Amplenote vs Roam: A Comprehensive Comparison for Note-Takers

In the realm of personal knowledge management and note-taking, two popular applications have emerged as favorites among users: Roam and AmpleNote. While both applications are designed to help users stay organized and manage their ideas effectively, they offer different sets of features, interfaces, and philosophies catered to different user preferences.

Roam is widely known for its bidirectional linking system, which promotes the creation of interconnected notes reflecting the non-linear structure of human thinking. This system enables users to easily navigate and discover connections between various thoughts and ideas. On the other hand, AmpleNote focuses on a hierarchical organization system using nested notes, allowing users to structure their ideas in a more traditional and linear manner.

Both applications offer a range of features and functions that cater to different needs and workflows, making it important for users to carefully weigh their specific requirements and preferences before choosing the note-taking tool that suits them best.


Amplenote is a versatile note-taking app that offers a blend of task management and productivity-enhancing features. With its robust set of tools, Amplenote aims to streamline your workflow and enhance organization across your digital space.

One of the reasons users choose Amplenote is its diverse note-taking and task management capabilities. The app supports Markdown for seamless and simplified formatting, making it easy to create well-structured and visually appealing notes. Amplenote’s ability to associate tasks within notes using Task Management sets it apart from other similar apps. This functionality enables users to create to-do lists and set due dates, providing a seamless transition from note-taking to action.

Amplenote’s powerful Tagging System allows for efficient organization of notes and tasks. With Inline Tags, users can easily assign and find related content, while maintaining a clean and uncluttered workspace. The app also offers Rich Footnotes for linking to other notes and websites, thus optimizing your note-taking experience.

Security is a key aspect of Amplenote, which employs Encrypted Blocks to protect sensitive information within your notes. This feature ensures that your private data remains confidential, while still allowing you to access your content across different devices through syncing capabilities.

Another standout feature of Amplenote is its integration with Google Calendar. The Calendar View helps users visualize task deadlines and manage their time more efficiently. Coupled with the Eisenhower Matrix and Task Score functionalities, users can prioritize tasks effectively and make more informed decisions about their workflow.

Amplenote offers a range of pricing options, making it accessible to individuals with varying budgets. The app is available on a variety of platforms, including iOS and Android mobile apps, a desktop app, and a Chrome extension.

Importing and exporting notes is a seamless process with Amplenote. Users can import existing notes in the JSON format and integrate them into their workflow. The app also provides an Export All feature for users to maintain a backup of their notes in the JSON export format.

In conclusion, Amplenote is a powerful, versatile, and feature-rich note-taking app that combines tasks, productivity tools, and calendar integration to create an efficient workflow system. With its emphasis on security, organization, and task prioritization, Amplenote is a valuable addition to any productivity toolkit.

Roam Research

Roam Research is a note-taking app with a focus on networked thought and bi-directional linking. Compared to other productivity apps like Evernote, Notion, and Obsidian, Roam’s key differentiator is its built-in approach to organizing notes. It allows for rich connections between ideas through bidirectional links, which promote discovering relationships and fostering creativity.

One of the standout features of Roam is the daily notes and calendar view. This enables users to create a new note for each day, fostering a habit of daily note-taking for planning, jotting down ideas, and task management. Additionally, users can create tables, diagrams, and embed Google Docs or Google Sheets within their notes for enhanced organization and productivity.

Roam’s interface is designed for power users who prefer a more streamlined workflow. The sidebar is an effective tool for multi-tasking and switching between notes effortlessly. The search feature, powered by [[backlinks]] and {{tags}}, provides users with a smooth experience when looking for specific notes or creating new connections.

However, Roam’s pricing might be a concern for some users, as it currently offers three plans: Free, Believer ($500 one-time), and Professional ($15 per month). While the free trial does give potential users a taste of the app, many may find the cost for the additional features prohibitive compared to alternatives like Obsidian or OneNote.

One potential drawback of Roam is the lack of native mobile apps. Although it provides responsive web access for iOS and Android users, a dedicated app with offline access and syncing would improve the overall user experience.

In terms of security, Roam implements end-to-end encryption for user data which ensures robust protection of confidential information. The app is also receptive to customer feedback through its feature voting and roadmap initiatives, providing users with a say in its development and improvements.

Overall, Roam Research is a powerful productivity and organization tool, addressing unique needs with its innovative approach to note-taking and intelligence-driven features. By employing bidirectional linking, daily notes, and various integrations, Roam aims to provide users with superior organization and functionality in their quest to attain productivity nirvana.

Key Features Comparison

Note Organization

AmpleNote allows users to create notes with hierarchical organization through folders and nested sub-folders. It also has built-in support for [bi-directional linking}( between notes, making it suitable for those who want to create interlinked content.

Roam Research is popular for its unique approach to note organization using a graph view. It focuses on block-level, bi-directional linking which makes it easy to create connections between granular pieces of information. This can be helpful when dealing with complex subjects and determining relationships between different ideas.

Task Management

AmpleNote offers a task management system called Task VIEWS that lets users track tasks across all notes, allowing them to prioritize, schedule, and organize tasks effectively. Tasks can be created from plain text and can be assigned tags, due dates, and priorities.

Roam Research has a basic task management feature, allowing users to create checkboxes by adding brackets [] before a text line. However, it lacks advanced functionality like due dates and priorities, which are native to AmpleNote.

Calendar Integration

AmpleNote has a built-in calendar that syncs with noted tasks, letting users visualize their scheduled tasks and deadlines. It offers seamless integration with Google Calendar, enabling users to import their events and collaborate with others.

Roam Research does not have native calendar integration, requiring users to find third-party tools or workarounds to connect their notes with a calendar.

Collaboration and Sharing

AmpleNote enables real-time collaboration and sharing of notes with your team or friends through shared links. Users can set permissions for editing or viewing and easily track changes made by others.

Roam Research also supports real-time collaboration, but it requires the use of its Pilot Program with a monthly subscription. Otherwise, users can share their notes with read-only access through a public link.

Security and Privacy

AmpleNote prioritizes security with end-to-end encryption, ensuring that your notes are encrypted on your device before being sent to the server. This provides an additional layer of protection for your personal information.

Roam Research offers server-side encryption for all stored data but does not have end-to-end encryption like AmpleNote.

Pricing and Plans

AmpleNote offers a free plan with basic features and three paid plans, ranging from $4.99 to $12.99 per month, which offer features like collaboration, more storage, and priority support.

Roam Research has two pricing plans: the $15 per month Standard Plan, and the $500 Believer Plan with five years of access and additional benefits. It does not have a free plan.

Ease of Use

User Interface and Design

AmpleNote and Roam have different approaches to their user interfaces. AmpleNote features a clean and minimalistic design, with a focus on organization and accessibility. It makes use of a hierarchical structure for note-taking, with notebooks, tags, and task support, which is helpful for users who prefer a more structured way of managing their notes.

In contrast, Roam is built around a networked thought approach, where notes are connected to each other through bi-directional links. It offers a more free-flowing and flexible method of creating and organizing content. This can be especially useful for users involved in research or creative endeavors where non-linear thinking is beneficial.

Mobile Apps and Cross-Platform Compatibility

Both AmpleNote and Roam support cross-platform compatibility, providing access to your notes on various devices. AmpleNote is available on the web, as well as macOS, Linux, Windows, Android, and iOS apps. This ensures seamless syncing and easy access to your notes wherever you are.

On the other hand, Roam currently only offers a web-based application and is not available on mobile platforms as standalone apps yet. Users can access Roam on mobile devices through web browsers, but the experience may not be as smooth and optimized as dedicated mobile apps.

Platform AmpleNote Roam

Importing and Exporting Notes

Importing and exporting notes in both tools is relatively straightforward. In AmpleNote, users can import notes from popular note-taking apps like Evernote, Standard Notes, and plain text files, making it easy to transition from other platforms. Export options include HTML, plain text, and Markdown, allowing flexibility in sharing and backing up your content.

Roam provides an intuitive import and export process as well. Users can easily import content from Notion, Obsidian, or Markdown files. When it comes to exporting notes, Roam offers a range of formats such as JSON, EDN, and Markdown, giving users options in choosing the most suitable format for their needs.

Import Options AmpleNote Roam
Standard Notes
Plain Text/Markdown
Export Options AmpleNote Roam
Plain Text

Integration With Other Tools

Amplenote and Roam offer several integrations with other tools to enhance productivity. In this section, we will discuss the integration capabilities with Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Sheets for each platform.

Google Calendar

Amplenote provides seamless integration with Google Calendar. Users can easily connect their calendar to Amplenote and manage events within the application. By synchronizing Google Calendar events, users can check their schedule and create tasks directly from Amplenote. Additionally, it allows users to set up reminders for their tasks.

On the other hand, Roam doesn’t have direct integration with Google Calendar. However, you can use third-party tools like Zapier to connect Roam with Google Calendar and automate certain processes, such as creating events or syncing tasks between the platforms.

Google Docs

Amplenote doesn’t have a direct integration with Google Docs but allows users to export notes as Google Docs files. Users can convert their notes to Google Docs with a few simple clicks, preserving the formatting and structure of the original notes. This feature makes it easy for users to collaborate with others who are using Google Docs.

Roam doesn’t have built-in integration with Google Docs either. However, users can copy and paste content between Roam and Google Docs, but it may require some manual formatting adjustments.

Google Sheets

Amplenote does not offer direct integration with Google Sheets. Users can copy data from their notes or tasks and paste it into a Google Sheet, but this process is manual and may require extra formatting adjustments.

Similarly, Roam does not have a built-in integration with Google Sheets, but users can copy content between the platforms with manual formatting adjustments. Third-party integrations, like Zapier, can also be used to connect Roam with Google Sheets for automated workflows.

Community and Support

AmpleNote and Roam Research are both popular note-taking applications with active and engaged user communities. They both offer resources for users to seek help, share tips, and discuss features. However, there are some differences in terms of community size and support provided by the companies.

AmpleNote’s community is steadily growing, with users often sharing their experiences on forums and social media platforms. There is a public Discord server dedicated to AmpleNote users, providing opportunities for direct communication amongst users and with the developers. Additionally, AmpleNote offers a blog and a help center where users can find how-to articles, tips, and FAQs to maximize their productivity when using the app.

On the other hand, Roam Research has a larger user base and is known for its enthusiastic community, lovingly referred to as the “Roam Cult.” Users have created various online forums, Facebook groups, and Twitter accounts dedicated to sharing tips, tricks, and use cases for Roam. The company itself provides a Roam Research Help Center with articles and guides on how to make the most of Roam’s features.

When it comes to customer support, AmpleNote provides email support and prioritizes responses to premium subscribers. Roam Research also offers email support, but the response time and level of assistance may vary depending on the nature of the request.

In summary, both AmpleNote and Roam Research have active communities that can provide assistance, advice, and encouragement to fellow users. While Roam Research has a more extensive and vocal following, AmpleNote’s community is growing and should not be underestimated. Regardless of the platform you choose, you can expect to find dedicated users eager to help you navigate and maximize the potential of these note-taking applications.

Final Thoughts

Amplenote and Roam are both useful tools designed to enhance note-taking and information management. Each platform offers its unique set of benefits and features, making the choice between them dependent on the user’s requirements and preferences.

Amplenote’s strengths lie in its clean interface, task management features, and variety of export formats. It provides seamless integration with popular productivity tools like Google Calendar and Todoist, making it ideal for users who want a centralized tool for managing notes and tasks. Amplenote also supports rich-text formatting, which allows users to create visually appealing notes.

On the other hand, Roam presents a graph-based structure that fosters relationship-building between notes. This structure enables users to discover new insights and connections as their knowledge base grows. The bi-directional linking feature in Roam is particularly useful for researchers, writers, and learners who need to track and navigate complex webs of information.

While both platforms support markdown formatting and keyboard shortcuts, they cater to distinct user groups. Amplenote is well-suited to those who prioritize task management and seek a clean interface, whereas Roam excels in building knowledge networks and catering to more in-depth research needs.

The choice between Amplenote and Roam ultimately depends on the individual user’s needs and preferences. By considering the features and benefits of both platforms, users can make an informed decision and enhance their note-taking and information management experience.