When comparing Joplin vs Roam Research, the Slant community recommends Joplin for most people. In the question“What is the best cross-platform note-taking app?” Joplin is ranked 2nd while Roam Research is ranked 36th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Offline access
Pro Open source
Peace of mind that there is no malicious piece of software in the app.
Supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.
Pro Supports file attachments
Pro Supports markdown
Pro Supports tags for notes
Pro Web Clipper
Browser extension saves full pages, clean content, or screen selections to new notes.
Pro Optional CLI interface
Provides a CLI interface for terminal lovers.
Pro Supports multiple languages
English, French, and Spanish, Italian, German, Czech and many others.
Pro Active user forum with support from app creators
Support, troubleshooting, and new feature requests are easy to make at the user forum and you can contact the app creator directly.
Pro Dropbox support
Can sync using Dropbox.
Pro Nextcloud support
Pro Timed alarm reminder for to-do lists
Pro In place page creation / linking with brackets or hashtags
Pro Rename a page and all everything that references it renames as well
No broken links!
Pro Each bullet point can be either linked to, or included in full in any page (including the page it originated on. Yay transclusion!)
Pro Shift click on a link pulls up the link in a side panel without navigating you away
Pro Each bullet point on a page is zoomable as it's own 'wiki page'
Pro Helpful slash (/) commands while editing for autocomplete, TODOs and more
Pro Easy page merging.
Pro Explicit linked references included on every page at the bottom
Pro Supports markdown
Pro Bi-directional links
Pro Graph overview allows you to easily see how nodes relate
Pro Supports in place datalog queries
Pro In place editing
Pro Supports hiccup syntax for HTML snippets
Pro A default place for "Daily Notes" means not having to worry where a new note *should* go.
Con Sync issue under Linux
The Linux client has a bug that requires the user to click the mouse frequently in order for sync to proceed. This bug has been open for a while.
Con Gargantuan memory footprint
1GB+ of memory for taking notes.
Con Old school interface
This project is suffering from feature creep and uses a lot of memory for a note-taking app.
Con App Image launches very slowly
On Linux, you can only install via App Image, which take 5+ seconds to launch. I can launch LibreOffice in under two seconds.
Con Sync issues on Windows
No way to change account settings and sync easily corrupted.
Con Weak tag searching
Joplin can currently only search for a single tag at a time. None of the boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) are available for use in searches. This greatly diminishes the usefulness of tags in Joplin.
Con Can't create tags from the mobile app
Con No mobile app
You can port Roam to Hermit, but there is no offline capacity.
Con No established pricing model, this could get expensive later
Rumored to be upwards of $30/month
Con No offline mode
The information can be accessed on the browser offline, but you cannot edit it.
Con Very expensive pricing model, no 'free' tier
For what still feels like beta-software, it's pricing model is very expensive in comparison with competitors that generally offer free tiers for example.
Con Forces you to edit with markdown, rather than wysiwyg
This issue is made worse by super basic formatting bugs, like if you want to for example unbold some text with control/cmd-b, it rather double-bolds it (e.g. it becomes bolded text), making the non-wysiwygness even more messy.