Commonplace Book / Second Brain

You could say I’ve been on a Ryan Holiday kick recently. You’d be correct. I finally listened to “Trust me I’m Lying” and got so much out of it, I devoured found his growth-hacking audiobook as well.

I’ve hit on my desire to cultivate a second brain before. This is a concept by Thiago Forte. I’ve been trying to implement this in Notion. Like all good ideas, the second brain isn’t original to Forte, just as Holiday is the first to admit a commonplace book isn’t original to him. However, it is this Holiday article that got me on the thought train to build an index for myself.

This is definitely something I have not perfected. Notion stores data in relational databases where tasks and notes and people can all be linked together. Find the entire cake of an idea with a single crumb of data. I believe Notion is the tool for the job (unless I again have to switch tools to something like Obsidian). But really, all I’m hoping for is to pull up {Person} and recall prior conversations, book recommendations, their hobbies or contact info, so I can be a more thoughtful and engaged person. Or for work tasks look into {Project} so I can see all the tasks I have to do, what I’m waiting on, what the expected results will be, what the beginning performance was, and “how much did we say we were going to spend?” all in a couple of clicks.

Our brains – or at least my brain – are good at coming up with solutions to problems. Storing rote information and data points can be left to indexes and databases. In this way, I can leave processing power and brain cycles reserved for the most important work. Or, you know, that’s the goal.

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