Home Building A Second Brain - Organizing

Building A Second Brain - Organizing

Organizing Your Second Brain

In my pursuit of creating an efficient digital second brain, I have experimented with two different methods of organization. Initially, I utilized Microsoft OneNote, which was already a repository for my work-related notes and various personal items. I rebranded my OneNote as “SecondBrain” and established several distinct sections to streamline the organization:

  1. Inbox
  2. Projects
  3. Areas
  4. Resources
  5. Archive

I prefer to number the sections to maintain a sense of order. After reorganizing my notes within this structure, I found the system to be satisfactory. OneNote allows you to create pages with collapsible sections, which is useful for managing content. For example, I had a “Mentorship” section with approximately 50 nested pages that required frequent collapsing and expanding, eventually leading to some inefficiency. I could however break that into Mentoring-Q1 and Mentoring-Q2 but that I think will also have problems.

My search for an alternative led me to consider both Obsidian and Logseq, but I ultimately chose to create a private GitHub repository with Markdown (MD) files. Some of my older notes were in org mode, so I kept those as is. I categorized my content into folders, again using numbers for a clean appearance. Although OneNote offers the convenience of easily adding tables, images, and diverse content types, my GitHub repository with MD files is primarily text-based. However, when I need to include visual elements, I resort to OneNote, while Markdown files suffice for text-based notes. Searching through the repository is a breeze using Grep, whereas OneNote’s search functionality can feel cumbersome. As a terminal enthusiast, I find this method of search more intuitive.

For items that I’m unsure where to place, I simply drop them into the Inbox section, which, to my surprise, remains empty so far.

Another benefit of using a git repository is its portability. I can clone the repository on any computer or VM I’m using at the time. This flexibility is especially handy since I enjoy working with various operating systems. Additionally, if I need to access my notes on the go, I can easily do so via GitHub on my phone.

I still use OneNotese for some work notes, but I am moving all personal stuff to github as markdown files.

I am sure this will continue to evolve as I implement the Second Brain, but this is where I stand for now!

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.