Case studies

Octavia Estelle Butler: Notetaking as Science Fiction

Octavia Estelle Butler was born in 1947 in Pasadena, CA. Known in her early years as “Estelle,” she was raised by a single, widowed mother who worked domestic jobs to make ends meet. Painfully shy and introverted from a young age, Estelle became an easy target for bullying at school. Her shyness combined with slight

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Second Brain Case Study: Sleep Training an Infant

Many of the case studies I share about how I use digital notes involve major writing projects, because that is the most challenging kind of project I use my Second Brain for. But there is a different kind of use case that is just as meaningful: everyday life challenges. Challenges like troubleshooting the wifi at

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The Godfather Notebook

In 1969, studio executives at Paramount Pictures were desperate to find a film director for a new movie they had purchased the rights to. It was to be a crime drama based on the New York Mafia. One after another, all the top directors of the era turned the project down. They all found it

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The Box: Twyla Tharp on Project-Based Organizing

In my PARA Method, I teach people how to organize all their digital notes and files using a simple, 4-part system. Your computer is your working environment for many of your waking hours. Until you take control of it and design it to support the kinds of thinking you want to do, every minute spent there

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The Modern Swipe File: 15 Unexpected Uses for Digital Notes

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How I Made a Documentary Film with Digital Notes

Over the last year I filmed a short documentary on the life and artistic career of my father Wayne Forte. He has been one of the strongest influences on me, not only as a father, but as a prolific lifelong artist. I wanted a way to share his remarkable story with a wider public, to

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Progressive Summarization with PDFs 

By Marie-Pier Corbeil, Vice President and Lead Designer at RVE (Recharge Véhicule Électrique), working on solutions for EV charger installation in multi-unit residential buildings   To use progressive summarization with PDFs, here’s what I do: 1. I highlight and comment passages in PDF Expert (which is my layer 1):   2. I export my highlights

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Progressive Summarization for Clinical Notes

By Dr. Roberto A. Leon Ferre, Oncologist, Mayo Clinic Here is a typical (hypothetical) clinical note for a breast cancer patient in a busy oncology clinic such as my own: A 35-year-old premenopausal female with recently diagnosed breast cancer presents today for recommendations regarding treatment. Her oncologic history is as follows: August 15, 2016: patient

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Adapting to PARA using GitLab

This post was originally published on Julius Gamanyi’s blog It’s almost 2 months since I started walking through Tiago Forte‘s series on PARA Method (Projects. Areas. Resources. Archives) and implementing it. I’ve got Ben Mosior and Tasshin Fogleman to thank for the connection. I loved these series, especially the fifth one, the Project List Mindsweep, because it’s broad enough to cover both home

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