Just like most of you, I’m a consumer of a lot of things, whether it is the classes I took in college, podcasts I listen to, or the books I read. While I consume that much information, I tend to forget a lot of them. According to Tiago Forte, founder of Forte Labs, “Our brain can only store a few thoughts at any one time. Our brain is for having ideas, not storing them.” Hence, I needed a second brain to store all the information I consume.
I describe my Second Brain as my digital note taking system. When I was in high school, my second brain was a notebook and I was only taking notes from the books I read. Since it was in a physical notebook it was hard to go back and reference the notes I’d taken. If it was a digital app though, I could search up a word or a phrase and it would have located me to all of my notes about that. I discovered the Notion app about a year ago and started taking my second brain seriously. I started using Notion basically for my life including my website, book notes, my short term and long term goals etc. My Notion workspace looks like this for now:
The main idea behind the second brain is capturing ideas. Since our brains are for having ideas, not for storing them, when we get any sort of idea, we should capture it instead of lying to ourselves that we will remember that once we get home or get back to our desk. For example, I use the Readwise app for the books I read on my Kindle. It is synced to my Notion account, so every time I highlight something on my kindle, it automatically sends that to Notion as a note. That way, I don’t forget the important and appealing parts of the books I read, and I can easily arrange them once I open Notion. The idea of capturing applies for other things too. You can use apps like Drafts to voice record anything, and that syncs to your other devices. So if you listen to audiobooks or podcasts while you are walking or driving, you can voice record a note and make a fair copy of that later on your second brain.
If you consume so much information like I do, you should be more intentional and organized about what you do with everything that you consume. My second brain is in Notion, but it can be done in any other platform. Just like investing, I think the best day to start building a second brain was yesterday, the second best day is today. I’m sure having a second brain will improve your life, and you will thank yourself later for building one today.