In this week’s Praxis Monday workshop, we were joined by Tiago Forte, the mastermind behind Forte Labs and the Building a Second Brain course — one of the premier courses in knowledge management and productivity on the internet. In the workshop, Tiago shared the concept of a second brain, and talked about how to integrate knowledge management and notetaking into your daily life to:
- improve the volume of creative ideas you have
- boost your creative output (your ability to act on those ideas)
- maximize your information retention
- make you more effective as a professional and an employee
So — what is a second brain? And why is it important?
A Second Brain allows you to maximize your information retention and creative output.
Building a second brain is the practice of outsourcing your ideas and your information retention. It’s also the process of mixing and gathering ideas into larger thoughts and concepts (which is a key part of our thinking). It turns the process of doing creative work (something that normally takes large amounts of mental effort and recall) into something that’s systematically completed in your digital notes, before you ever sit down to work.
Having a second brain gives you a huge level up — because the average person leaves a lot of value on the table.
When it comes to retaining information, most people … don’t.
But what if you did? What if you remembered the things you learned and knew exactly where to find them when you wanted to reference? What if you had a log of ideas, so when you went to build a project or create content, all that was required was assembly and some polish?
We consume content all the time. We encounter interesting concepts all the time. We have valuable ideas all the time — but most of us never do anything with them.
The more we capture the ideas we have, the more we have them at our disposal for creative work.
And the more we organize those ideas (into related groups of ideas, the way our brain associates ideas over time), the more easily we’re able to access them.
Creativity should be a system and a habit — something you’re able to easily and consistently do. The key to being able to consistently do creative work is to have a system in place for capturing and using ideas.
Having a Second Brain turns creativity into a streamlined process.
Here’s how Tiago Forte explains the process of putting a second brain to work for you:
“If someone asked you right now for five marketing ideas, you’d have a hard time coming up with even one. Your mind would go blank.
But if someone asks you that question and you let it simmer, you’ll come up with ideas over the course of the next week — while you’re driving, while you’re in the shower, while you’re working on something else.
Each time you have one of those ideas, you write it down in your idea capture system — and by the end of the week you’ll have a list of marketing ideas. Probably more than five, and probably higher quality than if you were trying to come up with something on the spot.”
That’s how you make your second brain work for you.
Making idea capture part of your daily habit increases your creative output. You’re already having and encountering ideas — but this captures them and puts them into action.
Having a Second Brain gives you a level up in your career.
- Having an idea capture system makes you more effective in your job, because all the information you might need to access is right at your fingertips. This is why companies use CRMs like Salesforce to capture information, and why individuals use notes apps and task managers to keep track of everything. The more accessible your information, the better — and leveling up means using a system for your ideas, too.
- It also makes you more effective when working on projects. If you’re consistently capturing ideas, you’ll have a larger volume of high-quality ideas easily accessible when you sit down to work.
- It will make you better at content creation (because all the elements you need for blog posts, audio recordings, and videos will be at your fingertips). The better you are at content creation, the more of your thoughts and work people can see, and the stronger your personal brand becomes.
- It streamlines your process on your personal creative projects, too — which allows you to be more effective.
On this Monday’s Praxis workshop, Tiago Forte talked about all of these points.
He explained how computers are an extension of your brain, and how, when used properly, they give you the superpower of efficient creativity.
He workshopped how to structure your knowledge capture system, how to integrate knowledge capture into your day-to-day, and how to use this process practically in the process of launching your career.
Here’s a quick peek into the workshop:
Think this sounds interesting? We’re joined by high-level entrepreneurs, professionals and content creators every week for workshops on topics relevant to launching your career.
Want to join us? Schedule a call with one of our coaches to explore how Praxis might work for you!