Switching from Roam - Frustrated and a bit overwhelmed

Hey Everyone, I am a Roam refugee making my third serious attempt to switch to Obsidian. While I’m no more than mid-level technically proficient (whatever that means), I was amazed by what I learned and was ultimately able to do with my Roam graph over the 20 or so months, however on two past occasions when I attempted to switch to Obsidian I got completely overwhelmed and continued with roam. This time I promised myself it would be different. I’ve watched and read a fair number of videos and articles, particularly those suggested by Eleanor. I’ve been looking into Nick’s LYT and following along on and off for the past few months. And yet, a week or so into my third attempt I’m finding myself in familiar territory - OVERWHELMED and UNCERTAIN. Because the commitment to switch is immense and immensely time-consuming, I can feel myself being overly concerned with making the wrong the choices (organization, design, etc) in the beginning.

Generally speaking, I’m writing in the hope that one of you good people can steer me in the right direction (generally).

More specifically, these are a few specific things I’m struggling with:

  • ONE: Moving Roam Notes Now or Later? I’m aware of Obsidian’s native Roam Import tool and I’ve come across a few other scripts on GitHub for getting my Roam notes into better shape for Obsidian. My questions is - For those who have successfully made the switch do you think I’m better off running the Importer and/or one of the other scripts and getting all my notes from Roam into Obsidian FIRST (and then dealing with cleaning them up) or am I better off getting acquainted with Obsidian and thinking through how I want to generally organize my vault first?
  • Secondly: YAML v Metadata? I’ve read and watched fair bit about YAML (I’m a total newbie) and metadata and I’m still not fully clear on the differences and uses. Can anyone provide some additional color on this? PS: while I’m on the subject of YAML, does the “front matter” need to be at the very top of each note it’s used or not? I’m not clear on this
  • Thirdly, Tags - Folders - Links? I know a lot has been written and debated here about this subject so no need to rehash here. My question is this: I’ve seen quite a number of people talk about limiting their use of tags specifically to “action-oriented” tasks (i.e. #read, #watch, #edit, etc) and links for everything else (i.e. subjects). What is the State of the State on this subject?

I’ve heard the most amazing things about this community. I only hope you guys will be patient with me so I can finally make this switch in the hope that one day I can be helpful others. Thank you.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by Obsidian itself, or by reading about the various ways people use it?

YAML is the language used to format the metadata (YAML - Wikipedia). The front matter does need to be at the very top, as stated in the manual. (In the icons at the very left of the app, select the question-mark-in-a-circle near the bottom, then search for “YAML” and select “YAML front matter”).

Different people use tags in different ways. I don’t do the “action-oriented tag” thing, but the people who do seem happy enough.

I came from Roam (was active for about a year and very enthused about its development)… then developed a system within Obsidian and never looked back.

Not sure if you’ll be interested but I made a few videos demonstrating my workflow. First one on threading mode using the breadcrumbs plugin and second one showing literally how I thread ideas with realtime rediscovery.

I use inline data for things that make sense positionally and yaml for general data like time created or modified, aliases, etc.

I wouldn’t be in a rush to import things over from Roam. Just bring things over when you find a need to. Sorting everything out in one go takes a lot of time and you’re right - without a good infrastructure/foundation it might not be that useful

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.