Building a Second Brain

The Complete Guide to Saving Your Kindle Highlights

Millions of people around the world have experienced the joy of reading ebooks on Amazon’s Kindle platform. Whether it’s using a dedicated Kindle device, via the Kindle app for iOS or Android, or even for free on a computer, we’ve invested countless hours in reading and learning from these books. But how about all those…

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Interview with Readwise Founders

I interviewed the founders of Readwise, Tristan Homsi and Daniel Doyon, for the October Praxis Town Hall last week. Readwise is a service that’s popular with Praxis readers, allowing you to get more out of what you read by emailing you excerpts you’ve highlighted on Kindle, iBooks, Instapaper, and Highly. By reminding you periodically about the best ideas…

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New Book: Extend Your Mind

I recently published my new ebook, a compilation of 19 Praxis posts from 2017, on the Amazon Kindle store. Click here to view it on Amazon (Affiliate Link) Read the Foreword below Foreword from Extend Your Mind This book is made up of 19 essays (or long-form blog posts) published in 2017 on the blog. 2017…

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The Case for Digital Notes

In our course Building a Second Brain, we teach people how to capture, organize, and share their most valuable knowledge and know-how using technology. We call this practice Personal Knowledge Management, or PKM. One of the most common questions I am asked is “Why digital notes?” This article will explain why, out of all the…

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Progressive Summarization VI: Core Principles of Knowledge Capture

It might seem absurd that something as simple as a method of highlighting could be so important to a person’s productivity and learning. Even I’m surprised that’s turned out to be the case.

But as testimonials and stories have streamed in from people putting it to use around the world, I’ve become convinced that it is the beginning of a sea change in how we consume information.

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PARA Part 8: Core Principles of Digital Organization

Over the past year, I’ve seen P.A.R.A. implementations of all shapes and sizes. I’ve seen them from every corner of the globe, in languages I don’t even recognize, in at least a dozen different programs, and both digital and physical forms.

Over that time, eight core principles seem to have emerged as fundamental features.

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Just-In-Time PM #20: Speed as a Capability

In Part 19, I argued that continuously finding new sources of motivation was the most important challenge for knowledge workers, and that the best way to get started was to generate momentum through a series of small wins.

Although Progressive Summarization can bootstrap you to a minimum level of motivation, at some point you do need to go from faking it to making it. The mind can be tricked, but not fooled for long.

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Just-In-Time PM #19: Explosive Inspiration

In Part 18, I introduced the idea that our states of mind come and go in “waves of motivation,” and that we should try to use them to our advantage, instead of forcing our mind to conform to our will.

A “motivational state” is more colloquially known as a “mood.” Moods usually have a negative connotation when it comes to productivity. Feeling “moody” is generally not considered a desirable thing while working.

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Just-In-Time PM #18: Motivational Waves

In Part 17, I argued that unique states of mind are the most powerful resource available to knowledge workers. But these states are difficult to reproduce on demand, and come and go unpredictably.

Our challenge becomes clear: how do we capture the value from a series of valuable, yet fleeting mental states?

Let’s take the following states of mind for example:

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