I’m very proud to announce version 9 of Building a Second Brain, open for enrollment starting now.

To celebrate hitting the 1,000 student milestone last month, we are making the biggest upgrade to the course in two years. You can see all the new features we’re adding here (there’s too many to list here).

They will be available, as always, to all current and past students starting October 2, when we kick off the last live cohort of the year. Purchase by Oct. 1 at midnight Pacific time to join.

Submit your email below if you’d like to hear more about the upcoming cohort. I’ll send you my best free content, invite you to a free workshop and Q&A, and tell you a few of my favorite stories from recent grads.


I’ve been facilitating workshops across the country for the last few months, speaking to many people about the challenges they face and the goals they aspire to.

I can’t help but notice that there’s a crisis of meaning that many of them face in the work they do. Even (especially) when they are outwardly successful, and doing highly creative work. There is something missing in their essential experience of work.

Too often, work and life begin to weigh us down, and we lose track of what makes us come alive. Imperceptibly, the work that was once exciting slowly turns into an endless series of obligations. And when we go looking for a better way of doing things, we have to wade through the scammy sales pitches, the superficial tips and tricks, and products that just don’t deliver what they promise. So most people just revert back to what they’ve been doing all along, except a little more jaded and cynical.

I believe we can all get to a point where we can take real pleasure in our work. I’ve seen the shift happen so many times. We can all experience the deep satisfaction that comes with executing something with great skill. To do work of excellence, that will stand the test of time. And I know that we can do so without giving up our peace of mind, our health, or our perspective.

But it requires first taking responsibility for ourselves and our environment. From constant digital distractions to over-scheduled calendars, we’re constantly getting pulled away from the effortless focus and flow of being lost in the moment. There are no shortcuts, but there is a pathway.

I recently wrote this post, What It Feels Like to Have a Second Brain, to try and answer one of the most common questions I’ve received: what does it feel like? What is it like when you have such a powerful system at your disposal? What’s different about your day to day work and life?

What really matters in this whole endeavor of building a Second Brain is who you become as a result of the process. How you feel when you get up in the morning and face your day. What you believe is possible. What you know yourself to be capable of.

If you are a knowledge worker – if you are paid based on the quality of your thinking – then there is no better investment than creating a digital environment that promotes clarity and focus. That offers up valuable resources and bits of knowledge right when you need them.

Idea capture apps are the tools of your trade. Ideas are your bricks and mortar. Your potential as a learning machine is limitless, but your potential as a memory bank most definitely isn’t. It’s time to take a load off your shoulders and let the incredible machines that surround you do as much of that labor as possible.

In Building a Second Brain, I will help you find what “resonates” amidst the massive flow of information you consume every day – a clear intuitive sense that a piece of information you encounter is interesting, useful, or important to your goals.

Once you become sensitive to this, you’ll find that your enjoyment of learning will skyrocket. With an effective system for idea management, your conscious mind will be satisfied knowing that it’s absorbing new information better now. And your subconscious mind is happy knowing it will be able to easily retrieve it again later.

When order is reflected in both your internal and external worlds, you’ll experience a sense of harmony that is difficult to describe.

There’s an important distinction between “note-taking” and “organizing.” I actually don’t have much to say on the former. Nearly everyone knows how to do it.

I will focus on the latter: What to do with all these notes? How to structure them to be as useful as possible? How to ensure you can find them at just the right moment? No one wants a note-taking system; they want a note-giving system. A system they can trust to surface their knowledge when it can make the biggest difference. And that requires a systematic approach, not some productivity tips.

My approach in Building a Second Brain is different than other kinds of organizing – we are deciding what to keep, instead of deciding what to throw away. With virtually unlimited digital storage, you never really need to delete anything. You can pretty much keep it all, just in case.

But you still need to clear your workspaces so all that data doesn’t overwhelm today’s priorities. I will teach you how to think like a curator – selectively choosing only the best excerpts, highlights, and passages of the information you consume for safekeeping.

People assume that once they “get organized” they will enter a blissful state of mind where everything is logical and clear. That state of mind is what they truly crave. I will show you that it is available here and now, at any moment, not just in some far off future. And the strange thing is, when you adopt that mindset upfront, the process of organizing (and staying organized) becomes tremendously exciting and rewarding.

This course is made immediately available as a self-paced curriculum, so you can peruse it at your leisure. But the best learning happens in the live cohort. It takes some extra effort on both our parts – showing up to calls scheduled at specific times, completing assignments and giving feedback, and moving forward at the same pace. But I’ve seen time and again that it makes a tremendous difference in student’s success.

There is nothing like learning alongside a group of peers who are as determined as you are to harness the full potential of their ideas, guided by an instructor equally determined to make them succeed. The live cohort is an opportunity to get the very best of traditional education – the accountability, the relationships, and the feedback – and combine it with the very best of online education – flexibility, accessibility, and diversity.

I’ll tell you what to do, and just as importantly, what not to do. I’ll save you countless hours of reading, experimenting, and trial and error, leading you directly to the best practices I’ve discovered through experience and validated with research. You’ll learn a fundamental life skill that will serve you not just for one job or project, but for a lifetime.

I know it’s a considerable financial investment, and I want you to think about this decision carefully. Is this right for you, right now? Is this the area where you want to invest? Is this the lever that will enable you to change the trajectory of your career or business?

If the answer is yes, join us for the next cohort of Building a Second Brain, kicking off October 2, 2019.

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