The Second Brain - A Life-Changing Productivity System - Deepstash
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Building a Second Brain

Building a Second Brain

The Second brain is basically a personal knowledge management system which can help unlock the next level of productivity. It is a digital note taking system that keeps a track of all that you read, listen and see. It can then be used to organise your ideas, thoughts which can then be converted into a creative output.

There are 10 basics principles of building a second brain. 


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1. Borrowed creativity.

1. Borrowed creativity.

Creativity is all about remixing stuff. Collect all that resonate with you in one place and combine them in interesting ways and develop the ability to see connections in them which is difficult to see if it’s all in your head.

"Pablo Picasso: "Good artists copy, great artists steal"


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2.Capture the habit.

2.Capture the habit.

"Our brain is for meant having ideas, not for storing them"

Capture any idea wherever you are because your brain is not going to hold it for much time. You can record the voice message if you are busy doing other things. 


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3. Idea recycling.

3. Idea recycling.

Ideas are not single-use. In fact, we can recycle and reuse them over time. So keeping note of all your ideas is important. 


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4. Projects over categories.

4. Projects over categories.

Don't just categorise the information you've got, but try to link it to the project you are currently working on, so to take the most advantage of it immediately. 


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5. Slow burns.

5. Slow burns.

Don't do and even plan to do hard work all at once, since your brain will likely resist doing anything. Instead, do spread your focus and efforts onto several projects, do work in small portions.


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6. Start with abundance.

6. Start with abundance.

It can be really hard to start doing something from a total scratch (e.g. blank piece of paper). But if you've been taking notes and saving all the bits of useful information, it means, you already have a good deal of progress in your work. The only thing left to do is to go through all of your past notes, and maybe just copy & paste. This will make your new project, or task, seem more doable.


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7. Intermediate packets.

7. Intermediate packets.

Every work, or e.g. essay, can be divided into smaller sections (blocks) and stored for future use. 


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8. You only know what you make.

8. You only know what you make.

If you want to internalise useful information fully and keep it in your memory for a long time, you should make it the product of your efforts, you can write a short summary of a book you just read or tweet the insights you got from listening to the podcast. Whatever you do, you should get involved directly in it. If we engage in the material ourselves, we end up becoming much more familiar with it and then we can do creative things with it.


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9. Make it easier for your future self.

9. Make it easier for your future self.

Take time to flesh out some really complex terms or information (like transactional analysis), that you will not understand in the future. Go the extra mile when describing something in your notes so that your future self will understand what you meant by that term.


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10. Keep your ideas moving.

10. Keep your ideas moving.

Focus on the actual value of the information, and always try to apply, share, or turn that recently acquired material into something new. There is no point in having tons of useful stuff stored on your computer unless you're taking advantage of it.


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