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Focustivity #5

Building a Second Brain. Remote Work but not from home. Analog time management. Knowledge Pipelines. Happyness. The impact of unfinished tasks.

Eric Gregorich
Eric Gregorich
3 min read
Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte
Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte

Table of Contents

Focustivity is a newsletter where I share content and resources about Self Development and PKM (Personal Knowledge Management).

Building a Second Brain

Tiago Forte's book, "Building a Second Brain," has finally been released. You can pick up your copy from the website.

I've already listened to the audio, and now I'm slowly going through the hardcover version so I can pick at the details and take some notes.

The book is well written and easy to digest. It covers the fundamentals of the Building a Second Brain method, including CODE, PARA, Progressive Summarization and much more.


What if Remote Work Didn't Mean Working from Home? - Cal Newport talks about utilizing the places, like coffee shops, to do your remote work, which can help with Deep Work.

Simple Time Management (Bullet Journal) - Lisa describes her analog time management techniques. "Zombie Mode" is a simple list of tasks to be completed in order, and no specific times are specified. The 1-2-3-4 System involves categorizing tasks into 4 buckets, then picking one task from each bucket to work on.

Knowledge Pipelines - Are They Too Complex? - Jeffrey talks about knowledge pipelines and working our notes through those pipelines.

"Remember, simple is beautiful. If you notice a specific section of your pipeline is constantly backing up, perhaps the answer is not to design another complicated workflow but to remove it altogether." (Jeffrey Webber, Knowledge Pipelines - Are They Too Complex?)

Ever say "I'll be happy when ..." Here's why you need to stop doing that.

"The habit of saying “I’ll be happy when …” keeps us waiting for life to happen to us instead of creating a life we want right now. It makes us passive and stuck, like we’re watching a TV show about our life and looking to see what the writers have come up with for the next episode instead of being active and realizing that we are the creators of our own life. It keeps us wishing and searching instead of enjoying and living." (Ingrid Fetell Lee, Ever say “I’ll be happy when …?” Here’s why you need to stop doing that - now)

The psychology of unfinished tasks - Dr. Hanna talks about how unfinished tasks affect our psychology.

"According to Zeigarnik’s research, an unfinished task will remain prominent in our minds because we know that we have left it incomplete. Zeigarnik explained that each task we start produces a form of psychological tension." (Hannah England, The psychology of unfinished tasks)
"It may feel more productive to wait until you have enough time to complete a task in its entirety. However, the psychology of unfinished tasks suggests that it’s better to start working on a task, even if you can’t finish it in one go. Once started, you will feel more inclined to finish the job at the earliest opportunity." (Hannah England, The psychology of unfinished tasks)

How to access paywalled research papers without institutional access - Anne-Laure describes various ways to access research papers.


Nicolas Luhman was not the only one to use a Slipbox. Check out Mortimer J. Adler's slip box collection.


Building a Second Brain + Writing a Book with Tiago Forte - Anne-Laure interviews Tiago Forte about his book Buiding a Second Brain.

Atomic Notes - Are we Obsessed? - Jeffrey talks about the challenges of creating Atomic Notes.

Obsidian Deferred Note Review - Curtis shows us the Review plugin for Obsidian which allows you to schedule a note to be reviewed at a future time by adding it to your Daily Notes.

The First 30 Days Using a Notes App - Tiago walks us through the first 30 days using a new notes app.


Napkin - Capture highlights and fleeting thoughts as small note cards. Then see how they're connected with other notes. You can then organize related notes into a structure to be used for creating something.



Eric Gregorich Twitter

I design and build software solutions that help companies and people be more productive.

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