I Built a Second Brain in 30 Days

And it dramatically increased my creativity

Over the past month, I’ve learned Tiago Forte’s course called Building a Second Brain. I’ve learned how to store information in a way that surpasses the capacity my actual brain is able to handle.

Before learning Evernote I was consuming information, but not retaining it as well as I would’ve liked. With Evernote, I can store articles I find online, thoughts and ideas that I come up with, plan out lengthy projects. Because of all this, I’ve dramatically increased my creative output.

While our brain is quite amazing at producing ideas and thoughts, its not so great at storing and remembering all of them. How many times have you come up with a great idea or topic to expound upon or write about later, only to forget exactly what it was and feel that sinking feeling that you’re never going to remember again? My second brain is digital and therefore able to store everything that I could ever come up with, and it's organized and compartmentalized in just the way I want it to be.

Organization and Collaboration

I use a system called PARA to keep all of my notes fully organized and easily accessible.

Projects- A task with a foreseeable deadline. (Schedule a meeting. Finish an application)

Areas- Ongoing tasks with no foreseeable deadline. (Fitness, Finances, Personal Growth)

Resources- Any kind of content you consume. (Blogs, Books, Podcasts)

Archives- Anything completed or no longer utilized from the former three areas.

The best thing about my Second Brain is not only does it allow me to be highly organized, it also enables me to connect ideas together in a beautiful collaboration.

We often have ideas that seem completely unrelated to each other but when all of those ideas are in the same place it becomes easy to see thoughts that can interconnect and form a completely new idea. Therefore doubling your creative output.

I’ve also learned a method called Progressive Summarization in which I can cut down a 17-minute blog post into a short 2-minute summarization. Whenever I read a long form blog post or even a book, that I enjoy and would like to remember later on, I use these steps to summarize and clearly cement the thought or principle the author is trying to get across.

Bold important text

Highlight or color code important text within the bolded sections

Summarize the entire post or chapter in a couple sentences or paragraphs

Use the information to create a note completely personalized to me


The best thing about Evernote at least for me is the way I’m able to take a project and cut it down into multiple steps. It allows me to save time and energy by keeping all of my ideas and work in one place and finish the project in a timely manner.

Dial Down the Scope is an idea that allows me to save time and cost (or energy.) Often, there is an infinite spectrum of possible versions of your project. Say you’re goal is to write a long-form blog post about music.

Well, first that project could be compressed down into something as small as a tweet. Then that idea could be expanded into a book, a course, or a whole curriculum. Don’t waste time trying to find the perfect scope or limit for your project. Stick with what is feasible to finish within the present constraints. Eventually, you’ll learn enough about the topic to relieve those constraints later on.

I’m excited to see where my Second Brain will take me and what kind of projects emerge from this process!


© 2019 Developing Worth