How does the Readwise to Roam export integration work?

To get started with Roam sync, select the Roam Export link from your Readwise Dashboard.

When you first sync to Roam, Readwise will by default limit to your most recent 10 items (books, articles, and tweets), to give you a feel how the integration works. The Roam integration has numerous customization options, described below. Once you've confirmed everything is working to your liking, you can then go back and select all of your items for syncing. 

Here's what the Readwise to Roam integration looks like by default (note: Azlen's css theme Zenith is applied):

Similar to the Evernote and Notion integrations, Readwise will sync new highlights to Roam automatically after your initial setup. Unlike those other integrations, Roam enables some powerful use cases. For example, each new highlight includes a backlink to your Daily Note of the day they were synced (see above on the left).

How do I reset the integration so I can start over fresh?

If you ever want to "reset" the Readwise integration to Roam and perform a fresh resync, then all you need to do is delete any reference to #Readwise from your database. The easiest way to do this is to:

  • Go to the All Pages view in Roam (from your side bar)
  • Search for #Readwise
  • Select All
  • Double check that only pages you want to reset and resync are selected
  • Delete

On the next sync attempt, Readwise will detect that the notes were deleted within Roam and run a fresh sync of all of your selected books/articles!

What happens when I take new highlights? Will those automatically sync with Roam?

Yes! Whenever you import a new highlight into Readwise, it will be automatically synced with Roam without you needing to do anything. If the highlight is from a new book, article, or Twitter account, a new page in the Roam database will be made. If the highlight is from an existing book, article, or Twitter account, the highlight will be appended to the bottom of the existing page. Because the Readwise integration is append-only, nothing in Roam will ever be overwritten.

Note: Certain services such as Amazon Kindle, Instapaper, and Pocket only synchronize with Readwise a few times a day. For this reason, the highlight may not immediately appear in either Readwise or Roam. If you need to sync sooner, you can force a manual resync from the Add Highlights section of the Readwise Dashboard.

What happens when I update highlights in Readwise? Will those changes automatically sync with Roam? (Or vice versa?)

At the moment, no. The Readwise integration is built on top of Roam prior to a proper API, so it would be very technically challenging to search through existing notes for the right highlight and update that text. We hope to enable updating once the API is released!

Can I customize the default how my notes are formatted in Roam?

Absolutely! See How Can I customize the Readwise to Roam Export? for how to customize the note's title, metadata, headers, and sync notifications.

Where does the Location link after each Kindle highlight take me?

If you have the Kindle app installed on your desktop, clicking the Location link will launch the Kindle app and jump you to the highlight in the book. More on those links here: Can I jump to a highlight directly in the Kindle app?

Can I rename the title of a book, article, or Twitter page in Roam?

Currently, you can rename a page generated by Readwise, but if you do and then add new highlights to that book/article, the Readwise integration will create a second page using the original title for new highlights. So we recommend not changing the title for now, or only doing so after you're done reading a piece!