Building a Second Brain

Just-In-Time PM #6: Evolving Deliverables

In Part 5, I introduced The Iron Triangle of Project Management and the idea that any given deliverable can be reduced or expanded in scope at any time.

How should you use this newfound ability? You should use it to:

Get started
Maintain momentum
Test assumptions

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Just-In-Time PM #5: The Iron Triangle

In Part 4, I introduced the idea of “intermediate packets.” Instead of delivering value in a big project that spans huge amounts of time, we want to deliver it in smaller chunks at more frequent intervals.

This follows a basic principle that has revolutionized many industries: small batch sizes.

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Just-In-Time PM #4: Intermediate Packets

In Part 3, I argued that having a personal knowledge base is the linchpin of success in a creative economy.

A knowledge base allows you to reuse past work, draw from past experiences, share your knowledge in concrete form, and eventually, build products and services out of that knowledge.

This requires strategically structuring your work in the first place, as a series of what I call intermediate packets.

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Just-In-Time PM #3: Flow Cycles

In Part 2, I described the sublime and powerful experience of flow, which could be considered the “holy grail” of productivity.

I argued that there is theoretically no minimum amount of time necessary to get into flow, contrary to popular belief. But in reality, as always, it’s a bit more complicated. Let’s look at what this looks like in a typical working session of a couple hours.

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Just-In-Time PM #2: The Fundamentals of Flow

In Part 1, I introduced Return-on-Attention (ROA) as a way to evaluate how we invest our most precious resource – our attention.

But there is a key difference between investing money and investing attention. Units of currency are always uniform and interchangeable. Units of attention, on the other hand, are not at all created equal.

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PARA Part 7: Creating a Project Network

The Values-First Era at the dawn of corporate America told us that character was the most important thing. If you were a virtuous person, living according to principles and high ideals, you’d be successful. But then the cutthroat corporate culture of the 1980’s set in, and everyone realized they had to look out for their own interests.

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PARA Part 6: Small-Batch Projects for Focus, Creativity, and Perspective

In P.A.R.A Part I, I argued that the Project List was the lynchpin of modern productivity, serving as a dashboard of your current commitments and the bridge between actionable and reference systems.

But formulating a Project List is also one of the most difficult exercises for most people to complete. And I’m not the only one to notice. David Allen has written:

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Second Brain Case Study: How I Write Long-Form Blog Posts

One of the most common questions I receive is how I write long-form blog posts. And especially how I write them frequently, at high quality, drawing on numerous sources. It’s taken me a long time to be able to make the process explicit. The Building a Second Brain course is basically my long-form writing workflow…

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Progressive Summarization V: The Faster You Forget, The Faster You Learn

In Part I, I introduced Progressive Summarization, a method for easily creating highly discoverable notes. In Part II, I gave you examples and metaphors of the method in action. Part III included my top recommendations for how to perform it effectively. Part IV showed how to apply the technique to non-text media.

In Part V, I’ll show you how Progressive Summarization directly contributes to the ultimate outcome we’re seeking with our information consumption: learning.

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Building a Second Brain in One Tweet

Here’s how participants of Building a Second Brain, our online course on digital note-taking and personal knowledge management, described the course in one tweet (140 characters or less): How to take digital notes, increase their value, store them for easy retrieval, and use them for projects and/or to create new connections. — Greg Scholes BASB…

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PARA Part 5: The Project List Mindsweep

Welcome to the Project List Mindsweep, a step-by-step exercise to help you properly identify every project in your work and life.

Your Project List is a list of the outcomes or goals you are currently committed to, all in one place. It serves as a dashboard of your current workload, helping you grasp the current progress of your projects with just a glance.

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