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Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)
Our brain is for having ideas, not storing them.
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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
eading, listening, and watching informational content. And yet, where has all that valuable knowledge gone? Where is it when we need it? Our brain can only store a few thoughts at any one time. <span>Our brain is for having ideas, not storing them. Building A Second Brain is a methodology for saving and systematically reminding us of the ideas, inspirations, insights, and connections we’ve gained through our experience. It expands




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)
Building A Second Brain is a methodology for saving and systematically reminding us of the ideas, inspirations, insights, and connections we’ve gained through our experience. It expands our memory and our intellect using the modern tools of technology and networks.
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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
tent. And yet, where has all that valuable knowledge gone? Where is it when we need it? Our brain can only store a few thoughts at any one time. Our brain is for having ideas, not storing them. <span>Building A Second Brain is a methodology for saving and systematically reminding us of the ideas, inspirations, insights, and connections we’ve gained through our experience. It expands our memory and our intellect using the modern tools of technology and networks. This methodology is not only for preserving those ideas, but turning them into reality. It provides a clear, actionable path to creating a “second brain” – an external, centralized, dig




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)
By offloading our thinking onto a “second brain,” we free our biological brain to imagine, create, and simply be present. We can move through life confident that we will remember everything that matters, instead of floundering through our days struggling to keep track of every detail.
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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
recious knowledge remains siloed and scattered across dozens of different locations. We fail to build a collection of knowledge that both appreciates in value and can be reused again and again. <span>By offloading our thinking onto a “second brain,” we free our biological brain to imagine, create, and simply be present. We can move through life confident that we will remember everything that matters, instead of floundering through our days struggling to keep track of every detail. Your second brain will serve as an extension of your mind, not only protecting you from the ravages of forgetfulness but also amplifying your efforts as you take on creative challenges.




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)

A) Think like a curator

It is tempting to turn on our mobile device or computer and immediately become immersed in the flow of juicy information we are presented with. Much of this information is useful and interesting – articles written by experts that could make us more productive, tips on exercise or nutrition, or fascinating stories from around the world. But unless we make conscious, strategic decisions about what we consume, we’ll always be at the mercy of what others want us to see .

Instead, adopt the mindset of a curator – objective, opinionated, and reflective. As you come across social media updates, online articles, and podcasts throughout your day, instead of diving in immediately, save them for future consideration. As you begin to collect content, you’ll be able to choose which sources to consume in a deliberate way.

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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
eed creative raw material, supporting research, or a shot of inspiration. The following three guidelines will help you capture only the most relevant and useful information in your second brain <span>A) Think like a curator It is tempting to turn on our mobile device or computer and immediately become immersed in the flow of juicy information we are presented with. Much of this information is useful and interesting – articles written by experts that could make us more productive, tips on exercise or nutrition, or fascinating stories from around the world. But unless we make conscious, strategic decisions about what we consume, we’ll always be at the mercy of what others want us to see. Instead, adopt the mindset of a curator – objective, opinionated, and reflective. As you come across social media updates, online articles, and podcasts throughout your day, instead of diving in immediately, save them for future consideration. As you begin to collect content, you’ll be able to choose which sources to consume in a deliberate way. B) Organize your content by project How should you organize the content once you’ve captured it? Instead of organizing your files primarily by topic (for example, web design or psycholo




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)

B) Organize your content by project

How should you organize the content once you’ve captured it? Instead of organizing your files primarily by topic (for example, web design or psychology), which is time-consuming and mentally taxing, organize them according to the projects you are actively working on . This ensures that you are consuming information with a purpose – to advance your projects and goals – and only at a time and place where you’ll be able to put it to use.

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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
hroughout your day, instead of diving in immediately, save them for future consideration. As you begin to collect content, you’ll be able to choose which sources to consume in a deliberate way. <span>B) Organize your content by project How should you organize the content once you’ve captured it? Instead of organizing your files primarily by topic (for example, web design or psychology), which is time-consuming and mentally taxing, organize them according to the projects you are actively working on. This ensures that you are consuming information with a purpose – to advance your projects and goals – and only at a time and place where you’ll be able to put it to use. The PARA organizational system takes this principle – organizing information by when you would like to see it next – and applies it to your entire digital life. Instead of organizing ea




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)
The PARA organizational system takes this principle – organizing information by when you would like to see it next – and applies it to your entire digital life. Instead of organizing each one of the information management tools you use in a completely different way, use your projects as universal categories across all of them. This helps reduce the fragmentation of your project files, without requiring you to only use one tool for everything.
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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
re actively working on. This ensures that you are consuming information with a purpose – to advance your projects and goals – and only at a time and place where you’ll be able to put it to use. <span>The PARA organizational system takes this principle – organizing information by when you would like to see it next – and applies it to your entire digital life. Instead of organizing each one of the information management tools you use in a completely different way, use your projects as universal categories across all of them. This helps reduce the fragmentation of your project files, without requiring you to only use one tool for everything. C) Keep only what resonates The word “organization” often brings to mind an analytical way of thinking. But analysis is time-consuming and tiring. In deciding which passages, images, th




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)

C) Keep only what resonates

The word “organization” often brings to mind an analytical way of thinking. But analysis is time-consuming and tiring. In deciding which passages, images, theories, or quotes to keep, don’t make it a highly intellectual, analytical decision.

Instead, your rule of thumb should be to save anything that “resonates” with you on an intuitive level.

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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
ifferent way, use your projects as universal categories across all of them. This helps reduce the fragmentation of your project files, without requiring you to only use one tool for everything. <span>C) Keep only what resonates The word “organization” often brings to mind an analytical way of thinking. But analysis is time-consuming and tiring. In deciding which passages, images, theories, or quotes to keep, don’t make it a highly intellectual, analytical decision. Instead, your rule of thumb should be to save anything that “resonates” with you on an intuitive level. This is often because it connects to something you care about, wonder about, or find inherently intriguing. By training ourselves to notice when something resonates with us at a deeper




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)

Part I: Remember

The first step in building a second brain is “capturing” the ideas and insights you think are worth saving. Ask yourself:

  • What are the recurring themes and questions that I always seem to return to in my work and life?
  • What insightful, high-value, impactful information do I already have access to that could be valuable?
  • Which knowledge do I want to interconnect, mix and match, and periodically resurface to stimulate future thinking on these subjects?

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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
ut having to follow rigid, time-consuming rules Unlock the full value of the wealth of learning resources all around you, such as online courses, webinars, books, articles, forums, and podcasts <span>Part I: Remember The first step in building a second brain is “capturing” the ideas and insights you think are worth saving. Ask yourself: What are the recurring themes and questions that I always seem to return to in my work and life? What insightful, high-value, impactful information do I already have access to that could be valuable? Which knowledge do I want to interconnect, mix and match, and periodically resurface to stimulate future thinking on these subjects? Most of the time we tend to capture information haphazardly – we email ourselves a quick note, brainstorm some ideas in a Word document, or take notes on books we read – but then don’t




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)

Part II: Connect

Once you start collecting valuable knowledge in a centralized place, you’ll naturally start to notice patterns and connections. An article you read on gardening will give you an insight into online marketing. An offhand comment by a client will give you the idea of creating a webpage with client testimonials. A business card you saved from a conference will remind you to follow up and propose a collaboration.

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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
see opportunities, but also our understanding of ourselves and how we work. Start Building Your Second Brain Subscribe below for updates on the next launch of Building a Second Brain. Subscribe <span>Part II: Connect Once you start collecting valuable knowledge in a centralized place, you’ll naturally start to notice patterns and connections. An article you read on gardening will give you an insight into online marketing. An offhand comment by a client will give you the idea of creating a webpage with client testimonials. A business card you saved from a conference will remind you to follow up and propose a collaboration. You can greatly facilitate and speed up this process by distilling your notes into actionable, bite-sized summaries. It would be near impossible to review your 10 pages of notes on a bo




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)

A) Design notes for your future self

A powerful mindset for interacting with our notes is to “design notes with your future self in mind.” Every time we create a note or make an edit, we can make it just a little easier to find and make use of next time.

This can include:

  • Defining key terms in parentheses in case we forget what they mean
  • Inserting placeholders when we leave off summarizing a source so we know where to pick back up
  • Adding links to related websites, files, or emails that we’re likely to forget over time
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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
at it contains and potentially apply it to something you’re working on The following three guidelines will help you summarize and distill your notes into actionable, useful tools for execution. <span>A) Design notes for your future self A powerful mindset for interacting with our notes is to “design notes with your future self in mind.” Every time we create a note or make an edit, we can make it just a little easier to find and make use of next time. This can include: Defining key terms in parentheses in case we forget what they mean Inserting placeholders when we leave off summarizing a source so we know where to pick back up Adding links to related websites, files, or emails that we’re likely to forget over time By constantly saving packets of knowledge in a format that our future self can easily consume, we follow a “pay it forward” strategy that we get to benefit from in the future! B) Summar




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)

B) Summarize progressively, at different levels of detail

A common problem with notes is that they are too long and dense. You can’t afford the time it would take to review and remind yourself of everything they contain. Executive summaries can help, but often it is a challenge to identify what exactly the main point is in the first place.

Progressive Summarization is a technique that relies on summarizing a note in multiple stages over time. You save only the best excerpts from whatever you’re reading, and then create a summary of those excerpts, and then a summary of that summary, distilling the essence of the content at each stage. These “layers” are like a digital map that can be zoomed in or out to any level of detail you need. Progressive Summarization allows you to read the note in different ways for different purposes: in depth if you want to glean every detail, or at a high level if you just need the main takeaway. This allows you to review a note’s contents in seconds to decide if it’s useful for the task at hand.

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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
forget over time By constantly saving packets of knowledge in a format that our future self can easily consume, we follow a “pay it forward” strategy that we get to benefit from in the future! <span>B) Summarize progressively, at different levels of detail A common problem with notes is that they are too long and dense. You can’t afford the time it would take to review and remind yourself of everything they contain. Executive summaries can help, but often it is a challenge to identify what exactly the main point is in the first place. Progressive Summarization is a technique that relies on summarizing a note in multiple stages over time. You save only the best excerpts from whatever you’re reading, and then create a summary of those excerpts, and then a summary of that summary, distilling the essence of the content at each stage. These “layers” are like a digital map that can be zoomed in or out to any level of detail you need. Progressive Summarization allows you to read the note in different ways for different purposes: in depth if you want to glean every detail, or at a high level if you just need the main takeaway. This allows you to review a note’s contents in seconds to decide if it’s useful for the task at hand. C) Organize opportunistically, a little bit at a time It can be tempting to spend a lot of time to create highly structured, perfectionistic notes. The problem is, you often have no ide




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)

C) Organize opportunistically, a little bit at a time

It can be tempting to spend a lot of time to create highly structured, perfectionistic notes. The problem is, you often have no idea which sources will end up being valuable until much later. Instead of investing a lot of effort upfront, organize your notes opportunistically , in small bits over time

Your rule of thumb should be: add value to a note every time you touch it . This could include adding an informative title the first time you come across a note, highlighting the most important points the next time you see it, and adding a link to a related note sometime later. By spreading out the heavy work of organizing your notes over time, you not only save time and effort, but ensure that the most frequently used (and thus most valuable) notes surface organically , like a ski slope where the most popular routes naturally end up with deeper grooves.

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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
h if you want to glean every detail, or at a high level if you just need the main takeaway. This allows you to review a note’s contents in seconds to decide if it’s useful for the task at hand. <span>C) Organize opportunistically, a little bit at a time It can be tempting to spend a lot of time to create highly structured, perfectionistic notes. The problem is, you often have no idea which sources will end up being valuable until much later. Instead of investing a lot of effort upfront, organize your notes opportunistically, in small bits over time Your rule of thumb should be: add value to a note every time you touch it. This could include adding an informative title the first time you come across a note, highlighting the most important points the next time you see it, and adding a link to a related note sometime later. By spreading out the heavy work of organizing your notes over time, you not only save time and effort, but ensure that the most frequently used (and thus most valuable) notes surface organically, like a ski slope where the most popular routes naturally end up with deeper grooves. Part III: Create All of this capturing, summarizing, connecting, and organizing has one ultimate purpose: creating tangible results in the real world. Whether we want to lose weight, ge




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)

Part III: Create

All of this capturing, summarizing, connecting, and organizing has one ultimate purpose: creating tangible results in the real world . Whether we want to lose weight, get a promotion at work, start a side business, or contribute to a cause we believe in, the true purpose of learning is to turn our knowledge into effective action.

With a substantial reserve of supporting material in your second brain, you never need to sit down to an empty page and try to “think of something smart.” All creativity stands on the shoulders of giants, and you have the benefit of already having the best ideas of those giants documented in your notes!

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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
ime and effort, but ensure that the most frequently used (and thus most valuable) notes surface organically, like a ski slope where the most popular routes naturally end up with deeper grooves. <span>Part III: Create All of this capturing, summarizing, connecting, and organizing has one ultimate purpose: creating tangible results in the real world. Whether we want to lose weight, get a promotion at work, start a side business, or contribute to a cause we believe in, the true purpose of learning is to turn our knowledge into effective action. With a substantial reserve of supporting material in your second brain, you never need to sit down to an empty page and try to “think of something smart.” All creativity stands on the shoulders of giants, and you have the benefit of already having the best ideas of those giants documented in your notes! What should you create? It depends on your skills, interests, and personality. If you are analytical, you could draw on a group of articles you’ve read about Big Data to write a blog po




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)
What should you create? It depends on your skills, interests, and personality. If you are analytical, you could draw on a group of articles you’ve read about Big Data to write a blog post summarizing where you think machine learning is headed next. If you like to perform, you could borrow ideas from your notes on YouTube cooking videos you’ve enjoyed to make one of your own. If you are campaigning for investment in your local park, you could distill the minutes from past city council meetings into a speaking agenda for your public comments at the next one.
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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
page and try to “think of something smart.” All creativity stands on the shoulders of giants, and you have the benefit of already having the best ideas of those giants documented in your notes! <span>What should you create? It depends on your skills, interests, and personality. If you are analytical, you could draw on a group of articles you’ve read about Big Data to write a blog post summarizing where you think machine learning is headed next. If you like to perform, you could borrow ideas from your notes on YouTube cooking videos you’ve enjoyed to make one of your own. If you are campaigning for investment in your local park, you could distill the minutes from past city council meetings into a speaking agenda for your public comments at the next one. With a second brain at your disposal, you always have something to inspire you, remind you, support you, or guide you as you engage in the projects and interests that are important to y




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)

A) Don’t just consume information passively – put it to use

A common challenge for people who love to learn is that they constantly force feed themselves more and more information, but never actually put it to use. The goals and the experiences that would enrich their lives get endlessly postponed, waiting for the “right” bit of knowledge they supposedly need before getting started.

But information only becomes knowledge – something personal, embodied, grounded – when we put it to use. That’s why we should shift as much of our effort as possible from consuming information, to creating new things. The things we create – whether they are writing pieces, websites, photographs, videos, or live performances – embody and express the knowledge we’ve gained from personal experience. We all need to be part of bringing to life something good, true, or beautiful. Creating things is not only deeply fulfilling, it can also bring us unexpected opportunities, introduce us to new friends or collaborators, and have a positive impact on others – by inspiring them, entertaining them, or informing them.

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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
just whatever you can think of in the moment. The following three guidelines will help you create more, better, and more meaningful creative output for whatever purpose you decide is important. <span>A) Don’t just consume information passively – put it to use A common challenge for people who love to learn is that they constantly force feed themselves more and more information, but never actually put it to use. The goals and the experiences that would enrich their lives get endlessly postponed, waiting for the “right” bit of knowledge they supposedly need before getting started. But information only becomes knowledge – something personal, embodied, grounded – when we put it to use. That’s why we should shift as much of our effort as possible from consuming information, to creating new things. The things we create – whether they are writing pieces, websites, photographs, videos, or live performances – embody and express the knowledge we’ve gained from personal experience. We all need to be part of bringing to life something good, true, or beautiful. Creating things is not only deeply fulfilling, it can also bring us unexpected opportunities, introduce us to new friends or collaborators, and have a positive impact on others – by inspiring them, entertaining them, or informing them. B) Create smaller, reusable units of work Once you start to curate a collection of valuable knowledge in external form, a very different way of working becomes not only possible, but ne




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)

B) Create smaller, reusable units of work

Once you start to curate a collection of valuable knowledge in external form, a very different way of working becomes not only possible, but necessary.

You will begin to think of your projects as made up of discrete parts. I call them “intermediate packets,” which can include any kind of content we’ve already mentioned: a set of notes from a team meeting, a list of relevant research findings, a brainstorm with collaborators, a slide deck analyzing the market, or a list of action items from a conference call, for example.

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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
ing, it can also bring us unexpected opportunities, introduce us to new friends or collaborators, and have a positive impact on others – by inspiring them, entertaining them, or informing them. <span>B) Create smaller, reusable units of work Once you start to curate a collection of valuable knowledge in external form, a very different way of working becomes not only possible, but necessary. You will begin to think of your projects as made up of discrete parts. I call them “intermediate packets,” which can include any kind of content we’ve already mentioned: a set of notes from a team meeting, a list of relevant research findings, a brainstorm with collaborators, a slide deck analyzing the market, or a list of action items from a conference call, for example. Instead of trying to sit down and move the entire project forward all at once, which is like trying to roll a giant boulder uphill, a more effective approach is to end each work session




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)
Instead of trying to sit down and move the entire project forward all at once, which is like trying to roll a giant boulder uphill, a more effective approach is to end each work session – whether it is 15 minutes or 3 hours – by completing just one intermediate packet. This allows you to work in smaller increments, making use of any available span of time, while getting lots of feedback and taking frequent breaks. Not only does this result in higher quality output, it fuels the motivation and the inspiration that we need to do our best work. These packets can then be saved to your second brain, and re-used the next time you have a similar need.
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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
tes from a team meeting, a list of relevant research findings, a brainstorm with collaborators, a slide deck analyzing the market, or a list of action items from a conference call, for example. <span>Instead of trying to sit down and move the entire project forward all at once, which is like trying to roll a giant boulder uphill, a more effective approach is to end each work session – whether it is 15 minutes or 3 hours – by completing just one intermediate packet. This allows you to work in smaller increments, making use of any available span of time, while getting lots of feedback and taking frequent breaks. Not only does this result in higher quality output, it fuels the motivation and the inspiration that we need to do our best work. These packets can then be saved to your second brain, and re-used the next time you have a similar need. C) Share your work with the world There are many benefits all along the process of building a second brain: less stress, better focus, more insights, and enhanced productivity. But the




Building a Second Brain: An Overview (Tiago Forte)

C) Share your work with the world

There are many benefits all along the process of building a second brain: less stress, better focus, more insights, and enhanced productivity. But the real payoff comes at the end, when you create something out of the knowledge you’ve collected and share it with the world.

It can be tempting to wait until everything is “ready,” until you have all the information you think you need, and all the sources have been double checked and reviewed. But as you continually curate and save pieces of content, review and summarize them, create a series of intermediate packets, and then recycle them back into your second brain, you’ll start to realize that there is no such thing as a finished product.

Everything is in flux, everything is a work in progress, and everything you put out there has an implicit “version 1.0” attached to it. This can be tremendously empowering – since nothing is ever final, there is no need to wait to get started. You can publish a simple website now, and slowly add additional pages as you have time. You can publish a draft blog post now, and make revisions later after you’ve received feedback. You could even self-publish an ebook on the Kindle store, and any future updates to the manuscript will be wirelessly synced to everyone who purchased the book!

By consistently sharing your work with others – whether that is your family, friends, colleagues, or externally on social media – all sorts of benefits will start to materialize. You’ll connect with new collaborators who you never would have imagined would find your work compelling. You’ll find clients or customers, in some cases even when you weren’t seeking them. Others will reflect back to you their reactions and comments and appreciation (and occasionally criticism). You’ll find that you are part of a community that shares your interests and values. Accomplishing anything meaningful or important requires working with others, and the incredible power of the internet now allows us to find each other no matter how obscure or strange our interests.

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Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
ty output, it fuels the motivation and the inspiration that we need to do our best work. These packets can then be saved to your second brain, and re-used the next time you have a similar need. <span>C) Share your work with the world There are many benefits all along the process of building a second brain: less stress, better focus, more insights, and enhanced productivity. But the real payoff comes at the end, when you create something out of the knowledge you’ve collected and share it with the world. It can be tempting to wait until everything is “ready,” until you have all the information you think you need, and all the sources have been double checked and reviewed. But as you continually curate and save pieces of content, review and summarize them, create a series of intermediate packets, and then recycle them back into your second brain, you’ll start to realize that there is no such thing as a finished product. Everything is in flux, everything is a work in progress, and everything you put out there has an implicit “version 1.0” attached to it. This can be tremendously empowering – since nothing is ever final, there is no need to wait to get started. You can publish a simple website now, and slowly add additional pages as you have time. You can publish a draft blog post now, and make revisions later after you’ve received feedback. You could even self-publish an ebook on the Kindle store, and any future updates to the manuscript will be wirelessly synced to everyone who purchased the book! By consistently sharing your work with others – whether that is your family, friends, colleagues, or externally on social media – all sorts of benefits will start to materialize. You’ll connect with new collaborators who you never would have imagined would find your work compelling. You’ll find clients or customers, in some cases even when you weren’t seeking them. Others will reflect back to you their reactions and comments and appreciation (and occasionally criticism). You’ll find that you are part of a community that shares your interests and values. Accomplishing anything meaningful or important requires working with others, and the incredible power of the internet now allows us to find each other no matter how obscure or strange our interests. Conclusion Each note in your second brain is a record of something you’ve experienced in your life – whether that is from reading a book, having an interesting conversation, or completi




Knowledge structuring and representation in learning based on active recall (Wozniak)
The most important rule in sequencing items is inherently related to the learning process in general. The progression must go from basic concepts through foundations to more intricate and detailed issues.
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Knowledge structuring for learning
all the above thematic groups individually using examples from the aforementioned knowledge system on microeconomics Sequencing items in the stepwise process of acquiring associative knowledge <span>The most important rule in sequencing items is inherently related to the learning process in general. The progression must go from basic concepts through foundations to more intricate and detailed issues. In all forms of learning, this principle derives from the need for comprehension, which obviously is greatly reduced when the student is thrown at a deep end at once. In application of




Knowledge structuring and representation in learning based on active recall (Wozniak)

Narrowing by example

Narrowing by example is a very efficient way of making the question-related stimulus more specific and thus more successful in imprinting durable memories.

The concept of the price ceiling may be enhanced if a narrowing example of goods that might be subject to government imposed price ceiling is provided. Moreover, the example makes the definition of price ceiling more specific; hence the increased likelihood of diminished complexity of the synaptic pattern, and minimization of pattern extraction.

Q: What is the name of the price specified by the government above which goods cannot be sold (e.g. medications)?

A: price ceiling

In the example above, the phrases "(e.g. medications)" serves as the means of narrowing by example. Similarly, the illustration of competitive nature of pork versus beef helps narrowing by example in the definition of horizontal markets:

Q: What is the name of markets for products that can act as substitutes (e.g. pork and beef markets)?

A: horizontal markets

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Knowledge structuring for learning
peared to produce very coherent memory engrams that showed above average retention rate despite the inherent intractability of numeric responses (as in the first of the two presented examples). <span>Narrowing by example Narrowing by example is a very efficient way of making the question-related stimulus more specific and thus more successful in imprinting durable memories. The concept of the price ceiling may be enhanced if a narrowing example of goods that might be subject to government imposed price ceiling is provided. Moreover, the example makes the definition of price ceiling more specific; hence the increased likelihood of diminished complexity of the synaptic pattern, and minimization of pattern extraction. Q: What is the name of the price specified by the government above which goods cannot be sold (e.g. medications)? A: price ceiling In the example above, the phrases "(e.g. medications)" serves as the means of narrowing by example. Similarly, the illustration of competitive nature of pork versus beef helps narrowing by example in the definition of horizontal markets: Q: What is the name of markets for products that can act as substitutes (e.g. pork and beef markets)? A: horizontal markets Note, that examples placed in the answer field will often act in the opposite way than it is the case above. The next section will discuss the various aspects of information redundancy




Knowledge structuring and representation in learning based on active recall (Wozniak)

Q: What is an example of imposing production costs on people who do not consume in competitive markets?

A: environmental pollution

The set of specific questions as those presented above produce a very high level of knowledge retention; however, the question arises if it is equivalent with the student’s being able to pinpoint the most important shortcomings of competitive markets. The experience shows that a number of items that would glue the above granules in a coherent entirety is necessary. This can conveniently be accomplished by means of Cloze deletions discussed later in the chapter. For example:

Q: The main shortcomings of competitive markets are:

- redistribution of income (the haves & have-nots)

- imposition of production costs (pollution)

- ... (illicit drugs)

- product proliferation (standardization issues)

A: socially undesirable products

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. A typical question with a narrower focus might sound as follows: Q: What problem with distribution of income appears on a competitive market? A: income is concentrated in the hands of few or, <span>Q: What is an example of imposing production costs on people who do not consume in competitive markets? A: environmental pollution The set of specific questions as those presented above produce a very high level of knowledge retention; however, the question arises if it is equivalent with the student’s being able to pinpoint the most important shortcomings of competitive markets. The experience shows that a number of items that would glue the above granules in a coherent entirety is necessary. This can conveniently be accomplished by means of Cloze deletions discussed later in the chapter. For example: Q: The main shortcomings of competitive markets are: - redistribution of income (the haves & have-nots) - imposition of production costs (pollution) - ... (illicit drugs) - product proliferation (standardization issues) A: socially undesirable products The examples associated with particular shortcomings of competitive markets presented above serve as a vivid enhancement and comprehension booster, but their main function is to make it




Knowledge structuring and representation in learning based on active recall (Wozniak)

A yet more complex knowledge structure appears in the analysis of tax revenues in an attempt to plot the Laffer curve for European countries in the years 1975-1982. Upon the analysis, on the two ends of the spectrum, notable examples of two countries are worth considering: Sweden and Spain. The former, with the average tax rate of 49% showed 12% decline in tax revenue, while the latter with the average tax rate of 23% experienced a remarkable increase in tax revenues of 60%. Naturally, a single item cramming all the above facts has little chance of passing the minimum information criterion. Consider then the following items intended to ensure the student’s recall the facts related to tax rate vs tax revenue relationship:

Q: What was the average tax rate in Spain 1975-1982?

A: 23%

and

Q: What was the change in the tax revenue in Spain 1975-1982?

A: 60% increase

Unfortunately, similar questions asked for Sweden do not form a coherent memory image that would allow the student recall the entire collection of information pieces that make up the understanding of the relationship illustrated by the Laffer curve. Naturally, the understanding does not need examples. The theoretical implications of marginal tax revenue might be considered as a sufficient element of understanding; however, the usefulness of facts illustrating the theory has long been appreciated in education; I will therefore present for consideration an exemplary set of items acting as an associative glue for the discussed tax revenue case:

Q: In the years 1975-1982, the average tax rate and the tax revenue in Spain and Sweden were as follows:

Spain: ...% and 60% (respectively)

Sweden: 49% and -12% (respectively)

A: 23

and in a similar way:

Q: In the years 1975-1982, the average tax rate and the tax revenue in Spain and Sweden were as follows:

...: 23% and 60% (respectively)

Sweden: 49% and -12% (respectively)

A: Spain, etc., etc.

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Knowledge structuring for learning
l answer is indeed strongly suggested by examples accompanying the enumerations, (2) graphic skeleton for hooking up pieces of knowledge acquired by narrow-focus questions as presented earlier. <span>A yet more complex knowledge structure appears in the analysis of tax revenues in an attempt to plot the Laffer curve for European countries in the years 1975-1982. Upon the analysis, on the two ends of the spectrum, notable examples of two countries are worth considering: Sweden and Spain. The former, with the average tax rate of 49% showed 12% decline in tax revenue, while the latter with the average tax rate of 23% experienced a remarkable increase in tax revenues of 60%. Naturally, a single item cramming all the above facts has little chance of passing the minimum information criterion. Consider then the following items intended to ensure the student’s recall the facts related to tax rate vs tax revenue relationship: Q: What was the average tax rate in Spain 1975-1982? A: 23% and Q: What was the change in the tax revenue in Spain 1975-1982? A: 60% increase Unfortunately, similar questions asked for Sweden do not form a coherent memory image that would allow the student recall the entire collection of information pieces that make up the understanding of the relationship illustrated by the Laffer curve. Naturally, the understanding does not need examples. The theoretical implications of marginal tax revenue might be considered as a sufficient element of understanding; however, the usefulness of facts illustrating the theory has long been appreciated in education; I will therefore present for consideration an exemplary set of items acting as an associative glue for the discussed tax revenue case: Q: In the years 1975-1982, the average tax rate and the tax revenue in Spain and Sweden were as follows: Spain: ...% and 60% (respectively) Sweden: 49% and -12% (respectively) A: 23 and in a similar way: Q: In the years 1975-1982, the average tax rate and the tax revenue in Spain and Sweden were as follows: ...: 23% and 60% (respectively) Sweden: 49% and -12% (respectively) A: Spain, etc., etc. Items formulated in the above way appeared to produce very coherent memory engrams that showed above average retention rate despite the inherent intractability of numeric responses (as




Knowledge structuring and representation in learning based on active recall (Wozniak)

Metaphoric approach

Reusing previously formed memories is the key to minimizing the complexity of synaptic patterns. This gives the preference to metaphoric rather than literal presentation of the drilled material.

The difference between demand and quantity demanded is that demand is described by the quantity-price curve, while quantity demanded is the value of demand for a given price level. The answer to the question "What is the difference between demand and quantity demanded?" might assume quite intricate wording if the above explanation was to be the way of grasping the learned difference. Instead, by extracting the essential nature of the difference in question, the following approach may be taken:

Q: What is the difference between demand and quantity demanded?

A: same as between a curve and a point

This approach is by far more effective in ensuring the student’s comprehension, and what is equally important, the resulting E-factor is, in most cases, very high. The recommended extension to the presented answer might be placed in parentheses with, for example, the following wording: "demand is described by the quantity-price curve, while quantity demanded refers to a single point on the demand curve".

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Knowledge structuring for learning
he case above. The next section will discuss the various aspects of information redundancy in knowledge representation. In that context, the technique of extending by example will be presented. <span>Metaphoric approach Reusing previously formed memories is the key to minimizing the complexity of synaptic patterns. This gives the preference to metaphoric rather than literal presentation of the drilled material. The difference between demand and quantity demanded is that demand is described by the quantity-price curve, while quantity demanded is the value of demand for a given price level. The answer to the question "What is the difference between demand and quantity demanded?" might assume quite intricate wording if the above explanation was to be the way of grasping the learned difference. Instead, by extracting the essential nature of the difference in question, the following approach may be taken: Q: What is the difference between demand and quantity demanded? A: same as between a curve and a point This approach is by far more effective in ensuring the student’s comprehension, and what is equally important, the resulting E-factor is, in most cases, very high. The recommended extension to the presented answer might be placed in parentheses with, for example, the following wording: "demand is described by the quantity-price curve, while quantity demanded refers to a single point on the demand curve". Let us yet consider an example in which the metaphoric approach goes yet a step further by using nearly poetic language in order to describe economic concepts. In technology and innovat




Knowledge structuring and representation in learning based on active recall (Wozniak)

Let us yet consider an example in which the metaphoric approach goes yet a step further by using nearly poetic language in order to describe economic concepts. In technology and innovation theories of profit, the creative effort of firms competing on the market can be translated into economic profit. In other words, technology and innovation are used to level monopolistic advantage of competitors, or to unbalance the conditions of perfect competition. By destroying the old, technology and innovation generates above normal profit. Here is a catchy item that is bound to show high E-factor value:

Q: What is the figurative statement that accurately reflects the working of technology and innovation in generating profit?

A: perennial gale of creative destruction

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might be placed in parentheses with, for example, the following wording: "demand is described by the quantity-price curve, while quantity demanded refers to a single point on the demand curve". <span>Let us yet consider an example in which the metaphoric approach goes yet a step further by using nearly poetic language in order to describe economic concepts. In technology and innovation theories of profit, the creative effort of firms competing on the market can be translated into economic profit. In other words, technology and innovation are used to level monopolistic advantage of competitors, or to unbalance the conditions of perfect competition. By destroying the old, technology and innovation generates above normal profit. Here is a catchy item that is bound to show high E-factor value: Q: What is the figurative statement that accurately reflects the working of technology and innovation in generating profit? A: perennial gale of creative destruction Note, that the later-discussed vivid and graphic elements in memorized items serve exactly the same purpose as the metaphoric approach: capitalizing on existing memories, or even on inb