Bidirectional note linking, and an offer for Roam importers

Over the past year, users of every major note-taking app have clamored for better connectivity between notes in the form of bidirectional linking. Today, we're debuting our own take on this popular feature request.

For the don't-tell-me-show-me learners, it's now possible to invoke an "Express Link" dialog by typing [[, then linking to either an existing note, or a new note:

Demo linking to an existing note, or declaring a new note to link into. More animated examples at bottom of article.

Pop open the note details of the newly created "Look ma it links both ways!" note and you'll find the context from whence this inbound reference came.

Any note that is linked to keeps an index of who linked to it, and the context around that inbound link

Full disclosure: this feature is new for us, and has room for polish as we collect customer feedback. But, as v1s go, this seems like as good a time as any to set this one free. 🕊️

linkRoam Refugees: 25% off new subscriptions using Roam Importer

While Amplenote and Roam Research both went live to the public in 2019, there are more differences than similarities between them.

Check out a rundown of 10 similarities and 5 differences between Amplenote and Roam Research

Leading up to 2019, it had been dry times for new note apps worth talking about. Bear, Notion, and Notejoy all launched in 2016, their sights set on carving out the remains of Evernote. It's hard to find another critically acclaimed product like Notion that has emerged in the years since.

That's why we've been huge fans of the heat that Roam devotees have generated. In an age where Notion admirers crowd every corner of Twitter, Roam has sparked a flash that might best be described as simply "cool." An endorsement from one's users is the biggest gift a product owner can ever hope to receive. Roam sparks these endorsements with 100x the intensity of its uncool brethren. Put another way, the hype they generate inspires people, and "inspired people" help others consider that there might be room for life beyond Notion.

The problem is the Roam servers. Even the most ardent Roam enthusiast would probably concede that Roam devops has been a struggle. Meanwhile, the Amplenote servers are snappy as ever. We're able and ready to help people who want to try us out. There's nothing worse for productivity than app latency...

And so, to lighten the load on the Roam servers, please: consider importing your Roam JSON files to Amplenote. Our server capacity remains ample, as ever. ✅

If you find that the differences between Roam and Amplenote are acceptable, we will offer 25% off the first year of your subscription. That pencils out to $4.38/month for the Basic membership, or $7.50/month for the Pro membership. Maybe even $18.75/month for Founder membership? If you have previously imported a Roam JSON file, a "25% off first year" discount will be reflected in your subscription invoice when you go to activate your subscription.

This offer will be valid only for new Amplenote trials started between May 7-May 14. This is our first and perhaps only discount we offer to our usual subscription prices -- like Roam, we are trying to ensure that our pricing remains at a threshold that lets us deliver a white glove experience to our users.

Curious? Sign up for a trial and give our new Roam Research JSON Importer a whirl. 🎡

linkUsage examples

Some implementation examples using the new double-bracket express linking.

linkExpress linking to a newly created note

When you enclose a string in set of brackets, it will link to a note (whether new or existing). It's always possible to simply link to a [[Juicy Topic]]. But what if you live through 10,000 juicy topics? What then? Maybe it's best to make a Vault Note in [[vacations/spicy/Juicy Topic]] so you can find this one later? Here's how it looks to generate a new note and tag hierarchy via express linking:

Linking to a newly created note within the hierarchy

You can jump into a newly linked reference using Ctrl-Space, and jump back to the previous note using Ctrl-[.

linkLinking to an existing note

After you've created a reference, you don't have to fuss about casing (or where you put it in the hierarchy) when you want to reference the note again:

Linking to an existing note using different casing

It is impossible to create two links with different casing. We also normalize tag hierarchy to prevent possible overlap for taxonomy-based note takers.


linkFuture plans

There's a lot more that will be done with bidirectional linking. We're already scheduled to aggregate inbound links into a dedicated tab that's automatically opened with the note. Currently one must open their note details (Shift-Ctrl-O) to see inbound links, which is a step we'll soon remove. Stay tuned for more details on the "Inbound Links" tab that will be added soon (alongside tabs for "Hidden tasks" and "Completed tasks by day")