinking and researching. I keep my todos in Things 3 because it's more performant than the other two.

I'm hoping Roam adds some more collaborative tools in the future. The best part of Roam is it gives you more context without needing to create a perfect structure.

4 points
JoshAJHall's avatar
@JoshAJHall (replying to @jonhainstock )
a month ago

Collab tools in Roam would be killer for sure

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @JoshAJHall )
a month ago

There are some early starts in shared, public databases. There’s so much potential in letting people build Roam databases together and it’ll be exciting to see what happens there in the future.

1 point
mrlagmer's avatar
a month ago

Hey,

I use Notion for my day to day task management. I find it a good tool to use when I am in meetings and as a to-do, as you can really create great notes on tasks and makes tracking easy.

I use Obsidian for more personal notes/research. So if it is not a task I need to do for day to day then I would make the notes within Obsidian.

Example of this would be at current I am investigating our tech architecture to see how we can improve things for the team. I have been making all my notes in Obsidian for this. Once I am ready to actually make changes to our tech stack I will then create a task in Notion and bring in any important info from my research in Obsidian.

Anyway hope this helps.

3 points
JoshAJHall's avatar
@JoshAJHall (replying to @mrlagmer )
a month ago

Yeah this makes a lot of sense, thank you. I think the bit that I'm missing is an intuitive way of linking between Notion tasks/projects and my relevant research in Roam (or possibly Obsidian). What I'd really like is the ability to just make an inline link to a sort of 'hub' page in Roam, so eg if I have a project like 'make podcast episode on ACME industries' I could link from Notion directly to an ACME Industries hub on Roam/Obs.

2 points
unxrlm's avatar
2 months ago

This is definitely the kind of question I struggle with all the time as well.
At the moment, I'm in Roam daily with notes and action items I want to track. It took some time but I've gotten comfortable with the backlinking so a lot of what I input goes directly into my DailyNotes with links that will pull the content into relevant pages.
I still have some content in Notion but my note-taking has moved away which means I'm only in Notion to look up something in a particular database (like a reading list, movie lists, etc.). I do "publish" pages from Notion also. It's a great way to share steps for something or instructions with someone. Those have stayed in Notion.
And yes, I do still have some Evernote in the mix at times but I've slowed down a bit. I now use Diigo for web articles bookmarking and annotations and it's done the job. It's not great on mobile devices or tablets but works well enough from a computer and satisfies my "this is so good, I feel like I should save it somewhere" urge without too much work.

2 points
JoshAJHall's avatar
@JoshAJHall (replying to @unxrlm )
a month ago

Yes maybe this is the right approach - Notion more as a repository?

1 point
maguay's avatar
a month ago

I’ve hit something similar, and am using both apps. Roam I feel like is better for research, for writing notes and quotes and ideas and linking them together into an outline. Notion, then, feels better for sharing stuff in a team, leaving a log of completed work, planning tasks, and so on. If anything, I use Notion’s app-builder style features (databases, kanban boards, and more) more than its notes. Notion’s superpower is its flexibility and collaboration, where Roam’s superpower is connecting disparate ideas and snippets.

I think this is why so many people in the community use multiple notes apps at the same time. There’s just no single best app in the space!

2 points
JoshAJHall's avatar
@JoshAJHall (replying to @maguay )
a month ago

Agree 100%!

1 point
macnab's avatar
10d

I'm in this same boat, @JoshAJHall: new to Capiche, and also trying to figure out how to blend the magic task and project mgmt abilities of Notion with the sexy ease of Obsidian's research-y functions. I haven't figured it out, but I want to.

I have been paying close attention to the folks at talk.automators.fm: MacSparky (David Sparks) has been saying great things about Hook (https://hookproductivity.com/): it lets you attach all manner of apps and files and webpages together with links. The downsides are that 1. it's only computer-based and 2. it's only Mac-based. I am firmly positioned in the  ecosystem for better or for worse and am trying to be more agnostic if possible—I never know when my Hackintosh is going to start pouting about something. But that might be a start, possibly?

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @macnab )
6d

Woah you can link to anything with Hook? That's wild.

1 point
JoshAJHall's avatar
@JoshAJHall (replying to @macnab )
6d

Oh wow this looks fantastic! Thank you for the link :)

1 point
kireerik's avatar
a month ago

I am only using Notion. However I would prefer a tool which would include features from both. Having a graph view and alike features would be nice to have in Notion as well.

Maybe my answer or other's to the Do you have a strategy to combine all your notes from every app? question gives you some inspiration also.

Do you think you could build a system in Notion and use that for knowledge management also or does Roam have some must have features for you in general and for this use case? If so which one or ones are those features?

Also, I'm finding that I have ideas split between the two platforms, and it's sometimes not clear what should go where.

I think a lot of us feels that way. Maybe later as the tools evolve they become more general purpose and 1 application can cover most of the needs.

(And yes, links do work across these tools. So we can cross link content however we wish.)

Also I think a Project Xanadu-like feature would be really useful too.
Example: https://xanadu.com/xanademos/MoeJusteOrigins.html (There is a nicer viewer as seen in this video () but that is currently down (in a redirect loop).)

0 points
JoshAJHall's avatar
@JoshAJHall (replying to @kireerik )
a month ago

Do you think you could build a system in Notion and use that for knowledge management also or does Roam have some must have features for you in general and for this use case? If so which one or ones are those features?

I tried to build a single system in Notion for a while, but the way that Roam handles linking is just in a completely different league I think. I also really like the freedom that Roam affords me - the Daily Notes format is fantastic, because it gives a space for off-the-cuff thoughts that I want to capture immediately but that I'm not immediately necessarily sure how to categorise. Whereas in Notion, I feel like I'm always forced to think about where something should live before I input it.

Maybe my answer or other's to the Do you have a strategy to combine all your notes from every app? question gives you some inspiration also.

This is super useful, thank you!

1 point
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