Using Templates in Roam Research

It took me a couple of weeks to adopt Roam Research as my primary note-taking tool. Roam was intuitive enough to get me interested, but once I learned how to create and use templates, I became hooked. I use templates in most of my current workflows: daily journaling, book and article metadata, and Zettlekasten notes.

Here is how I create and use templates in Roam Research.

Building Blocks

There are existing resources on Roam’s basic functions, but here are the functions relevant to my template creation process.

Block References (())

Easily reference notes from another page by using the ‘(())’ shortcut.

Attributes ::

Place two colons after a phrase (ex: Author::) to make that phrase a global attribute.

Attributes have the following features:

Click on an attribute to view all of its values on a single page.

Changing the text of an attribute will update all of its instances.

Creating and Using Templates

Create a template.

A template is a note you can replicate using the block reference feature.

Create a template by creating a new note with its children as fields. Make each field an attribute so you can view all its values on the same page.

Use the block reference feature to replicate the template on your desired page.

  1. Use the (()) shortcut to find your template. Click on the reference after you’ve entered it.

  2. Select Apply Children >> as text. This will insert all the fields in your template as you’ve defined them. Since you defined them as attributes, they will appear as attributes. 

That’s all folks!

Remember that because all fields are defined as attributes, you can click on a field to view all its values.

Another Template Strategy

Another strategy I’ve come across is to create a page that only includes templates. When you want to use a template, you open the template page on your sidebar and copy and paste the fields.

Read more about it here.

If you’re interested in active reading and note taking in Roam Research, check out my post here.

Thank you for reading! I’ll publish additional posts about my current Roam workflows. Please comment if you have any questions or feedback! Happy Roaming!

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