Second Brain

A tools for networked thought that allows the user to offload a process into something external to themselves. This augments one’s ability to do certain kinds of tasks. For example, a zettelkasten offloads the collection off ideas and their connections into ‘off-brain’ storage that can be queried later thereby removing the need to memorize and retain accumulated knowledge.

  • Zeigarnik Effect

    Open tasks occupy short-term memory until they are done. It’s distracting to have so many open tasks because it’s natural to keep thinking about them.

  • AI for Notes

    Now that my Zettelkasten has over a thousand notes, I’d like to try to quite literally create the experience of a conversation with my second brain. The AI interface should be conversational rather than search queries. It should draw from the knowledge in my notes and respond in natural language. Finally, it should be useful in helping me make connections between ideas I hadn’t thought of before.

  • Elaboration Leads to Understanding

    An overlooked part of understanding information and not merely memorizing it, is to elaborate on the meaning of something you just learned. When taking notes, it’s easy to end up with a detailed list of things without actually understanding the content. Without connecting the ideas with what you already know, you can’t attach the ideas to any scaffolding that would be needed for generating new ideas later (or even recall them).

  • Notes Are Insurance for Ideas

    The true value of taking notes is not for recall later, it’s to give you the safety to forget. The act of note taking creates safety by providing insurance for ideas—if you need this information again you can find it later and therefore don’t need to worry about keeping it in your head.