Supersizing the Mind: The Science of Cognitive Extension

You enter your kitchen for a quick lunch: how is it exactly that your brain solves the problem “prepare lunch as efficiently as possible”? Your brain effortlessly, almost instantaneously “assembles” a diverse mix of problem-solving resources on the spot. These “resources” can include knowledge, tools, or structures, and can be: Mental: knowledge, experience, intuition Physical:…

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Building a Second Brain in Emacs and Org-Mode

Note from Tiago: This is the first in a series of guest posts I hope to eventually publish, showing how knowledge management principles and techniques, from my course Building a Second Brain and elsewhere, can be implemented in a wide variety of software programs. Check out the Part 2 here. Getting Things Done (GTD) is…

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The Rise of the Full-Stack Freelancer, Part II: The Stack

In Part I, I described a new kind of worker called the Full-Stack Freelancer.

I argued that more affordable and user-friendly software-as-a-service (SaaS), among other things, has enabled individuals to manage portfolios of complementary income streams, instead of focusing on only one specialized skill.

But you may have noticed something missing: what is in the stack?

Here’s mine:

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The React Productivity Revolution

On 10/25/17 I delivered a talk at ReactiveConf, an annual conference held in Bratislava, Slovakia centered on the React Javascript front-end development technology and ecosystem. Here are a few followup resources: #1 The slides from the talk: #2 A followup blog post I wrote, presenting the same ideas in the context of massively increasing project throughput…

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The World Beyond Your Head: How Distraction Shapes Who We Are

Matthew Crawford’s book The World Beyond Your Head (Affiliate Link) is the most important book I’ve read in quite some time. It makes a sweeping argument about what it means to be an ethical, autonomous human in the digital age. Crawford draws a strong connection from the distractions buzzing on our phones, to the evolving…

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PARA Part 4: Setup Guide

This article is a guide for getting started with PARA, an organizational system for your digital life.

Here’s the 5-step process I recommend you follow:

Step 1: Move existing files to a new folder called “Archive [date]” (with today’s date)
Step 2: Create folders for each of your current projects
Step 3: Move all the project folders into a new folder called “Projects”

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PARA Part 3: RandomNote – Building an Idea Generator

What if you could push a button and immediately be given an idea?

Not just any idea. A good idea. An idea relevant to your interests, your goals, and your current projects.

What if every time you pushed this button, you also made it more likely that even better ideas would be surfaced in the future?

I’ve found a way.

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PARA Part 2: Operations Manual

Last month I published The P.A.R.A. Method: A Universal System for Organizing Digital Information. It describes a simple, lightweight, yet extremely flexible system for organizing any type of digital information across any platform.

The feedback I’ve gotten has been so phenomenal, I’ve made implementing P.A.R.A. the first unit of my upcoming online bootcamp, Building a Second Brain (BASB). It will be the foundation on which the rest of the course is built.

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The PARA Method: A Universal System for Organizing Digital Information

Imagine for a moment the perfect organizational system. One that supported and enhanced the work you do, telling you exactly where to put a piece of information, and exactly where to find it when you needed it.

This system would have to be:

universal, encompassing any conceivable kind of information from any source
flexible, able to work with any project or activity you take on, now and in the future

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The Secret Power of ‘Read It Later’ Apps

At the end of 2014 I received an email informing me that I had read over a million words in the ‘read it later’ app Pocket over the course of the year. This number by itself isn’t impressive, considering our daily intake of information is equivalent to 34 gigabytes, 100,000 words, or 174 newspapers, depending…

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How to Use Evernote for Your Creative Workflow

By Tiago Forte of Forte Labs This post was republished on the Evernote blog. To learn more, check out our online bootcamp on Personal Knowledge Management, Building a Second Brain. Let’s imagine how you would use Evernote if you had a brain. I previously explained how the standard tag-based approach basically contradicts everything we know…

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Tagging is Broken

Why the tagging concept in Evernote and everywhere else sucks By Tiago Forte of Forte Labs This post was republished on the Evernote blog There is an axiom in the productivity world that goes something like this: “Tags are inherently superior to folders” The reasons seem compelling at first glance: Tagging allows the same files/notes/items to exist…

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