I am in search of an app that I can use continuously for the "second brain". Roam looks good for this job, but I think it's expensive. What are your thoughts on Walling? or any other suggestions? Thanks
Elmasry from Walling here!
The main difference between Walling and other "second brain" tools is that Walling wants you to save ideas to achieve something with them, not just saving ideas for the sake of saving.
When you build a network of ideas on Walling, you can curate content from that network to your Walls, which are the core of Walling. You can use the Walls to collaborate with a client, plot out and visualize ideas or synthesize information.
After playing around with all kinds of new Roam clones I decided that for something like a knowledge base which I want to build up over probably the next two decades, it is probably a bad idea to put everything in a FOTM startup app where you don't know if it survives the next year. (No offense to any app)
This is even more an issue for cloud-based tools which are troublesome both in terms of privacy (I'm not allowed to put much work-related information into a cloud tool) and also in terms of backups and data-availability (sure, there's export, but unless you really back it up regularly by yourself, it might still go away if the tool disappears over night.)
Because of this, while I love the ideas of Roam, Notion, Walling, etc. None of these are particularly usable for me. I mainly play around with them and draw conclusions which I try to apply for my local files (as in, getting inspiration for how to organize and structure my existing documents and notes rather than throwing everything in a new tool or start from zero.) For now I settled with older tools like DevonThink, OmniOutliner, and others and manage my notes there. It is much more clunky, but I feel more secure that my workflows survive the next year or two.
If you really want a similar feature set of Roam, Obsidian is probably your best bet as everything is stored locally and in a non-proprietary format (it's only a folder of Markdown files). It is still very new and in alpha, so nobody knows how it will turn out in the long run, but at least you'll maintain access to your data.
I think Roam Research and Obsidian focus on writing and research, especially for those using the zettekasten method of note-taking. Walling seems to be closer to Trello, Airtable’s gallery, or Notion.
I use Obsidian academically, and I really enjoy it. Roam Research doesn’t have a beautiful user interface. It’s expensive and web-based only.
If you are interested in writing notes for academic purposes, for professional writing, or having more integrated and more interlinked ideas, go for Obsidian. It’s great and free.
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