The human mind is one of the most powerful tools in all of existence. It has taken us from being cave-dwellers to space explorers. We have been able to do so much over time and it is often baffling how complex our minds are. Our minds have the potential to create endlessly on-demand or after thinking about it. However, and this might come as a surprise to many, our mind is not wired to retain information. Our mind is built to analyze, deduce, and conceptualize, but it is not made to retain information, students can certainly relate to this.
Every day, our eyes and ears pick up a plethora of information, most of which we forget. All of us have had incredible ideas that we simply forgot. Each of us has gotten or given amazing advice that faded away into oblivion because once again, our mind is not built to retain. A vast majority of us cannot recall what we were taught in college simply because it was so much information and with time, we forgot it. From afar, this almost makes us look like there is something wrong with us but in reality, our mind is constantly coming up with ideas but not retaining them for when we actually need them.
How does one counter this? What must one do to retain information? How can we capitalize on the power of our mind’s creativity? By building a second brain.
The Second Brain
The idea of a second brain was introduced by Thiago Forte in his book Building A Second Brain. At its core, the is to utilize the digital landscape to record, organize, and maintain the information you receive.
Creating a second brain will give your mind the much-needed respite it needs to do what it does best. Luckily for us, we live in a digital age with applications, smartphones, and the internet. Simply having a high-speed internet connection like the one from Suddenlink can change our entire lives for the better. customer service complements and internet. you can visit here.
Creating a Second Brain
With all this talk of a second brain, you must wonder how to create it. Before you can do that, you must understand the four main components of the second brain that make it work.
First and foremost, you must digitally record any information you consider important. Got a random idea? Write it down. Suddenly had an amazing revelation regarding an issue? Write it down. Found a piece of research relevant to something you are working on? Save it for when you need it. Thanks to smartphones and cloud storage, we constantly have several gigabytes of storage space available at our fingertips. Using these two, we can instantly record any information that we consider important. If you do not understand what to record, ask yourself what questions you have on a daily whose answers you are in search of. Think of all the information you could work on within your life if it was readily available to you when you needed it. Think of all the knowledge that can be used and reused if needed.
To do this, make sure you use a singular information depot that allows you to store your information. This could be the notes app on your phone or a tool like Evernote, Google Keep, Notion, or Microsoft OneNote. These applications allow you to save snippets of text, audio, image, links, PDF files, and several other forms of content. All your information is automatically uploaded to the cloud meaning it can be accessed anywhere and at any time. A note made on your phone can show on your laptop, tablet, and even smartwatch. You have access to important information at all times.
When recording information, think as a curator would. When you see an article, update, or podcast that seems important, make it a point to save it first. This way, it is now stored in your database for whenever it needs to be used.
Organizing Your Knowledge
Now that you have all this information, you cannot leave it in a pile of disarray – it needs to be organized. Organizing this information makes it easier to find when you need it, saving you precious time. As opposed to organizing by topic, organized by project. Instead of saving a recipe under food, save it under ‘thanksgiving dinner experiment’.
This gives it an identity that will prompt you to work on it. If you are actively working on the project, add it directly to a folder for the project. Each time you open that folder, you will see the information you need right there. Not only does this prevent information overload, it allows you to operate with purpose. Whenever you are organizing your information, ensure that it resonates with what you are thinking or doing.
Add to it
Whenever you collect information, ensure that it doesn’t collect dust. If you want to connect with your content, ensure that you leave your mark on it. Interacting with it allows you to remember it better or even help yourself in the future. Highlight terms that you need to study or something that resonates with you, and use color to do so. Many note-taking platforms allow you to bookmark content which can keep it a touch away for quick access.
Summarize at intervals
Every time you go through your information, summarize it for convenience. It is beyond impossible for you to go through large amounts of information at all times which prompts the need to create concise summaries. A bite-sized snipped that contains the gist of what you just read can help revisit your information instantly. Doing so regularly allows you to constantly remind yourself of what you just went through, unintentionally remembering it better.
Leave behind value
We are constantly acquiring knowledge, sometimes from scratch and other times on top of the one we already have. Every time you find a piece of information, find ways to relate it to what you already have. By actively doing so, you can take a simple piece of content and evolve it into a more comprehensive and value-filled tool.
Our minds are designed to create at all times. All of the greatest innovations of our species originated from inside the human mind and this will continue to happen until the end of time. However, our minds should not be burdened with the weight of retaining information when we can fully utilize many digital tools to act as a second brain for us. Thanks to different devices, cloud computing, and the internet, it has never been easier to record, organize, and use the information around us.