Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the amount of information you deal with daily? You’ve probably spent countless hours going over your email, Slack, and social media to find something. You might wish to have a second brain to help you process, retrieve, and organize everything. Well, you’re in luck!

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What is a second brain?
  • Why should you build one?
  • How to build a second brain.
  • And how to incorporate all of your meeting notes in your Second Brain. 

Let’s get started! 

What is a Second Brain (aka Personal Knowledge Management)? 

A second brain is a method of organizing and accessing the vast amounts of information we encounter daily using digital tools. 

Personal Knowledge Management
Personal Knowledge Management

The second brain was popularized by Tiago Forte in his book, Building a Second Brain: A Proven Method to Organize Your Digital Life and Unlock Your Creative Potential. 

Studies show that we’re bombarded with 34 gigabytes of information daily. That's like watching an 8-hour movie! No wonder our natural brains can feel a bit overloaded, right?  

For remote workers, this influx is often magnified. They're processing work-related information and juggling personal tasks and commitments. Remote professionals spend a significant part of their day, sometimes up to 1.8 hours, just retrieving the information they need. 

That's where Forte’s idea kicks in. He suggests we create an external system – a Second Brain – to help us manage this deluge of data.

The core of this Second Brain is what's known as the PARA method. It’s a simple but brilliant way of organizing everything that comes your way. Here's a quick rundown:

  • Projects: These are your current tasks or goals -- complete with deadlines. For example, my current project is to renovate the kid’s bedroom. 
  • Areas: Consider these as the ongoing parts of your life, like your health, career development, or personal growth. It doesn’t usually have a deadline because you’re always working on them. One area that I have a note on is personal finance. 
  • Resources: This is where you’ll store all the links, blog posts, Pins, YouTube videos, and all other digital information you find online from your different devices. 
  • Archives: Projects that are done go to the Archive. It lets you know that projects are closed, but you can bring them back someday. This process of knowledge management ensures that nothing gets lost. 

A Second Brain goes beyond mere organization. It's about creating a system that aligns with your thinking and working style.

A Second Brain is invaluable for remote workers or those handling multiple projects. It frees up mental space, allowing for greater creativity and productivity.

I have been taking notes and writing in my journal since I was 11. But I just recently started building my second brain! As a project manager and mom entrepreneur, I found a lot of value in it! I’m hoping you find value in it, too. Here’s why…

Why You Should Build a Second Brain?

Building a second brain sounds like a lot of work. Is it worth it to build one? Absolutely! It’s a great way to organize your life and work in one place. It helps you be more productive, makes room for creativity, and allows you to master managing projects. 

Boosting Productivity

While specific statistics on time savings through a Second Brain are hard to come by, the practical benefits are evident. Organizing and prioritizing information leads to more productive work hours. 

In my experience, this approach has helped me stay on top of work commitments and homeschooling responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed.

Second Brain - PARA
Second Brain in Notion with the PARA System

Creating More Room for Creativity

Cluttered minds stifle creativity. A Second Brain declutters your mental space, making room for new, creative thoughts. It’s like clearing your desk to start a fresh, exciting project. Creativity flows more freely when endless details don’t bog your mind down.

A few days after implementing the Second Brain system, I tackled the gardening project I’d postponed for a year. 

Mastering Project Management

Whether you are a freelancer or a full-time remote employee, efficiency in project management is essential to succeed. You are usually measured by the number of projects you can run and complete. A Second Brain allows you to have a bird’s eye view of all the projects you have running -- not just at work but a home, too.

I’m juggling a home renovation project and a Product Hunt launch for my client at the time of this writing. Now that I’ve organized my notes based on the PARA system, I know exactly where the projects stand and how I will complete them. 

Project List
Project List

Reusing Knowledge

A Second Brain facilitates the repurposing of knowledge. Insights from meetings can become valuable content for platforms like LinkedIn

Your notes from a project you’ve done a year ago can fuel your next big project with a client. You don’t have to start from scratch! You already did the research before and had a lot of insights from the success of the past project.


​​How to Build Your Own Second Brain: Quick Start Guide

Let’s break down how you can implement the PARA system in Notion. Know that you can reap these benefits regardless of your notetaking style! 

  1. Choose Your Tool – Why Notion?

When it comes to building your Second Brain, the first step is selecting the right tool. Notion is an excellent choice for many, thanks to its ability to create multiple pages, folders, and tags, making it incredibly adaptable to the PARA system. 

If you're already using Notion, you’re one step ahead. Its user-friendly interface and customizability make it an ideal platform for this purpose.

But if you’re not using Notion, that’s okay! You can use any note-taking or project management system tools like:

  • Asana
  • Monday
  • Trello 
  • Apple Notes
  • Evernote

You can use any note app as long as you can organize digital notes in different folders and tags.

  1. How to Arrange Your Notes in Notion 

If you’re already using Notion, you might get tempted to create complex databases and pages. But start with something simple.

Here’s the most basic way to get started: 

  1. Start a board database called Second Brain. 
  2. Create a “Select” Property. In this property, add options: Project, Areas, Resources, and Archive. 
  3. You can also add tags so that similar topics can be filtered together. For example, I have a tag for Travel. 
Notion Tags for Second Brain
Notion Tags for Second Brain
  1. Start using your board. Put in all of the active projects. Save the links and label them under Resource. 

There are also PARA templates that you can duplicate on your Notion workspace. But I found they are too complex for what I need. Start with something simple and update it along the way, which brings us to our next point. 

Organize and Maintain Your Second Brain

The key to a successful Second Brain is setting it up and maintaining it. Dedicate time each week to update your Notion pages. This might include reviewing your Projects to track progress, adding new information to your Resources, or moving completed items to the Archives. 

Regular maintenance ensures your Second Brain remains a true reflection of your current work and interests.

Balance Between Structure and Flexibility

While having a structured approach is important, allow some flexibility in your Second Brain. Notion’s strength lies in its adaptability. Don’t be afraid to tweak the system to suit your evolving needs and preferences.

By building your Second Brain in Notion, using the PARA system as a guide, you create a personalized and efficient way to manage all facets of your work and life. 

This system keeps you organized and enhances your ability to retrieve and reuse information, making you more productive and creative in your professional and personal endeavors.

How to Build a Second Brain from Your Meeting Notes

Meetings are goldmines of information, often overflowing with insights, ideas, and data that can fuel your projects and creativity. You can turn these conversations into valuable assets for your Second Brain by effectively organizing and utilizing meeting notes. 

Let's explore how to do this using tools like Tactiq and Notion.

Use Tactiq - Leveraging ChatGPT Summaries

Tactiq stands out as a powerful tool for capturing and organizing meeting notes. It transcribes meetings in real time, ensuring you don’t miss any crucial details. After the meeting, Tactiq provides a full transcript.

Tactiq Meeting Transcript
Tactiq Meeting Transcript

What makes Tactiq even more appealing is its integration with ChatGPT-4 Turbo. This feature allows you to generate prompts and summaries within the Tactiq dashboard. 

You can easily extract key points, action items, and summaries without the hassle of switching between tools. Download Tactiq on Chrome to give it a try. 

Put Transcript into Notion

Once you have your meeting transcripts and summaries from Tactiq, the next step is to transfer this data into Notion

Here’s how:

  1. Click the Share icon on Tactiq’s transcript. 
  2. Connect your Notion account. 
  3. Then, share on Notion. 
  4. Choose a page where you want to keep the transcript. 
Notion to Tactiq
Notion to Tactiq

And voila! Your full transcript is now on Notion. You can organize it under Resources and add the appropriate tags if needed. 

By adding these transcripts to your Notion workspace, you centralize your information, making it an integral part of your Second Brain. This process creates a comprehensive knowledge base encompassing all your meetings, discussions, and brainstorming sessions.

Incorporating meeting notes into Notion helps in several ways:

  • It consolidates information, making it easier to track project progress and follow-ups.
  • It enriches your resource section, providing a wealth of data for future reference.
  • It helps maintain a cohesive and updated record of professional interactions and decisions.

Notion Q&A – Harnessing AI for Quick Insights

One of the standout features of Notion is its Q&A functionality, powered by AI. This tool allows you to ask questions directly within your Notion workspace, and the AI scours your notes, documents, and data to provide answers.

This feature transforms your Notion workspace into an interactive, intelligent information hub. 

Whether drawing insights from past meetings for future project ideas or looking for resource materials, the Q&A function makes information retrieval quick and efficient. 

For example, I ask questions about my content writing notes. That way, I can remind myself of how I can write better articles. 

Tactiq Ask AI
Tactiq Ask AI

You create a dynamic and powerful Second Brain by integrating Tactiq’s real-time transcription and ChatGPT summaries with Notion’s organization and Q&A capabilities. 

Is It Worth Getting a Second Brain? 

Yes, investing in a Second Brain is undoubtedly worthwhile, especially for remote workers constantly processing vast amounts of information and managing multiple projects.

Having a Second Brain is like having an external hard drive for your mind. It's not just about storing information; it's about efficiently organizing and accessing it. This system becomes particularly valuable in a remote working environment where the lines between work and personal life often blur, and the flow of information can be relentless.

Time to Build Your Second Brain 

There’s actually more to discuss about building a second brain. But hopefully, you have enough to get you started. Remember, the key is to take action fast. Start with whatever app you have right now, and keep improving it. If you make minor adjustments daily, weekly, and monthly, you’ll be surprised how they add up! Working remotely has tons of benefits, but it can be overwhelming. Solutions like building a second brain can help you be more productive and take full advantage of the information in your work and life. Your future self will surely thank you!

Want the convenience of AI summaries?

Try Tactiq for your upcoming meeting.

Want the convenience of AI summaries?

Try Tactiq for your upcoming meeting.

Bringing AI into your meetings has never been so easy.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique.