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Unit 1: Introduction to the Course
Unit 2: Organizing for Insight
Unit 3: Digital Cognition
Unit 4: Progressive Summarization
Unit 5: Maximizing Return-on-Attention
Unit 6: Just-In-Time Project Management
Unit 7: PKM Workflow Canvas
Unit 8: The Big Picture
"Building a Second Brain was just the class I was looking for to help me take my work in education philanthropy to the next level. Not only did I learn how to build a system to organize my sources and notes, but I also learned a technique to process this information to keep it alive. Now I know how to add value by growing the resources I collect into actionable ideas to take back out into the field."
- Christine Walther Tripp, Executive Director, The Walther Foundation
Here is the simple truth: you cannot afford to keep everything in your head. You need tools to help you remember, so you can focus on thinking and creating.
You need Personal Knowledge Management (PKM).
Wikipedia defines PKM as “a collection of processes that a person uses to gather, classify, store, search, retrieve and share knowledge in their daily activities.”
Pretty good. A bit dry, though.
Here’s my definition:
“The art of capturing, organizing, and sharing your ideas and insights, using a systematic approach and tools that you trust to support creative breakthroughs in your work.”
Think about any kind of artist: painters, writers, filmmakers, playwrights, or musicians.
They don’t just sit down at a blank canvas and create from nothing. They are constantly collecting tidbits of inspiration and research from the world around them, to be able to use it as raw material in their work.
I believe that today, all knowledge workers need to think like artists.
I don’t care if you’re a graphic designer or an accountant, a salesperson or an engineer, your success depends on bringing your very best creative thinking to work every day.
In the past, creative people used paper notebooks, sketchpads, and filing systems to catalogue their ideas.
Today, we have a much more powerful tool at our disposal: software.
Specifically, a whole new category of apps designed specifically for digital note-taking: apps like Evernote, OneNote, Simplenote, Bear, Google Keep, Zoho Notebook, Dropbox Paper, Notability, Apple Notes, and others.
If you’d like to know more, you can read my full take on why I believe digital note-taking apps are one of the most exciting frontiers of productivity and creativity, in two free articles: Bending the Curves of Productivity and The Case for Digital Notes.
Most of us operate today as “knowledge workers.” That’s not going to cut it as the world moves faster, change accelerates, and competition ramps up.
What is needed today is for us to become “knowledge managers.” To set up our digital tools to work seamlessly together, preserving what we know and resurfacing it when most needed.
I’ve created this online course to help people do exactly that. In the course, I start by leading participants step by step through the process of organizing their digital life.
But “getting organized” is just the beginning. Once we have the foundation in place, we’re ready to start building a Personal Knowledge Library.
In other words, a suite of tools for systematically capturing, organizing, and then sharing your ideas with the world.
I’ve made a living from my collection of digital notes for the last five years, turning my ideas and research into hundreds of in-depth blog posts, four ebooks, three online courses, dozens of workshops and talks, and other projects to build my business Forte Labs.
In Building a Second Brain, I will show you how to design a digital note-taking system of your own. To capture your ideas and make them shine in your work. To organize your digital life and have more time for the things that really matter: showing up more fully at work and at home.
This course is about giving you the confidence to know what's worth pursuing, what's not, and what's next.
If you're paid to think for a living, you can't afford to not invest in the most valuable asset you own – your knowledge.
See you inside!