Building a Second Brain | Tiago Forte

Originally published at: Building a Second Brain | Tiago Forte — Рустам Агамалиев

🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences

Nice and easy read. Most of the information has been known to me, but nonetheless no harm in reviewing.

🎨 Impressions

How I Discovered It

Tiago told me

Who Should Read It?

Who new to KM universe

☘️ How the Book Changed Me

Gave several useful ideas

✍️ My Top 3 Quotes

📒 Ideas

  • Literally on the first page and idea has ambushed me.
    • [[Note-taking workshop]], it came through his description how harmless and aimless book club turned into profitable venture.
  • Technology changes the way we think.
    • Can’t agree more. Just some taste, COVID-19 lockdown, and distant learning.
    • It had demanded from us to shift gears of tweaked and greased education processes into another level. Virtual space, and no one had been ready for this.

Common place books

  • In previous age, devoid of technological tools we have today, readers were used to reading in leaps and bounds. No non-stop reading as we do today.
    • They fragmented books into chunks, put them into diaries. Usually it had been done with more than one book. They organized chunks between each other, cross pollinated information and reassembles peaces in a new way. Thus, constructing new meaning, personalized meaning.
    • It was continuous effort to make sense of the world. Reading and writing back them had been inseparable.
  • Not so long ago during the meeting in [[Философская кофейня у Сократа СЕЗОН 2 Самураи и Монах]] we discussed with Sergei Baranov a little note-taking and when I told him about my threefold reading technique, he stated that the third reading equals to writing your own book.
    • I can’t agree more.
    • I’ve just about rereading books that I have already finished and processed.
      • What happens if I read them again? I am considering not reading the whole book but only my notes and reconstructing the book from them or, which is preferable, write my book or series of notes to #digitalgarden. Thus, creating something personal from the well-known work.

School learning nowadays

  • Something disposable, with no intention of using it in the future.
    • No long term attitude towards school knowledge.

In addition to critical thinking

  • We can say that writer’s block is a form of barrier for critical thinking.
    • As we speculated, [[Critical thinking could not be taught]] it’s absence of information what prevents us from thinking properly and writing engagingly.
    • Thus, writer’s block is not inability to write something, it’s lack of information, not deep and extensive enough research.
    • Right words can’t be found because of that.

How to choose what to highlight

  • Does it inspire me?
    • A piece of information that hits the spark or some emotion.
  • Is it useful?
    • Don’t throw away seemingly unimportant detail. Keep in unsorted pile and review periodically.
  • Is it personal?
    • I don’t think that something personal should be stored. At least it could be done with relation to contact cards. With families and friends, it’s not necessary. With periodic contacts it might be great.
  • Is it surprising.
    • ![[Теория информации#Теория информации]]

Digital space is as important as physical

  • Digital tools and now they are organized on screen, sometime even more important than what table of chair you have.
    • You don’t know when a good idea might pop up into your mind, or in under what circumstances you will have to jot down ideas or points of the discussion.
    • In a queue, holding a phone in one hand and rocking a baby in the second. Or drowsing in a couch.
    • I touched this topic, when talked with kids on the efficiency.
      • [[Как управлять временем и делами#^cc48b8]]

Knowledge is applied practice

  • If any piece of information doesn’t help you with progress then it detracts you from it.
    • How to make a progress on knowledge, or a better question. How to build knowledge and do we need it at all. Maybe something else is more useful.

[!NOTE] Lao Tzu
To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.

  • Again philosophy of subtraction.
    • [[Antifragile book 6#^1323f4]]

Cutting to the bone. Distillation to one sentence

  • Coppola, while he was working on the Godfather movie, tried to distill each scene into one sentence. He had been making an attempt for grasping the essence of what he was reading in Puzo’s book. One sentence is often enough.
    • So why can’t I? Before writing something to digital garden, formulate the essence of the idea in one succinct sentence.
    • Feynman on speaking simply [[Categories of legitimate reservations#^8bf729]]

Discoverability of the notes

  • After each contact with the note, it must stand out more.
    • It’s discoverability should increase.

Attitude towards PKM

  • What am I creating today that will be used tomorrow?
    • In what aspects it could be reusable and helpful to others.
    • What building blocks do I mold today that could fit into another project?
    • How it all could be packed, so I can revisit it easily in the future, not matter what I do and where I do?
  • Mix and remix.
    • Easy concept, don’t borrow the whole pieces, only bits and exempts from articles, make what you’ve taken into universal things. [[Принцип универсальности]], the deeper universality, the more options you get.
    • Atomic notes are the best. [[Заметка должна быть атомарной]]
  • Another point is apps we use.
    • Most beginners think that downloading something to their laptops and smartphones, makes them momentarily knowledge workers.
    • But we mustn’t fall to that trap. New, shiny and hyped software doesn’t give you superpower to change the way you think and operate on a daily basis.
    • PKM hides in an ability to adopt a flexible approach to get what we need without throwing everything into the chaos.
    • Be able to build a system that allows instant access to carefully collected grains of knowledge wherever we are.
      • Your system shouldn’t be perfect. Don’t wait till the day you master perfection. It’s unattainable goal.
      • We should enjoy imperfections in the system without stress.
      • Perfection brings fragility with itself. It’s simple to stain something immaculate, much harder to clean it later.
      • So be a worker in a robe, not in three-piece white suit.
      • Tinker and play with ideas, mix and remix them in the vault, get them out to receive feedback and don’t be afraid to get dirty.
      • The system you build must be useful on a day-to-day basis, not in laboratory condition of isolated variables.
      • Influence of randomness on the system.
        • [[Antifragile book 1#^7d8cad]]
        • [[Antifragile books 2 and 3#^2f62fb]]
        • [[Communicating with Slip Boxes by Niklas Luhmann#^3fe9c3]]
        • [[Antifragile books 4 and 5#^2ccb9a]]
        • [[Deep Work#^2a810a]]

Knowledge workers dilemma

  • The need to find balance between quality and quantity.
    • We need to be able to deliver high quality at a steady rate.
    • Say one piece a week. For that we have to research, analyze, compile and publish. If we are talking about blog or writing a book.
    • All our stuff must be well organized, and be ready for use.
    • Same principle that successful chef are using. Mise-en-Place.
  • The reason it is hard for a modern knowledge worker to find that balance has been vividly described by Cal Newport.
    • [[Deep Work#^79c0b6]]

📚 Related Books

  • [[How to Take Smart Notes]]
  • [[Digital Zettelkasten]]
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