Creativity

Project-Based Learning: Designing a Capstone Project

By Will Mannon, Forte Labs Course Manager This memo outlines the Capstone Project that students will complete for Cohort 10 of Building a Second Brain (BASB). It was originally written for our internal team, but in the spirit of “working with the garage door open”, I’ve decided to share it here. Overview Each student will be…

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The Automation of Note-Taking and the Just-In-Time Future of Work

Cover image “beauty in the brains” by bedelgeuse A student recently asked me, “How do you have the self-discipline to open up your notes app every time you encounter an interesting idea?” Suddenly I realized: I don’t. It’s so critical that note-taking be easy and frictionless, that even opening an app is too much of a…

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The Building a Second Brain Podcast

After years of being a guest on other people’s podcasts, I finally pulled the trigger and made one of my own. Introducing the brand new Building a Second Brain Podcast, where I’ll talk about the main ideas from my course of the same name. I think people have enough long-form interviews, so I’m making my…

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Interview and Q&A with Sönke Ahrens on How to Take Smart Notes

On Thursday, March 19, at 9am ET, I will be interviewing Sönke Ahrens, author of the breakout book How To Take Smart Notes. This is your chance to ask him your burning questions on note-taking and non-fiction writing. Ahrens is a Lecturer in Philosophy of Education at the University of Duisburg-Essen and also coaches students,…

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Second Brain Case Study: Using Digital Notes for Stand-Up Comedy

In this wide-ranging conversation, I spoke with Michael Skiba, who participated in the very first cohort of Building a Second Brain in January 2017. He talks about how he’s continued using and developing his Second Brain over that time. Our conversation includes: How he uses his digital notes to maintain a side gig as a…

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Don’t Set New Year’s Resolutions – Create Reusable Components

This article was originally published on the FugBugz blog. With the new year just around the corner, we’re entering the season of New Year’s’ Resolutions. Prepare yourself for overcrowded gyms and inspirational Instagram quotes tagged with #bigdreams. If that’s not quite your style, I’d like to introduce you to a very different way of making…

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Pleasure as an Organizing Principle

This essay was originally posted on the Ribbonfarm blog. The organizing principle of the modern world is pain. Avoiding it, yes. But also trading in it, taking refuge in it, and using it to justify our actions. Pain has so many uses. Why would you ever give up such a versatile tool? We trade in…

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Announcing Write of Passage

I’m very proud to announce Write of Passage, a new online course on how to accelerate your career by writing online. It is my fifth course and the first one co-created with a partner, David Perell. In the spring of 2017 I appeared as a guest on David’s podcast, the North Star. We had a…

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