I’m incredibly proud to introduce the next chapter in the evolution of Building a Second Brain (BASB)…
The new Building a Second Brain Membership.
For over 5 years, I’ve taught an online course that guides people in creating a Second Brain – a personal system of knowledge management – for themselves. My goal was always to help others access the incredible benefits I had found for myself without having to go through a decade of painful trial and error like I did.
Since then, my team and I have taught over 5,000 students from more than 100 countries as part of 14 cohorts.
This allowed me to further refine the Second Brain methodology and publish its most succinct, distilled version as a now bestselling book that is on its way to being translated into 15+ languages.
I call all of this the SBU – the Second Brain Universe. And I believe it’s the world’s greatest collection of ideas, people, tools, and techniques about how to use technology to unlock our creative potential.
All this enthusiasm and activity isn’t coming only from us. The community that has gathered around this concept is generating so many new ideas, approaches, and offshoots that it’s impossible to contain it all in one curriculum.
That’s why we’re expanding Building a Second Brain from a one-time course into an all-access annual membership that curates the best of the Second Brain Universe in one convenient place.
It’s time to take everything we’ve learned about how to transform people’s digital lives and upgrade it for a new era of learning.
Keep reading to learn about the full scope of the shift we’re making, or if you’re short on time, you can find the most important changes below:
- We’re doubling the number of annual cohorts from 2 to 4 in 2023. That means BASB is moving from a one-time training event to an ongoing community of practice.
- We’re shortening the length of each cohort from 4 to 3 weeks to better fit into your schedule.
- We’re repeating each live session twice to enable students in the Americas, Europe, and Asia/Pacific to participate live no matter which timezone they’re in.
- We’re shifting the emphasis of the course to align more closely with the ultimate purpose of a Second Brain: to move your projects forward and help you reach your goals. We’ll ask you to pick a concrete project and work alongside Tiago as we take it through the 4 steps of CODE from start to finish.
- We’re doubling down on Circle as your ONE destination for interacting with the community, getting updates, and watching replays. You won’t have to juggle multiple logins or wonder where something is located.
- We’re reducing the number of Zoom sessions we ask you to attend. That means we’re putting the Alumni Mentor program on pause for now. Instead, a group of experienced Moderators will support new students and alumni alike in navigating all aspects of BASB.
- We are greatly simplifying the purchasing experience by eliminating the multiple editions at different price points, so you only have to consider one option at one price.
Creating the most impactful learning experience on personal knowledge management and productivity in the world
For 14 cohorts, we’ve continuously added more and more features to our 4-week course.
Every idea we had about how to enhance our students’ results, every piece of feedback they gave us, every innovative new technique we encountered – each one became a small experiment in pursuit of the ultimate educational experience.
After testing over 130 new features, poring over years of alumni feedback, and comparing all of that with measures of student success, we’ve discovered that only about 10% of what we’ve tried in the past is truly essential to build a Second Brain.
The rest is optional or, to our surprise, even interferes with learning.
In the same way that “distilling” a note improves it, we decided to distill the course itself down to its simplest, purest, most impactful form.
By the time we finished, there were only two essential components left standing:
- The energy and momentum of live cohorts taught live by me personally
- The accountability of a supportive community committed to the same goal as you
That’s it. Two fundamental pillars standing like a gateway to the future we promise.
Now, I want to share the 4 main changes we’re making to build on that foundation and create the most impactful learning experience on personal knowledge management and productivity that the world has ever seen.
1. MORE CHANCES TO PARTICIPATE IN LIVE COHORTS
Listening to alumni feedback, one of the most common requests was that you wanted the option to join more than one cohort.
Whether to deepen your knowledge another level, see more examples of Second Brains in action, or simply because life got busy and you had to drop off – it’s become clear that building a Second Brain is not a “one and done” experience.
Not to mention, it’s understandable if it takes more than one round to fully absorb all the best creative practices gathered from my entire career, plus history’s most prolific and profound thinkers 😉
You don’t know what the future holds, and having to predict your schedule in advance and choose the exact right dates to join is an impossible task.
You no longer have to make that decision.
Starting in 2023, we are doubling the number of cohorts we offer each year from two to four. Not only that, I am personally delivering each and every live session twice, in different time zones. This effectively quadruples the number of chances you have to join us from two to eight, across all time zones, so you can choose when and how you want to participate.
Now, if an urgent work project comes in at the last minute, or you have to care for a family member, don’t worry – you’ll have multiple chances to pick up where you left off.
As fun and engaging as our live sessions can be, you shouldn’t have to be on every single one to learn what you want to learn. So we’re giving you multiple options and pathways to arrive at your desired destination.
2. MORE TIME TO PRACTICE AND MASTER BASB
You also told us that you want to keep your progress going even after the cohort ends. You want to integrate everything you’ve learned and make it an ongoing practice. Setting up your Second Brain is the beginning of the journey, not the end.
You no longer have to make that journey alone.
We are extending support and accountability to you throughout the entire year. I will host monthly Q&A sessions where I’ll answer your most burning questions, share my latest thinking on the frontiers of knowledge management, and reveal the details of new projects I’m using my Second Brain for (plus occasional guest appearances by experts and prolific creators).
You also told us loud and clear that being part of the alumni community is the single best part of BASB. Especially as that community has grown to more than 5,000 professionals, creatives, and entrepreneurs from the world’s most influential fields.
We can no longer contain the energy and enthusiasm of that community within the boundaries of our cohorts. And we shouldn’t have to! Our online discussion forum on the Circle platform is shifting into an “always on” community of practice, where our team of experienced moderators can give you specialized support for your notes app of choice all year long.
3. MORE FOCUS ON IMPLEMENTATION AND HITTING YOUR GOALS
When we interviewed our early graduates as well as our most recent ones, we arrived at a startling conclusion: there is one factor that determines someone’s success in building (and consistently using) their Second Brain.
The most pivotal factor is whether they use their notes to execute a real project, or not.
It doesn’t matter how beautifully organized your notes are, how rigorously you study the principles, or how much research you do on the “perfect” notes app. In fact, I often find that the more time you spend on those things, the less likely you’ll succeed.
You have projects in your life that you need to take action on right now. You have goals that are important to you right now. Maybe there are even major problems or crises brewing in the background at this very moment.
You have to be able to prove to yourself that a Second Brain works for you. That it saves more time than it takes. You can’t just take my word for it – that truth has to be alive in your own life.
Which leads us to the single biggest change we’re making: the Building a Second Brain Membership is no longer about content.
You don’t need more theory and concepts – you need a practical, action-oriented pathway combined with a supportive, passionate community. That’s going to be our sole focus from now on.
There are no longer any pre-recorded videos to watch, text to read, or audio to listen to. All of that content is now available for free on our blog, YouTube channel, or social media channels. It’s 100% free, and you can consume it on your own time.
From now on, we’ll use my book Building a Second Brain as our curriculum (which is available in multiple formats and soon in 15+ languages).
I’ll give it to you straight: there’s no need to join our membership if all you want to do is hear about knowledge management concepts.
You should join if you’re ready for what comes after that: implementing and putting what you’ve learned into action.
We are designing every aspect of the new Membership to align with the ultimate purpose of a Second Brain: to move your projects forward and help you reach your goals.
The purpose of organizing your knowledge is to create the life you want, not get a PhD in notetaking. We are going to become your coaching team and accountability partners in making sure that happens.
When you join a cohort, the first thing I’ll ask you to do is pick a concrete project (personal or work related) you’re working on now. Then you’ll work alongside me as we take that project through the 4 steps of CODE (Capture, Organize, Distill, Express) from start to finish.
This won’t be an abstract exercise: I will also pick a real, current project of my own, so you can see how I decide which approach to take and which tools I use as I move through CODE.
By the end of the cohort, you’ll have a concrete deliverable you are proud of. And having done it once, you’ll be prepared to apply the same approach to any other project or goal you take on in the future.
4. LESS OVERWHELM AND INFORMATION OVERLOAD
We heard from you that there were too many choices to make and too much information to keep track of during the cohorts.
In response, we are making a series of changes to drastically reduce the effort it takes to participate.
The point of a Second Brain is to conquer Information Overload once and for all, remember?
Instead of throwing more options at you and making the problem worse, we’re going to go in the opposite direction. We’re going to help you ignore and eliminate 90% of the noise coming at you so you can focus completely on the 10% that is the signal.
First, we are putting the Alumni Mentor program on pause for now in order to reduce the number of Zoom sessions we ask you to attend by 90%.
Second, we are distilling the course down to its essence, focusing only on the need-to-know and shortening each cohort from 4 weeks to 3 weeks to better fit into your schedule.
Third, the entire course experience – from purchasing and orientation to watching replays of live sessions and interacting with peers – will now take place on a single platform, Circle. You won’t have to juggle multiple logins or wonder where something is located.
And fourth, we are greatly simplifying the purchasing experience by eliminating the multiple editions at different price points, so you only have to consider one option at one price.
That brings me to our offer for you…
Get Your All-Access Pass to the Second Brain Universe
As we enter this new chapter, my offer is simple: a chance to join the Building a Second Brain Membership as a Founding Member.
You’ll be joining on the ground floor at the lowest price we will ever offer and work closely with us to shape how our community evolves.
As a Founding Member, you’ll receive:
- Access to Cohort 15 in September 2022, including 4 interactive live sessions (with options for all time zones) where I will lead you through step-by-step walkthroughs, live exercises, and in-depth Q&As to help you build and implement your Second Brain.
- The option to join 4 cohorts in 2023 (winter, spring, summer, and fall) offered in Europe and Asia-friendly time zones. We’ll reveal specific dates at the end of this year.
- Full recordings of all live sessions, including searchable captions and transcripts, to make them as accessible as possible if you need to miss one or want to review.
- Year-round access to a thriving alumni community of Second Brainers, including leaders, experts, and creative professionals from Google, Nike, Yale, Berkeley, MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Philips, Unicef, AstraZeneca, Automattic, Upwork, VaynerMedia, OnDeck, and Greenpeace, among many others.
- Personalized support from our team of trained Moderators to answer your questions, provide examples, and point you to helpful resources.
- Monthly Q&As with me and my team throughout the year, so you can get your questions answered even between cohorts.
- A concrete deliverable or creative work you can be proud of at the end of each cohort, built using your second-brain tools.
Think of this as your “all-access pass” to the very best of the Second Brain Universe.
It’s a curated digest of only the most important new tools and ideas, so you don’t have to pay attention to every tiny update.
It’s your passport to a global community of talented, curious, inspiring human beings who are harnessing the two most powerful forces in the world – knowledge and technology.
It’s a mastermind concentrating the collective brainpower of diverse creators, students, freelancers, parents, life-long learners, productivity experts, and so many others in one grand gathering.
All of this for only $1,499 per year, the exact same price we’ve previously charged for just a single one-time cohort. That’s only $4 dollars per day, the price of a good cup of coffee.
You no longer have to evaluate dozens of different apps, tools, courses, and techniques to get the benefits of digital notes – we’ll do that for you.
You no longer have to watch hours of videos and consume gigabytes of content just to know what’s next – we’ll tell you the 10% you need to know.
You no longer have to navigate multiple confusing platforms and attend endless Zoom calls to keep up – it’s all happening in one central place.
I am focusing our entire team and our company on a single overarching goal: helping you simplify your choices, eliminate cognitive overload, and accelerate you toward the moment your Second Brain is fully operational and thriving.
Join us as a Founding Member and become part of the Second Brain Universe
Cohort 15 of Building a Second Brain runs from September 13 to October 5, 2022, and enrollment is open from August 29 to September 7, 2022.
Remember, when you join us now, you’ll also get access to 4 live cohorts throughout 2023. That’s 16 months of Membership for the price of 12 months!
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