In this episode, we talk with Maggie Appleton who is the Art Director, Metaphor Designer & Anthropological All-Rounder at

Soon to start a Masters in Digital Anthropology, she is known for her contributions to digital gardens as well as illustrated notes. She is at the forefront of visual thinking and when it comes to Roam, she’s done a lot as well. I’m using her theme right now for my private Roam!

We talked about:

  • The dark times pre-Roam and how she discovered it
  • Her digital garden and definitions of an evergreen note, growing from budding to seedlings to the Evergreen
  • Discussions on the #roamcult itself, and her take on who Roam users are from an anthropological perspective
  • And the tool itself, from workflows to predictions to the freedom in which one can find their own ways of using Roam.


Check out the full transcript here


  • 02:31 Life during the before times, how Maggie stumbled into Roam
  • 04:53 “Most of Roam is resources” How PARA fits in Roam
  • 07:31 Using Nat Eliason’s system for task management, quick capture
  • 09:38 Maggie Appleton’s workflow for capturing information
  • 14:30 From Kyle Harrison: Presentable notes in public vs. private
  • 17:16 How Maggie’s evergreen notes differs from other people
  • 20:09 Building a digital garden on Gatsby
  • 22:45 The fast pace of #roamcult and changes in Maggie’s Roam setup
  • 25:27 The rabbithole of hypertext, Project Xanadu
  • 27:08 Maggie’s current rabbit hole: Anthropology and Digital Anthropology
  • 30:00 Pattern languages and the influence of Roam Research on Digital Anthropology
  • 32:48 Why the web doesn’t have bi-directional links
  • 34:48 Project Xanadu’s specs: a communal payment system
  • 37:32 Web 3.0: The semantic web
  • 39:26 How would you describe Roam to someone who hasn’t started using it?
  • 42:32 The problem with Roam onboarding
  • 43:59 “If there was an official onboarding, that would feel non-Roam”
  • 46:54 A timeline overview, spaced repetition on Roam Toolkit
  • 49:56 Building the Thoughtmine: Norman’s digital garden
  • 52:06 Differences between blocks and pages, and how Roam treats them for queries
  • 53:41 Drafting things on paper
  • 54:49 What does Roam mean to you?