Roam Research coaching

Effectively synthesizing information is hard and rare. Many knowledge workers and professors – let alone (doctoral) students – struggle to do it well. Which is why there’s lots of room for improvement. Using Roam and my method for note-taking information synthesis and writing output, I can help you to…

  • Do fertile creative research and swiftly output writing in Roam Research: I can teach you how to ace your BSc/MSc/PhD thesis or other research project while spending less time on it.
  • Become a Roam power user: While efficiently turning your thoughts and discoveries into convincing written pieces and build up a treasure of smart and interconnected notes – a Zettelkasten – along the way.
  • Remember what you learn: We can also cover how to turn reading into an active process by using Roam to build your second brain and leveraging the best techniques for effective reading.

Who am I? I’m about to hand in my PhD dissertation in philosophy. I wrote the most of it in 5 months, yet it won the Outstanding Doctoral Student Award 2021. A few years ago, I got my MSc cum laude and outlined my workflow in The Complete Guide to Effective Reading. It went viral as the most popular article on Medium for a quite some days after it came out and has racked up about 250K views to date. If you combine these techniques with what I can teach you about information synthesis in Roam, you’re golden. For a sneak peek on what that looks like check out this 9.000-word guide I wrote for roambrain.com on how to craft your Zettelkasten of atomic notes in Roam.

Like many powerful tools, there’s a steep learning curve. It’s very hard to make the most out of it without spending hundreds of hours on research and hundreds of dollars on courses, as I did. Maybe that’s why all Roam “consultants” I know of charge around $180 per hour. Maybe I’m just an out-of-touch philosopher, but that seems like a lot of money. I’m just an overachieving nerd with a passion for information management and learning who likes to help people. So I ask for about half of that, and for $99 we can have 1-on-1 one-hour coaching sessions where I turn you into an information-processing machine. This includes preparation time and making a lesson plan on my end. (Most people ask for 3-5 meetings.)

You can get the whole Roam coaching 360° or we can focus on one thing in particular: from techniques for effective studying, to make the best notes using Roam, to information synthesis, to reviewing your Roam workflow, to producing great writing output and achieving long-term retention. I focus on the specific use case desired by you.

Ready to upgrade? Get in touch at maartenjvandoorn (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll talk about how I can best help you.

Highly recommended

“I enjoyed Maarten’s coaching style, extensive knowledge of Roam, and ability to relate to my specific needs. Maarten was super-responsive to all my questions, adaptable, highly competent, and thoughtful. I benefitted the most from our discussions on synthesizing knowledge more effectively and adapting existing Zettelkasten (and other) workflows to my way of thinking. Highly recommended.”

Dr. Mihaela Popescu
Professor of Media Studies, California State University

Get more out of reading now

“I found Maarten through his excellent blog, in particular his post about how to take notes effectively. Maarten was friendly and helpful during the call, and showed me how to change my workflow to get more out of what I was reading. Since the session I have managed to take literature notes on several books and many papers/articles, as well as create 1-2 permanent notes daily. This has helped me solidify my understanding of some key professional topics (Bayesian statistics), as well as generate new ideas for my personal writing.”

Tom Kealy

Great feedback

There are very few people I’ve ever gotten better writing feedback from than Maarten. Aside from being an excellent writer himself, Maarten’s got an uncanny knack for giving feedback that’s both incisive and constructive. He’s got a particular talent for helping connect specific points of data and argumentation to larger themes and concepts. Maarten’s knowledge and experience with research and personal knowledge management is also first class. He helped me get started building my own personal knowledge management system with Roam Research, which until then, had always been a bit overwhelming and intimidating. Couldn’t imagine a better person to work with on anything writing or research related!

Dr. Nick Wignall

Better notes and writing

Maarten helped me to write a paper based on my research. He gave very useful tips for my note-taking process, which is a lot better now, and we worked on the article down to the last detail, which turned out wonderful. He can see key points quickly and can give feedback in a pleasant way!

Drs. Noëlle Sanders

Rare, deeply insightful

Maarten is a rare person in the personal knowledge management (PKM) and tools for thought space who has a serious context of use in which he innovates on his practices and tools, AND shares insights about these innovations with others in accessible ways. See for yourself in his essays and newsletter how his thoughtful notemaking practices result in deeply insightful writing about the science of thinking and reasoning. Then consider learning from him to achieve similar results!

Dr. Joel Chan
Assistant Professor in the University of Maryland's College of Information Studies

Can’t recommend enough

During our first meeting, Maarten interviewed me to understand my objectives and then designed a series of 7 specific coaching lessons to improve my use of Roam. During these sessions, Maarten was patient and generous. He shared his own templates and showed me how to set up integrations between Roam and other research organizing tools like Zotero and Readwise. Each session delivered something tangible and usable. I appreciated Maarten’s approach and flexibility. His coaching has made me a better user of Roam but more importantly it has sped up my journey in using Roam to write my book. If you need someone to create a tailored journey in your use of Roam, I cannot recommend Maarten enough, who brings his own Ph.D and writing experience and toolkit to share as part of his coaching”.

Biju Kewalram