Building a Second Brain

by Tiago Forte

ISBN: 1800812213
Building a Second Brain cover image

I started using obsidian 12-18 months before reading this book and had made sporadic efforts to try and make my notes digital. I was ready to step things up a notch and sought out some information or a system that would prioritise being a practical way to organise notes and get the best value from them.

Several other books I decided not to read seemed to be much more about organising notes as an art - and an art purely for the enjoyment of the artist at that. I was really refreshed when I stumbled upon BASB since it was the first time I found a book which really had the aim I was after: note taking/organisation as a pragmatic way to get more useful stuff done.

The book does contain context of the author and their personal journey to building this system, but manages to also be pretty focused on explaining the techniques without too much cruft.

I implemented the system in my own notes almost immediately. Forte’s suggestion to just move all existing notes to an archive folder is a great move to reduce the burden of re-organising, but personally I did have some useful stuff which mapped nicely over to the structure suggested, so I did move some things in.

I’m around 3 months in to using this system and I have found it enormously useful, it’s completely changed the way that I capture thoughts and refine them in to useful information and “work products”.

Highly recommended.