The Swyx Mixtape
The Swyx Mixtape
[Second Brain 1] The Capture Habit

I am a mentor for the Notion Advanced track of Tiago Forte’s Building a Second Brain, Cohort 12. This is the cleaned up audio of the first of 5 mentorship sessions with Q&A at the end.



  • Intro [00:00:28]
  • Why Build A Second Brain [00:07:58]
  • Content Recap [00:09:32]
  • Breakout Session [00:11:53]
  • The CODE methodology [00:15:44]
  • Q&A: Work vs Personal Capture Apps? [00:18:11]
  • Q&A: Should I Capture Googlable Stuff? [00:19:55]
  • Q&A: Physical Book notes? [00:22:48]
  • Q&A: Starting for the first time [00:24:23]
  • Q&A: How to turn notes to action? [00:25:53]
  • Q&A: Processing Notion vs SimpleNote [00:28:36]
  • Capture Thinking [00:31:47]
  • Q&A: Podcast Notes? [00:33:41]
  • Q&A: Grabbing notes on the go [00:37:06]
  • Q&A: I dont like any of my apps, what do I do? [00:43:46]
  • Q&A: Security & Privacy [00:46:31]
  • Q&A: Triaging Information to be Productive [00:49:35]
  • Q&A: Outdated content [00:51:46]
  • Question: Defining Dealbreakers [00:53:25]


  • swyx: [00:00:00] So we’re here for BASB week one capture and I’m Shawn also known as Swyx. And I was part of cohort 10 and I’m back again to try to go through the new content. I know that Tiago has re-recorded a bunch of this stuff.
  • Some of the content has changed and also just meet people. I think that you know something best when you teach it. So I do encourage you, as you go through this journey to try to teach it to your friends or family members and you retain that much better as well.

Intro [00:00:28]

  • Okay. A little bit of self intro, and then we’ll go into the specifics. I’m going to basically try to recap the stuff that we covered this week, and then try to get some feedback from you and get you talking amongst yourself. On some of the questions that were raised this week.
  • So hey, I’m Swyx I blog at, I am a finance guy, turned developer.
  • That’s a long story. I just compressed there. We used to work at Netlify AWS, that’s Amazon web services for the non-technical people. And now I’m currently head of developer experience at Temporal dot IO. I helped to run the React-TypeScript CheatSheet, which is one of the ways in which I build a second brain which is very specific for developers.
  • Probably a bunch of you here are developers. I see Glenn is using reveal dot JS and I also wrote the coding career handbook as my capstone for building a second brain last year. So, part of the reason why this is a notion advanced course, even though I’m like not a huge notion expert is because we are very focused on trying to get people to produce output.
  • So not just getting comfortable with the habits but also producing by blogging, speaking, and writing and hopefully making money. I’m very keen on helping people to make money with their second brains. Okay. So, I’m from Singapore. These are the pictures that I, I tweeted this once basically saying Singapore’s that would kind of Asia.
  • It’s not usually so super overexposed like this, so don’t come here and be super disappointed. But it does look pretty great. It does have a lot of manmade slash nature blended with it. And it is home for me. So, happy to answer any questions about Singapore. Alright.
  • So here’s a brief history of my blogging. This is me in 2016. Nobody knows about this. I never talked about this. This is me on medium writing, trying to get into the whole content creation game and not really having much results. So this is my attempt at thought leadership and not really, and just engaging with stuff that I thought was interesting.
  • I was very into voice user interfaces because I coded an Alexa skill and at the time Alexa was going to be this huge thing is going to take over the planet. Yeah. And then just kept blogging and then just like fell off. And I think a lot of people here probably have some experience of this where like you tried to get started, didn’t go anywhere and then you just stopped.
  • And I think it’s very authentic and original And I’m here to say that I’m one of you, I’ve definitely been there. The first real hit was when, because I started reading and listening to Ben Thompson got a bit lost in Ben Thompson’s universe. And so decided to make a map.
  • And so I applied some of my data analysis skills. this was my first hit because it focused on a person and a prominent person at that, and it solves a problem for myself that other people had.
  • And that was my first real breakthrough, like all these previous ideas were just things I had in my head that nobody cared about. And then. When you focus on such a small, specific topic as one person. And it’s such a small specific question as how do you rank things?
  • You perform a service that other people are interested in because I also had that same problem. So I think that was the beginning of my journey as to how do I productionize this second brain or like writing system towards building a network, towards building a reputation for myself, and then just making things that people want to read.
  • So since then I have become a reasonable React/TypeScript/ JavaScript developer, happy to talk about tech stuff after the one hour, because we try to keep this general and inclusive. But this has probably been one of my major projects, which essentially running the community documentation for React and TypeScript developers.
  • I teach a thousand people a day, React and TypeScript off of this thing. And it’s literally my second brain of how to react and TypeScript and people from Uber, Microsoft, Airbnb, you name it, they’ve all contributed and taught me stuff as I have taught them. It’s just really great when you start to do these advanced forms of second braining I call this open source knowledge in the way that people can give back.
  • So second brain is, is often very one way. And when you can open source your knowledge it can be very powerful. So happy to talk about that as well, but I’m just giving you a brief overview of like what I do. I also have been focusing a lot on marketing, right? Every time you do something, you should also tell people that you’ve done it otherwise does it really exist.
  • So framing it in things in ways in which people understand, and then tagging people who have had the exact pain points really starts to accelerate your growth as someone who learns in public.
  • I also have been getting pretty steadily into the personal blogging. This is me getting serious last year in January, and then going from 20,000 uniques to 35,000 and now 40 ish. This is April. But with occasional, really big spikes, I think something you suddenly everyone should understand about blogging is that. It’s a very hits driven business, and you put out your it’s a very common phenomenon to put out all your effort into something and then have it fall completely flat and then spend two hours on a rant and then just see that go viral.
  • The effort is completely disconnected with the results and you should be okay with that because ultimately you’re working through something. You’re trying to log something for yourself. And it’s it’s always a side benefit or side effects if other people feel the same way too. I do definitely preach the idea of having a public second brain as something that is a single-player game that can optionally become multiplayer.
  • But if you start off only evaluating it as a multiplayer game that where nobody plays with you, then you’re likely to not continue playing that game.
  • And then finally I also started writing for money, right? So I as part of my BSB cohort, 10 capstone, I decided to write a book. I launched it after BSB ended.
  • I gave myself two weeks, it took her two months to write. And then it started making money. By launch day. Cause I did some pre-sales and made 25 K, after about a couple months and got to 50 K across the a hundred K a few months ago.
  • And it’s still going and I’m still doing a fair amount of marketing on that. So if anyone here is interested in writing a book and self publishing this is the place for you as well.
  • Finally the, my new project this year has been audio notes which is, I think a pain point of a lot of people going through BSB.
  • They’re like I listen to a lot of podcasts and there are no good tools to do podcasting notes. I am not here to say that I have the right answer, but I have a answer and I’m trying to make it work. It is a personal podcast where I clip selections and share it with friends and publish it. And sometimes it gets picked up by the people who are in the podcasts and that is a very rewarding way to do audio notes as well.
  • So happy to talk about that.
  • Great. So a couple of ground rules here. So I don’t like this idea that people say, there are no stupid questions there obviously are if you just it’s enough people people ask really weird shit, but it’s okay. It’s okay to ask them here. We are all learning and sometimes if you have them on your mind other people do as well.
  • And what’s important is that there are no consequences and you’re not judged. And you really genuinely have them. And that’s fine. I have them too.
  • Rule number one. People do this a lot with BASB.
  • You paid a lot for this course. Tiago is a very organized and smooth presenter. And you might think that you might have to do it. Perfect. Don’t because you will fail. I don’t do it perfect. I don’t even use notion very well. But try to do it often, it’s more about the habit rather than having like clean and, perfectly organized notes.
  • Rule number two which is the third rule. I’m not an expert here, I’m just the facilitator, right? Like, so I’m just trying to help you in your journey. I’ve been on this journey as well. And I can’t speak to everything. I will say “I don’t know” a lot and that’s okay. Because someone else here in this group might know the answer and I just here to connect with people.

Why Build A Second Brain [00:07:58]

  • Okay. So a little bit of a survey question. I just want to see where people are at. We have about 86 -Oh my God. 86 people here. Why do you want to build a second brain?
  • That’s let’s see it in the chat. That’s see see a bunch of Zoom chat responses. We’ll do a couple of breakout sessions later as well. Just based on the assignments that you’ve been given, but I just want to see why people are here. Why did you do this course? If you’re a second time person here, a lot of the advanced people are second timers, why did you do it again?
  • Okay. Jose says get peace of mind. Glen says to put things out there, Peter says manage the flood of incoming information. I don’t know if you can see this. If I put the chat on the screen, I think you can’t because the zoom doesn’t work like that.
  • Elaine says to sharpen the saw that’s a reference to the seven habits of highly effective people. Thi says, create a point of view, which is very, very good. That’s something that we picked up this week on the perspective economy.
  • John Harkness, I want to start producing more instead of endlessly learning new and cool things.
  • Yes. We’re done with this whole information overload and we need to productionize ourselves. Exactly.
  • Emma a says, I have a lot of interesting projects that I never finished and never show anyone else.
  • Ian says, how does the newsreel for explorations and rabbit holes?
  • There’s a lot here and it’s, I’m sorry. I can read out every ones. But yeah, these are all, these are like really great lessons. Sometimes I think Building a Second Brain is very much like the behind the scenes process of productionizing. But you start from abundance when you do this. You start from a bank of knowledge.
  • So when you want to productionize you can really pull things together very, very quickly, and that’s how I blog as well and write stuff.

Content Recap [00:09:32]

  • I’m going to briefly recap I don’t know if this is useful for people so let me know. If like I view this as like a TA being part of the, this little mentor group, which is that let’s recap what we learned this week.
  • I really liked this phrase, the prospective era that Tiago had where he recapped where we came from, we used to have a space economy where we were trading on physical resources. And then we had a time economy. Then we had an attention economy.
  • And now that every spare second of our attention has been gobbled up. We’re in a Perspective economy where the more important thing is that. Because we’re flooded with information all the time. And I love this analogy because we’re flooded. What do you do in a flood? You seek the high ground.
  • And for us seeking the high ground is having a point of view from which you can look down and see everything in perspective rather than being overwhelmed by all the water around us.
  • Okay. So that’s the first part, which I really like which is a little bit of the why. Why a second brain. But that’s just a toggles perspective. And I think part of the reason why I want to hear about your perspectives is that we all have different approaches when we come to this thing and we all have different perspectives.
  • It’s a very personal point of view. So I really liked this quote as well, point of view is that is essentially a human solution to information overload in a world of hyper abundant content point of view will become the scarcest of resources which is very meta because you’re going to have to develop a point of view on building a second brain.
  • There is 30 mentor sessions and like two thousands, I don’t know, little information, bits and items on the forums. You’re getting information overload here. So, that’s why I want you to have a point of view on building a second brain as well.
  • The other thing that we’re going to cover is the 12 favorite problems.
  • This is something I like a lot as well. I covered this in my own book, which is the Richard Feynman quote. If you already did this then great. I know that I actually did not do the whole exercise when I when I went through BSB the first time. But just a reminder too, to Chuck them here.
  • This is your assignment for this week. Go onto building a secondary, not circle that. So, and throwing your toffee reforms. I would say that, in keeping with rule number one, which is don’t try to do it perfect, do it often. You don’t need 12, right? Three is good. Eight’s good. You don’t need 12.
  • But you should have some amount of problems that you revisit time and time again, and you slot information into those problems. Cool. This a little workshop session now. So what I’m going to do is to break y’all into working groups and you can share with each other on your 12 favorite problems, we have 86 people here.

Breakout Session [00:11:53]

  • So we’re going to try to make this I’m going to try to make this small, so I’m going to try to break people into 10 groups. Should we do that? And then let’s talk about, let’s talk about what our top favorite phones are and share them. All right. And then we’ll meet back in about three minutes.
  • I’ll share one of mine, which is something I’ve been collecting for a long time. Maybe I should share this after people come back as well, but how do I ask better questions? That’s my one, that’s one of my favorite problems. It’s I’ve been pursuing this for a long time.
  • Frank Amaya: [00:12:20] There’s a few books around that, right? Like the power of questions. Yeah. There’s a Tony Robbins talks a lot about how the quality, like he has a lot of really cool stuff on question asking and the whole of the NLP work is on question asking and the idea that everything we think every thought is a question.
  • So that’s the question, but you can’t not answer your question when you ask it. Yeah, it’s kinda cool.
  • swyx: [00:12:42] Yeah, I don’t even know what books there are on this topic. I’ve just been collecting other people’s questions essentially.
  • Okay. Does anyone hanging out here have questions on this week’s material? Or just want to say hi, you can unmute yourself
  • Okay. This is Ted smiley. How are you doing? Hey,
  • Speaker 1: [00:12:56] dad just saw I’m a student and I’m trying to become a data scientist. And I thought that that second brain would actually be a great tool for helping me to become, helped me to get my hands around all the information that’s coming at me at one time and to be able to.
  • In the future, it’d be able to answer questions and help with programming, setting things up, setting up my GitHub and other things like that. What are key things for a second brain in that area?
  • Well GitHub’s pretty good. I think a personal blog, you’re a developer you figure out how to put everything on a single domain and start publishing, small things that you learned.
  • I can show you Ted. This guy, Josh Bradshaw has this as his repo where he has all his TILs, like Today I learned. When you learn something, when you learn some new snippet of code stick it somewhere.
  • So if you are someone who codes and you’re going to put together a second brain, you might as well make it public and you can categorize it according to CSS, elixir, dev ops Python. You probably do a lot of Python or R whatever. And just put in on your TILs. It doesn’t have to be huge. It can just be a little code snippet like that.
  • And that makes it reusable for you. But also it’s extremely valuable to other people. And there’s 10,000 people who’ve starred this repo.
  • Frank Amaya: [00:14:07] What you’re doing is great. I think people just love seeing different approaches, so there’s no right way, like you said, right? They’re just your way.
  • swyx: [00:14:14] So people are falling back. We’ve got 10 more seconds for those who were away, I hope you had a good discussion on what your favorite problems are.
  • I certainly would love to hear them and I will be seeing them on the circle forum. So, we don’t have to go over there more here. I just want to, for those during the break, I shared a little bit about one of my favorite problems, which is how do I ask a better question?
  • I think that you asked the poor question and you get a poor answer. And I think a lot of the systems that we have set up for ourselves today are set up to give us very good answers right away to the questions that we ask. But sometimes it’s limited by the quality of the question. It’s a little bit like the Hitchhiker’s guide to galaxy when the aliens built earth to find the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything and they found the answer was 42. But then they were like, okay, but what’s the question to that. And, and so I think that’s very much what I’m seeking to, to build here. I’m finding the question to life, the universe and everything.
  • Okay. Christopher Horn says, how do we expand beyond our ability to ask questions?
  • In other words, have the second brain ask the question. Wow. That is, that is deep. Christopher. I have no idea work on it, let us know.
  • So I’m going to keep going. We’re still recapping a little bit about this week. I’ve been told that actually a lot of people, a lot of you might have already done a mentor sessions during the week.
  • And so this may be a bit redundant which throws my plan off a little bit, but we’ll just keep going. And we’ll share a bit more and if you want to know more about how I do stuff feel free to just throw the question in the chat as well. And I can answer as well.

The CODE methodology [00:15:44]

  • Okay. A lot of the course is structured around code. And this is a little bit of my recap for you. And I think it’s very easy and it’s very common for people getting into the second brain movement to start devolving into discussion about tools like, Oh, what’s your setup?
  • What’s your stack, if you’re a developer. And a lot of what Tiago does is he doesn’t, he talks about workflow rather than tool for the developers in the room. I think it’s very comparable to Hashi Corp, which is this idea that you have, you don’t try to port over everything. You just have a portable workflow pretty similar to the react native as well.
  • If you if you tried to write once, run anywhere, you end up with Java. If you try to learn principles once, and then be able to write them anywhere, then you end up with react native, which is a lot more portable in terms of programming paradigm. Basically the tools will come and go. But the creative process is timeless and he’s trying to teach the creative process.
  • And so it’s captured, organized, distill, and express. We’re going to write things down and this, this week we’re focusing on writing things down, right? Really just the capture habit, which I think a lot of people apart from Tiago, but also a lot of other productivity authors focus a lot on then we’re going to go into organized, distill and express.
  • I think express is something that we’re. In this group going to focus a lot on, because I want you all of you to produce, I’ll put right to blog, to speak, to draw, produce videos and to write a book or something like that. Make a podcast, whatever. I really like these, this image as well that, like, this is a little bit about why we do things.
  • I, I realize now that a lot of you have already covered these concepts, so I don’t need to TA this as much as I was planning. I do like the point of what to capture because it’s also very tempting and I’m an infovore just like you are it’s very tempting to capture everything, right?
  • There’s this concept of like, what if I could track every single website I’ve ever visited and store them somewhere. And a lot of them are crap and you never really wants to see them again. So I think having a point of view on what to capture, make sense and for Tiago it’s:
  • is it inspiring? Is it useful? Is it surprising? Is it personal?
  • And you have some sort of filter to a first degree of what you don’t capture, which is things that are not useful, not surprising, not inspiring, so on and so forth. So having those rules makes a lot of sense.
  • And but also I think it makes you have a trigger, right . Every habit needs a trigger, like when X happens, then Y so the moment you have the aha feeling, that’s inspiring. Write it down, right. The moment you’re like, I wish I knew this that’s useful. Write it down. Especially when you’re wrong, that’s a point of opportunity to learn. And if you don’t learn when you’re wrong, then you’re going to repeat it again.

Q&A: Work vs Personal Capture Apps? [00:18:11]

  • Okay. You know what, let’s just stay in this room. And have someone speak on has anyone tried to capture stuff? What have you been capturing and what’s your pain points? And share our experiences in this big room.
  • Speaker 1: [00:18:21] Hi I can quickly go. So one of the pain points I’ve seen is that I’ve tried oxygen and all of these other apps narrow down to a markdown- based app or plan. But the problem is that I find that I can switch over to Evernote, which fixes a lot of the gaps for me.
  • And I am genuinely going to give it a shot, but the problem or the concern I have with Evernote is that I also have a lot of journal personal stuff that I write down, which I feel comfortable doing in a day one or a note plan Canada, which has all been stored locally.
  • And that’s where I feel like, okay, now I have two apps and now how do I bring all of these thoughts together without losing my privacy?
  • I want to give Evernote a shot, but I don’t know if I ever feel comfortable enough to get my personal thoughts, raw thoughts into Evernote.
  • swyx: [00:19:02] So I’m curious what other people do with their journals versus their note taking. I have two apps. I do my journaling in one notes where there’s a password feature and nothing else goes in there.
  • And so even if someone, pwns my Notion, or like I leave it unlocked and someone accesses it and they don’t find my journal, the best unit of isolation is just at the app boundary. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1: [00:19:22] But then do you ever worry that you may have some thoughts that may eventually lead to a blog post or an article that you’ve been thinking about? Like those things are getting lost. Do we ever worry about that since it’s not part of your quote unquote second brain?
  • swyx: [00:19:34] Well, I mean, it’s not hard to run a search twice. So no if you’re recording anything that could potentially be public and future, that should go in your public ish second brain, that you wouldn’t mind anyone coming across and seeing it.
  • And then the journal is private and will probably never, you’ll never publish. That’s fine. But you, do you want search on all of them in case you do need something in the future? For what’s?

Q&A: Should I Capture Googlable Stuff? [00:19:55]

Who else has like capture pinpoints or just want to talk about the stuff that you’ve been capturing?

  • Speaker 3: [00:19:59] I can go Shawn, I’ve been thinking what to do when there is a specific piece of information that is easily Googleable. Like you can search and find it perfect for offers the usual with stack overflow type of question. Yeah. I feel really bad when I have to research it. Instead of in my personal second brain, I have to go into Google again and get the same thing.
  • I was wondering how you personally deal with that. And if there is value in the first time you search it, you capture it.
  • swyx: [00:20:33] This is an important problem, I think. So the my quick answer is if you captured the first time you search it, that’s probably too high fidelity.
  • It’s going to be very noisy and there’s gonna be a lot of stuff that you only look up once and you never need again. So I have this rule, which I call these three strikes rule for blogging. Where basically, I just tell you to wait for three strikes.
  • Because the first time is like, you just heard about this idea and the second time you’re like still trying to evaluate its usefulness and you’re explaining it. And the third time you’re like it’s increasing probability every single time you refer to this idea or you look it up that you’re really going to need it again in the future.
  • So then you should start writing it and you should share your own authoritative link on it. And even if it’s a pretty easy Googleable piece of information. You definitely have your own perspective on it. And there’s a nice cleanness to just Googling, like your take on something.
  • So, so, you can use the Google thing on like site colon. This is like a Google filter. Right. And it just only searches your site. Right. So when I, when I need to add Monaco editor, I just go to my source. Cause I wrote it. I had explained things that would make sense to me, even though I forgot how to do any of this.
  • It would just lay it out in exactly the way that I would want it. And that’s useful to someone because that’s. People are going to find it because of you. So the way I, the way I phrase it for developers again, is to proxy the top stack overflow answer.
  • And then the other usefulness is to have them indexed in some kind of central fashion, right? So, when I need anything related to TypeScript, I go here and I go like, Hey, what is a useful use case for passing both props? I could Google this, but because it’s all organized in the way that I see fit it’s useful to me and it’s probably useful to others as well.
  • So, marketers actually have a term for this. They call it a swipe file. So if you, you also see this for design and marketing and it’s all the same concepts, right? Good marketing HQ. There we go. So this is a swipe file. Anytime I need something on referral marketing, I can go here and I can just say how did Hilton DoubleTree do referral marketing for word of mouth?
  • And that, that gives me an idea of how to do my stuff. Right. So if you collect a swipe file of like just resources, you can look up any of these individually, but because they all, they’re all in one place and they’re all things that you’ve personally approved and written up. You not only remember them better, but people can find it as well

Q&A: Physical Book notes? [00:22:48]

  • do people have other thoughts on like capturing I I’m trying to focus it on the topic of the week, but also you can just ask me stuff about what I do for VSB.
  • Speaker 4: [00:22:57] Yeah. I have a question. So yeah, I like to read physical books. I’m sure there’s other people here who also like to read physical books and the difficulty with that is that when I’m reading, like in bed, like before I go to bed, I’ll like highlight stuff. I’ll, write notes and comments on the side of the book, but then like what’s a good time to capture that into my second brain, should I do it like after I finished entire book. Or should I do it like right away, but I would prefer not to like take out my phone and, lose sorta like my context in the book. So I’m trying to figure out that for myself.
  • swyx: [00:23:31] So I have a confession, which is, I don’t read much physical books. I do prefer the PDF in the minimalism of not having to decide what to do with the book after I’m done with it.
  • What do people do? Let’s, let’s throw it out to the group here. What do people do for a physical book note taking read wise, someone says, okay. I don’t read physical books. We’re in a post paper economy.
  • Frank Amaya: [00:23:50] Shawn Joyce has her hand up
  • swyx: [00:23:53] Joyce.
  • Speaker 3: [00:23:53] Yeah, no, I read physical books all the time and I have that exact problem is I’ll be in a place where I’m comfortable and I’m not going to disturb my my train of process. And I’m just marking things down in the light or using post-its and I use the review process. So if I’m doing it at night and I’m, don’t want to disturb what’s going on when I get up in the morning and I’ll do a review and they stay with me for it.
  • They’ll stay with me for a couple days. That’s how I do it. Thank you. Thanks SREs. Yeah. Thanks.

Q&A: Starting for the first time [00:24:23]

  • swyx: [00:24:23] Leslie also has something to say
  • Speaker 2: [00:24:25] Hi! Yes. I had a question about, basically I’m starting this for the first time. I’m very excited. I’m getting tons of tips about how to organize the things I’m consuming from now on.
  • But I have so much information from that I’ve already been collecting from over the years. I’m just wondering what you would recommend for organizing what we already have.
  • swyx: [00:24:49] I mean this is the start of your capture habit, I know you’re fresh to this and there can be a lot. Again, rule number two, don’t try to capture everything, right. Just have a repeated process of it and look at this as an infinite game, rather than a finite one. Fortunately all of you are in the cohort where you have unlimited access to all future cohorts, so you can come back again whenever you want. So don’t feel like you have to capture it, find something useful that you can put into practice and then practice it and then keep going, right?
  • You’re not here to capture everything because that’s not your job. Your job is to work on yourself. I know the anxiety that comes with Oh, I’m not getting everything. And there’s like 200 conversations going on in circle reading all of them.
  • Don’t try and just find the thing that you really want to work on it, which is why there’s this whole focus on the top favorite problems, find out what you’re here for and focus on that. And other people have other agendas that they’re pursuing and you don’t have to be in every conversation.
  • Right.
  • Speaker 2: [00:25:40] Okay. Thank you. I just have one follow up with everything that we are capturing. There’s so many, so, so much good advice around which types of contents I love the idea of what inspires me. What’s personal to me. What surprises me, things like that.

Q&A: How to turn notes to action? [00:25:53]

  • But do you have a way of turning basically what you consume into an action item?
  • Ooh.
  • swyx: [00:26:00] Do I have a way of turning what I consume into an action item? So for me, my action item is blogging right now. That is the way I express myself, that’s the way I could produce public output. There are other forms, tweeting videos. Talks. But they all secondary to blogging, cause I think that’s the most scalable form of human output. So I have a list I can show you. I know that you all want it to be perfect. And I think there are some consultants out there who really impose a lot of imposter syndrome. I’m here to show you the negative example of how imperfect it can be and still work.
  • This is the way I blog. This is how I compiled my newsletter every week. It’s just I want to talk about this in my newsletter and I just throw the link there. These are my blog posts, ideas. I, and I drafted in here in simple note. Very minimal not very structured.
  • I do have knowledge bases, right? So, I think Frank in the comments Leslie was saying next week we’ll actually learn about how to organize stuff. So we’re not even at the organized stage yet. We’re at the capture stage. This is the capture week where you’re just training on having the habit, the trigger and the action, the trigger is, is it surprising?
  • Is it interesting? Is it what were the other two personal and I forget the other one, but is it noteworthy to you? Then make sure to write it down to the point of when I come across something interesting, I will pause what I’m doing and not taking any other information until I’ve captured it because there’s no point to absorbing more information and forgetting it all. It’s really about getting over that mindset of having to capture everything, because we’re no longer talking about, drinking from the fire hose. We’re having a point of view and we’re trying to collect things.
  • So the second brain people have been giving us some help in terms of like, how to mentor. So I’ve been catching resources, just like that in Notion. And for me, it doesn’t exist. It’s not real until I blog about it. I think catching without an intent I can feel a bit lost. Like what’s my real goal here. And having anintent of this is the blog post that I’m going to write, which is what’s the difference with your mentor, coach, teacher facilitator.
  • It’s just literally word for word exactly what they taught us, but I didn’t really know this and I think it’s useful for other people. So I’m going to write it. I’m going to write it up and I’m going to live through it and add some personal experience. And that will be it. Having a goal of like I’m capturing this to do something is, is more helpful to me than just pure capturing everything and never doing anything with it.
  • Speaker 2: [00:28:13] Amazing. Thank you so much. And I do think I jumped the gun a bit, but with trying to learn what we’re going to be learning next week, but thank you so much. That was really helpful.
  • swyx: [00:28:22] Absolutely. First of all, you can jump ahead if you want. It’s all available there. But yeah, you’vegot a long, long road ahead of you. If you do this right, you’re doing this for hopefully the rest of your life. So, yeah, you don’t have to do it perfect , just do it often.
  • Okay. All right. Please go next.

Q&A: Processing Notion vs SimpleNote [00:28:36]

  • Frank Amaya: [00:28:36] So Tom has his hand up and, but one question or one idea, some, some of the attendees may have come to know or ask questions around notion. So, or perhaps to get more of your perspective around notion. Yeah. I, it there’ll be any questions perhaps that people will ask that they have around notion or just that topic. If we can focus them on that, at least for the little bit of the session here.
  • swyx: [00:29:01] Yeah, we have the room until like for another seven minutes and then I can go into the 30 on like personal questions. So let’s take some notion questions now. And then those people who are just here for that can can go and the rest can stay on in lines or whatever it was got.
  • Notion questions. Gina says, can you give an overview of your capture and processing of info in notion? Thanks, Gina also I’m it says, how do you decide what goes in simple note versus notion? I like this question a lot. I think Amit, you were talking about the local first idea. I don’t care about local first because I don’t, I’m not that privacy focused as long as it’s behind a password lock.
  • I’m happy with that. So OneNote is my secure journaling thing, and it doesn’t intersect with anything else that I do. A simple note is cross-platform and faster than notion is. So this is simple note and it is simple. It’s simple. It really is. It’s almost too simple and that’s how you want it to be.
  • You want to not give yourself a choice of should I bold this? Should I make this red? Should I meet this italics, screw all that. Just write stuff down and don’t screw it up. Don’t let anything get in the way of that. And that’s what sticks for me.
  • Other people they have beautiful motions and it really sparks the creative joy for them. So please don’t let my, the way I do things affect you too much. But that’s how I do it. So simple note just has raw material. Notion has my startup focus. I am a head of department in a startup so I do concentrate on collecting a lot of focus areas on all these topics.
  • A lot of these are just in case meaning that I essentially use Notion as a buffer between the stuff that comes in serendipitously and when I need them because often those times do not match up.
  • But what does help is for example when I need some advice and cold emailing, these are the things that I have personally approved for myself that I can just go, I’ll go through and call the mill. I do my, in my own community. This is gonna, this is going to look super overwhelming to you. So please don’t don’t feel like you have to do this.
  • Part of my book is that I’ve run a community where I do resources like this. In fact, the cold email resources have been, I’ve been working on for a while as well. So I will come here and add them and write them up as I go over time. That’s part of how I think aboutNotion.
  • I do definitely try to publish some of these. So when I worked at AWS I actually curated this as a service to my community as I learned about AWS myself. And that’s it, you can learn a lot about AWS, just going through these resources and that’s great.
  • Then for me, I have a scratchpad in notion where these are the ways in which I draft blog posts. So here, this is a talk that I did. So I literally just structured the talk and then it turned it into 30 minutes off react summit. This is a blog post that I just sent out yesterday to my newsletter.
  • And I it’s all drafted in notion. And people can leave comments if they want. Actually I realized that if you want to send up, send a, probably Buffalo’s do it in Google docs because more people have it’s a, just a better commenting feature in Google docs. And most people are logged in already.
  • But yeah that’s how we decide between simple notes and notion.

Capture Thinking [00:31:47]

  • Frank Amaya: [00:31:47] Shawn, can you walk us through your captured thinking and specifically a notion like your workflow and if after doing that, if you can maybe show how you capture podcasts notes. I think a lot of people want to know like how you got to what you just showed us, but maybe the process that got you there.
  • swyx: [00:32:03] The thinking is just is this the thing I want to blog about? For me having an intent to my capturing is very important. So, what’s the blog title and then attach all the discussion points and the relevant links to that title. So, yeah, this is it. I mean, when I so I have, I have I have a, another resource again. It’s all it makes sense in my head. I am more of a messy person. So I’m not as minimalist as some other folks who do really well on YouTube.
  • But it works for me.
  • Frank Amaya: [00:32:28] Is there a chance you could show us like how you’re using maybe the capture tool in ocean or how you get this into your notion environment?
  • swyx: [00:32:35] Like these are this is essentially a project, right. And then these are resources. So it’s loose PARA. And then the 12 questions. And then it’s very loose PARA. And then I have a personal finance stuff I have, and then a scratch pad for myself.
  • I don’t use the notion capture tool mainly because it’s too broad for me. Like either I get the point of the article or I haven’t read it at all. And if I got the point on the article, I can summarize it for myself. And that summary is way more useful. I think this is covered in one of the weeks.
  • I’m not sure which week, but he has a few levels of progressive summarization. So I, I tend to just skip the first level. That’s like in week three. First of all, when you first come across something you have like Ronald’s, then you bold passengers and highlight passages and mini summary and remix. I basically go either I’m at layer one or zero, and then I go straight to layer four. The other stuff is too intermediate for me so I don’t really do that.
  • And the mini summary, like I can go down the summarization stack if I need more and quite often I do, but all the links to the resources are already there. That is the amount of work that I want to do for my note-taking. And probably I could do better at that, but that’s what I do right now.
  • Yeah. Okay. Did I have, I feel like I lost some questions.

Q&A: Podcast Notes? [00:33:41]

  • How do I capture POS podcasts and notes to notion? I do not. So, podcast notes go here. And they’re literally like the five minute clips that I want to highlight and model upon. And that every day, once a day, I clip that and produce it.
  • So this is, I’ve been doing this for probably a hundred ish days now. And these are just clips of Hey, I really like this interview. This is an origin story of a CEO, which I thought was really inspiring. But that’s about it as far as podcasts notes go. I think if they relate to a particular topic that I’m interested in, for me hiring, I do a lot of literally, this is the link to the podcast and I took notes on that podcast. And that’s about what I, that’s where I leave it. Because then this will go into my own company’s hiring docs as an input, but podcasts notes, like that’s those are the two dimensions in which I have them.
  • So personal notes if they’re focused on the topic. But this makes us in together with text notes and for specific podcast stuff that I want to share with other people and just say Hey I really liked this Andrew Wilkinson story on his first job that was really crappy. I’m going to clip it and then make it shareable with other people.
  • Eventually over time I would just have this resource of everything that I found interesting and people can go through that find they find a lot of value from it. But again, it’s an example of a potentially multiplayer game that I win as a single player game, just because I had just had a record of everything that I have listened to.
  • Frank Amaya: [00:34:57] Well, so you’re at the top of the hour in case anybody did.
  • swyx: [00:35:00] Yeah. Well, I hope this session was useful. It’s my first time doing this. But we’ll, we’ll get better over time and I’m definitely gonna drop in on other mentoring sessions to see how they do stuff. But yeah you can email me if you weren’t comfortable asking questions.
  • Here you can email me I’m at, so I guess
  • Frank Amaya: [00:35:16] well, there’s some comments coming in saying there was a great idea of clipping. Yeah,
  • swyx: [00:35:22] thanks for that. So I do a lot of interviews as part of the nature of my job. This is my email address, by the way, if anyone, anyone here can email me questions, I’ll them async.
  • But yeah, I do a lot of interviews. And so what I do is actually and this is my finance side showing I rehypothecate my session. So every weekday I do five minutes, five minutes, five minutes. And then every weekend I would drop a longer form chat. So people who follow me can just literally catch up on everything that I’ve been doing outside of my own personal output.
  • I like this idea of going onto other people’s channels, other people’s YouTube and podcasts, and B being a guest. So people hear about you and you get a nice energy to bounce off of, to create content and then bring that all into your own site. So that you have one central place for people to discover you and go deep on yours and your stuff.
  • So that’s what I do. Yeah. People asking about how I clip use audacity. It’s a free open source app has a little bit of a learning curve, but there are any number of tutorials on YouTube to learn how to do it. And literally I’ll go something like this. And then I’ll move stuff around.
  • I actually, I did this in my audition for the BASB mentorship, but literally I’ll just be like, play this. Okay. This is cool. Cook that, click that, and then move it around here. Like you learn all the shortcuts really quickly and you can make a, it doesn’t take that much effort. And it’s a really nice productive experience for me because it’s a small win that I can knock out every day, no matter how bad my day is.
  • I know I can do this. I have a huge backlog of interesting content in when I revisit the content, I learned it over again. And I can knock it out in 30 minutes and it’s, that’s a win for me. So I like this. I like having a Keystone habit essentially as a creator. No matter how stuck I am in blogging mental health, how how bad my media work has been.
  • I can do this and I can call it a win. And it’s, it’s something that’s mine.

Q&A: Grabbing notes on the go

  • Speaker 1: [00:37:06] Yes. I had a question because I learned a few seconds ago. Well, my question is regarding to the notes to notion how they capture the notes. But my main question is related to that. How notion or what is the best technique or the best tool. To grab notes on the way, because for example, something that happens to me, it’s driving and sometimes an idea came to my mind related.
  • I’m going to go to person. And then I got that idea, but if I don’t write down at that moment, then I forgotten that sometimes I forgot that idea and just say, miss a chance to solve a big problem, but doing that, it’s a kind of a book because it’s not too easy to just go with mama while I’m putting in there. I’m gonna start using draft apps because he has something willing to watch. Just wondering if exist, any other technique or tool or something to only capture notes quickly on the way. So it dropped off. So
  • swyx: [00:38:08] is it this one they have on screen? Is it drafts get dressed up? So first of all, someone, somebody in the chat said don’t know shit and drive. I endorse that. So thanks Benjamin for that. It’s true.
  • Drive safe.
  • Frank Amaya: [00:38:24] Can I answer this question? Yeah, please. Because I just, I’m pretty excited about this. I just I had a session on Friday and Tammy, one of another fellow BSB or mentioned a notion actually has widgets. So I just installed a widget earlier today so I can share what that looks like. It’s okay. I think I’m going to stop sharing what you’re sharing.
  • But there, this could be really useful for what you were just asking about Sergio and I’m going to you see it. So this is my phone that I just found a way of showing it. And what you’ll see here is the whole idea of a, of a, of an inbox. Oh, you can have your favorites widget. And instead of the way that you could easily come in on the plus, okay, that’s do it.
  • That’ll put it in.
  • You can add a new private page at the bottom. So that’s one way that you can address that. The other thing is the fast, quick add, like what you’re saying, you’re on the go, let’s say you have your inbox and I’m going to minimize this. You could easily create a new page in here, and then you have the ability to add it.
  • So the thing that was slowing us down with notion was the quick add using widgets and customizing needs to what you need is definitely gonna improve your workflow. As easy as just putting a little plus sign and then just doing different stuff in here . So it’s just, it’s really something that I’m playing around with, but this is solving that one issue that I’ve just been struggling with.
  • And a lot of us, which is how can we get information fast inside of a notion without as fast as maybe some of these other tools that we’re using. Yeah, I’d definitely recommend exploring that because that might improve your flow and I’m not sure if you saw it here, but let me share it again inside of the, let’s see, so I’m sharing my phone and scary right.
  • Chain because I didn’t carry it, any of that stuff, but we’ll, you’ll see at the bottom right corner. There’s that little. Plus the, so if it’s in two clicks, I can easily come in here and start adding. And one of the things you can do is, it’s tied to, Hey yeah, this is, these are some of the ideas that I’m capturing right now, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
  • If you don’t, if you’re on the go and you can’t really write right now, but you can speak it. I mean, you see what the power here now you can start integrating many of these other things that you’re talking about and go, so you’re using your phone. It also works for Andrew. They checked out right now, but yeah, here’s the note period, next line, new line et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
  • But yeah, just something for you to consider. Oh, that’s perfect. I
  • Speaker 3: [00:40:45] would try the widget thing. Just, I was using only the widget, a single icon and you just access, but the other one with the plus sign, this is the kind of the thing that I am looking for. And this is for that. Thank you so much, friend.
  • swyx: [00:41:04] And then someone should blog about it.
  • Always turn it into output, right. Yeah, every time you have some TIL that is something that you learned. And I learned that too. I didn’t know about this, so this is great. Yeah, but I, I personally use simple note just because I find it a bit faster. I I’ve been very, like I’m very performance oriented and any latency in notion just really ticks me off.
  • Yeah.
  • Speaker 3: [00:41:23] Actually I started, well, just something to share with everyone, with the drafts apps in iOS. I have the app for the watch. And so you’ll say I’m moving here on a star, you’ll sit through it in the notes. You’ll just take it to there. And then when I get into my whole disability gate, certain amount of bandwidth to go PM pays the notes inside of notion. But, well, I think so with that, the one that Frank show us will be a better, I think as much. Yeah. Frank, do you know if it’s available on an Android? It was asking. It is, I’ll put,
  • Frank Amaya: [00:41:55] I’ll put a link in right down for both of them, because I just saw, I just literally sent this acuity, not like an hour 70 for the call started.
  • So that’s, I’m pretty excited about that. I’m also pretty excited about testing automation with notion. I know that’s been one of those things that a lot of us have been looking for, but it’s, it’s there as a workaround, not, not out of the box and not but I use here’s a, the Twitter link, I think for the widget feature, what I was impressed.
  • And I was like, I think I’m the notion guy, right. But this came out in November of last year was like, what is this? Like, how can I, but in the call Friday again, another student mentioned, and I was like, see, because that’s what these sessions do. They just bring up a bunch of stuff that we just didn’t see.
  • But yeah. And I’ll put the, the notion widget, there was a notion VIP guy willing to not, he wrote about it. And I think he did a really good kind of little explanation
  • swyx: [00:42:44] there. So I’ll put that. Yeah. Bottom line is the capture habit is super important and yes, I’ve had those ideas that come in and then I like 10 seconds later.
  • I’ll lose it. And it was, it would have been like a big unlock for me at work or some big insight. And I just totally like, it just, it’s just gone. So I’ll literally like if I, if I hear something, if I have a thought in my head while I’m showering, I’ll just jump out of the shower, dripping wet and go write it down.
  • That’s how seriously I take this caption capture thing. So I, I highly recommend if you’re driving, stop driving, write it down, keep driving. But it really, that is important to it to capture stuff because you will, was it have an Alexa in your bathroom? Yes, that’s if I were not in COVID yeah, I don’t have a lot of control over my living space right now, but yes. I think so. So when I was a Alexa developer, I try to basically make an Alexa notes app and then they, the API didn’t let you record any amount of length of detail.
  • Maybe they’ve opened it up since but it’d be nice to capture notes through Alexa. I don’t think the allow you to do it very long. So I wanted to like, Nick, could you record a podcast through Alexa? And I think there’s a limit of 30 seconds. Cool. All right.

Q&A: I dont like any of my apps, what do I do?

  • Speaker 3: [00:43:46] Well, my question is mainly around the struggle with expression, like actually putting the things out there and having more of a. Engineering or technical mindset,
  • for example I’m now using bear as a note taking app Alexa mainly right in markdown, but then every time I use it, I’m getting a little bit of discontent that I can’t use certain key bindings that I’m used to using programming.
  • And I think I should look into researching, like, how do I use another system? So then the same with producing, like blog posts or something like, then I’m on creating a aesthetic sign, I’m setting up all these things. And then whenever I just try to do one thing, it brings up then more questionable like research questions, like, should I, and then I fall a bit in the trap of not actually putting something out there, the same with certain topic or blog posts.
  • Like it brings up so many sub questions. So something to. Mitigates more, I guess the feelings of like, there is a way I want to do it. And there is a lot of things yeah, if that makes
  • swyx: [00:44:53] sense in some way. So you actually having is real and it’s not just, and I think developers are very aware of, of that.
  • You have, you essentially have a bunch of dependencies that you’re not super happy with, but you gotta get stuff out. If it’s, if you, if you don’t produce, then it never existed, right? Like it’s, it’s almost like getting 90% of the way there is almost like 0% if from the outside world. So I definitely.
  • I think that having tools that you enjoy is important because that that’s an input to your writing. And if you start having any friction at all, then you’re not gonna enjoy the process of writing. So, you got to keep looking for tools to keep trying all of them. What’s great in, in BSB is essentially you have a community that has tried out every tool out there.
  • So just go into the forums and look for like what other tools that’s partially your issue is why I like him? Well, no I actually have also tried to code my own CMS using vs code. That’s why I I had that blog post about Monaco because I use Monaco to write my own CMS. And I, I miss, I miss a lot of the niceties in NCO in in vs code.
  • But ultimately when you find something that’s good enough, it’s not going to be perfect. And then you ship and you start to, you have to figure out where you draw the line on what is a deal breaker for you, or like, I cannot keep writing on this unless I have this and everything else just.
  • Be okay with it and be okay with the imperfection because it’s good enough for a lot of other people.
  • Sorry, Diana. And I don’t, I don’t know if that’s the answer they go looking for, but all right. I met Monica is the core library behind vs code. It is the editor tooling that is written in each model, script and CSS. Yeah. Okay, cool. Yeah, Glenn, if you have any followups let us know in the comments.
  • But otherwise I’m just going to go ahead to read. I think Reb had next and then I think your next, Hey,

Q&A: Security & Privacy [00:46:31]

Speaker 2: [00:46:31] Thanks for the session so far. I know you mentioned that you’re not going to be that interested in local first and that’s fine, but just curious if you, or Frank or anyone like from BSB not been through so many cohorts, 70 kind of guidance.

  • So my problem is basically around security and privacy, because my employer has strict like requirements. So I can’t really just send stuff to the cloud. And then, so that was torn and that’s the reason I took the course to try to figure out a solution is I could either have a, kind of a set of apps for my second brain for my personal stuff, which I’m okay with sending some of it or most of it to the cloud and then have another one, for my profit, my employer, and then trying to bridge the gap.
  • Right. So there’s some overlap. And so like for example, like some example could be like, if I figured it out, very simple example, like how to provision a VM in AWS, I could write out all the notes from my employers in my those notes. But there’s a lot of stuff I could just take, which is just general stuff.
  • Right. It’s just but then I, now I don’t have dry cause if I copy paste it and all this, because I’m repeating myself. Right. So, sorry, a bit of long winded, but wanted to give you some context.
  • swyx: [00:47:35] So what’s the question.
  • Speaker 2: [00:47:36] Do you have any guidance for like a local first, second brain with also having workflows for separating personal and employee stuff?
  • So I could
  • swyx: [00:47:45] take my personal stuff with me. Yeah. Gotcha. So Glenn has a bunch of answers actually in, in the chat. So there is a circle and a meeting around using Emacs org mode. So, yeah, I’ve heard a lot of good things about work mode. Actually. You might want to check that out. I would also check out foam which is the vs code version of Rome.
  • Like the wrong tools, the, the, the thing would be app with the backlinking obsidian also supports McDonald city is local first. There’s a bunch of these that are local first. Absolutely. You have your pick of choice tools for these. Yeah, a lot of people are using obsidian. I’m actually, I’m interested by obsidian, but for me cross-platform is very important.
  • Like I’m, I’m on my phone as much as I am on my desktop. So, I cannot have my tools be separate for those things. They need to be the same thing. I know. I know. I know. Okay. Okay. So yeah, what’s the other, I think that was it. I mean, yeah, it looks like Glen’s, Glen’s really up in there. So talk to Glen.
  • Speaker 2: [00:48:35] Yeah. I mean also like if there’s working examples, but yeah. I’ll follow up on the messages in the chat because there’s, task management, North node Mattamy is just like one part of it. Like, there’s no read wise local first for example. Right. So you got to figure out like all those parts of the flow chart. Right. That’s where I am right now. So, but yeah, I’ll, I’ll follow up with the chat
  • swyx: [00:48:53] and yeah, the back is like dry, like in coding is also overrated, right? Like I think there’s a movement against dry. It’s fine to repeat yourself, especially if you’re repeating yourself a maximum of twice, like who cares?
  • Like just copy and paste. It’s, it’s fine. It’s cheap. And also I think be aware that to me, I view my work notes as a, as a thin outer layer around my own thick set of personal notes, because that one will last with me for life. Whereas the work one is just wherever I’m currently working and that will go away.
  • And so you want to minimize that to just projects that you’re specifically working on for work. Yeah. And that’s going back to like how you’re expressing and you touched, showed like your notion, like standards, all procedures and all that stuff. Right. I appreciate that. Okay, cool. Cool. Thank you.

Q&A: Triaging Information to be Productive [00:49:35]

  • That’s a head to uni.
  • Speaker 4: [00:49:36] Hi, Karen. First of all, thanks for your time for investing in power growth. My question is more around, more like a general one. So it might be a little bit related to Parra. I haven’t watched it yet, but after you capture all this amazing information, I’m curious how you do cocoa.
  • How’s you do the triage process. So starting like for when you do it to, while you do, especially with the mindset of productionizing, this content, my hypothesis, my assumption here is that probably depending on which phase you’re in, in terms of productionizing, your content, maybe your triage process might be different.
  • So I’m just curious after you kept your old those things. How do you, yeah, how do this triage things to put, okay, this is going to, that I might be used for this future blog. I might be used this for the current blog. I wonder how this whole year process looks like, does this question
  • swyx: [00:50:23] make sense? You need, you can’t have too many just in case items, essentially.
  • Like it’s very easy to try to collect everything and just like, I might need this one day. And then just add them with an unmanageable pile of stuff. This is why it’s important to have those tough favorite problems or to me those could equivalently be the 12 blog posts that I’m currently working on.
  • And then you’re slotting information there. Anything that doesn’t fit either you would have to let it go pretend you never even came across it at all. And you need some filter. You cannot, you just, you cannot try to capture everything like don’t try. So is it currently relevant to a project they’re working on or not?
  • If it’s not is it worth starting a new project over compared to all the other things that you’re currently working on? If you’ve got too much going on, you gotta drop it. You gotta let it go.
  • Speaker 4: [00:51:04] I think that’s honestly great answer. Yeah, that makes sense. I think probably I was thinking more like capturing.
  • Yeah, cause you can basically what the solution, not a solution, but the approach you are taking here is that you have a set of the project that you’re currently working on and you’re capturing the information that maps to it. And then you keep evolving around it. Once that project is called, you might add on a little more and they kept her on other information from the different lens.
  • swyx: [00:51:26] Yeah. And it’s not just projects para is projects, areas, resources, and you can accumulate any number of resources as well. So, yeah, so for me, but the more you are able to limit it, the more, the deeper you can go rather than broad. And to me that is more rewarding because it’s too easy to just spread all over everything and try to be interested in everything.
  • Thank you very much. Thank you. Okay.

Q&A: Outdated content [00:51:46]

  • Speaker 3: [00:51:46] I said, Oh, I’m sorry. My mute was on a lovely session.
  • Learned loads. I have a quick question regarding research I’ve next insight collect a lot of information. So what I’ve faced is I’ve collected information and I’ve saved it someplace. So when I want to do like make a blog on it or write a report on it, I feel that since some time has passed, so that research might be outdated.
  • So I go back to Google, do the research once again. So the process of collecting it, saving, it becomes redundant after a certain period of time for me or what should be the thought process or the mind shift I can change. So regarding that, I would like your opinion of kids,
  • swyx: [00:52:30] right. Stuff becomes outdated you said? When you, when you collect notes? No,
  • Speaker 3: [00:52:33] like suppose I’m researching on a particular topic, which I want to make my notes on. Suppose six months have passed. I feel like in six months there would have been more research conducted on that particular topic. So I go back to Google research again and collect more information, switch, take a continuous cycle.
  • swyx: [00:52:52] Yeah. That makes sense. I think that’s pretty normal.
  • Speaker 3: [00:52:56] That’s pretty normal. Right. Okay.
  • swyx: [00:52:58] Awesome. I do like building reusable resources, right? The react and typescript cheatsheet that I showed you if it’s outdated, just delete it. It’s on the history somewhere if you need it.
  • But having a materialized view of everything that’s currently relevant that’s what we’re going to is for someone coming across it for the first time is extremely valuable. People don’t do that. People always do logs of here’s what I came across today. Here’s what I learned today.
  • That’s useful, but it’s not structured. And structure is almost as important as content. Awesome. Perfect. Thank you.

Question: Defining Dealbreakers [00:53:25]

  • Speaker 4: [00:53:25] I mean, this was great, but you mentioned with regards to tools to define your deal breakers. And I mean, just new to this, I’ve been, distracted by so many different shiny, bright object tools, for me, I think that’s extremely powerful just to define your deal breakers. Like you talked about how cross-platform is important and things like that. Well, that’s going to immediately eliminate certain tools. So yeah, defining deal breakers was a big
  • swyx: [00:53:55] help. Thanks. Thank you. I think something that Tim Ferris is famous for. I don’t know if he came up with this, but it’s a definitely powerful concept, which is making one decision that eliminates a hundred other decisions.
  • So if you, individually, if you evaluated each tool from scratch then it would take a lot of time. But if you had an understanding of your own needs and deal breakers, then you can rule out entire categories. So I really like these, but also try not to have too many do breakers, right.
  • Because it’s possible to be too picky and do break yourself out of every tool in existence. That’s when you know, you’ve gone too far.
  • Yeah. But similar and this is, I think it’s something that it’s hard because. High expectations. There’s this quote about the unreasonable man. The reasonable man that fits himself to what the world expects of him and the unreasonable man reshapes the world to his expectations.
  • Something like that. I’m butchering this quote. So if you are unreasonable and you find yourself actually do breaking out of every single two in existence you might be the right person to make that tool. But for most of us, in most areas of our lives, we should be fairly reasonable and try to limit our pickiness.
  • The essay I have on this, I think it’s on my blog. It’s called good enough is better than best. Stop looking for the best, because Being the best is very external focus. You’d have to evaluate all tools. You have to keep up on all news. You have to think about what other people think.
  • Whereas good enough is very self focused is what it was about what you need, what you know. And it’s a very nice shift because there’s more of a satisficing rather than a maximizing mentality.
  • And, and I think that that’s a more sustainable way to, to live life, to be honest, like there there’s just so much FOMO out there so much, like anxiety of over, like I did I make the right choice here. Yeah. I think that the more you let go, you’re the happier you’ll be. And I think, I think we need to, make, make room for happiness in our, in our collect capturing, like, we need to enjoy this, essentially.
  • We’re not taking on a second job to like, try to prove that we’re better than anyone else. This is for us.
  • There you go. That’s the George Bernard Shaw quote. Okay. Yeah, I think that’s it for for our one and a half hours together. We’ll try to do this every week and I’m gonna trying to get better and yeah. Thanks. Thanks so much for your time. And we can continue this on circle or on email, however you prefer.

Thanks so much for coming. Great. Thanks everyone. Thank you, Shawn. This is great. Thank you.

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