C.O.D.E — Your Personal Knowledge Management System

Day 21 / 365

I just finished reading the book “Building a Second Brain”, by Tiago Forte. And I think after “Deep Work”, this is the first book that has inspired me to bring some change in how I do my work.

By the Second Brain, Forte refers to a Knowledge Management system that you can use to make yourself not just more productive, but more creative as well. It’s Note-Making on steroids. With the improvements in technology, Digital Notes can be a huge asset.

  • They are searchable. If you make a note well once, you would be able to easily go back to it in seconds

I highly recommend everyone read this book in its entirety. I’ll give a brief preview of the main methodology that Forte proposes -

Capture — Organise — Distill — Express


This is the actual act of making the notes. The thing to keep in mind is not to think too much about where to save the note, how to word it, or where you might use it. Just go with your intuition. If there’s something that resonates with you, whether it's a quote in a book or a tweet by a YouTuber, Just make a note of it.


The next step is organizing the notes you make into buckets. This doesn't need to happen immediately after making the note. It can be done in bulk once or twice a week. Forte suggests grouping notes not by their type but by what utility they have for you. There’s no point in keeping all book quotes together. One quote might be an inspirational one that can go with other inspirational tweets or videos or podcasts. Whereas another could be something that you might use in a presentation for a project you are working on.


In this step, you go through the notes that you have made and refine them. The principle to follow here is always leave a note in a better way than you found it, that is — improve it continuously. If you find yourself coming back to a note a lot, then you can highlight the important parts of it, or even make a small summary at the top so that you don’t have to go through all of it again and again.


The last step is Express. The following is my favorite quote I found in this book.

“We only know what we make”- Giambattista Vico

Knowledge is useless if we can’t put it to use to create things that we can share with the world. So it's important that we put our knowledge management system to work and start building. In the book, Forte shares methods we can use to make the process of creating things less intimidating. Also, he gives processes we can follow to ensure that we finish any project that we start.

In conclusion, I would say that this is one of the most practical books on productivity that I have read in a while, and I highly recommend it!



I write about life, happiness, work, mental health, and anything else that’s bothering me

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Pranav Tiwari

I write about life, happiness, work, mental health, and anything else that’s bothering me