Building a Second Brain

Progressive Summarization IV: Compressing All Types of Media

Reading through the previous three parts, a question probably popped into your mind: does this apply only to text?

It’s an important one, because we are becoming a less text-based society. Ubiquitous cameras, real-time video chats, and visual displays of information have become the norm. Which means expressions of creativity will increasingly take on these forms.

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Masters of Creative Note-Taking: Luhmann and Da Vinci

This post also available in Dutch Note-taking is an ancient activity, practiced across cultures, languages, and writing systems for millennia. It is distinct from simply writing things down. For our purposes, note-taking is: Personal, informal, quick and dirty: notes are optimized not for public consumption, but for your own personal use, like a leather notebook…

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Progressive Summarization III: Guidelines and Principles

In Part I, I explained Progressive Summarization, a method for easily creating highly discoverable notes. In Part II, I gave you many examples and metaphors of the method in action.

In Part III, I will give you further guidelines on how to make Progressive Summarization (PS) a part of your daily work. They have been gathered from several years of using the technique in my own projects, and teaching it in my workshops and courses.

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Progressive Summarization II: Examples and Metaphors

These are Layer 1 notes I took on an article on postrationalism, a topic I’m interested in. This is 373 words, which would take about 2 minutes to read at an average reading speed. 2 minutes doesn’t seem like much, but when you consider that these notes could have no relevance to the task at hand, it’s a lot of attention to pay for nothing. Especially considering this is dense, challenging material.

For Layer 2, I bolded what I thought were the key points:

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Progressive Summarization: A Practical Technique for Designing Discoverable Notes

Modern digital tools make it easy to “capture” information from a wide variety of sources. We know how to snap a picture, type out some notes, record a video, or scan a document. Getting this content from the outside world into the digital world is trivial.

It’s even easier to get content that is already digital from one app to another. We know how to copy and paste text, save an image from a webpage, archive an email attachment, or import a video file.

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Supersizing the Mind: The Science of Cognitive Extension

You enter your kitchen for a quick lunch: how is it exactly that your brain solves the problem “prepare lunch as efficiently as possible”? Your brain effortlessly, almost instantaneously “assembles” a diverse mix of problem-solving resources on the spot. These “resources” can include knowledge, tools, or structures, and can be: Mental: knowledge, experience, intuition Physical:…

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Building a Second Brain in Emacs and Org-Mode

Note from Tiago: This is the first in a series of guest posts I hope to eventually publish, showing how knowledge management principles and techniques, from my course Building a Second Brain and elsewhere, can be implemented in a wide variety of software programs. Check out the Part 2 here. Getting Things Done (GTD) is…

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Press, Reviews, Articles, and Case Studies on Building a Second Brain

The following is a collection of customer reviews, interviews, online articles, case studies, and other third-party sources related to my online course on Personal Knowledge Management, Building a Second Brain. For customer testimonials, click here. We’ll update it periodically with new links. Interviews Interview with Austin Brawner and Andrew Foxwell on The Ecommerce Influence Podcast:…

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The React Productivity Revolution

On 10/25/17 I delivered a talk at ReactiveConf, an annual conference held in Bratislava, Slovakia centered on the React Javascript front-end development technology and ecosystem. Here are a few followup resources: #1 The slides from the talk: #2 A followup blog post I wrote, presenting the same ideas in the context of massively increasing project throughput…

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