How to Take Notes From YouTube Videos Using Roam's Timestamp Feature

Ramses Oudt
Ramses Oudt
How to Take Notes From YouTube Videos Using Roam's Timestamp Feature

Learning from videos is easy with Roam Research's YouTube timestamp feature. Easily create clickable timestamps for a running video, making is simple to revisit your notes in their full context.

To add a video to Roam and start learning from it only takes a few steps:

Step 1: Embed a YouTube video

To embed a YouTube video in Roam is super easy, and there are two ways to do it.

The first way to embed a video is by typing /video and hitting Enter. This will add the video shortcode. Paste the YouTube video URL and click away from the block to load the video.

Alternatively, paste the YouTube URL in Roam and click away from the block. You'll see a little play button appear in front of the URL. When you click that play button Roam will turn the URL into a video embed for you.

Step 2: Add a timestamp

Now that you've embedded a YouTube video in Roam you can start to take notes. Make sure you nest your note block underneath the video, otherwise Roam won't be able to read the current time in the video.

Once the video is playing, there are three ways to add a timestamp of the video's current position:

  1. By clicking the grey rectangle on the right within the video. This overlay also works on touch devices.
  2. By using the keyboard shortcut; Option-Cmd-t (Mac) or Ctrl-Alt-t (Windows).
  3. By using the trigger menu; type /time and hit Enter.

Number 2 and 3 also work in combination with the sidebar. Shift-Click on the bullet with the video in it to open it in the sidebar. Play the video in the main window and trigger the timestamp by using the keyboard combination or /time trigger when the cursor is in the sidebar.

How to change the overlay

The grey overlay is so you can use the functionality on touch devices, but isn't visible when the video is running full screen. If you don't like the overlay to show in the minimized view, add the following CSS snippet to your roam/css page to only have it show when hovering over the video with your mouse.

When the overlay is hidden you can still tap the right side of the video on touch devices to create a timestamp.

.rm-video-player__comment-button {
.rm-video-player__comment-button:hover {

Click here if you need some help to add custom CSS to your graph.

Turn your video notes into flashcards

In the following video Roam teacher Shu Omi shows how he takes video notes in Roam and turns them into flashcards with the Roam SR plugin. While Shu uses a third-party plugin to create the timestamps, the workflow is essentially the same when using the native YouTube timestamp feature.

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