👀 Modern Makers #36 - Show your work

🏗️ Why you should build in public 🧠 My initial impressions of Roam Research

Modern Makers is a weekly newsletter where I share with you a selection of the best available content about no-code and productivity tools. I hope this content will help you grow your business, launch your project or automate your work.

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Hi makers,

Welcome to the new makers who have joined us since last week's newsletter. I hope you had a great week!

I started my 30-day free trial with Roam Research. At first glance, it was complicated to understand how to use this tool. The UI is rather austere (not to mention its ugly logo 😅). All this coupled with a very high price (we're talking about $15 per month) gave me a rather negative initial impression. However, Roam Research has a very active fan community on Twitter (#roamcult) and so I decided to persevere to try to better understand the added value of this note-taking tool. On Roam, every day starts with a blank page that allows you to capture your notes. Roam's great strength is its bidirectional links feature. It creates links between your notes and your thoughts. Unlike a Notion or an Evernote, you don't have to worry about organizing your notes. Roam will take care of it for you. The more you use Roam, the more value you get from the tool as your notes accumulate and connect with each other. Not everything is perfect, however, and there are currently some big limitations, such as the lack of a mobile app, off-line mode or API. Roam has an interesting pricing plan: a Believer plan where you pay $500 at once to access Roam for the next 5 years. I'm really starting to like the tool and it wouldn't be surprising if I decide to purchase a subscription in a few weeks.

Here are some of the resources I recommend in order to better understand how to use this tool:

Are you using Roam Research? Let’s start a conversation!

Leave a comment

I also subscribed to Readwise (a Full account at $7.99 per month). Readwise has become one of my favorite services in just a few weeks. In addition to being able to automatically retrieve the highlights of my Kindle readings and send them to Notion and Roam Research, I've also connected my Twitter account, which allows me to save tweets and threads. I also love the Daily Review (a feature that resurfaces some of your notes) and the iOS widgets that display book quotes on my iPhone. If you would like to try Readwise, I invite you to use this affiliate link, which will give us both a free month!


This week in the agenda:👇

👀 Why you should share your work in public
⚡ Bubble is now available on Zapier
📊 Better analytics for Substack users

Enjoy!


📚 Book of the week

Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

Author: Austin Kleon
Release date: April 2014

A book that I discovered in this video by Ali Abdaal. The book is quite short, I finished it in 2 days. I read the Kindle version but I recommend the physical one instead in order to better appreciate the many illustrations in the book. The main idea is that you have to showcase your work and share your content. Many people (myself included) sometimes have difficulty sharing their content or talking about their projects in public (mainly due to shyness, fear of other people's judgment, or lack of confidence). Here are 5 essential points:

  1. It's a long-term game - patience is your best ally. Just like your money invested in the stock market, your efforts in terms of content creation also benefit from the effects of compound interest. Every new piece of content you create and publish online increases your chances of being discovered. To reach that famous tipping point where suddenly real traction starts to build. Overnight success is a myth. Be patient and consistent in your efforts. Many creators of newsletters or podcasts disappear after a few months. Try to be around for several years to reap the benefits of all your efforts.

  2. Share behind the scenes, show the other side - It's very easy today to give access to the making-off of your work. Share details about your creative process. Highlight the tools you use on a daily basis. The content you’re consuming. Mention other creators who inspire you. Before the advent of the internet and digital, only the end result mattered as it was the only visible part of the iceberg. Now, social networks allow you to create a real connection with your audience by involving them throughout your work

  3. Don't try to predict the success of your content - you don't know in advance which content will be successful. Sometimes you will feel that a particular piece of content will not find its audience and it is this same content that will become one of your most popular content. And vice versa. So there's no need to make predictions. Let's focus instead on producing, writing, recording and publishing content on a regular basis.

  4. Flow and Stock - Flow is the content you're going to create every day, the content is short and ephemeral in a way. For example your tweets or your Instagram posts. The Stock is your content that will still have value several months after its publication and that can be discovered. Ex: a blog article or a Youtube video. It’s evergreen content. In terms of content creation, the Stock requires more effort and time from you but will have a much greater impact in the long term. However, both are nevertheless essential and need to be fed continuously. There are also some connections between the two. For example, one of your popular tweets can be a signal that a longer version of this content (an article, a podcast, or a video) should be created. The Flow allows you to test as many things as possible so that you can then focus only on the best ideas

  5. Create a strong group with your peers - one of the most important benefits of content creation, in my opinion, is the encounters it will allow you to make. In a few months of Modern Makers I have already had the opportunity to meet many people. Your content reflects your personality to a great extent, which naturally makes people contact you, with the feeling that they already know you. It creates a much more natural and favorable context to start a conversation. As time goes by, you will meet other creators with whom this will happen naturally. These people share the same obsessions as you, the same passion, face the same challenges and difficulties. The respect between you is mutual. Take care of your relationships with the members of your group. Help each other. Share your respective contents. Put them forward. Collaborate 👊


Some other content that caught my attention this week:

  • 🗃️ Zettelkasten — How One German Scholar Was So Freakishly Productive - David B. Clear - Niklas Luhmann was a German sociologist, especially known for his incredible productivity (he wrote more than 70 books and several hundred articles in 40 years). I discovered the Zettelkasten method during my research on Roam this week

  • 📦 ‘I thought buying things would make me feel better. It didn’t’ - The Guardian - an article that looks back on the incredible rise of e-commerce since the beginning of the pandemic. People are at home, bored, spending more time online than ever before. The result? Unnecessary purchases are piling up in our homes. An improvement in your happiness in the very short term, a negative impact in the long term

  • ✍🏻 The Writing Well Handbook - Julian Shapiro - an amazing guide to help those who want to write online content. A real gold mine of advice to get started, identify the topics you want to write about, and improve your writing style. And what's more, this content is completely free! A must-read!


And now, the no-code news of the week!


Ivan Zhao, Notion's CEO, spoke following the power outage for a few hours on Friday, February 12. In a post (of course published on Notion), Ivan first of all talks about Notion's rather incredible growth in 2020: a 5X increase of active users and a 40% increase in signups since last December. A spike in activity that seems to have put Notion's infrastructure to the test. Ivan then lists the three main objectives of the Engineering team for 2021: to make Notion more reliable, faster (at page loading, databases and search) and to launch the long-awaited API. We also learn that Notion will launch its tech blog in a few weeks, following the example of what Airtable did on Medium for example.


On February 26th, Tom Osman is organizing a conversation with Matt Varughese on Clubhouse on the subject "How to run a no-code digital agency". Matt is the CEO of 8020, one of the most renowned agencies in the no-code world. If like me, you’re struggling to find interesting rooms on Clubhouse, this might be the one!


Bubble is finally available on Zapier which will allow you to easily connect it with the 3,000 applications available in the Zapier catalog. For now, only one trigger is available: having an event that triggers within one of your workflows on Bubble. Three actions are available: create a new record on Bubble, update an existing record and trigger a workflow.


Glide is showing us its brand new Editor. The tool also frees itself from Google Sheets. Historically, Glide allowed to turn a Google Sheet into a mobile application. Glide thus becomes independent, an all-in-one tool that allows you to create both the front-end and the back-end of an app.


Substack has released a brand new dashboard that allows newsletter creators to get much more data about their audience. This new dashboard allows me for example to easily identify the most loyal readers of Modern Makers (thank you guys! 😉) and also to be able to send emails only to a certain part of my audience for example. These are new features that newsletter creators will surely appreciate. More details on Substack's blog


📦 And also…


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Have a great week, and keep building!

Martin,

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