DailyB Ep 6 How I Use My Second Brain to Organize My Life #DailyB

Online Learning

In this episode of Daily B, Burhaan dives into the concept of the 'second brain,' a term coined by Tiago Forte, which emphasizes the importance of efficient note-taking.

Highlighting personal stories of forgetfulness, they stress the unreliability of human memory and advocate the use of digital tools like Evernote and Obsidian to enhance productivity and creativity.

The discussion includes practical steps for creating a digital knowledge base, capturing ideas, and leveraging these tools for various daily tasks, ultimately aiming to make life easier and more organized.

Listeners are encouraged to adopt note-taking apps to manage their thoughts and tasks effectively.

00:00 Introduction to the Concept of a Second Brain

00:41 The Importance of Note-Taking and Personal Anecdotes

03:42 Transitioning to Digital Note-Taking with Evernote

05:24 Evolving to Obsidian: A More Efficient System

06:45 The Philosophical Underpinnings of Note-Taking

07:48 Practical Applications and Daily Routines

11:49 Concluding Thoughts on Note-Taking and Its Impact

Show Notes:

[00:00:00] Welcome to another episode of Daily Bee. And today I'm talking about note taking, specifically around this concept of the second brain. Now, Tiago Forte actually coined this concept called the second brain. I'm just referring to my notes here. And it's one of those things where You know, we want, we want to remember things.

We want to, we want to be superhuman, right? We want to, you know, make, make our spouses or our partners happy. Like we want to remember the flowers. We want to be able to go to the grocery store and buy all the things that are on the list or. At least buy all the things that we remember to be told that we need to buy.

Um, you know, I've, I remember a situation where my mom asked me to go to the store and buy a couple of things. And, uh, when I got to the store, I completely blanked out on what it is that I needed to buy. And this was the days before we had like cell phones and stuff. So, uh, this was a while ago. And so I couldn't [00:01:00] call her to ask her.

So I came, I came back home. I just bought some random stuff that I thought, She was asking for and she got super angry with me because Like it wasn't the stuff that she wanted and then I had to go back, right? So I wasted the time going, I wasted the time coming back. She was late on creating a meal that she was, you know, wanting to make because we had visitors coming over whatever the situation was and And yeah, she got upset because of that.

And so why do I bring that up? Well, because this concept of note taking or having a second brain is something that I started doing a while ago where it was like, Okay, I I forget stuff. I'm I'm not as efficient when it comes to like remembering things and I'm you know I I used to hear quotes or you know, we're watching a movie and all this here's a really good line And you know you think that you would remember it or maybe you have an idea in the shower of like A video you want to make or an idea for a business or an idea that will help you solve a [00:02:00] problem or some Something or the other and you end up forgetting that um, because you haven't got a pen and paper.

You don't have Uh your phone nearby or whatever the case may be, right? So those things We can't rely on our minds. We just can't it's it's uh, Our minds are brittle chaotic things and uh, it's just Something that we cannot rely on to give us the information that we want, but also like, we, we just, it's just not a thing, right?

Uh, it's something that we, we should be cognizant of, but we don't. And unfortunately we are human, right? So that's just the way it goes. So we forget things. And then, you know, when it's time to come up with ideas, like if you create content. You sit down, or maybe you're a writer, or whatever, you're trying to publish a novel, or writing a script, or a play, or whatever.

Like, creative people have [00:03:00] this creative block, they call it. And, it's like, oh, I'm sitting here, I need to make something, and I don't have anything. I can't think of anything new, I can't think of anything creative. Um, and we procrastinate, and we go through this process. And so the idea behind using a notebook or a note taking system, like the second brain is not only to remember things, but then you can use it as a wave, as, as, as, as inspiration.

So maybe you search for a keyword or you search for some, something in there and, and maybe spark some ideas, right? But you only get to that point if you actually are recording things through your day, through your week, through your month. And so. When I started, when I realized that, okay, I have this issue with memory and I forget things when I go to the grocery store, I, and cell phones was, became smartphones.

I, I downloaded Evernote and Evernote was one of those first pioneering tools. It [00:04:00] was free. And I used it for pretty much everything. Grocery list was probably the primary primary thing because of that incident with my mom. And, Yeah, it helped tremendously. Like, you know, whenever I needed something to buy, it's like, okay, put it on the grocery list.

And I, and I would pull that out, pull my phone out in the store and make sure that like, we would buy everything. The only reason why I wouldn't go home with something is because it was out of stock at the store. So that helped me solve that problem.

But then there's also this other, this other thing, right, where you can have ideas come to you. You can create your own knowledge base. That's what I was going to say is you can create your own knowledge base and you can basically then rely on yourself, rely on your own knowledge, your own wit, your own resources.

Let's say you're on the web and you're, you know, you're researching for a specific solution or you're just browsing or whatever the case may be. And you come across something really interesting. You come across something that you should [00:05:00] remember. You should like, or maybe you have this feeling of like, Oh, I should, this is cool.

Like I should, I should save this somewhere. And if you don't have a system, you don't have a place to store that. It's going to get lost. Like you can't just be dumping things in your Google drive or dumping things in your email or emailing yourself or, you know, all of these things that other people recommend.

My system is this. I don't use Evernote anymore. I use Obsidian. because it's free and it syncs to my phone. It syncs to all the other places that I, that I basically have the app installed and it's very, very low, low tech as far as data is concerned and as far as writing is concerned. So there's not much formatting.

It's very simple. It uses, um, a very simple writing language, MD, right? Uh, Markdown language. And so as long as I save there, And it has a search feature where you can search for keywords, or you can tag things, or you can [00:06:00] reference notes, whatever the case may be. So I use, I use that.

I've basically created my own knowledge base where anytime I'm having a meeting or taking notes or working online, or I see a phrase that I like, or, I mean i'm, you know watching a movie and I hear something that I like I'll open my notes app my obsidian account and i'll just store that thing I'll put a title quickly and i'll just copy and paste or i'll write whatever it is that I need to write out And sure, maybe my obsidian account is a little bit messy because it's like one folder with all of these random notes But then every now and then I go I go through those notes And I categorize them or I put them in uh in subfolders And so Why is this important?

Steve Jobs said in his commencement speech back in the day, that you can't connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backward. Now, the only way that you can connect looking backward is if [00:07:00] you make notes. If you take notes of the things that you've learned, take notes of the things that you've said, take notes of the things that you've read or whatever the case may be, experiences that you've had.

Now, Steve Jobs was talking about him going to a calligraphy class when he was at college or university and how that calligraphy class helped shape the fonts that he used when he created the first MacBook or the first Apple computer, right? And so he accredited that experience to him creating those, uh, fonts.

Now. I don't know the details of whether he took notes or whether he had his textbooks or whether he had, you know, his books that he had from the, from the college days or whatever the case may be, but that experience helped him. One other reason why I use a digital system for my second brain, so to speak, is because Physical papers, like, I move a lot [00:08:00] and physical papers are hard to search for things.

You have to like page through, page through, page through, and it's just a difficult thing to do. And so I've gone away from using notebooks for my journals. I have everything on my iPad, uh, in terms of, you know, writing, and I use Notability for that. Notability is searchable even on handwriting. It's not as accurate as I would like, but that's a point of reference.

Um, but then inside of obsidian, if I'm writing stuff, I can very quickly like go and find, as long as I can remember a keyword or I remember a date, or I remember some specific phrase or something about that note, I can just go search for that and I can find it super, super easily. Um, and that's the point now for me, from a memory point of view, to connect it to what I said earlier about the problems that we have and the, and the things that we want about remembering things is.

If you are constantly, like I was before, trying to remember stuff, you end up using your mind to occupy [00:09:00] space for things that are just not important. Right? I remember once, when smartphones came out, I made a conscious decision to not memorize facts or things that I could Google. And some, I remember friends of friends of mine asking me some random questions, like to think, to figure out whether I was smart.

And I was like, why should I remember that? They were laughing at me because I couldn't remember the thing. And I said, well, why should I remember that? I can just Google and get the answer in two seconds. Like that is not things that I, that's not something that I want to memorize or keep in my brain.

It's just, it seemed idiotic to me. It seemed silly. And these days it's even easier, right? Now we can go to multiple places. We can go to Google, we can go to TikTok, we can go to YouTube, we can go to Reddit, we can go to Twitter for all that matter. Like wherever there's a website that has a search and some sort of a knowledge, Wikipedia, right?[00:10:00]

I mean, what a great resource. And so my whole thing is like, I will, I will try to remember things that I need to do for myself or things that I need to factor in, in terms of my, my own behavior or my own circumstance, or maybe like I'll create a habit with my morning routine is, you know, I got to wake up, brush my teeth, do all of those things, shower first, right?

And then, okay, I have to remember every morning to, to Weigh myself, I get on the scale, no, I'm naked. That's not something I've taken a note on, but it's just part of my process. Then I go downstairs and while I'm making breakfast myself or slice of toast and coffee, I check my blood sugar since I got my, uh, blood sugar machine, I just like check it and that's become part of my routine.

Then I do my journaling and I, and I make my notes and then whatever I, I make my notes of things that [00:11:00] I need to do, and then that becomes a page that I keep on my desk. Um, and try to scratch those off during the day and how the, how the notes or the my obsidian, my second brain comes into play. I have that open while I'm working.

I have it on my phone. And so anytime that I need to remember something or I need to take a note or you know, I need to remember that. Oh, the toilet paper ran out. It's like, okay, just open the list and add it. And when I've bought that, take it off the list or just archive it or put it down in the list of things that I've already bought.

And then when it, when I need it again, I bring it up. So, you know, taking notes, I haven't used it as far as like what Tiago Forte has said that he does by using it to create content and stuff yet. But, you know, I'm hoping, I'm hoping that in future I can connect the dots going forward. I'm hoping that. By making this video and giving you some [00:12:00] of my experiences and some of my learnings that you might also Use some sort of a note taking app to make your life easier to not have to remember constant facts and figures and lists and You know stuff that people have said to you or things that you need to do Like just open a note and take a note on the things that you need to do and scratch those things off as you go Through your day like those that's the simplest advice I can give you for today On a Sunday.

I hope you enjoy your day. And, uh, yeah, follow along, get to subscribe very light topic today. But, um, if you're enjoying the content so far, I would appreciate the support and, um, yeah, hopefully see you in soon. Thank you.

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