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Building a Second Brain

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  661 ratings  ·  56 reviews
A revolutionary approach to enhancing productivity, creating flow, and vastly increasing your ability to capture, remember, and benefit from the unprecedented amount of information all around us.

For the first time in history, we have instantaneous access to the world’s knowledge. There has never been a better time to learn, to contribute, and to improve ourselves. Yet, rat
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 14th 2022 by Atria Books
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Jimmy Briggs "I’m currently working with my editor on the manuscript, which is due July 1, and it will then take around 9-12 months to prepare and distribute the b…more"I’m currently working with my editor on the manuscript, which is due July 1, and it will then take around 9-12 months to prepare and distribute the book before its release. I’m expecting it will be available for sale around spring or fall 2022" - from https://fortelabs.co/blog/tiagos-2020...(less)

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Average rating 4.26  · 
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Lisa of Troy
Jun 21, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Who else can relate to this?

I have 200-300 tabs open on my computer because I found a great website that I know I will need someday in the future. Every time my computer restarts I pray to the computer gods that my tabs will restore upon restarting. My best friend is CTRL + SHIFT + T to restore my accidently closed out tab.

Is there a better way? Can the information that I learned be stored in a more efficient manner?

According to Building a Second Brain, you can!

Did you know that out of a five-
Jun 17, 2022 rated it liked it
Personal knowledge management in this age of technological overwhelm is so important that anyone writing in this area deserves a read. And that is perhaps especially true of Tiago Forte, a well-known guy in the area of digital productivity.

Unfortunately, Tiago’s book did not work for me. His system is premised on a life driven by projects, which doesn’t apply to me, and his methodology focuses much more on collecting and distilling information than on really working with that information to mak
Scott J Pearson
In the last few decades, computers and the Internet have provided humans with new access to untold masses of information. Humans are just now catching up on how to use this information for our own good. The technology needs to make our lives easier and more productive, not less so. Fortunately, first-time author Tiago Forte points the way to use these tools to aid creativity. In book form, he teaches a method that he’s shared in seminars around the world to manage “personal knowledge” better.

May 16, 2022 rated it really liked it
I first heard of Forte when Ali Abdaal discussed having gone through Forte's course, which costs four figures at the lowest level. It was obviously valuable enough for Ali to recommend it to his YouTube audience.I was eager to get my hands on Forte's book. I had accessed a webinar from Forte, and I signed up for a free conference that he did as a sales funnel leading into a cohort of his class. It was accessible enough for me to pay for, but I was unsure if the value would pay off. I have a frie ...more
Jun 14, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tiago is a true pioneer and innovator of our time!

Building a second brain is MUST READ for knowledge workers, students, continuous learners, and digital creators!

As someone who has been in the Personal Knowledge Management space since high school and has followed Tiago for a long time, I found MANY new and valuable lessons in this book.

I manage over 5 newsletters and it can be easy to spend so much time researching instead of creating. BASB is helping me get this in check and improve my organiza
Nicholas De
Jun 17, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has inspired me to be more of a curator not a hoarder

I have about 40 000 notes in Evernote. This has inspired me to curate it and ditch the junk. It has also shown me how I can use these notes to create things. Thanks for writing this Mr Forte.
May 24, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
My ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I heard Tiago Forte explain the general gist of this book on a podcast and thought it was interesting. The book had some good ideas about how to keep a “second brain” (i.e., a system of note taking on things you come across that might be useful in the future). For someone who writes for a living or is in a similar creative field, this system could work. It’s a great starting point from which someone could build
Jun 23, 2022 rated it liked it
Too much philosophy and not enough practical examples. And, I am a fan of the author's. I have a paid membership to the website. I watch every YouTube. I read all his blog posts.

I was looking forward to this book because I wanted some real "nitty gritty" about building my Second Brain. I wanted something beyond what I read on his social media.

But I found there was just too much talking about how important a Second Brain is and how we can change our lives by building one. That should have been C
Jate Saitthiti
Jul 04, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Capture, Organize, Distill, Express is the book's central concept. The author explains how using a digital note as a "knowledge building block"

Capture - Various sources such as podcasts, email newsletters, online articles, and ebook highlights that we consume today. Curate only a piece of information that value to our life.

Organize - Organizing by action is better than organizing by subject because it has a purpose. For example, categorize by projects, areas, resources, and archives.

Distill - Pr
Jul 01, 2022 rated it liked it
Here's my summary.

Write. And choose your words wisely. Reference previous writing, both yours and other people's while writing new things. This is how you create businesses, worlds, religions and political movements.
Do this in a systematic way and you can be productive.

Tiago Forte puts these ideas across using words that are more appealing and less anxiety-inducing to the 21st-century netizen.

I admit I was a write-everything-down person, and I believe part of this was driven by the Fear Of Forge
Ramon van Dam
Jun 20, 2022 rated it really liked it
Finally, an accessible book where Tiago Forte explains his Second Brain methodology that was much more difficult to figure out before without paying a lot of money for the course.

Over the years I've learned a lot about it via various other people from the productivity community, but it's nice to finally get the information straight from the source. Turns out I'm already doing most of the things Tiago recommends, but I did get some nice new tips and tricks out of it.

I'd recommend this as a great
Jun 23, 2022 rated it liked it
This book, in my opinion, is helpful for individuals just starting out with personal knowledge management. Some of the author's concepts are motivating.
However, it's a little overly wordy and uses unneeded filler to support a straightforward notion.
I believe that the entire book could be boiled down to just a few blog articles.
One thing I found useful was the Progressive Summarization technique proposed by the author.

To summarize this book:
1. “CODE”—Capture; Organize; Distill; Express.
2. PARA o
Eran Katz
Jun 20, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great and important read

I've been struggling for years with managing my knowledge. As a psychologist I keep reading, listening and learning new stuff every week and I hate it when things just slip my mind so easily. Developing a personal knowledge management system has made a major difference for me.
This book is a great resource for create such a system that is useful and actionable. It can literally change your life.
Diane Hernandez
Jun 04, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
What used to take an hour of research in a library can now be found in a few minutes with Google. But can our poor brain retain all that information? Can it combine it effectively to create something new? Maybe…but it is more efficient to offload some of that information digitally in an organized way. That’s why everyone should be Building a Second Brain.

In past centuries, intelligent people kept paper journals. I personally use a notes app on my phone. Both made it challenging to find a particu
Jun 20, 2022 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What a waste of time that was. A few good nuggets in there but this whole thing should’ve been a blog post. Endless filler, entire chapters that contribute nothing, banal examples, even felt condescending at times. The essential point? Take more notes. Huzzah.
Dave Reads
Jun 28, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022
For many years productivity experts have warned that our brains are incapable of remembering everything and that we need a trusted system to store tasks, ideas, and things we want to remember. In his book, "Building A Second Brain," Tiago Forte goes beyond the philosophy that has been written by many authors and gives us some specific advice and a structure by which we can create a storage system. His book takes much of the teachings of David Allen in "Getting Things Done" and adds some interest ...more
Vashik A
Jul 05, 2022 rated it did not like it
In the 15 century, the Dutch scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam described how one should keep 'a common place book'.

He said that you should divide your notebook into sections. Each section should be dedicated to a topic that you want to investigate.

If you're interested, let's say, in the subject of the 'divine will' ( a subject that could have been of interest of Erasmus) then you should add all the relevant quotes or passages you encounter about this topic into your common place notebook. In the fut
Jun 29, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
If 'You're Not Listening' was my ONE BOOK YOU MUST READ in 2021, this is my equivalent for this year.

In my quest to tackle my anxiety I realised that at its root lies the overload of information that is part and parcel of modern life and even moreso of working a corporate job. This book, while not a mental health/self-help title, is already helping me tremendously with that struggle as I work to restructure my life in a way that just WORKS better for me. The idea of taking and organising notes
Vincent Noel
Jun 30, 2022 rated it liked it
I have been aware of Tiago since discovering his articles on Evernote tags many years ago. These and many other of his works are among the most insightful things I have ever read on personal information management. I've even paid at some point to get access to the restricted areas of his forte labs website, and haven't even regretted it. I had great hopes that with this book he would integrate everything he'd written in a cohesive framework that would go beyond the sum of its parts. Unfortunatel ...more
Bernardo Najlis
Jun 22, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The reference book about your Second Brain!

A great and super easy read, fundamental and incremental to all the plethora of information already existing in this subject. This books whispers the philosophy behind all the tricks and techniques you may already know.

You will find tons of data online on how to build your second brain, endless debates about what tool is the best, methods to integrate note taking tool X with platform Y…

All of that adds to nothing if you don’t understand WHY you need a s
Jun 28, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paradigm-shifts
I'm blown away by the powerful mix of productivity and inspiration.

Being a creator in the PKM system myself, I've always wanted to spread the message of how influential a personal knowledge management system is. Tiago's deeply rooted understanding and belief in the field has rekindled my passion for my second brain.

Building a second brain really is an effective antidote to the business and overwhelm of the current world, and I don't think there could be a more all-encompassing book on the subjec
Jul 01, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2022
The book is better than I expected it to be. It is a great book for absolute beginners around note taking (and (knowledge) organizing). Especially people who want to start with digital note taking right away, but don't know how or are afraid to make mistakes will benefit from reading this book. Forte focuses a lot on practicality and simplicity which is not a bad thing, quite the contrary.

What I liked a lot in the book is that while Forte encourages to use other people's ideas, he also encourag
Muneer Uddin
Jun 18, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most impactful personal productivity books I have read in the past 10 years. Anyone who wants to tame the information firehose needs to read it.

The main theme of the book is to collect information with purpose. I admit that for many years, I’ve been an information hoarder. I’ve got almost 30,000 links saved on Pinboard. I have countless books on paper and in electronic form that I have yet to read. After reading this book, I realized that I’ve collected those things because I
Jun 26, 2022 rated it really liked it
I have a problem with this book: it's a well-organized, well-thought, and well-written book on the topic. However, I haven't learned anything new from it.

Disclaimer: I am a long-time reader and follower of Tiago Forte's materials - including blogs and videos. And I have been doing my personal PKM since 2008-2009 in various forms and systems.

If that's the case, you as well - this book won't be revolutionary for you if you follow the author's work online. However, it's an excellent summary and ess
May 05, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I've heard of Tiago Forte from Nat Ellison, and the general Twitter-Internet corners I've frequented. So when I saw his book, I took a chance.
Overall, this book is promising. It reads a little like a Twitter thread that has been expanded, but that makes sense; Forte give a lot of this book away for free online, but spread out over several years. This book focuses on the main points, but goes deeper, giving real-world examples of highlighting text in a website, the logistics of clipping images on
Gregory Pelley
Jun 29, 2022 rated it really liked it
If you are familiar with Forte's work, there won't be much more brand-new information in the book. That said, there are great chapters that shift away from the organizational methodology into the 'why' this idea is important and what [BASB] offers in terms of transforming your information intake from endless overwhelm to generative abundance.

The BASB system is not about another app or technology -- it's about building a working system around whatever apps/tech are working for you. So it's not ab
John Girgis
Tiago clearly thought a lot about how to distill years of productivity advice into the shortest path to take anyone from overwhelmed to successfully creating, but at many times the advice ends up contradictory (should tagging be done in a batch once I know how I tag, or should I avoid believing I will ever have time to do it?), or even busy-work sounding (why resort to moving notes around repeatedly instead of having a centralised note taking folder - as many note taking systems recommend)? I th ...more
Ashraf Bashir
A good core message, practical, with many examples and well-tailored questions to ask the self to guide everyone to build their own second brain; with a very well-curated sequence of arguments on the value of the second brain for personal growth.

The main drawback is: does it really need a full book? The book could have been a series of 4 small blog posts on the “CODE principle”. The author made it a full book by adding many stories and anecdotes which do not serve the message.

It's an overrated b
MarkGrabe Grabe
Jun 27, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book would have been more impressive if I had read it a couple of years ago. I have now read this collection on a similar topic. Cohn is probably the best for educators. I thought Ahrens was best overall.

Cohn, J. (2021). Skim, dive, surface: Teaching digital reading. West Virginia University Press.

Forte, T. (2022). Building a second brain: A proven method to organize your digital life and unlock your creative potential. Atria Books.

Kadavy, D. ( 2020). Digital zettelkasten: Principles, met
Sankalp Thakur
Jun 20, 2022 rated it really liked it
Good primer that lays out a path for people who want to start building. + some frameworks
Initially you have to be imaginative, curious and asking questions. This is where you explore, research and observe. addressed as the divergence phase.
As step 2, you distill down and focus in the convergence mode. It is very difficult to let go of great ideas full of potential to focus. Halting that imaginative, exploratory process and making the shift to focus mindset.

This is what makes any creation challe
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Building a Second...: Have you read the Building A Second Brain book? 1 6 Jun 22, 2022 09:41PM  

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Tiago Forte was born in South Laguna, California in 1985 to immigrant parents from Brazil and the Philippines. After growing up in Orange County, he studied abroad in Brazil, worked in microfinance in Colombia, served in the Peace Corps in Ukraine, and worked in product development consulting for large companies. In 2013 he founded Forte Labs, an education company for professional development in t ...more

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“In a 2004 study, Angelo Maravita and Atsushi Iriki discovered that when monkeys and humans consistently use a tool to extend their reach, such as using a rake to reach an object, certain neural networks in the brain change their “map” of the body to include the new tool. This fascinating finding reinforces the idea that external tools can and often do become a natural extension of our minds.” 1 likes
“Anything you might want to accomplish—executing a project at work, getting a new job, learning a new skill, starting a business—requires finding and putting to use the right information. Your professional success and quality of life depend directly on your ability to manage information effectively. According to the New York Times, the average person’s daily consumption of information now adds up to a remarkable 34 gigabytes.1 A separate study cited by the Times estimates that we consume the equivalent of 174 full newspapers’ worth of content each and every day, five times higher than in 1986.2 Instead of empowering us, this deluge of information often overwhelms us. Information Overload has become Information Exhaustion, taxing our mental resources and leaving us constantly anxious that we’re forgetting something.” 1 likes
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