Case Study: Building A Second Brain

“Whatever good things we build end up building us.” – Jim Rohn

This past month I have gone through Tiago Forte’s Building A Second Brain (BASB) program within module two of Praxis. It was an extremely rewarding process and I am so very thankful that I got to experience it. This month of Praxis we researched and wrote a minimum of three blog posts a week about either marketing, customer success, sales, or operations. It was in our hands to efficiently build a second brain and complete the deliverables. 

In Tiago’s words, a second brain is a way to capture, organize, and share your digital notes through Evernote -or any other digital note taking app. It is fully focused on being practical, giving you multiple strategies to execute and play around with to see what works best for you and your projects.

Progressive Summarization

One part of building a second brain is the use of progressive summarization. This was explained as a way to break down an article over time. The steps are:

  • Article
  • Bold
  • Highlight
  • Summarize
  • Remix

and each one plays an important role. The essence of this idea is that our brains can not contain or process as much information as we want them to. So, through progressive summarization and the repeated passes that require adding to the information, it gives our brains the ability to let it sink in and then increases the chances of someone being able to recall it when needed. 

Here is a video I shot on Loom talking about progressive summarization and how it can be used.

Practical Use

My second brain is one of the best resources I have because it gives me the freedom to easily consume information, organize it and create a blog post. Plus, I now have comfort in knowing that I will effortlessly be able to reach the information I have already researched whenever I want to. It taught me a fantastic way to simultaneously learn more, and archive information to be able to fully focus on one thing all while keeping the information I have already collected readily available.

I now can put together a to-do/project list, give myself deadlines, and know that I will fully follow through. At the beginning of the month I wrote out all of my deliverables -this one included- and I gave myself a somewhat generous timeline, allowing myself the entire week to complete them. At the very least I would follow that. The first week I got them in a day early, second two days, and the third week I turned them in three days in advance. Not only did I exceed my own time management expectations but I also got to spend my free time consuming more information and getting ahead for the next week.

Without the BASB system in place already I know for a fact I would have struggled more this month. Whenever I would feel overwhelmed all I had to do was look at the schedule/deadlines I had given myself and then make a tactical plan for what to do, next I simply had to execute said plan. I never feared losing information or started at a mess of jumbled notes wondering how on earth I’d make a blog post out of it. There was always a solid foundation of organization whether I intended to do it or not, everything was in a place and I could find it when needed. 

I find there to be an almost direct correlation with my second brain getting stronger throughout this month and me having the organizational system already in place to turn in my deliverables earlier and earlier each week. I love organizing and learning so in a way this month way a true joy for me to complete. I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about each role but also about how to genuinely be productive.

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