Roam Essentials

Roam Essentials

A tiny course for beginners and false beginners


You’ve heard about Roam, the note-taking tool for networked thought. Maybe you’ve even given it a try. But somehow, it never clicked.

Roam Essentials is a short course so you can finally make the most of Roam, without spending hours scratching your head or watching complex tutorials.

Through a series of short videos combining mental models and practical examples, Roam Essentials will take you from “what’s the fuss all about” to “I finally get it!”

Contrary to many courses that assume you already have a Roam database full of content, Roam Essentials starts from scratch with a blank slate, so you can follow along even if you’re a complete beginner.

If you want access to the quickest way of going from Roam confusion to Roam revelation, this course is made for you.

Roam Essentials - Screenshot

No fluff, just the essentials

Many courses are too long or overly complex. This course’s goal is to help you quickly and efficiently get started with Roam. Here are the promises of the Roam Essentials course:

  • Lessons are based on the Pareto principle. You only need to learn 20% of the features to get 80% of the benefits. We will teach you the 20% and how to teach yourself the remaining 80% on a need-to-learn basis.
  • Lessons are opinionated. We explain simple but strong mental models that will make things click.
  • Lessons are short. Your time is precious. You don’t need to spend ten hours watching tutorials to start getting amazing value out of Roam. The course offers 20 short and practical videos covering everything you need to get started with Roam.

There is no video longer than 5 minutes so you can explore the course in your spare time. While we advise you take the time to digest each lesson before moving onto the next one, you could technically complete the course in a bit more than an hour.

What’s included?

Roam Essentials outlines a simple system to make the most of Roam in a minimum of time. The course includes:

  • 20 short videos with full transcripts*
  • 5-day starter plan to go from zero to hero
  • 9 Roam templates for planning, journaling, reviewing, note-taking, and more
  • 20 creative prompts to practice using Roam
  • Access to the Roam Research discussion group in the Ness Labs community

* Please note: there are currently 11 published videos, but new videos are being published every week.

Who’s the course for?

The course is for beginners and false beginners. If you have been curious about Roam but are not sure where to start, you will get tons of value from Roam Essentials. And if you have dabbled with Roam in the past, but couldn’t make it “click”, this course will combine practical examples and helpful mental models so you can finally say “I get it!”

What’s the curriculum?

Learn how to make the most of the course

  • Welcome to the course!
  • Let’s take a quick tour
  • The power of quick commands

Explore 5 mental models to make the most of Roam

  • Set your intentions
  • All roads start from your Daily Notes
  • Forget about folders
  • Embrace bi-directional linking
  • The key is your keyboard

Take and make notes in Roam

  • Create hubs for quick access
  • Watch a live note-taking and note-making demo
  • Save time with templates

Interlink your notes in Roam

  • Practice networked thinking with references
  • Use the search function to link your notes
  • Manage orphan notes with the graph

Create content from your notes in Roam

  • Identify an idea to work on
  • Work on your draft
  • Publish your content

Try advanced hacks to go further with Roam

  • Use extensions to supercharge Roam
  • Pimp up Roam with custom styling
  • Unlock advanced use cases with JavaScript

Downloadable resources to speed up your learning experience

  • 5-day starter plan to go from zero to hero
  • Roam templates for planning, journaling, reviewing, note-taking, and more
  • Creative prompts to practice using Roam
  • Roam cheat sheet

How do I join?

The course is included in the yearly Ness Labs membership, which is just US$49 per year. Once you have joined the community, go to this link and click on “Roam Essentials” to get instant access to the course.


The membership is non-refundable. You can cancel at any time. See you in the community!

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