Import from Roam

I’ve successfully imported my Roam vault into Obsidian - in the future, I’d suggest some visual to help in the confusing process.

The challenge I have now is how to take all the notes and have them recognize their former backlinking structure - as they stand now, I have to manually copy each note into a new Obsidian note and somehow re link everything - is that normal behavior? I’ve never worked with markdown notes, let alone importing them, so perhaps this is just how it is. Needless to say, the import process from Roam leaves me with a pile of random scattered notes in Obsidian. Any help is much appreciated, thanks!

Roam uses the same wiki-link format that Obsidian uses [[note]] so I’m not sure why you need to re-link anything.

Maybe I’m not following you. Did you convert your Roam database into markdown files? And then use the Markdown format importer plugin to convert the Roam-specific syntax?

Title in Roam can contain ?, ', /, [[ ... ]] and other characters that are not allowed in Obsidian. You’ll end up with filenames without these characters, but they will stay in your note text. That’s why migration from Roam is not that easy if you didn’t know it beforehand. But it’s more the problem of how Roam handles export, they should remove those characters from wikilinks, not only from filenames.
That said, I’m confused about “all the notes” as it’s unlikely you have extra chars in every link. Do you know that you need to ctrl/cmd+click on link to open note in edit mode in Obsidian?

Ah thanks @Piotr, I forgot about that. Yes, that’s a big problem. I’ve dealt with it while importing from other apps as well.

That behaviour seems possible because Roam is using an UUID-like approach for everything you store which removes the ‘limitations’ of a filesystem approach like Obsidian does.
Indeed very annoying when you want to switch from Roam to the best tool in the world :wink:

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This might also be a general misunderstanding of the display differences between Roam pages, that show related links to that page underneath the main entry, and Obsidian putting these references into the sidebar. That would at least explain the ubiquity of the phenomenon.

Where is this: Markdown format importer Thanks. Can’t find in Obsidian or where to download. Is this still the best way to move my ROAM data into Obsidian?

Go to Settings -> Core Plugins and turn on Markdown format importer

This is going to handle many, but not all import cases. One gap is date format conversion for daily notes.