Here’s how I think—Building blocks and pattern recognition

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Building with blocks

Blocks are everywhere.

Look around you! Every piece of software used to create and manage content moves to a block-based structure. Roam too. The most common is the paragraph. I keep them short and on point.

One idea, one block, is an efficient system for two reasons:

  • First, one can reference blocks in multiple places.
    It means that you can have the same block appear on different pages without duplicating it and with all changes immediately occurring everywhere. In addition, you can reference multiple blocks next to each other but not split a longer one.
  • Then, the value of Roam comes from bidirectional links.
    While links are placed on words or small groups of words and lead to pages, the unit that they make accessible is the block. When blocks contain a single idea, patterns become more recognizable.

Therefore, shorter is better.

I am a gardener, not an architect, and certainly not a librarian.

When I write a note or save something that resonates with me, I rarely know what I’ll do with it; it feels important, so I keep it. I am terrible at creating hierarchies beforehand, and when Gmail introduced search and got rid of folders, I was happy.

In Roam, you don’t need folders.

Select words that matter to you and add links as easily as typing two square brackets. Then, roam will instantly create a page as the link’s target. On that page, you’ll find referenced all the occurrences of those words, already linked or not.

You can think of any subject, search for it in your Roam graph, add a link on its first occurrence, and from there have instant access to all notes containing those terms. Then, by repeating the process with other keywords found in those notes, connect many others. That’s how patterns emerge.

It’s like magic!


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