Lesson 1: First login to Roam

Logging into Roam for the first time may be confusing. Where are the documents and folders, and what’s up with this bullet that says Click here to start writing?

Before you run back to your previous note-taking app, let’s have a look at each of the sections of this first screen to see if we can do something useful.

Roam screen upon logging in
Click image to enlarge

Let’s have a look at four important areas of this first screen:

  1. This is the left sidebar. From here you can always navigate back to your Daily Notes page (the page you’re currently on), see how your database (graph) is connected, and all its pages. Under the Shortcuts header will appear any page you mark with a star.
  2. Every day you get a fresh Daily Note; a page with today’s date. The beauty of Roam is that you can type anywhere and never lose your knowledge—as long as you link it. Simply start typing on this page to take notes. We’ll later see how to find them back.
  3. After the Daily Note page, you’ll do a lot of your work in the search bar. From here, you can start typing the name of a page and either create it or immediately jump to it. Roam’s search functionality first looks for pages with a matching title and then for any blocks that match.
  4. There’s a simple help menu in the bottom right corner if you want to see a quick overview of the most common shortcuts and shortcodes in Roam.

That’s what you all need to know for now! Get familiar with the app by using your Daily Note as a scratchpad today.

Everything in Roam is a block, indicated by a bullet. You can nest blocks underneath other blocks by hitting Tab on your keyboard, which indents the block. That way, the indented block (the child) becomes associated with the block above it (the parent). More on that in a future lesson.

Continue with Lesson 2: Link your linking >>

Additional resources

Need some more pointers to wrap your head around the Daily Notes page? Check out one of these videos from fellow Roam users:

The Daily Notes page

To watch this video you first need to enroll in the free course by Cortex Futura. Click the image to be taken to the course page:

Why write in the Daily Note

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