Blog Article

Roam vs. Notion: Which Note-taking App is Best to Use in 2024?

Neeraj Shukla
By Neeraj Shukla | February 5, 2024 12:28 pm

In today's fast-paced digital age, where information flows incessantly, effective note-taking has become more important than ever before. Whether you're a student, professional, entrepreneur, or creative thinker, the right note-taking app can significantly impact your productivity and organization. Two prominent contenders in this arena, Roam and Notion, have garnered widespread recognition and have consistently topped the charts. In this in-depth analysis, we will delve into the intricate details, strengths, and weaknesses of both Roam and Notion integrations, aiding you in making a well-informed choice for your note-taking needs.

  1. User Interface and Ease of Use:

  2. Roam

    Roam, known for its minimalist and text-focused interface, has proudly maintained this core identity. The interface continues to exude a sense of simplicity and purity, creating a tranquil and distraction-free environment that is especially appealing to users who value a straightforward and uncluttered writing environment. What's particularly noteworthy in Roam's 2024 update is the introduction of "Daily Notes." This new feature seamlessly provides users with a dedicated space to effortlessly capture and organize their daily thoughts, ideas, tasks, and notes. This addition not only enhances Roam's utility but also further reinforces its commitment to offering a user-friendly and efficient platform for note-taking and information management.


    In contrast to Roam's minimalist and text-focused interface, Notion fully embraces a more visual and highly customizable design. The platform takes great strides in refining user experience, offering an extensive selection of templates and an intuitive drag-and-drop functionality. These enhancements cater specifically to users who prioritize and appreciate the aesthetics of a visually engaging workspace and the flexibility to tailor it to their unique needs and preferences. Notion's commitment to providing a wealth of templates and robust drag-and-drop features sets it apart as a go-to choice for those seeking a versatile and visually appealing digital workspace in the ever-evolving landscape of productivity tools to ensure workflow automation.

    Winner: The decision between Roam and Notion's interfaces comes down to a matter of personal preference. Roam is the preferred choice for individuals who value a clean, text-centric design that promotes simplicity and focus. On the other hand, Notion is tailor-made for users who are drawn to a visually engaging and highly customizable experience that allows them to craft their digital workspace according to their unique needs and creative inclinations. Both platforms have their strengths and cater to distinct user preferences, making the ultimate choice a reflection of individual priorities and the specific requirements of one's workflow and organization style.

  3. Organization and Structure:

  4. Roam

    Roam Research revolutionizes note-taking and knowledge management through its groundbreaking "bidirectional linking" feature, a concept that allows users to effortlessly connect related ideas and information by generating automatic backlinks. This innovative approach empowers users to construct a dynamic web of interconnected thoughts, ideas, and concepts, thereby enhancing cognitive connections and retrieval. As of 2024, Roam has further refined this feature, making it increasingly advantageous for individuals and teams aiming to weave complex networks of knowledge. Despite its strengths in fostering interconnectivity, Roam does not provide the extensive suite of organizational tools and features that Notion offers, such as databases, customizable templates, and advanced project management capabilities. This distinction positions Roam as a specialized tool for idea linking and thought mapping, whereas Notion serves as a more comprehensive solution for structured data organization and project management.


    Notion is renowned for its exceptional organizational capabilities, offering a vast selection of templates and databases that cater to a wide range of needs—from creating intricate databases and calendars to setting up detailed project management boards. Its hierarchical structure is a standout feature, allowing users to effortlessly nest pages within pages, thus facilitating the construction of a deeply structured and easily navigable knowledge base. This level of customization and flexibility makes Notion an ideal platform for individuals and teams seeking to organize their work and ideas in a coherent, accessible manner. Whether for personal use, educational purposes, or professional project management, Notion's comprehensive toolset supports a variety of workflows, making it a versatile choice for those looking to meticulously organize their digital environment.

    Winner: Notion clearly stands out as the leader in organizational and structural capabilities within the realm of note-taking and project management tools. It caters exceptionally well to users who demand meticulous organization and a high degree of structure in their digital workspace. With its intuitive interface and versatile functionality, Notion enables users to create a highly organized and customizable system for managing notes, projects, and databases. The platform's robust set of features, including templates, databases, and hierarchical page nesting, allows for a seamless integration of complex information systems.

  5. Collaboration and Sharing:

  6. Roam

    As of 2024, while Roam Research provides fundamental collaboration features, allowing multiple users to access and edit the same documents simultaneously, its collaborative capabilities remain somewhat limited, especially when compared to other note-taking and project management applications. This limitation is particularly noticeable for teams or groups that require advanced collaborative tools for their workflows, such as detailed permission settings, real-time communication features, and comprehensive project tracking options. Roam's primary focus on bidirectional linking and building a web of interconnected ideas positions it as a powerful tool for individual knowledge management and idea generation. However, for organizations or teams that prioritize extensive collaborative functionalities—such as task assignments, progress tracking, and integrated messaging systems—Roam may not emerge as the top choice.


    So far, Notion continues to excel as a premier platform for collaborative note-taking and project management, distinguishing itself through its robust suite of collaboration features. It supports real-time editing, allowing team members to work on documents simultaneously, and includes comprehensive commenting capabilities, enabling clear and effective communication within documents. Additionally, the ability to mention team members directly in the workspace enhances collaboration, ensuring that notifications and updates are efficiently relayed. Furthermore, Notion's integrations with other tools amplify its utility, allowing teams to connect their digital workspaces with external applications and services seamlessly. This integration capability enriches the collaborative experience by streamlining workflows and facilitating access to a wide range of resources and tools.

    Winner: Notion emerges as the clear winner in the arena of collaboration and sharing, positioning itself as the top choice for team-oriented note-taking and project management. Its comprehensive suite of features, including real-time editing, comments, team mentions, and robust integration capabilities, ensures seamless teamwork and communication, making it indispensable for collaborative efforts.

  7. Note-Taking Features:

  8. Roam

    Roam Research continues to prioritize the core essentials of note-taking, placing a strong emphasis on the innovative concept of connecting ideas through bidirectional links. This year, it significantly enhanced its keyboard shortcuts, dramatically improving the user experience by facilitating faster navigation and more efficient content creation. Additionally, Roam's distinctive "graph" view feature receives an update, offering users a more sophisticated visual representation of how their notes are interconnected. This graphical representation is invaluable for users looking to understand the complex web of relationships between their ideas, making Roam an ideal tool for those who value the depth and interconnectedness of their knowledge base.


    In 2024, Notion further cements its position as a feature-rich note-taking application, expanding its already extensive range of block types to include text, tables, calendars, and an array of other elements designed to accommodate diverse documentation and organizational needs. This year, it introduces significant advancements in data handling capabilities, empowering users to not only create sophisticated databases but also to automate tasks through the use of advanced formulas. Such enhancements streamline workflow processes, making data management both more efficient and effective. Additionally, Notion’s template library sees a substantial expansion, offering even greater flexibility and customization options for users. This allows for an even wider array of pre-designed frameworks that cater to various note-taking styles and project management approaches.

    Winner: Notion emerges as the clear winner for individuals and teams seeking a diverse array of note-taking features, including robust databases, dynamic calendars, and sophisticated advanced formatting options. It caters to a broad spectrum of organizational needs with unparalleled flexibility. Conversely, Roam shines for those who favor a minimalist approach, emphasizing a strong focus on the interconnectedness of ideas through its innovative bidirectional linking and graph view features, making it ideal for users dedicated to mapping out the intricate web of their thoughts and insights.

  9. Cross-Platform Availability:

  10. Roam

    Roam Research provides a flexible and accessible solution for note-taking and idea management through its web and mobile applications, ensuring users can access their interconnected thoughts and notes across different platforms and devices. This multi-platform availability supports a seamless workflow for individuals on the move, catering to a modern, mobile-first user base. Despite these strengths, Roam's absence of a dedicated desktop application could be seen as a shortfall, particularly for users who prefer the integrated experience and potentially enhanced performance of native desktop apps. Without a dedicated desktop version, users might miss out on benefits like offline access, faster processing, and deeper system integration, which are often crucial for intensive note-taking and knowledge management tasks.


    Notion's commitment to accessibility is demonstrated through its comprehensive availability across multiple platforms, including web, desktop (for both Mac and Windows), and mobile (iOS and Android) applications. This extensive cross-platform compatibility ensures that users can effortlessly switch between devices without losing productivity, making it an exceptionally convenient choice for those who require consistent access to their notes, databases, and organizational structures from various devices. The seamless integration and synchronization across these platforms enable a unified user experience, allowing for real-time updates and access to data whether at home, in the office, or on the go. This adaptability and ease of access position Notion as a highly versatile tool for individuals and teams looking for a reliable, all-in-one note-taking and project management solution that accommodates a wide range of working styles and environments.

    Winner: Notion leads in cross-platform availability, enabling seamless device switching and universal note access. Its comprehensive support for web, desktop (Mac and Windows), and mobile (iOS and Android) ensures unmatched flexibility and connectivity, making it the preferred choice for users prioritizing accessibility and the freedom to work from anywhere.

  11. Integration and Ecosystem:

  12. Roam

    Roam Research benefits from a dynamic and expanding ecosystem of extensions and plugins, fostered by an engaged and innovative user community. This ecosystem enriches the platform by introducing a variety of functionalities that enhance the core experience of bidirectional linking and note-taking. Although Roam's marketplace for extensions and plugins may not match the extensive breadth found in Notion's offering, it nonetheless includes key integrations crucial for optimizing workflows, such as tools for exporting and importing data. These integrations facilitate seamless data management and interoperability with other platforms, addressing essential user needs for flexibility in how they interact with their digital knowledge base.


    Notion stands out for its expansive integration options, offering a comprehensive marketplace that hosts a wide selection of integrations and templates. This marketplace is central to Notion's functionality, enabling users to customize their workspaces to meet their unique needs. Notion consistently expands its range of integrations, solidifying its position as a versatile hub for connecting various apps and services. This capability to seamlessly integrate with a multitude of external platforms enhances user productivity and workflow efficiency. By allowing individuals and teams to create a highly customized and interconnected digital workspace, Notion proves to be an invaluable resource for those aiming to streamline their digital tools into one unified platform.

    Winner: Notion emerges as the clear winner in terms of integration options, solidifying its position as a powerful hub for managing your digital life. Its extensive marketplace of integrations and templates enables unparalleled customization and connectivity, making it the go-to platform for users seeking to streamline and enhance their digital workflows.

  13. Pricing:

  14. Roam

    Roam Research offers a free plan that includes limited features, making the platform accessible to a wide range of users seeking to explore its unique note-taking capabilities and interconnected idea mapping. For those requiring more advanced functionalities, Roam's Pro plan is reasonably priced, appealing to individual users who wish to leverage the full potential of the platform's bidirectional linking and extensive note organization tools. This pricing strategy ensures that Roam remains an attractive option for both new users testing the waters and dedicated users seeking to deepen their engagement with the platform.


    Notion provides a free plan that includes basic features, catering to individuals and small teams beginning to explore its comprehensive organizational and collaboration tools. However, as the need for additional team members or advanced features—such as enhanced collaboration capabilities and access to version history—grows, the cost can increase accordingly. Despite this, the value that Notion delivers, particularly in terms of its extensive organizational tools, robust collaboration features, and the ability to streamline workflows across various platforms, often justifies the investment for many users and teams. This balance between cost and value makes Notion a compelling choice for those seeking a powerful, all-in-one platform for managing their digital workspace efficiently.

    Winner: Roam stands out for its affordability for individual users, offering essential features at a reasonable price. In contrast, Notion proves to be cost-effective for teams that need advanced collaboration features, providing extensive organizational tools that justify its higher cost for larger groups seeking a comprehensive digital workspace solution.


In the dynamic landscape of digital note-taking and project management tools, Roam and Notion each present compelling advantages tailored to different user needs and preferences. Roam excels with its minimalist approach and innovative bidirectional linking, making it ideal for those focused on interconnecting ideas in a clean, straightforward interface. Conversely, Notion stands out as a comprehensive platform, offering unmatched organizational capabilities, extensive collaboration features, and a versatile ecosystem for integration. While Roam is more suited for individuals valuing simplicity and idea connectivity, Notion is the preferred solution for teams and users seeking advanced organizational structures and collaboration tools. Ultimately, the choice between Roam and Notion hinges on specific workflow requirements, personal preferences, and the scale of collaboration and organization needed.

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Neeraj Shukla

Content Manager at Appy Pie