You only have one brain

January 4, 2023

There's a growing movement amongst the techno-literati that consists of spending inordinate amounts of time organizing and curating your personal knowledge base and notes. This movement is dubbed "second brain" technology, because the belief is that linking your notes together can form a sort of neural network that mimics your brain.

But a stale repository of text with painstakingly maintained links is hardly a second brain. It’s a fossil record. For the rest of us who just want to get back to work and keep our tools subservient to us rather than the other way around, here are some guiding principles:

  • It's ok to not meticulously link your notes.
  • It's ok to dump all your thoughts in one flat, untagged list.
  • It's ok to rely on a search bar as your primary organization method.

There is no "second brain" technology right now. It's all storage and storage retrieval. You aren't less productive because you haven't applied the latest knowledge management techniques to your notes. In fact, you may be more productive for precisely this reason. Keep doing what works for you and ignore the rest.


Thanks for reading

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