A Case For Consolidation Of Words

There are quite a few posts around here that highlight the power of writing. Either through the lens of a remote programmer or using the medium as a force multplier for education purposes.

Throughout the past couple of years, I have stepped away from public writing (this space), and focused on actual writing and working in an 'open' Wiki space. This meant that alot of work never made it into the open. Anything offline, was tucked away in Field Notes or a Baronfig Confidant and the only digital item was available on GitHub.

For most folks, GitHub isn't a super easy way to consume prose style content. Coupled with my use of physical paper, I realized that I was building a fairly extensive 'semi-digital' garden but, one hundred percent of it behind a high wall. The entirety of these hurdles is what lead to moving everything to Roam Reasearch earlier on this year.

This meant porting Robert Pirsig's 'programmers shop manual', my large wiki, an entire year of Agenda, and five years of Day One into a completely new platform. One that didn't have any offline capabilities, mobile app, or even a mobile site (as of January 2020). This was a 'leap of faith', especially for someone who could be considered a zealot about writing and journaling. So how did the experience turn out?

Having re-tooled a lot of my note taking around Agenda and focused on a more 'Zettelkastan' approach that worked on a day-to-day basis, Roam was an easy fit. Linking to notes and especially linking to specific blocks (think nested bullet points), added an even easier way to link notes to one another, versus just through tagging. This, coupled with the markdown import feature to ingest my wiki content, made moving pieces of my brain from one system into Roam a dawdle. However, there remains one system that I can't grok when porting prose to Roam.

Task management and productivity are often topics of discussion around here. Therefore, it should come to no surprise that I am an avid OmniFocus 'zealot'. Having started using it way back in 2009, I naturally have a proclivity to being productive the way OmniFocus expects. Focusing on task management in this capacitiy and with the assistance of OmniFocus, is why I am where I am in my life.

After several weeks of just Roam as a task tool, it became blatently clear that I required a more native approach with text-to-speach integration and a way to email todos directly into a system. This isn't a bad thing though. Roam is more the research arm of my task management. It's a space where higher level and longer lived projects live. Think workspaces for entire projects, spaces for quarterly goal planning or tracking, and long form writing styled: weekly retrospectives.

Both systems see links to one another and I don't see this changing anytime soon. They both have their distinct purposes however, I am deeply happy with the consolidation of research, gardening, knowledge wrangling, journaling, and shop manuals into Roam. The product has already changed considerably over the nearly 10 months of my use and there doesn't seem to be anything that the feverish community can't wedge into the tool.

If you are looking for something to consolidate your writing into, I can't recommend it enough.