Building a Second Brain: A Proven Method to Organize Your Digital Life and Unlock Your Creative Potential

Reviewed by Deane Barker tags: productivity

Tiago Forte has been selling an online class with the same title as this book for years. I’ve always wanted to take it, but it was expensive and there’s always a waiting list.

So, I was happy to get this book.

Now, it’s a good book, but, honestly, this is “Getting Things Done” by another name. And that’s not a bad thing.

Forte’s system is “CODE”:

  • Collect: find a way to capture stuff
  • Organize: go through your capture stuff and sort it
  • Distill: look at your stuff and figure out what it means
  • Express: find a way to do something with it or communicate it

This is very similar to GTD, clearly. If there’s one difference, it’s that this book seems to be more about creative expression, where GTD was about more mainstream productivity.

To that end, I really enjoyed Forte’s concept of “Intermediate Products” or “IP,” which he describes as small units of expression that you can distribute or combine with other thing. For example, if you read an interesting article and might want to include it in a presentation someday, make a three-slide deck about just that thing. You could send this to people, or include it in a deck in the future. You don’t have to make a full thing.

The book is both a practical lesson, and a motivational exercise. Forte very much tries to get your excited about what a Second Brain will help you do, and how it will help your creative expression, and that’s admirable.

Book Info

Tiago Forte

Here are some notes I took on the acquisition of this book:

Bought this new after seeing it on the Monday Musings newsletter. I think someone on Hacker News recommended it as well.

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