When comparing Gmail vs Roam Research, the Slant community recommends Roam Research for most people. In the question“What are the best personal Knowledge Base apps?” Roam Research is ranked 6th while Gmail is ranked 26th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Best support for Gmail features
Since both the Gmail Android app and Gmail itself is made by Google, the app supports all features Gmail offers (like labeling/starring) and gets new features implemented early - usually as soon as they are announced.
Pro Incredibly fast, advanced & predictive search
Gmail brings much of the functionality and power of Google's search engine to the app's search. You can use operators such as label:, is:, OR, has: among others, define date ranges, limit search to specific groups and so on. And, you can do it all amazingly fast. The search will also try to predict what you're trying to search for before you've even finished your query and offer up those results.
Pro Google Drive integration
The app allows inserting files from Drive straight to email or uploading attachments to Drive before sending them out. It will also notify if the person you're sending the file can open the file or if you should change the sharing settings for that file beforehand. Finally, you can choose which one of your Google accounts you want visible in the app.
Pro Google Calendar integration
Pro Comes bundled with Android for free
Not only is the application free, it comes bundled with the Android OS by default so you don't even have to bother downloading it.
Pro Threaded conversations
Pro Safely automatically displays images
The app does not require a confirmation to show images as Google now hosts the images on their own servers making it safe. You can still disable the automatic displaying of images in the settings if you wish.
Pro Tabs to automatically organize your e-mail
Gmail offers the ability to automatically organize your mail into specific categories:
Each of the categories can be disabled and you can move your mail around from category to category or set your own rules which sender should be put in which category.
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 Sorting mail by Unread is unintuitive
Nearly every other mail app has a clear way to sort mail by Unread. In Gmail app you can do that only by typing “label:unread” in the search field.
Con Very limited HTML composing
Composing of HTML formatted mails is very limited. No inline images and only some basic text formatting options.
Con Focused mailbox
There should be a way to disable focus mailbox completely.
Con Too bright, no dark theme
Con Advertising has been added to the client
Con Too heavy
It should be lightweight.
Con Limited notification buttons
Con Changed theme and can't change it back!
Did it without permission and it looks terrible! Washed out look, solid white background with black lame fonts.
Con Search results are not good
Con No intrinsic p2p encryption option
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.