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Antifragile Writing with Roam Research

How to make writing less fragile, more robust, even antifragile—following N. Taleb's concept—using Roam Research, a note-taking and knowledge management app well-suited to make sense of disorder.

CurriculumAll CohortsFacilitators

Course Goals

How many notes and ideas get aisle, lost, or broken in what we write in our journal, notebooks, drafts, documents. or apps? How many concepts, stories, essays, not only survive the past of time but grow with it, get stronger, and generate new thoughts? Is there a writing capable to gain from the natural disorder of things?

This course explores how can we make our writing less fragile and more robust, even antifragile—the opposite extreme of fragile, according to the thinker Nicholas N. Taleb, author of Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder.

We’ll take advantage of one of the most outstanding and newest apps for note-taking and personal knowledge management, Roam Research, especially suited for making sense of disorder.

Each participant will develop a workflow for antifragile writing, a writing that embraces disorder, gains with stressors, and grows with optionality.


Every week is thematic, with a topic, resources, exercises, and writing prompts. Participants are encouraged to follow the writing practice around their own writing, ideas, or issues at hand. Those who choose to keep a particular project can work on it during the course.

There will be a shared database in Roam for all the participants to use as a sandbox, taking and sharing notes about the topics of the course, and for some collaborative exercises.

Every week we will have a synchronous session via video chat with a duration of 2 hours. Another hour of asynchronous work—reading and writing, basically—with a total duration of 3 hours approximately is expected.

Every week there will be office hours available for shared writing sessions.

Every week there will be resources to read, check, listen, or view in preparation for the topics of the following week.

Syllabus / Schedule

Week 1: Antifragile

What is antifragile? What are the advantages of being antifragile? What are the properties of antifragility? What makes writing antifragile? Why an antifragile writing?

Roam Research basic walkthrough. Three basic elements to start writing on Roam: Daily Pages, outlining, linking.

Week 2: Roam Research

What is Roam Research? Tools for thought before and now. What makes Roam Research an app for antifragile writing?

The two stages of writing. Note-taking, freewriting, drafting. Reviewing, editing, migrating.

Week 3: The foundations of antifragile writing on Roam Research

Antifragile writing The principles of antifragile writing: a list for embracing disorder and welcoming stressors for the evolution and growth of your daily practice. Antifragile writing before Taleb: thinkers and writers that wrote antifragile text. How to use Roam Research for antifragile writing.

Week 4: Techniques of antifragile writing I

Thinking and expressing

Nietzsche: aphorisms and rumination. Writing aphorisms. Define an idea, explain after. DaVinci's variations for expression. Write fast, explore combinations, subtractions, or additions later.

From simple to complex

Euclid's ideas in movement. From simplicity to complexity, one step at a time.
The rhizomatic craft of Deleuze & Guattari. Cultivating and growing first, pruning after.

Week 5: Techniques of antifragile writing II

Learning from analog methods

Bullet journaling basics. Logging, bullets, collections. The importance of migration.
Basics of zettelkasten. Write first, organize later. Index cards as an elemental unit. Nesting and linking.

Contemporary approaches

Taleb's fractals or the craft of repetition. Layers and recursion. Fragments. The art of provocation.
Matuschak's evergreen note-writing. The writing inbox for transient and incomplete notes. Drafting evergreen notes.

Week 6: Conclusions and project presentations

Sharing your writing projects, workflows, or practices is encouraged since week one in asynchronous ways or during office hours. Final presentations for project courses and workflows will be shared in this last session.


Each participant will develop a personal workflow for antifragile writing with Roam Research.

Additionally, participants will follow the writing and project prompts during the course to develop a specific project for the course—book's first draft, essay, paper, etc.—, or take advantage of the techniques just to think deeper about their current topics.

Who Should Sign Up

Anyone with a passion for writing as a form of thinking that wants to explore ways to expand and grow his/her writing practices.

Being familiar with the concept of antifragile or having read the Nicholas N. Taleb book is ideal but not necessary. References will be provided and the concept will be explained in the course.

6 weeksUp to 10 learners

An active subscription or access to Roam Research and a minimal familiarity with the app is important (this is not a technical course).

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