The Ultimate Roam Tool Kit
Table of Contents
If you’ve been using Roam for a bit, you’ve likely come across moments where it doesn’t behave in a way that you want. Or, you’re thinking of switching over to Roam from something else, and you want to make sure it has similar functionality.
That’s when you need to go shopping at the Depot. The Roam Depot. (Get it? Home Depot? Roam Depot?) Anyway…
We don’t know yet what Roam Depot will look like. (I’m not sure anyone does yet.) But, it’s already been announced and when it’s finally launched, The Roam Depot will certainly have many options for expanding how we use Roam Research.
I’ll start with my favorite, Roam42, and then cover all the rest, in order of popularity.
A growing kit of “plugins” that you self-install into a separate page of your graph: [[roam/js]], for example. It’s not as easy to install as the Chrome extensions below but this kit is created by one of my favorite power-users of Roam, @RoamHacker, so you should try it out. 🙂
I’ll have to write a separate article explaining all it can do; because it is a lot. My favorite things are a “third screen” Daily Notes popup, the text converter and the “hottest” thing the kids are all talking about…”Smart Blocks.”
But, even just the Roam Quick Reference Help menu, alone, makes it worth installing!
I don’t think anyone would argue with me, if you want more out of Roam, you MUST download Roam42. You will thank me later.
Here is another growing collection / “kit” of tools that you have to install yourself into a separate page of your graph. I’ll admit to not being as familiar with RoamJS as I am with Roam42, but I’m very interested in several specific extensions so I can’t wait to do an analysis.
RoamJS adds non-native features like automated workflows, new UI components, and third-party integrations. It boasts to be the most expansive Roam plugin library available with 24 extensions, 6,000+ daily downloads, and 100+ subscribers.
3. Roam Highlighter
This extension offers an easy way to highlight text on a web page and import it to Roam Research in the format that best suits your workflow.
Out of more than a dozen extensions available on the Chrome store, this Roam extension has the most downloads and the most reviews. Daniel happens to be a very helpful and nice guy—at least, on Twitter—and is threatening to release something called RoamFlow soon. We’re waiting, Daniel….
Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. The top two Roam extensions are called the same thing: made by completely different people and with over 4,000 downloads each.
I honestly can’t tell you which is better between the two but I can safely say that if you are looking to highlight text and send it to Roam, you only need to decide between the two!
5. Roam Toolkit
Just because it is 5th on my list does not mean it is not as important as #1.
The Roam Toolkit browser extension is designed to improve your experience of using Roam Research. It boasts features like Date Manipulation, Spaced Repetition, Live Preview of Pages, Vim Style Keyboard Shortcuts, Spatial Graph Sidebar, Block Actions, and Task Estimates.
You should see my [[roam/css]] page. It’s a mess! Back when everybody was installing their favorite css theme hack (mappletons FTW), I was dusting off my CSS chops and installing every new theme published! Today, there are just two blocks on that page: DON’T TOUCH THIS and GOD CAN NOT HELP YOU. That’s because CSS is not a thing to play around with.
Someone, Jordan Lyall, has come along with a plugin for changing what native Roam looks like. Whatever your favorite color palette, RoamThemes will help you with it.
8. Roam Portal
Roam Portal is a data visualization and analytics powered search engine built for exploration and discovery.
With Roam Portal, you can view your recently edited blocks, search within all of your block results and embeds, get 3d views of your graph, tweet individual blocks, customize search results, filter, visualize, search….It adds a lot to Roam Research. Check it out.
My friend Eran created this Chrome extension that adds some features to Roam Research: shift- collapse/expand blocks, auto-brackets, bullet formatting, and more to come. Almost 1,000 people use it so it could also be helpful for you.
Roamhelper makes it easier and quicker to embed websites, PDFs, and YouTube videos into Roam Research.
Jan is AMAZING! In addition to this Roam extension, he is a CSS guru and is the brains behind RoamExt. Please support him on Patreon.
There are so many other extensions available that extend the functionality of Roam that aren’t specifically made for Roam Research: things like Otter Notes, ReadWise, and even ThreadReader if you are a Twitter fan.