Roam Research, new web-based outliner that supports transclusion & wiki features - thoughts?

The app is here:

The help page is here:

Pretty impressed with how powerful it is after using it for 3-4 days. Looks like they are directly competing with WorkFlowy and Dynalist (“Roam is pretty similar to tree based online tools like Workflowy or Dynalist …”) :wink:

Some highlights:

  • fuzzy tag search
  • automatic display of backlinks
  • global auto update of wikilinks on rename
  • graph view (showing linking relations between pages)
  • page transclusion + also (!) block transclusion (I suspect they took an inspiration or two from Dynalist in this regard)
  • export as markdown (in one big file ala WorkFlowy)


I checked it out and it looks pretty interesting! Shida even talked to one of their cofounders and he seems really nice.

It’s interesting how the recent posts in General are no longer about Dynalist… It’s almost like the 2nd where people talk about outliner stuff :slight_smile:

1 Like


Oops, my bad, haha. Fixed the typo! :smile:

Yes, backlinks is certainly of interest. I remember using them in the ill-fated Note Studio years ago.

But I think Dynalist is so far ahead of the pack, discussions about alternatives is more about the future development of Dynalist rather than serious competition. Some of us may use one of these for niche purposes, but it is far from being a replacement.


If anybody really wants to see the program, what it can do, the short videos are helpful, but the real meat is in the Help document. There you see all kinds of information arranged in an editable and very hyperlinked manner. It’s very interesting, but it’s confusing to use, and being full of bugs at present just makes it more so. I’ll be watching to see how this develops.

Looks a bit like a combination of TiddlyWiki (which has been around for many years) and an outline. Not sure what the constraint of an outline adds, especially since the idea of TiddlyWiki is that it’s free form. It’s a link maker rather than a list maker so I wouldn’t see it as a Dynalist or Workflowy competitor. Might be useful for students and researchers which seems to be the demographic they’re pitching it at.

What outline adds is Workflowy style subdocument links, albeit powered up.

Yep, I think they’re precisely targeting researchers, thus the name.