How do you use headers in org-roam files?

Do your files have no headers, a series of level 1 headers, or do your headers form a tree with a single level 1 header?

what do you mean by a header?

@akashp I think @kenneddoll means headings with stars (asterisks, “*”).

I typically have no headings in my notes in my Org-roam. I guess I am trying to make my notes “atomic” — each note should contain a single point / topic / idea. Desire to create more than one heading suggests that I am going beyond the atomic unit for the note I am writing now.

Edit: I should say “headings”, not “headlines”. Refer to Org syntax.


I am a big fan of a physical ZK systems; so I see the benefit of atomic notes –

  1. Less cognitive load while writing
  2. Not having to think while writing if the information you are entering in your system is a double entry. Each note has the right to be self sufficient by itself.

But with this decentral approach - some centralising tendencies must also be included -
namely, use of central registers for a collection of similar nodes and so on, perhaps even folders for groups of similar files.

But this depends on the type of note I am writing too - sometimes I would write mega documents too, book length materials, these are notes that are more of a prepared compilation; I have to edit the whole document as I write, I have to spend a lot of time thinking about the overall design - and when I export they are really book length materials.

But for these large documents - I always have a file node and I try not to make any header a node by giving it an ID. I can still refer to each header trivially. This allows me to create a mental map of org-roam nodes as physical files.

Best is not to force yourself to something - let your system dynamically be developed with time. Do not think about organisation if you are just beginning out - do what feels natural to you, the least expensive system for your needs will be generated over time.

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If I were to have a single heading in a file most likely I’d not have any. But most of my notes do have multiple headings and some have deep nested headings (definitely some over 9 levels deep).

It depends on the specific type of note.

I think the right word is heading, e.g.:

  • Org
    ** Org org
    *** Org org org

I like that idea. I will try to do that.

I saw a youtube video where someone was talking about improving memory, and they said that they use index cards, instead of digital, because when finding the card, you see adjacent cards briefly. I’m not sure how org-roam would decide what is adjacent, but that might be interesting to see recently accessed nodes.

This is a problem I have talked about with others too - fundamentally I think digital systems have some flaws by their very nature that cannot be overcome so easily - I like to think of my roam system as an archive - i would much prefer physical notes and stuff,

in computers information has to be accessed serially - with physical systems you can access information in parallel - use your periphery vision to the full extent and so on.

Fundamentally I think I need to dedicate a room to create a zk system… in the future.

I use a tree.

And when the file is opened, they are collapsed (their contents are hidden but the headings are shown).

I use a PARA method to organize my files. Not all headings are worth keeping with an ID because I want to be able to find information easily.

Basically, I add an ID if I want to search for this header.

I add a header if it is a todo type action. Many of my files have dozens of todo actions (DONE, TODO, NEXT).