Tips for your Second Brain

A few tips that helped me as I built my own personal knowledge management system or a second brain.

  • Productivity is just emotional regulation Find opportunities to find delight in whatever system you build. All systems should optimize for delight and minimize dread as first-class priorities.

  • Make your notes discoverable A writer asks: In which circumstances will I want to stumble upon this note? Leave hints and breadcrumbs for your future self to locate the right note at the right time to inspire the right action.

  • Note-making > note-taking Practice the generative art of synthesizing your captured notes to create your own narratives. Do this regularly.

  • Allow for emergent structure Let a structure organically emerge bottom-up, rather than imposing an a priori ideology top-down.

  • Gall's Law A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. Don't try to build Rome in a day. Start small and simple and allow complexity to naturally accrue over time.