5 Best Roam Research Alternatives to Create a Digital Brain

by Parth

Roam Research has taken the modular productivity market by storm. The software’s unique approach to note-taking, backlinks, and graph view has won them many fans over the world. However, the whole experience does come with a cost, $165 per year, to be precise and it’s lacking presence on the mobile space as well. If you are looking for an affordable solid Roam Research alternative, read along to find the five best possible options. 

Best Roam Research Alternatives 

Let’s start the list with the fan-favorite Notion software. 

1. Notion

Roam Research was designed to fill-in the gaps left by Notion software. Similar to Roam Research, Notion offers backlinks, grouped tabs, and an overall modular approach. With Notion, you won’t get the well-known digital map function, but the software does have a ton of tricks up its sleeve to lure the consumers in the Notion ecosystem. 

notion home

Unlike Roam Research, Notion is completely free to use for personal accounts. It’s ideal for project management as well. It’s really up to the user on how he/she wants to be productive with Notion. 

Pros

  • Modular approach similar to Roam Research
  • Backlinks support 
  • Hundreds of templates to choose from 
  • Cross-platform availability 
  • Free for personal accounts with unlimited blocks 

Cons

  • Mobile apps are nothing to write about 
  • Lacks digital map function 
  • Lacks offline support – needs constant internet connection

Price

Free for personal use. 

Get Notion 

2. Obsidian

Obsidian is the closest you can get as a Roam Research alternative. The backlinking support is as good as Roam Research. As you connect the ideas from one note to another, the software will create a second digital brain just like Roam Research. 

obsidian digital graph

The free version allows you to create as many vaults as possible. You can also work offline as Obsidian is flexible enough to save vaults on the device. Our favorite feature is the ability to open multiple notes on a single screen. It really spruces up productivity. 

Pros

  • Native apps for Windows and Mac 
  • Beautiful UI 
  • Plugins support
  • Multiple export options 
  • Digital map support 
  • Offline support 

Cons

  • Confusing pricing structure 
  • Complex to use for first-timers 

Price

Obsidian is free to download and use. However, you need to pay for cross-platform sync and other advanced options such as publishing. 

Get Obsidian 

3. Hypernotes 

Hypernotes takes Roam Research experience to the next level with a built-in bi-directional linking and Semantic Graph. Unlike any other solution above, the software does have native app support for iOS and Android. 

hypernotes

The more we use, the more we feel Hypernotes to be Roam Research, Google Docs, and Trello combined on steroids. It’s that good. The software also comes with a much-needed Zapier integration to automate tasks. 

Pros

  • Cross-platform availability 
  • Zapier integration
  • Ideal for team communication 
  • Text Outlining 
  • DIgital graph similar to Roam Research 

Cons

  • The free plan is limited in terms of features 

Price

The Plus plan starts at €8 per month. 

Get Hypernotes 

4. RemNote

RemNote is the all-in-one workspace for note-taking, learning, organizing thoughts, and growing knowledge. It is mostly preferred in the education space by students, researchers, and professionals. 

remnotes home

You can link notes and ideas to supercharge your memory, organization, and thinking skills. Our favorite function is Flashcards. Users can create flashcards directly within notes to rapidly break down and remember any body of knowledge.

Pros

  • Rich import and export options 
  • Best-in-class search function 
  • Backlinks and references support 

Cons

  • No mobile apps 
  • Outdated UI 
  • Not ideal for personal use 

Pricing

The Pro plan starts at $6 per month. 

Get RemNote

5. Coda

Coda is more in line with Notion than Roam Research. It’s basically Google Docs and Google Sheets combined in a modular package. Dump all your thoughts and ideas in Coda and use templates to manage them. 

coda app

Coda offers you to create as many mini apps as possible. You can create a finance tracker, subscription tracker, project management tool, and more. What we love about Coda is automation. It’s a killer feature from Coda. Users can create IFTTT-like rules and make their workflow better. 

Pros

  • Tons of templates to choose from
  • Coda Rules 
  • Excellent mobile optimization 
  • The free plan is feature-rich 
  • Ideal for project management 

Cons

  • Roam power users might find Coda in limiting in certain ways 
  • No backlinking support
  • Confusing pricing structure

Price

$10 per month per doc maker. 

Get Coda

Wrapping Up: Roam Research Alternative

Roam Research is a powerful tool to create a digital brain. All the goodies come at cost though. If you like Roam Research’s way of doing things but don’t want to shell out heavy cash, do check out our alternative list. 

As for us, the TechWiser team is divided between Notion and Obsidian. Hypernotes is a capable option as well.

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