The CODE System

So yeah, by now I’m hoping you’re invigorated with excitement to create your second brain. Finally we have some idea to managing our digital ecosystem of information, tools, and identities as “Digital Nomads”. But hold on for a sic, there is an additional critical piece to solving this puzzle. Which is the CODE Method (Yeah dude, another layer to approaching this crazy world of constant information overload!).

CODE is a map for navigating the endless streams of information we are now faced with every day. It is a modern approach to creating a commonplace book, adapted to the needs of the Information Age.

Building A Second Brain, Tiago Forte.

CODE is a four part system that will help you both navigate the digital sphere, start building your second brain, and going forward.

Here’s the breakdown for a bit of intellectual digestion:

  • C for Capture, becoming a curator of ideas that are “truly noteworthy”. Capturing what resonates and is relevant to us as individuals and project managers. Indeed, this is the 1st habit we need to cultivate.
  • O for Organize, sorting your notes and digital assists for actionability. Your north star here are the active projects, make your notes have a purpose.
  • D for Distill, summarizing your notes down to their essence. Finding “the heart and soul of what it is trying to communicate” and core message for your future self.
  • E for Express, here comes the sweet part. Showing your work and sharing your ideas through a creative medium of your choice, Just like this article. The ultimate purpose of having a second brain is to express your ideas and knowledge so that other people benefit from it.

Finally we can beg farewell to Mr. Forte, for now at least as we’ll be moving on to other schools of thought that have helped me in my personal productivity transformation and in the path to becoming a creator. As he described in one of his interviews, building a second brain is at the very beginning of the funnel, now we can explore the rest of the process. and more importantly, venture unto the open seas and possibilities of discovering new frontiers.

🎧 What I’ve Been Up To Lately

Spending time with my family, babysitting and changing diapers (can you smell it!). I believe balance in making your life more meaningful lays somewhere between being of service to others and never losing sight of what is important to you. In this case, my family triumphs all! every time.

I bought a new kindle, and for the first time i finished a whole book in less than 20 days. Which book? Tiago Forte’s Building A Second Brain which I’ve been living with, found out I had it all wrong and reading it filled all the gaps in my understanding of the PARA system. It made me revamp my whole second brain and now it really makes sense and I’ve finished one of my projects in just a few days.

Finally, I came to the biggest realization in approaching it all. I always fought hard to separate my professional and personal lives in every way, kept both in separate areas. But I was wrong, our lives is composed of 24 hours on repeat and it is one life. I realized there isn’t a separation, and it is all personal. So yeah, everything fell in place and now both my professional and personal projects are bundled together in my PARA. And I’m only focusing on the projects that matter most to me, those that cater to my mission statements and aim to building a future. I’ll tell you more about that on a separate occasion.

📚 Additional Resources

The Capture Quickstart Guide is great for a deeper understanding of CODE’s 1st pillar. This should simplify things for you to take a step further.

PARA Part 4: Setup Guide is finally available for the public. His Praxis blog was closed to paid subscribers only though he changed that around. There’s a wealth of more in-depth articles for you there, for now I’m liking this one.

Progressive Summarization: A Practical Technique for Designing Discoverable Notes article really shed some light on the distill pillar. Made me realize I really need to upgrade my note-taking skills to the next level.

Building a Second Brain book is the ultimate resource, it has been published for almost a couple of months and it’s already dominating the charts. It is a “step-by-step guide to building a fully functional digital Second Brain”. Buy it, Read it.

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