How to Build a Second Brain (Organize your life!)

How to build a second brain? I'm using three core principles that will help you BASB with Notion.

How to Build a Second Brain (Organize your life!)

The most successful method for organizing my life is called the Second Brain.

It’s a productivity system that literally works as your second brain.

Left brain: your first brain. Right brain: your SECOND brain! :)

Unlike your first brain, the one you're using right now reading this article, this second brain can document, store, and remember anything you consume.

And, if you’re like me, consuming tons of information from books, articles, podcasts, or whatever, you will love this!

What is a Second Brain?

So the idea is that, over time, you’re building this “second brain”

Which is basically a digital system in which you’re going to store and document everything you read, listen to, watch, or generally just want to remember for future events.

Your second brain can store EVERYTHING! :)

Now, I’ve been using this Second Brain system for over the last 5 years, and I’m going to share the 3 most important principles you need if you want to work with this system as well.

  1. The Capture Habit
  2. Idea Recycling
  3. Write it down!

👉 By the way, all of these principles come from the book ‘Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte.

The Capture Habit

The Capture Habit is, in my opinion, one of the most important principles when working on your productivity.

It’s based on the belief that:

“Our brains are made for having ideas, not storing them.”

And, in general, I think we can all agree with this saying, right? I mean, there’s only so much information you can really store in your brain.

Think about how much you actually remember reading a book...

So the idea of the capture habit is to store information that we think is valuable to us as soon as possible.

This way, we won’t have to think about it right away, and we can focus on what we’re doing right now.

One of the use cases I find this very helpful is when I’m working on something, and I suddenly get an idea for something else. Or, when I’m quickly scrolling on Twitter for example, and I see an interesting thread or link to an interesting article.

I'm using Notion Clipper to capture information quickly.

You know, without the Capture Habit, I would either dive into the subject right away, affecting my focus on the thing I was doing, or I would try to remember and most probably forget about it.

So, there are multiple ways to set up a system to work with the Capture Habit, like, for example, keeping a notebook close to you and writing things do

Taking notes while listening to the Huberman Lab podcast.

I actually prefer using Notion, which I’m already using for all of my to-dos, and thus it makes sense to build my Capture Habit right into Notion.

And especially using this amazing Chrome Extention ‘Notion Clipper’, it works very conveniently to save things to my second brain.

So whenever I have a new idea, I simply go to my Notion and write it down, or when I come across something interesting or valuable, for example, on Twitter, I use the Notion Clipper, which automatically saves it into my Notion.

My Brain Dump in Notion.

This way, all of my ideas and things I want to take a look at, are safely stored in my Notion, and this helps me clear my mind and makes sure I can go right back to what I was doing in the first place.

Idea Recycling

The second principle is Idea Recycling.

This basically means that, by storing all of your ideas and work in your second brain, you can, later on, revisit your notes and re-use them for a new purpose.

And this is exactly how I’ve set up my social media content strategy, actually:

My Notion Template for YouTube videos.

Every piece of content is written down and will be turned into new types of content over a period of time.

And although this content is already used for multiple purposes, it will say here in my second brain in Notion as it can be used again in a couple of months.

Write it down!

Write it down, or as they call it in the book, “You Only Know What You Make,” is the principle that I literally live by.

You know, when you read a book or listen to a podcast, you’ll generally tend to forget about the most important takeaways.

So what I’m doing in my second Brain, which again is in Notion, is, besides listing all of the books I’ve read, I’m also writing down my most important notes and takeaways from each book.

Book Notes from the book '5 AM Club'.

This way, I can always revisit and review the notes from a book if I want to refresh my memory.

Whether this is because I’m genuinely interested in the topic of a book or, exactly like I did for this article and the video, actually where I wanted to dive into my notes for the book ‘Building a Second Brain’ to help me write this script.

And writing down the things I consume, in general, also makes me understand and memorize stuff more efficiently.

Get started with BASB!

So, if you’re interested in building a second brain, I can definitely recommend this book, and I also recommend start using Notion as your main software.

Stay productive! 🫵