Books

Virtual Workshop with Srini Rao: Transform Information into Wisdom with Progressive Summarization

On Thursday, March 26 at 5pm ET I joined Srini Rao for an in-depth workshop on Progressive Summarization, my technique for highlighting the information you consume and turning it into bite-sized nuggets of wisdom. Srini is the founder of The Unmistakable Creative, a blog and podcast for creative people who don’t accept the status quo. He’s interviewed more than 600 experts and

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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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The Heart is the Bottleneck

I’m proud to announce my new book, The Heart is the Bottleneck. In this book, I explore and dissect a wide range of topics related to productivity and personal effectiveness. From note-taking and writing, to creativity and curation, to being a digital nomad and working with a virtual assistant. Tying together these topics is the

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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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The BASB Customer Persona

I recently compiled all my notes, findings, and ideas about the “ideal customer” for Building a Second Brain, and put them into a single document. I’m working with my editor to narrow down and refine this customer profile from here, so I can have a crystal clear person in mind as I write the sample

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How Emotions Are Made: The Theory of Constructed Emotion

This post now available in German. The Theory of Constructed Emotion offers a radical new take on what emotions are, where they come from, and how they shape our lives. Presented by psychology professor and neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett in her best-selling book How Emotions Are Made (affiliate link), it also contradicts many of

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5 Things I Learned From the Anti-Book Club

Last year I launched the Anti-Book Club, my own take on the tradition of book clubs. The idea is simple: instead of everyone in the group reading the same book, duplicating time and effort, we each read a different book on the same topic. Then each person summarizes the book they read, and I compile

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Crafting a Book Proposal: The Onboarding Questionnaire

I previously wrote about my thought process for why and how I’ve decided to publish my book Building a Second Brain with a traditional publishing house. I’ll try to share with you in as much detail as possible my journey, starting with my first challenge: crafting the book proposal. The book proposal is the lynchpin of

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My 10-Step Book Publishing Strategy

In The Four Pathways of Modern Book Publishing, I described the main routes for a writer to get published today, and in The Case for Traditional Publishing for Full-Stack Freelancers I explained why I believe that for full-stack freelancers like me, traditional publishing makes the most sense. With that foundation, here are the steps I’m

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The Case for Traditional Publishing for Full-Stack Freelancers

In The Four Pathways of Modern Book Publishing, I described what I believe to be the four main routes to publication for writers in the digital age. After considering all these factors, I’ve chosen to pursue the most traditional publishing route, for six main reasons (from most to least important): Credibility and authority that comes

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