- The Productive Solopreneur
- TPS #49– I outsourced my brain to an app
TPS #49– I outsourced my brain to an app
Offloading my mental clutter into this digital system led to many surprises
As an ever-evolving entrepreneur…
My brain is like a hurricane of non-stop concepts, ideas, and an infinite to-do list.
If you’re anything like me (a perfectionist)
Then trying to organize everything going on inside your head is madness.
Ideas slipped away.
I needed something more than a couple of yellow sticky notes on my desk.
But late last year when I discovered Notion, everything changed.
I went from a lost little sheep at the edge of the field.
To the shepherd corraling my thoughts wherever I want to.
It wasn’t easy.
and I definitely went insane more times than once, figuring out how I can digitally map my brain.
So today, I’m walking you through how I organize my brain into my own knowledge management system.
And how you can too. Buckle up.
My Struggle With Mental Clutter
As someone who loves to zig, then zag between ideas, projects, philosophical tangents, and grand plans for the future…
Keeping it organized seemed impossible.
I would forget about tasks I had to do, ideas I wrote down—
You get the point.
Deep down, I knew this couldn’t last.
I didn’t know how or what I could change to make this work until I saw this YouTube video by Thomas Frank on his own Second Brain.
I took the concept and ran with it.
I learned everything I could about the “note-taking” software called Notion in order to build whatever my heart desires.
I put “note-taking” in quotations because that’s really not what Notion is.
Okay, Hear me out:
Notion is a no-code software builder.
And the best Notion creators I know think the same.
Now, let the madness ensue.
Introducing My Second Brain
At it’s core, my second brain is essentially just that.
A brain where I can store anything neatly that pops up in life.
I think of it like RAM for my mind - a place to offload mental bandwidth so I can focus on higher reasoning.
It’s all about that leverage.
If I don’t have to think about it because it’s stored somewhere it won’t get lost.
Then I can focus on being creative.
I’ve gone through (what seems to be) 549 iterations of my second brain.
So belive me when I tell you that this version, will change.
And so will the next one.
But that’s okay.
I’m a changing person.
Which is directly reflected in my work.
The Laws That Govern My External Brain
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to second brains.
But there is a few guiding principles that have served me well:
1. Modular Organization
You’ll also notice in the picture of my second brain that I have tons of OS’s
This is basically a modular design for sepearting the areas of my life.
Each OS has it’s own purpose.
But inside each OS I was inspired by Josh Redds “Perspectives” method of building. as you can see below.
Inside my GTD [OS]
2. Quick Capture
I wrote all about this system in issue #46.
But if you missed it, that’s okay.
With instant “Quick Capture” buttons everywhere, I can immediately capture any thought and send it right to where it’s supposed to be.
It’s the ultimate distrcation pad.
3. Linking Important Relationships
Even though everything is sorted modularly.
With the database property “realtions” I can connect everything that needs connecting.
Goals→ Projects→ Tasks→ Sub Tasks
Area→ Notes→ Resources→
And it goes on and on.
But you get the idea.
Everything get’s connected.
4. Archiving the Irrelevant
I hate clutter.
Which is why almost every system has a “archive” property.
Meaning I can filter out anything that’s old to keep everything nice and neat.
5. Flexibility to Remodel
Like I said before, I’m an evolving entrepreneur.
Which is means my second brain will evolve with me.
Just like any good workspace a business needs to scale.
And Notion is the swiss army knife I use for all things systems.
How My "Second Brain" Pays Dividends
Leveraging Notion as my personal knowledge management system has been a total game-changer:
I can capture ideas anytime so I don't lose creative insights
Tasks have a home so nothing falls through the cracks
I make connections between ideas across projects
Irrelevant old pages get archived so I avoid info overload
Customizing my layout gives me ultimate flexibility
The bottom line is that you don’t have to use Notion as your second brain.
Although you probably should.
What I’m really getting at is you need something.
Something to store your thoughts.
So you can level up.
Unfortunatley, I don’t have a second brain product, because they feel over done.
(although I’m thinking about it)
I’d love to get your thoughts on if I should realse one.
But that’s all I got for now.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy this wonderful Saturday.
Till next time,
Your friend Hunter.
PS: Whenever you're ready, here are two-way I can help you: