In this episode, we talk with Aravind Balla, a software developer working remotely from Hyderabad, India. He loves JS and CSS, and is the co-host of the Learning Curve podcast, sharing his findings, discoveries, and, his learning journey with fellow host Bretik.

In the #roamcult community he is known for creating Gatsby-theme-Andy, a digital gardening theme inspired by the works of Andy Matuschak and is based on Gatsby-theme-brain.

We talked about:

  • Aravind's note-taking workflow
  • How Notion and Roam plays different roles in his work
  • Examples of evergreen notes from Aravind's graph
  • The origin story of Gatsby-theme-andy
  • Defining what is publishable in a digital garden
  • Planning episode for the Learning Curve Podcast


For the full transcript, click here


  • 03:24 From Evernote to Notion and Aravind's meta questions
  • 05:54 No more Evernote except for Kindle highlights
  • 08:40 There was no friction in transitioning to Roam
  • 09:38 Notion vs Roam for Teams
  • 10:58 Loading up Roam in low network connectivity
  • 13:09 "Once it is loaded, it never dies. So I never turn my MacBook off"
  • 14:53 Aravind's main workflow, information capture and more
  • 17:06 Some fleeting notes are thrown away, and examples of permanent notes
  • 18:18 Aravind Balla's Evergreen notes from [[How to Take Smart Notes]] and Linchpin
  • 20:02 Have empathy towards your work
  • 21:58 Publishing notes online can strike ideas in the person who's reading it
  • 23:05 How Aravind remade Andy Matuschak's digital garden theme in Gatsby
  • 25:47 Gathering around digital gardeners and Andy's followers
  • 28:38 What's considered publishable? Defining a digital garden
  • 34:56 How did the Learning Curve podcast start?
  • 37:46 Predicting conversations with #roamcult, and Mental Agility
  • 42:48 Aravind's keen for the API to rollout
  • 45:48 Planning an episode for the Learning Curve Podcast
  • 49:48 [[How would you describe Roam to someone who hasn't started using it?]]
  • 51:48 [[What does Roam mean to you?]]