What VoodooPad can learn from RoamResearch

matt's Avatar


06 Jan, 2020 01:23 PM

I've been an on and off user of VoodooPad for a very long time but - although I think VP is a powerful app - it never quite stuck with me.

Recently I have been experimenting with RoamResearch and it is essentially "VoodooPad on the web".

What everyone is a bit breathless about with Roam is the backlinks. If you've been around awhile this isn't new and indeed VP has had backlinks since forever. However, among Roam's tricks is making those backlinks rather more accessible. Since they appear on the page and include context around where the link came from. It also collects "unlinked references" and can quickly turn them into links allowing you to later collect pages you didn't think of.

I think it would be well worth taking a look at Roam and understanding what it does well, e.g. Roam Demo Videos

For example, Roam has the notion of Daily Pages. Every time you start Roam it creates a page for the day. You can link to another day page (including in the future) by typing /date to get a date picker which will link to that day page. This makes it very easy to get started (you don't have to think about where to file things) but keeps things reasonably organised by default. Roam defaults to an outliner mode which is very handy and has built-in support for creating todos. Roam uses Markdown which I think is a better default than RTF. Roam supports tagging individual paragraphs and creates links to tag pages automatically. I think VP requires you to tag using the palette and only on a page level.

At the moment Roam has a sketchy sharing story as it's still work-in-progress but I think it will be better than doc sharing via Dropbox, e.g. page-level permissions. IIRC VP is available for iOS but I'm not sure of the parity.

I'm not saying Roam is by any means perfect. In fact, it's the imperfections that made me think of VoodooPad and wonder how it stacks up. But Roam has a lot going for it and I think it would be worth VP seeing what tricks it can learn and how it can leverage it's position on the desktop to do things better.


Reply to this discussion

Internal reply

Formatting help / Preview (switch to plain text) No formatting (switch to Markdown)

Attaching KB article:


Attached Files

You can attach files up to 10MB

If you don't have an account yet, we need to confirm you're human and not a machine trying to post spam.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac