Matt Jugo Profile picture
Oct 3, 2020 17 tweets 6 min read Read on X
OK, people get ready, I'm going to assay a lightning-summary of @RobertHaisfield 's webinar on further unlocking the powers of {{query}}ing in @RoamResearch .

Here are a few of the key things that I gleaned.

1. Querying allows you to have "conversations with your past self."
2. To make those conversations optimally useful, you will want to learn to be artful about what hashtags you choose, and also how you arrange those hashtags.

3. One heuristic to use as you make these decisions is, "under what conditions will future-me want to find this?"
4. It's also worth taking a moment to familiarize yourself with the different behaviors of a query under these different conditions:

a) when hashtags are all inline in the same block,
b) when they are parent-child relationship,
c) and when they are arranged as "siblings".
5. These different behaviors, above all, should determine *how* you create your metadata for particular classes of entity (i.e. books, contacts in your CRM, etc)

6. Gradually, you will also likely learn a style of "writing in blocks" or "phrases", as you write with this in mind.
7. A great rule of thumb I learned from Robert is that "if you would utter an idea in a single breath in spoken language, it's probably a block"

8. Indents beneath a block would then be used to break down an idea, build on, compare, elucidate, etc

9. Otherwise - one idea/block
10. You can even go for a hybrid Zettel system of giving blocks ID tags - starting simply, with, e.g. "1ai", "1aii", etc. as Luhmann did!

11. The queries themselves, once you've established their use-case, can be block-referenced! To re-use a query, give it a simple title.
11b. Then you can re-use it just by typing "((..." and the first few letters of its title. Robert likes to call these "saved views".

12. queries are very useful for grouping "aliases". suppose you realize that you interchangeably used "[[free stuff]]" and "[[giveaways]]"...
12.b. Just join them in a query with {or: [[free stuff]] [[giveaways]]}

13. Queries are also "collectors". E.g, one use-case I have is under people's pages, there is a query for {and: #quotes and (e.g.) [[Snoopy The Dog]]}, so it serves to pull in all quotes from that person.
14. Queries are, of course, often used for TODO's when you want to hashtag them #urgent, #nextweek or whatever.

15. Queries can tag things in shared databases, e.g. a comment can be marked #attn [[George]] and then George changes the tag to #seen [[George]], to show he's seen it
16. OBSERVE YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR. The best way to write useful queries is ... duh duh DAAAA ... actually pay attention to the kinds of questions you have, about your own writing!

17. Cool thing I never knew before - a block reference can be a query argument!
17.b. i.e. a "node" address, like ((fgh3ts76)) , can be part of a query. (This is more useful than you 1st realize. More on that later, maybe)

18. Use plain-text descriptors of queries... can be inline wi/ query text. So you'll recognize them later AND you can recycle them.
18b. "Recycle, you say?" Yes - like, e.g., if I am making a practice of using idea #13, above, on every "person"'s page, I just make a re-usable template called "quotes query" or whatever, and use "((quot..." to bring it up.
OK that's a brief summary of what I learned...

thanks @RobertHaisfield, for showing us more of your workflow and what you've worked out - super helpful! Really appreciate your tour.

One last thing - in a small-group breakout, a few of us were talking about a use-case
that is currently a challenge, namely, one-way, relational tags.

Suppose we want to be able to use a hashtag to denote a NON-commutative relationship, e.g. "Jane is Sue's boss". For now, this remains tricky - queries return "flattened" results, so J::S and S::J are the same.
I thought about this for a while and I came up with a solution I like. I wrote it up because I'll probably keep developing it.

for now, you can find it here:…

comments welcome!

and finally, many thanks @RobertHaisfield!
22. I cannot emphasize this enough - *observe your own behavior*.

I learned a lot from watching other skilled users;

But the real AHA moments for me happened when I realized there was something past-me was trying to do,

that present-me can do better.

23. One last obs about @RobertHaisfield 's workshop -

It is sinking in, for me, that

Understanding the ways that querying works, to resurface things later, I have FAR fewer hang-ups about which page any given note belongs on.

Local relationships matter more.

it's freeing.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Matt Jugo

Matt Jugo Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @Jeanvaljean689

Oct 17, 2023
@quotidiania @the_wilderless Yes - here's a link to his essay.

One of the things that's interesting to me is - he identifies the dysfunctional coping style (melancholy) with narcissism.

melancholy happens, when a person makes their losses ALL ABOUT…
@quotidiania @the_wilderless 2/ this paragraph right here: (the "melancholic", or, we could say, the "dysfunctional coper", fails, because he is making it all about HIM - which is to say, he falsely assumes that HE can "fix it all" with his intellect or his effort somehow, instead of simply feeling the loss) text from Freud's essay  The essential thing, therefore, is not whether the melancholic's distressing self-denigration is correct, in the sense that his self-criticism agrees with the opinion of other people. The point must rather be that he is giving a correct description of his psychological situation. He has lost his self-respect and he must have good reason for this. It is true that we are then faced with a contradiction that presents a problem which is hard to solve. The analogy with mourning led us to conclude that he had suffered a loss in regard to an object; what he tells us points...
@quotidiania @the_wilderless 3/ his delusional coping style comes about, because he has a poverty-mindset - his reaction to loss is to become more "grasping" Image
Read 25 tweets
Dec 6, 2021
The absolute beauty of going for a run in the dark predawn fog, and meeting other runners on the paths

I ♥️ humans

Their crazy accidental fellowships, most of all.

Ok, I log off now, bye y'all, have pleasant day
2/n ok tho I'll stop for a photo

because this is hauntingly beautiful to me.

The lights on the building are there to warn low planes or, more likely, helicopters

They are a 21st century kind of lighthouse

They are, also, the arc of a flock of birds in flight, very apropos Image
3/n and another ...

Same building, seen from across the Lake, in the dawn, from the Cleveland Steps Image
Read 5 tweets
Aug 18, 2021
1/n Ok I'll bite.

A thread about the "note taking wars", + why famous s$%-p#$ter Tiag@ F@rte does not have a clue what he is talking about

@obsdmd is a gorgeous, well executed product with a fantastic community behind it. Yay!

♥️🚀 ♥️

... but it is *not* a "roam-like".
2/n block referencing and outlining, as implemented by @RoamResearch, are WAY more than just check-boxes to tick, in some arbitrary feature-comparison list.

They are *core* features of the product.

... CORE features that cannot be tacked on, if they're not in the product-DNA.
3/n Yet, it takes time to see this.

... when I first started using Roam, I was so conditioned by the Wikipedia model of backlinked pages, I couldn't 1st see that the true revolution, is at a deeper level.

Thinking in blocks means *atomizing thoughts*.

Atomized thoughts-->
Read 7 tweets
Jan 27, 2021
1/n I'm beyond thrilled to announce that @RaygunIcecream has asked me to lead one of the books for #RoamBookClub3 along with @beauhaan;

Your team is currently hard at work designing what we believe will be an extraordinary 6 week learning experience for our beloved #roamcult -->
2/n There will be 2 groups working side by side - Beau will lead a discussion of Ahrens' "How to Take Smart Notes" and I'll lead, for returning members, "The Culture Code" by Dan Coyle.

My group will have a limited number of spots. Beau's group will not be size-limited.
3/n if you are unable to join the Coyle group (enrollment has to be capped, sorry) don't worry; you can still follow along; my plan is to live tweet + carry our discussion out to Twitter

Furthermore, the plan is to bring you more "episodes".

This is just the beginning!
Read 69 tweets
Dec 25, 2020
Hear me out, what if looking *really carefully* at the past can accomplish more than fantasizing about the future;

I think this year, I am going to focus on new-years RE-solutions, which will entirely be RE-implementing all the solutions I've already used, to make life awesomer.
2/ "I am at the confluence of past and future; melding these streams creatively is what makes life itself feel alive"

... is (I think) a paraphrase of Henri Bergson, of whose work I have not yet read enough...
3/ can't believe that I somehow failed to tag @calhistorian into a tweet thread rethinking the relationship between past and future ...
Read 13 tweets
Dec 25, 2020
1/n I love this thread, was just thinking about this myself ...

Kid up, inside, happily opening the presents that I wrapped...

Stepped out, because sunrise was UNBELIEVABLE, a rich purple orange ...

2/ was MOST amazing was not the palette + the rich hues of the sunlight cascading upwards from beneath the horizon,


The most amazing part was taking a moment to see how softly the clouds were scudding across it all.

The seeming delicacy of this, belying the enormous -->
3/...power of wind, water, heat, majesty of sunlight from ninety three million miles away lifting water and then causing it to slide gently across the sky in one of many convection currents that slide in + out forming a gently drifting cloud

Sheer awe, that all this just IS -->
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us!