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Building Your Second Brain – Tiago Forte Week


Hello everyone and welcome back to Keep Productive YouTube channel Today is the first video of the mini-series that we’re doing the on Keep Productive all about Tiago Forte So we will be chatting about through topics. The first today will be the second brain and best called beginning implementing a Routine and organization system like this the second will be things Three-tailed is going to show us around his account and the third will be an ocean Conversation with me in tra so let’s dive straight in until going how you did I’m good Francesco. Thank you. It’s really Real pleasure to be here with you. Yeah, I’m really excited and it’s like a day a week dedicated to some of you or all of you lots of wisdoms and And learning. So I’m so honored. I know Yeah, it’s gonna be good and obviously for those who don’t know who Tiago is ready and you can check out the video we did Start the week But you will probably most famed for at least like I know you most from the second brain and Concept for those who may be totally new to it. Can you give like a short sort of premise or what? It’s about Yes, so building a second brain is the name of my course It’s an online program and online course soon to be a book. I am working on the book Sometime in the next year year and a half and that should be outs but basically the the point of this this idea or this program, is that if you use The you can call them information management apps which you’re very familiar with, you know? the full range of task managers and note takers and You know spreadsheets and word Processing apps and all these different kinds like mini categories that exists if you use them in a very intentional and strategic way they can be more than just this random collection of Tools they can actually function as a second brain They can they can be really this extension of your mind Where any time you encounter a piece of information or a fact or an insider a task? There’s immediately somewhere that you have to send it It’s never just like oh what do I do with this interesting thing if there’s all it’s always clear where it goes and just as importantly maybe even more importantly that Just like in your first brain, you know When you think of something that that that idea that thought immediately comes to mind Your second brain works the same way as soon as you need that fact back Or you need that insight or you need that story to use in something you’re writing. It’s kind of right at your mental fingertips And I call that that system of apps your second brain Amazing and you didn’t tell me that you had a book coming out of this. It says some names you should have told me right Congrat and Obviously the the second brain has been helping a lot of people in terms of that concept of actually Organizes themselves without having to stress about the things in the current and what does your second brain look like? In terms of a day to day sort of interactions for them Yeah, so I use Evernote as my Notes app of choice as my my knowledge management system or my second brain although that said people go through my course and it’s it’s really a widely applicable Methodology people have used just every app Under the Sun probably two dozen different apps so build their second brain So, you know, it’s really and this might be a shock of cold water to your audience The way that I think is not tool first. I’m not that’s concerned with the particularity zuv tools partly I can get away with that because there’s people like you I can just say Go watch Francesco YouTube channel. You can find out everything you would ever want to know come back to me when you chosen one I’m really more focused on the behavioral like as the human system. You know, what what is it? of course the perspectives and the mindsets but also the habits and the behaviors the little rules of thumb that you Use in your data they work Making those just like I said more intentional and strategic And it kind of is Formulated as four steps four stages, which spell the word Code Co de and I call it the second brain code And we can go through those if you want but really they just they are essentially the universal steps of the creative process For every knowledge worker and every knowledge worker these days is creative. They are already in some way following these forests or steps I’m just trying to help them do it a little more systematically Okay, we’re in yeah, please do go into bit more detail in code because I think I’ll be beneficial to the audience So those letters Stanford collect organize? distill and Express and I encourage You know people watching listening to to think about how this manifests in your own work as I guarantee you it does Yeah, so let’s just let’s just go through them the first one is collect so Your second brain needs some point at which you actually saf things right? Maybe someday We’ll just be like this little you know thing you clipped to your shirts And it will just record all your conversations all your thoughts all your ideas everything you do For now, you have to actually you know use a Web Clipper You need to write things down on your in the Notes app on your phone You need to create a new task on your computer. There’s there’s these actions, right? And the thing that I that I tell people here is just to collect anything that resonates Often people don’t know like oh, yeah I write down my grocery list and like my you know top three to do is but what should I be capturing? So think about like when you reach an online article or a blog post, right? Usually there’s like one or two or a handful of Phrases or passages that really stick out to you Save those copy them paste them into a Notes app if you read e-books as many people do these days Many people actually highlight if you just put your finger down say on the Kindle app and you drag it it will highlight in yellow And there’s many people that even do the highlighting and don’t know you can export those highlights with like a few taps You can say export and send only the best passages straight into your Notes app And I’ll just get one more example audio capture out now I have been tracking these for some years, but they’re just getting to the point where it’s like 97 to 99 percent accurate like there’s this one called otter AI the website is a I And in this third party study of all the different audio transcription services. This was like the best one And I tested it. I was on this busy street corner in Mexico City where I live and I was like Okay, if it can pass this test and I liked, you know kind of just like walk through an idea or something I was thinking about and then I looked at the transcription and it was almost perfect Like even what’s the cars honking and I was like, okay. We’re finally ready for audio capture Yeah, it is a good app in that I tried out and I was like, wow, it’s surprisingly accurate and Yeah, I mean that sort of thing is gonna be crazy, especially for meetings because it’s just gonna like totally automate an entire process Yeah. Yeah, I do that too. Um zoom you can set zoom to automatically record any any video right kind of like we’re doing right now and it saves it to a folder on your computer if I need a transcript of the meeting I just get on Rev comm re v sin them that audio recording and in one or two hours They give me a transcript back It’s it’s not cheap yet because you still need a human to check it But that price is just gonna keep going down down down down down. That’s it. Yeah and and maybe Also, we’ll be able to I think they do some sort of follow up late anyway, but yeah It’s exciting application and and the o is for organization, right? Yeah, this is the big one The the average person that comes too much that comes to me You know downloaded one of these apps which which I’ll make it very easy to collect right people don’t really have trouble collecting things But then soon you look at your your file system or your inbox or whatever it is and you go Oh my gosh, this is all valuable stuff. But what do I do with it? How do I structure it? How do I organize it? Where do I put all this? And for that I have a a technique system called Peres Which is another four-letter afternoon You know that acronym I I do I love my four-letter words And actually there’s a free blog post on my on my blog if you just search you know Para and my name it will come up But essentially para is just a way to completely organize your entire digital life or in this case and note-taking out in Very little time using a very simple group of four categories. I Don’t know if we want to get into that but essentially para is just it’s the solution to digital organizing. It’s probably the easiest Like early win that people get is just wow in like 30 minutes I can organize even if I have thousands of notes. I can just have the word rest Oh oh show on the screen because it’s actually something to I I think that’s when I first did do a course like when I was like 17 or something like that and and that was the first organization system I implemented and I just recommend it to so many people this is like Its Universal and it moves with you. So that’s one of my favorite things about the process so yeah, and then B, yes, this is kind of the the the stepchild the neglected stepchild of organizing because People don’t realize you know when you save notes Notes as I’ve defined them like let’s say you save you save some highlights from an e-book that you’re reading, right? My highlights from from an e-book. Especially one. I really like will often be thousands of works You know, I’ve had like five thousand words 10,000 15,000 words that are just the notes just the highlights and that’s super valuable But then you can’t really work with something. So large in an easy way Right, like I use the analogy of a suitcase alright If you have a suitcase the bigger the suitcase But fuller the suitcase the heavier the suitcase the more important it is that it has what a handle Yeah, right. You need a handle to be able to lift it and move it and turn it Otherwise, you’re just like it’s this crazy unwieldy thing. So the The funny thing is the more notes. You keep and the more diligent you are about saving all the interesting information You come across the more critical it is that you distill those notes down to one handle one easy Summary a little distill summary that you can just add a glance right because in your day to day work You know how much time you have to review your note review your notes and your day to day work seconds, right? So you need to be able to just glance at a note almost? Instantaneously grasp what it’s about what it’s for and then either use it or don’t use it and for that I use a system called progressive summarization Progressive summarization is a really just a highlighting technique and often it boggles people’s minds that that’s something they learned in like grade school and I’ve probably been doing their whole life if you just tweak it a little bit it becomes this incredible distillation process I’m gonna have to you’re gonna have to send me the article for this one because I’m in touched into this area Yeah. Yeah, I mean it’s it’s pretty simple to describe. It’s basically Highlight the best parts of something you’re reading that’s the thing that everyone already does mostly but then highlight the best parts of those highlights and Then highlight the best parts of those highlights Yeah, they just drilling down until you get the col elements of it Exactly. Yeah, cuz it’s hard. You know when you have a very large piece of text, it’s hard to know What is the main point you know? You don’t really know you can’t just have it instantly So with progressive summarization you you get you drill down to that main point progressively you do it in Multiple stages and sometimes those stages are spread way out over time You know like I’ve sometimes read a book a year later I do my first tile i’ts like on the the main passages. I’ve kept a year later. I do the second layer, right? So your learning process and your reading instead of being this one moment in time? Right. That’s how reading is for most people they read this one moment of time and then they hope they remember stuff I hope you know in the future. I’ll remember what that’s about But if you get your reading and you sort of break it up and extend it across time that information can can be absorbed so much deeper because you’re revisiting it over time and interacting with it in different ways It just is it’s a trick really transformed transformative approach to to learning Yeah, and thence that can be for like anything from all schools to reset and anything in between, right? Yeah, this is the thing. It’s like mob for me learning is just it’s not like oh I’m going to this class and I’m learning from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. To me learning is what you’re doing as a human 24/7 365 right if you watch a Inspiring movie you learn something. Even if you can’t say what it was when you have a good conversation with you know, A friend or a colleague you learn something when you will listen to a podcast Obviously you learn something you’re learning all day long so you don’t have to learn faster or try harder to learn or learn better or memorize all that to me is Not really the most important thing the most important thing is just to collect to capture. What is already Coming in Very interesting. I’m gonna do that myself, so I’d actually have a The best practice for that. Yeah say something I take what basic and Yes, so he is sort of the it’s the grand finale and really it’s it’s this idea that You know ideas, which is really what you’re collecting You know, you’re collecting your own ideas that you came up with ideas of others ideas from books ideas from podcasts They are really only Like they’re the most powerful when they’re out in the world Right sometimes come across You know information hoarders and they just like the other diligently saving all their their highlights and transcribing You know notes from podcast and like, you know have cutouts from magazines and newspapers It’s like, you know, they’re collecting all the stuff then I go. Well, what do you do with that? Oh, no No, no one can ever see this. It’s like my secret cauldron of knowledge and I just think that’s so pointless So it’s equivalent to recording in your house you know where you keep all the pizza boxes and like the little knickknacks from street fairs like It’s it’s not really adding any value to the world. It’s not advancing your career. It’s not making your life richer and more engaging It’s just this like completely kind of inward facing process So express the e is about getting it out there, you know, share it share what you know Please and that could be in very, you know, explicit ways like creating a course Starting a podcast having a blog posting on social media or it can just be bringing things up in conversations It can be having you know dinner parties and actually having something to say Instead of the the gossip of the evening like actually I just read this book called sapiens and I read that you know humans over time then and I like I love when people have those kind of conversations instead of like oh, so You know, what are you doing this weekend? Yeah so I encourage people to use this and the reason this hold for this whole process is justified is for you to share and Express your unique voice in the world that’s interesting because it makes it easier to be able to find stuff as well because you’re not like creeping through loads of different files and You’re giving some sort of social benefit. Yeah, and then the good thing is as well like I noticed that you do a lot on Twitter anyway, so You’ve basically got a bank level you’re learning history as well So it’s like a triple killer n? It is Yeah, all these things, you know knowledge is so reusable. You say something say here in a YouTube video You know, I’m watching your facial reactions if I say something and then makes you go WOW interesting a little dope That’ll hit of dopamine and my brain goes off and goes. Oh that that was socially valued right? So then the next time I’m teaching a workshop Which I do all the time I’m more likely to bring up that piece of knowledge for that example and then if more you know eyes light up then I’ll Use it even more. So yeah, you want a constant It’s like you’re constantly cultivating and recycling and reusing knowledge and refining it, you know Like like think about whatever the knowledge is that you have what your expertise is, whether it’s accounting or engineering or animal husbandry, whatever You want to be refining that knowledge over time? All right, it’s not only about absorbing it from external sources. That is important You need to have something coming in the door But then once you have it, you can refine you can improve you can clarify and you know improve how you communicate it How you formulate it like your thinking can actually get better That’s the crazy thing thinking is a muscle your brain is like a muscle that can get Radically better over time and that to me is the point of these, you know All these tools that we talk about productivity apps, like if you just become eternally dependent on productivity apps. I’m not sure It’s like the best thing right ultimately a tool is a training device that gives you a new internal Capacity a new internal capability and you have that capability even when there’s when you’re not using the apps. Yeah Yeah, and and like it’s not about that sort of It’s about learning through the process and working out with the tools suitable for you at the time as well. So yeah, and talking about tools like Obviously the second brain demands the good quality tools Do you have like a maybe two or three or four that you commonly recommend we go Evernote’s one. Obviously, I Do you know I do have some some criteria some guidelines for this? I have a post a free post on my blog called The case for digital notes that has quite a few and then there’s another post that we could link to called something like the essential Requirements for your note-taking app to be used as your second brain That’s like beyond the question Yeah, but I’ll give you so what I what I take it to kind of summarize what’s what’s to be found there is You really want to pick an app. That’s just stable You know that’s been around for a while. That is well supported by a competent development team Preferably that’s making money You know, like otherwise, it’s likely to be acquired by Microsoft and disappear in six months as happens to so many productivity apps So just has it as a basic well supported feature set Has weight as a mobile app, like just I’m looking for the basics. I’m looking for something that covers all the bases Rather than the new crazy shiny thing or the really, you know Interesting experimental thing but has not had any, you know bug fixes in five years And the reason for that is like just like your first brand you want your second brain to be super reliable Reliability is key if you go to search for something that you save and It’s just the thing is spinning and it freezes and it crashes and it’s not a really good situation That’s there ya say Obviously the big boys having a do the good job of that saying happy days Tell me why can everyon find you after? Yeah, if they want to know more about my course, it’s building a second brain comm That has all the information on that And if you want to know anything else, my website is forte labs. Cove fo RT e la vie sco And I have a series of ebooks. I have other online courses. I do workshops and speaking And yeah I encourage your your subscribers to Check me out and to let me know if there’s anything that any questions they have or anything They’d like to know and I’m happy to answer. I’m most active on on Twitter where my handle is out of 14 labs fantastic It’s gonna be fun but we’re still gonna carry on trying but for those who are listening too long or watching along and you guys can stay tuned for This week another one we’re doing is we’re gonna get a diamond Durango’s things for a count and then talk about notion is a separate video but if you Want any more feel free to check out the video that we posted the start of week I’ll link them all in description. Anyway Thiago let’s say let’s go and shy about things right now Let’s do it

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