with Spencer Greenberg
the podcast about ideas that matter

Episode 144: How to build your second brain (with Tiago Forte)

February 9, 2023

What is a "commonplace book"? What traits are desirable in "second brain" tools? What are some common mistakes people make in note-taking? What should we take notes about? What are some useful methods of organizing, distilling, remembering, and taking action on notes? How much information should we hold in our brains and how much should be offloaded to a second brain? What are creative convergence and divergence?

Tiago Forte is the founder of Forte Labs and one of the world's foremost experts on productivity. He has taught more than 20,000 people worldwide through his programs and writes and speaks on how technology can help knowledge workers revolutionize their personal effectiveness. Tiago's online course, Building a Second Brain, has produced more than 5,000 graduates from over 70 countries. In a previous life, he worked in microfinance in Latin America, served in the Peace Corps in Ukraine, and consulted for large companies on product development in San Francisco. He lives in Long Beach, California, with his wife Lauren, son Caio, and dog Ximena. Lear more about him at or follow him on Twitter at @fortelabs.

By the way: We've summarized this episode's key takeaways in a Thought Saver card deck to help you remember these ideas forever! You can explore the deck here:

Click here to return to the list of all episodes.


Sign up to receive one helpful idea and one brand-new podcast episode each week!

Subscribe via RSS or through one of the major podcast platforms:


Host / Director
Spencer Greenberg

Josh Castle

Audio Engineer
Ryan Kessler

Uri Bram


Lee Rosevere
Josh Woodward
Broke for Free
Quiet Music for Tiny Robots

Please note that Clearer Thinking , Mind Ease , and UpLift are all affiliated with this podcast.