Have you ever wished you could download the contents of your brain onto a computer? Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte lays out a system for exactly that. The book is based on the idea that the best way to improve your productivity and creativity is to “outsource” as much of your memory and knowledge work as possible to a “second brain.” In other words, by using digital tools to capture and organize your thoughts, you free up space in your own brain to focus on more important things.
Sounds pretty good so far, right? Let’s take a closer look.
The first part of the book is all about building what Forte calls an “external brain.” This involves setting up systems for capturing and organizing your ideas, thoughts, and tasks using a variety of digital tools. The goal is to get everything out of your head and into a format that can be easily accessed and referenced later. For example, instead of trying to remember everything you need to do, you would capture those tasks in a to-do list app like Trello or Todoist. Once everything is captured, you can then begin the process of organizing and categorizing those items so that you can quickly find what you’re looking for when you need it.
The second part of the book is about how to put your external brain to work. This includes strategies for reading and taking notes effectively, managing projects, and generating new ideas. One particularly useful section is devoted to something called “generative thinking,” which is basically a fancy way of saying “thinking outside the box.” This section includes techniques for brainstorming better ideas and slowing down your thinking so that you can make more connections between different concepts.
Overall, I found Building a Second Brain to be a helpful book. It’s well-written and easy to follow, and it’s packed with useful information. If you’re looking for ways to increase your productivity and creativity, I would definitely recommend checking it out.