The Swyx Mixtape
The Swyx Mixtape
[Second Brain 5] Finale

I am a mentor for the Notion Advanced track of Tiago Forte’s Building a Second Brain, Cohort 12. You can catch Weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the previous weekend episodes. This is the cleaned up audio of the last of 5 mentorship sessions with Q&A at the end.

Video version:


  • Recap of Last 4 Weeks [00:02:08]
  • Shifting Perception to Sharing [00:03:07]
  • IP’s Personal Progress [00:09:38]
  • How to Solve the Cold Start Problem [00:10:57]
  • The Invisible Pipeline and the 1% Rule [00:14:00]
  • Peer Group Progress [00:15:48]
  • Course Recap: Convergence vs Divergence, CO vs DE [00:20:41]
  • Your First Brain vs Your Second Brain [00:22:43]
  • Project Kickoff Checklist [00:24:06]
  • Favorite Quotes [00:25:26]
  • Q&A: Denys on Learning in Public in YouTube [00:32:47]
  • Q&A: Meryl Johnston on Learning in Public [00:43:34]
  • The Resistance and Gratitude Journaling [00:46:04]
  • Don’t Just Write Essays: Remove Resistance [00:48:37]
  • Three Strikes Rule [00:52:51]
  • Guy Margalith on Fear and Your Second Brain [00:53:40]
  • Organizing Files on your Mac [01:00:59]
  • Swyx Twitter Journey [01:04:18]
  • Tropical MBA and Balaji Srinivasan [01:09:05]
  • Closing Remarks [01:10:20]


swyx: [00:00:00] Okay, so we’re in week five. I didn’t know what to call it. So I just called it finale week. I, at this point I feel like everyone knows each other even.

But feel free to say hi, if you’re new you’re still totally woke up and to jump around and visit the each other’s sessions. I’m also going to blast through the housekeeping just because there’s not that much more housekeeping left to do. And I will also want it to shout out what I did for last week’s.

Events which well that’s Swyx week app, which was essentially right up my own experience of intermediate packets. And I broke my own journey down into eight intermediate packets. So that’s tweet, tweet, livestream, blog posts, conference, conference conference, a job interview. And this took place over the course of a year.

So it, it shocked me because even though I went through it, you don’t, you never really think about intermediate packets dripping out over a year. And the thing that I really wanted to get across was that I think the way that immediate packets, which was presented last time was very much of a top-down thing.

Like I want to do something big, let me work backwards and break it down into intranet, small things that can ship. But it also equally works for bottom up where you have no idea what the end goal is, but you’re just like. That’s just ship of small things, and try to build up to something big if the interest is there.

Glen G says, paddle reminds me of bubbling off events. Yep. That’s a very WebDev analogy and that’s fully true there. The two directions of bubbling. I forget what the opposite of bubbling is in the dumb, but that’s beside the point anyway. I wanted to offer that as my own perspective on intermediate packets.

Oh, yeah. Dave says he is bubbling up NIST insider today. Yeah, totally. Yeah. We are bubbling ideas. That’s great. That title doesn’t resonate with me. So I just went with bottom up, but feel free to write your own policy. And I think that’s something that we should talk about as well.

Who’s written stuff as a result of this course. And what post ideas do you have to share? You can feel free to throw that in the chat as well. Housekeeping, we’ve covered this plenty of times, but stupid questions are welcome. Often beats. Perfect. And then this is the discussion and not a lecture.

Recap of Last 4 Weeks [00:02:08]

All right. So we’ve covered all these 12. I think it actually works out without the 12. So it’s cohort 12 with 12 items. I think so. I grabbed this, I went back to lecture one and grab this slide. And actually the last week changed quite a bit, I think, but the first 3 have been relatively stable.

And it’s quite a bit of content if you walk back and think about it. So I just wanted to acknowledge and pause for a bit and say I think the last five weeks have been a real blast in terms of flights and just a lot of ideas, especially if you’re new to them for the first time. But even for me going through them the second time I felt like I just had a lot more to think about each on each in each time, because I’ve lived through it and I’ve had a year to really sit with it.

I think it’d be interesting to hear from you in in, in the chat or if you wanna, if you want to speak up, I’m just going to pause here and it’s just go was there, was there a particular idea that really stuck out to you during this these this whole curriculum w what’s your favorite sort of takeaway that you really liked?

Shifting Perception to Sharing [00:03:07]

Speaker 2: [00:03:07] The one thing that I found which wasn’t actually to deal with lessons wasn’t to do with systems and processes. It was his perception for me. It’s just been a shift in perception, but that’s been the benefit of building a second brain, but I’ve taken that and I’ve applied that to everything. And I’m looking at, whether it be a task or whether it be something I want to do, what is the perception that motivates me most?

And I’ve realized from second brain that all I came in, they wanted to share more and I wanted an output and I think it came from a selfish point of view of, I just want to share, I want to share, I’m going to attract more people, get more business, be a thought leader, et cetera. What I realized when I was sharing that circle and sharing, and here I’m not having that going a backwards and forwards.

I like helping people and I look at even day-to-day friendships. I have conversations, anything that goes to the people I’m interested in they’re gold as well. And I’ve realized that the perception was wrong for me to just look at output in isolation and say, oh, you just want to help her instead of, Hey, how do we respond most positively to actually get output?

And for me now, I realized that for helping other people I’m building connections, like even the last week I’ve been really lucky people that they messaging me, ask them to connect. I’ve had zoom calls with people. I’m emailing people and we’re all having backwards and forwards dialogue, but that wouldn’t have happened unless I output in the first place to

share my opinion, to actually attract those like-minded people as well.

So that’s where I say now to perception is going to help me. And I’m going to look at any future problem rather than just looking at like it’s a task or a project on big into kind of alleviate and willpower and not having this battle that you have to get up every day and you have to do something against your will to finally get to the end of a journey.

And for me, if there’s that kind of, if there’s those breadcrumbs of emotion for me and breadcrumbs of connection with people, I’ll get more addicted to it. I’ll enjoy it more. It will be easier for me all the time. And I think it will become more and more natural to do.

swyx: [00:05:10] Yeah, that’s brilliant. Thanks so much for sharing that.

There’s so many things I can go off in that, Diego and ended the his lecture by saying, chase what excites you and that’s, I think that’s definitely something that you’re doing. I personally and th

Speaker 2: [00:05:23] that’s a good point. I think we have to shape it into a way that does excite you.

It does not always naturally. That’s what I didn’t realize. It wasn’t just, oh, that’s, output is going to excite me. I have to find what does excite me and how can I tie that into output. And now what’s going to,

swyx: [00:05:41] I call it. So I call it a nexus of interest because it’s not just X, if it only excites you and no one else, then you’re just going to do it yourself.Ikigai and the Nexus of Interest [00:05:49]

So you have to find the intersection. Okay. All right. A little bonus idea for you guys. All so, the internet is very In love with this idea of ikigai, because it’s a foreign sounding word and we love foreign sounding words as thought leaders. So Zettelkasten and Ikigai, anything is not English.

Speaker 1: [00:06:04] Sean, just real quick, my wife is Japanese from Japan. I’ve been married 27 years. But I asked her about Ikigai and she’s what the hell is

Speaker 3: [00:06:11] that?

swyx: [00:06:13] I just wanted to share. It’s not,

Speaker 1: [00:06:17] it’s real. But it’s not just some secret thing that all Japanese people know about.

So I just wanted to put that out there. All Japanese people do know about ninjas, but they don’t know about Jesus, but they don’t know about easy guy. So perfect. They’re

Speaker 2: [00:06:29] just not an air cold yet. That’s all.

swyx: [00:06:31] No worries. I was just going to say it’s very invoke. And I think if it works for you, it doesn’t really matter what the origin is, whether it’s true or not.

So my point is that it’s this, there’s this four circles. It says, what do you love? What you’re good at, what you can be paid for and what the world needs. And I think that actually, it just, it really draws, drives down to… What you love becomes, what you’re good at, if you just do it long enough.

And if you’re good at it, you eventually start to love it so that this collapses into one circle and then where you can be paid for and what the world needs. Basically collapse the one circle as well, because the creator economy and just the internet economy has funneled, has created a lot of ways to make money for as long as you, as long as can supply the

world of what it needs.

They’ll find a way to

Speaker 2: [00:07:10] pay for this is 40, where you’re going with this, because this reminds me of a conversation I had maybe a week ago about all peers and how I couldn’t understand them. And I couldn’t wrap my head around them. And when I did understand them, I realized that just done them naturally.

And it wasn’t a Eureka moment. And part of what we want to do is I want to help educate people and especially creative business owners to have more confidence in themselves. But what you’re showing me here is actually making me realize that there’s so many things that I do naturally. So even when I said, what excites me, that’s in a conversation with


But to me it would just be a given that it would make no sense to me just to talk. Self-serving really just about me. I’m going to empathize with other people, but. Th the point here is that it’s sometimes I don’t realize that I do things naturally and they’re just in there and their parents were processed and not explain them.

And that’s one of the big things that I’ve learned here is to actually explain the full idea rather than what I do automatically that I don’t even think about. And I think writing has made me document that better. This is really good. I like

swyx: [00:08:16] this. Exactly. It’s actually the advice that I give people.

So B be sure that you’re not only paying attention to what excites you, but also what excites others. The first part of my sort of IPS is respond to others. It’s very other oriented because that guarantees feedback that people are more people are the most interested in themselves.

So if you’re not appealing to other people’s self-interests, then. Yeah. People often, like when they start out re creating content online, they’re wondering how come they don’t get response. Like you’re much higher. You’re much more likely to get a response.

Speaker 2: [00:08:50] And I heard this is in my newsletter today, which the challenge for people is to actually respond to people.

If they’ve helped you, if they’ve saved you time, if they’ve made you think, go and respond to them. And I actually set a challenge to myself, the response.

swyx: [00:09:04] Yeah. Pick up what others put down. I also have this.

I refer to it so much that we have a shortcut for it, it’s in our community. But yeah, you want to plug your newsletter actually, if people are, have like newsletters and blogs and stuff throw it in the chat so that we can actually see and sign up for each other and keep and stay in touch, but anyway, it’s a dance, it’s not a one-way street. You absolutely are

engaging with other people on that. I have a bunch of other hands now thanks, David. I’m gonna, I’m gonna move on to someone else. So who is this zoom? Doesn’t show me your name

Speaker 3: [00:09:30] and IP and Glen have their hands up.

IP was first all

swyx: [00:09:34] okay. IP. All right. Thanks guys. Yeah.

IP’s Personal Progress [00:09:38]

Speaker 2: [00:09:38] Hey guys. I completely agree with what Dave said. It’s the community aspect of building the second brain that has really helped me as well, this connecting to people and just to see what they’re doing has really helped me. And one more funny thing I wanted to show you.

I w I just did that

swyx: [00:09:54] icky guy thing.

What do you mean? What do you mean you did it? What do you mean you did? No, I thought icky guy it’s architecture. I just hadn’t been able to pinpoint, but I’ve always been in love with it. And this is something which I really want to pursue. And with building a second brain, what I’ve actually seen is it’s, since it’s relieved so much of cognitive overload, that.

I can, that’s helped me scale up like previously I could just manage one or two project at a particular time. Now I can see by making it by making more intermediate packets, I can actually scale up my work. I can add this same moment in time. I can work on different projects, which I previously couldn’t, so that’s really helped me out.

That’s awesome. Awesome. Are you a practicing artist architect? Yes, I am. Yes I am. Yeah, that’s awesome. I’m glad you really clarified that for yourself and yeah. Thanks for sharing that. Yeah, it’s been amazing. Awesome. Thank you so much. Thank you. All right. Let’s see.

How to Solve the Cold Start Problem [00:10:57]

Okay. Something’s wrong with my zoom because it really doesn’t show names. But Glenn, go ahead.

Speaker 2: [00:11:02] I, I read Pick up what they put down post. But I was wondering if you had a few more example or four could show something, cause it seems key and kick-starting things when you don’t really have so much of a following yet and how you generally engage with people or what it would look like for example, do you make a blog post or

do you just respond on a tweet or do you,

swyx: [00:11:25] yeah those are quite, those are most often the common examples. One of the key examples, say I do is write a book review. If an author puts out a book you want to go through it and jot down like your top learnings and then send it back to them, they would probably really appreciate it.

And even if you’re not on social media at all, just emailing them old school style they’ll probably read through your response and like either, really appreciate it probably make their day. And if you got anything wrong, they’ll probably correct you and that’s free consultation or teaching that you just don’t get anywhere else.

And I think if you do it often enough, or if you have a really high quality correspondence, then you become partners in the, you become collaborators, because then there’ll be like the next time you’re working on something, they’ll send it to you first and go what do you think? Because.

You don’t have to be an expert. You do have something that you don’t have. It’s just at the beginning of my mind, I say that a lot. This doesn’t have to be a whole lecture on ethic of what they put down, but I, if anyone else has similar ideas that, I’m interested to hear them as well.

But I think I can keep coming up with stuff if you want. Does that help? I can show you, I’m still sharing my screen, so let’s see.

Swyx what it’s node design patterns. So I read I got sent a review copy of this book, and then went through then I went through it and I just listed my top five learnings. And it really resonated with a bunch of people. I don’t know if we can see the stats on this. And then they sent me the book,

Speaker 3: [00:12:47] so

swyx: [00:12:48] autographed and everything. I didn’t have, I just had the PDF before, but not then they just send it to me from Italy. I don’t know if this is like the most, this is the one that comes up for me now, because I didn’t know them before. And I was just interested in this book, like no, no design patterns.

And then, I started chatting with them and now they’re. Some of my go-to people for no JS. And these are experts at the subject. I think all it is just like looking for opportunities in which like you’re interested in something and someone else has just put out something that’s super relevant to them.

And just going out all out and picking up on it, like actually trying out the demo, reading the book, giving you honest feedback. A lot of the times they’re not going to bite, especially if they’re the superstars celebrity type people, but some of them will. And you’ll you start having an honest conversation between them.

And I think if you focus on people who are like, just a little bit ahead of you and not like the same celebrities that everyone goes for you have a pretty good shot at building your network. And it’s often that forming that peer group, that’s all you’re all on like roundabout, the same level in your industry.

And then you progress together over years that you build up a very strong bond. Cause that’s, that becomes your cohort. And and that’s all it is. I don’t, I’m not a believer in any sort of growth hacky style. Like there, there are tons of like how to crush it on Twitter courses out there.

The Invisible Pipeline and the 1% Rule [00:14:00]

Speaker 2: [00:14:00] Can I add something in? Yeah.

One of the things that I realized when I started with, whether it be writing, blogging, sharing stuff, is. The amount of people that consume information and don’t actually interact with you, there will be tons and tons of people. And look, we just spoke a minute ago about, me challenge people to say, thank you.

And Swyx doing the same thing that there’s a term called the invisible pipeline, which is people consuming. And all of a sudden they may come along and pull your broker cars or whatever. I’m just like, yeah, I’ve been following you for two years. I love everything. But you may not know about those people.

So I think you have to either have somebody specific in mind that you’re going to write for, or you have to write for yourself what I don’t mean produce content, whatever way you’re going to do it. There has to be a goal or either you’re really interested in and you’re going to share it in your learning on your growth are there’s so many mind, whether it be you a

few years ago, you in the future are a friend who somebody who’s obsessed about something.

But I think there has to be someone in mind for. That kind of that white noise of emptiness initially, because it’s not going to metrics game of subscribers and how many people and stuff like that. I think slowly you will build a following. It has to be authentic and true to you to get your true, the slow part of it at the start.

swyx: [00:15:20] Yeah, totally agree with that. I pulled up my favorite version of this, which is the 1% rule. So 90% of people lurk on the internet. And then 9% actually comment or contribute and then 1% actually have original creations. So yeah, you’re going to have a lot of liquors and, but they’re still paying attention anyway.

It just takes a while for them to come out. You’ve got, sometimes you’ve got to encourage them a little bit as well. I don’t know if anyone else has like how do you start an interaction and build a following? I’m definitely not the only source I have my own perspective.

Peer Group Progress [00:15:48]

Speaker 1: [00:15:48] I’m happy to share just since it’s new for me. One thing, I did the Rite of passage program just prior to doing this and out of that, I met a cohort of people. And so now we meet daily as a writing group. So we don’t necessarily have a common interest other than writing, but it’s like this group of people that I went through the program with that I know I’m supporting them, they’re supporting me.

That feels really nice. The other thing I did ship 30 for 30 did it get super into it? But one thing I did get out of that I really loved my accountability partner. And what I learned was I could go up and start to follow some people on Twitter and reply to their stuff and give feedback and interact with them.

And then it turned not all of them. Some of them will come and start to follow me, especially if I’m producing some content. And to give an example, I think I had six Twitter followers in my. Whatever 14 years on Twitter. Cause basically I wasn’t on Twitter and suddenly I’m on Twitter.

And now I have 96 followers, which is it’s not necessarily the number but I now know that those 90 people definitely are from like me writing and producing some content. And in turn I go and look at those people and I’m like, oh, that person’s producing content. Oh, that stuff’s neat.

And so it becomes very personable and fun. Like you slowly start to get to know these other people and interact with them. And, and some of them I’ve even hopped on like a zoom call with them or whatever, or, exchanged emails to have a lengthier discussion off.

Whatever platform. I would say, there’s the circle group up here and BA SB, maybe you have some particular thing that you’re interested in. Glen. I don’t know, like some topic area, whether it’s coding or psychology or downhill skiing,

or maybe the intersection of all three of those, downhills gears that coded, that are into psychology, cool group discuss existentialism issue, ski downhill, and then code about it later. No but you probably can find people that you

Speaker 3: [00:17:38] can

Speaker 1: [00:17:39] interact with. And I guess what I’m trying to say is like meeting some people where you have some similar background, like there’s already a little bit of, I want to say vulnerability, but commonality, even too, you know people versus just going out and trying to meet complete strangers, which can work, but you might get more of the

crickets or as Dave was saying the invisible pipeline.

swyx: [00:17:57] So yeah. Basically connects with people who are like, eh, add to your level and share your interests, right? And yeah. Yeah, like a small group of 10 or 15, like people who are also going through the same thing. It’s much better than like a hundred people who have no idea who you are and never interacted with you.

Speaker 2: [00:18:14] I connect with people with strong opinions. And whether they agree or disagree, I think that’s whether it be online or friendships. I think I want somebody to have a viewpoint and stuff. I don’t want somebody just to factually and say, this is how I deal with this. And sometimes that can happen in coding and stuff like that as well.

Somebody can share some amazing code, but none of our personality or the benefit of why they saw it, how they got the realization of what they’re doing or how they’re going to utilize this later on as well. Those little small things I do think really help as well. They’re just for me, because we’re in that kind of overload of so much stuff that, everything’s a

Google way, but I find I follow more people who are not along and say, yeah, I have that same problem.

Yeah. That really annoys me as well.

swyx: [00:18:59] Yeah, you shared sharing problems. I don’t know maybe it’s community. This is where we’re trying to

Speaker 1: [00:19:05] quick shot seeing you. I saw you bringing up Dave for a Rite of passage for people now that we’ve been studying this code pipeline to C O D and E that Rite of passage really focuses.

It jumps in at D and goes to eat pretty quickly. So it’s all D and E with a little bit of CNO, like Dave Burrell gives you like a 45 minute recorded essays. Like here’s how to set up the second brain. Good luck. In terms of the having someplace to collect your notes and to use it, he doesn’t go deeply into that part.

And and then for others who are maybe considering it, you can sign up for his 50 days of writing essays. And really if you just want the straight information, just like building a second brain where all the information is up on Chicago’s blog, Dave, for L’s 50 days of writing That’s a hundred percent of the information that’s in the course, but really you’re doing it

for the the community and the accountability.

Speaker 2: [00:19:51] I’m happy to share a notes on his 50 days as well. I only started it the other day and know, been documented each day and I’m just pulling out tips and what he does, how he connects with people and stuff like that far, my newsletter as well.

swyx: [00:20:04] That’s great. That’s great. Yeah. Don’t forget to you’re collecting all this information.

You’re taking all this in don’t forget. Don’t forget that you need to practice it. And sometimes you can do too much learning as well. But no, this is great. I actually was a subscriber for this thing. It was going to be a book of a hundred tips and then he got to 50 and then he stopped.

I think he, I think, cause he, he found some other opportunity that he wanted to pursue. So he just stopped at 50 and then turned into like an email sequence.

Speaker 2: [00:20:27] She was pretty fun. I finally realized as everybody’s talking to know what I do in chat now or progressively somewhere else, everybody can talk


swyx: [00:20:38] Use the knowledge. There we go. There we go. Appreciate that.

Course Recap: Convergence vs Divergence, CO vs DE [00:20:41]

Okay. W we don’t have to w we’ll have more conversations as we go, Glenn. I hope that’s okay. I don’t hear from you again, but Yeah, let us know if you have This is this is an ongoing topic anyway, but I was just going to go ahead and try to recap a little bit more, and then we can just go to the general discussion. I think I’m also trying to try to go from super

granular in the course to less granular and then least granular and congrats.

Can you hit 101 followers? Nice. You can all get donation coats. But, okay so what, we’re, what we’re trying step back from everything and go really into is to understand the structure of code, right? Cod we diverge and then we converge.

We defined what it means to capture, what the capture habit is and how we focus on to our favorite problems when they find how it means to organize with the para system. And then we try to emphasize converging as well with distilling progressive summarization and then expressing the intermediate packets.

And then we defined a little bit last week on project completion, as well as project kickoff this week. So that’s the rough structure of this, but I think the diamond shape is really important to me. And I hope that it really comes across to you as well. That our natural tendency is to spend 90% of our time here in the divergence space.

Cause it’s fun because you’re always learning new stuff and you don’t have to lock yourself down and delete things and commit yourself to a single phrase or a sentence or paragraph or essay. But the real work comes here and it is safe and fun. Yeah. That’s, let’s put it that way. Yeah. No,

Speaker 2: [00:22:12] but it’s safe.

You don’t have to expose yourself to the world. You still have a sense of achievement. I’ve spent hours collecting and reading and stuff like that, but none of that is, self-expression

swyx: [00:22:22] right, exactly. You have to realize that a bulk of the learning that happens comes when you go through the act of distillation and especially particularly when you express and you get feedback, which starts to loop to go back again.

The reason that people stop is they don’t get feedback. And you do need that feedback to, to keep going. That’s something I wanna, I really want to distress.

Your First Brain vs Your Second Brain [00:22:43]

And then at the highest level, what we’re really here about is I wanna, I should probably have presented this if I was any good at this this is what we, this is why we’re here, right?

Fundamentally understanding that the way that we are historically trained to ingest information is to put everything in our first sprain and then try to have a single threaded output that, that doesn’t really have a system to it. And the way that Tiago phrases it is that, all the routine stuff to your second rate your your, the stuff that machines are good at.

So your second brain, and then the stuff that humans are good at, which is all the fun stuff creative writing, problem, solving, storytelling imagination, generating hypothesis, free that up. And to step aside the flow of information.

Me personally, I tend to extend this as well. The two things that machines to do better, better than us is storage and search. So it’s not just remembering, but also recalling things. It can be pretty good at that as well. I love by the way, I love people who are dropping their profiles and blog posts and newsletter in the chat.

If you do want to connect I’d be happy to follow up on there and I’m putting together a list on the slides as well, so people can follow up. Okay. This is not supposed to be there anyway. Okay. Yeah. Okay. So the final piece of content that Tiago talks about.

So what do

Speaker 2: [00:23:49] you feel is a dev all the tech problems. You have so many tech problems,

swyx: [00:23:57] I’m thinking at a different level there.

Speaker 2: [00:23:59] Oh yeah. Your friend’s too fast for the machine. Yeah. Sorry. I forgot.

swyx: [00:24:03] So go on our genius one and it’s fine.

Project Kickoff Checklist [00:24:06]

What I really liked was the commencement style of Tiago covering how to kick off a project at the end of this course, which. I don’t think we had doing cohort 10.

But it was really, it would have been really helpful for me to have this mental model of okay, when you kick off a project there’s a way you do this, assuming that you have set up your second brain, you first ignore your second brain first. They just bring up everything that you currently think, and then go through your second brain by going through the

notebooks, searching for terms and then re rearranging things, moving things up in the para system towards your current project that you’ve just, that you’ve just formed.

And I find that a, an interesting parallel to the project completion checklist that was featured last week. So you can see like a nice. One-to-one correspondence of of the, each of the sections here. And it’s how you promote stuff to projects and how you demold stuff to archive or something that’s not project area resource.

But yeah, I just wanted to note this parallelism and I think it’s something that when you have a functioning second brain and it’s and it’s set up to make you productive in your, in subsequent projects. Having a system like this helps you get up and running really quickly. And I saw, and I think, seeing it in motion in the demo that he did this week was really


So I’ll just leave it at that.

Favorite Quotes [00:25:26]

Okay. I’m not sure what I have after this. Oh, then I have coats. Ha my favorite part. Again, I really encourage you to collect coats, whatever resonates with you. This is just what resonates with me.

So the first quote that I, that outlines is one from his slide, a modern piece of work isn’t created, it’s assembled, right? So we’re not. We’re starting from abundance. We’re starting from a place of we have 80% of the work done, which is a quote from last week. We don’t start anything before it’s 80% complete some things, something ridiculous like that, which

is obviously an exaggeration, but it goes to show how much work should be done ahead of time and through intermediate packets.

So that when you’re at, when you’re embarking on a project, you’re really doing final assembly. And that’s a step change from how people normally view their projects in their creative endeavors.

Second quote, your second brain is not a library. It’s an idea factory. It’s not the place to do research.

It’s where you take action. Again, so similarly I think I’m still here, so I don’t want to say I’ve done everything that’s been recommended here. I definitely treat my second brain as a library. I look at the stuff that I read and I store stuff in the right place, like a digital.

Librarian I have my own Dewey decimal system and I just slept there according stuff there. And I don’t really set it up for internalization or summarization. So I need to do more personally to, to make it a, more of an idea factory where I take action, because right now I just do a lot of just in case storage.

And it’s not meant to do that. You can do that all day long and not really produce more. So the goal is not storing more information that you’re not, you shouldn’t measure yourself by the amount of megabytes that you store in your second brain. It’s about the output. Your first brain is the bottleneck, give it a different job, step off the flow of information.

So this is the, this, the one that I really resonated with in this in this thing, right? This is the first brain and it’s like the bottleneck for the information. And this is the second brain where it’s doing a lot more fun stuff. Give up low value work. We know how to do it, but it gives us a false sense of security.

This one’s really, so to me it actually makes a lot of sense. I don’t know how well it relates for you guys, but I do a lot of things that give me a sense of security. Like something that’s familiar and comfortable. I just do it more because I know how to do it, and it’s not really stressing, stretching my brain very much.

I can listen to podcasts or watch a movie while I do it. And yeah, it’s shallow work, if we really want to do deep work we have to push past that free our brains up to do the deep work.

And finally the piece that we already talked about, chase what excites you and take some notes along the way.

Tiago’s very much promoting an inspiration driven approach where you live life more in the moment than others. Among like startup founders and tech people there’s this very, there’s a very involved trend of being detached right.

To meditate a lot, to be stoic and to not let your emotions wash over you in any particular good or bad scenario. And telcos took us like pushing back against that and saying you should live in the moment more and see what can see where that takes you. So I liked that spiritually.

Even though I know that, stoicism has, its has its benefits as well, but I just want to center that in terms of What Tiago is saying versus what he’s not saying. So he’s not saying be dispassionate about everything he’s saying, really look for what excites you. And when that comes up, use a second brain to, to pursue that with all your heart.

So yeah, that’s those are my quotes. So does anyone else have, of course they want to share.

Speaker 2: [00:28:35] Let’s see. I want to know what you do with the quotes.

swyx: [00:28:38] Right now I’m

Speaker 2: [00:28:39] having to use the lowest them. Cause they’re just, they’re somebody else’s words now. So I just want to know where they go when you were tagged as a quote, or do you add journal boards? preference tots underneath it, like you explained them

swyx: [00:28:53] to us.

They would be eventually quoted somewhere in one of my blog posts. That’s my action. Or with tweeted. But I tried to tweet all the stuff. That’s my words. Whereas if it’s a blog yeah. That’s

Speaker 2: [00:29:02] exactly why I poured a war. That’s why I would put my and perspective, on the need.

And are maybe trying to see what question they’re trying to answer.

swyx: [00:29:10] Yeah. Yep. Sure, exactly. Okay. There’s some conversation going on there. Does anyone want to share quotes? Okay.

Emma D says I really like “productivity is for people with no leverage”. Whoa. Who said that? Was it Tiago? Yeah, I think so. I think there

Speaker 3: [00:29:24] was in the last or second

swyx: [00:29:25] to last session.

Yeah. Okay. I missed that. That’s that’s fire, man. I got nothing else to say apart from yeah. Good job. I’m stealing that one. Okay.

Who else? Guy says guy, he went, why you, when you come on and then explain what your quote is. I started

Speaker 3: [00:29:41] your, I’ve been following your practice of collecting quotes for my session.

So first of all, thank you for the inspiration. I think it’s really helpful to focus my thoughts, but one of the quotes that resonated was the purpose of this second brain. And Dave, you were hinting at it before as well. Like why are we doing this? And I, and Tiago mentioned it a little bit in the Q and a for this week.

He said that you can use your second brain to be a better citizen, family member and human. And a lot of times we may use our second brain to collect these internet points in quotes. It doesn’t really, it’s like a, in a video game. It’s nice. It doesn’t really do anything. The purpose should be something bigger than yourself.

And when you have that kind of purpose, it makes things a little bit easier and better to be of service to others that resonated with me.

swyx: [00:30:22] That’s really great. Yeah. Yeah, that’s true. I’m very, I’m definitely easily gamified by internet points, but I know that there’s more important things out there.

Yeah. Glen says regarding meditation, it’s rather the opposite of detaching. It’s coming into closer harmony with the actuality of the experience. Whoa, whose audio Shante.

John Glenn. What’s the context?

Speaker 2: [00:30:43] Adia. Shanti is a Rotter popular now

swyx: [00:30:47] a meditation teacher. I think it’s mainly popular in the states are well known, but he’s also one of the few legit teachers.

swyx: [00:30:57] Got it. Cool. Awesome. Yeah, I think there’s a place for both. But definitely at work I try to do the more detached and stoic thing.

And then in my personal stuff I definitely live in the moment more. Alright. That’s it for our featured quotes? I was, I didn’t have actually much else to talk about I haven’t done this yet, we all have homework and there’s still homework today which is to fill out the second brain snapshot thing and get access to second brain habits.

I think habits are just like trending in general. If there’s one thing that’s probably not, there’s only lightly touched on is habits here. And of course, James Clear owns that one. I’m curious and curious if if you all have have actually done this, I didn’t have thoughts on habits that you’re trying to develop.

But think that’s definitely one of those things where. Everything here that’s in second brain is more or less conscious. And it’s a step-change approach every single time. Whereas habits are much more focused on what James clear says, like being 1% better every single day and being automatic, they point that you don’t think about it.

Part of that is definitely being having your identity change to, towards being someone who does the habit without even thinking rather than having a, be some heavy lifts, like you don’t even count it as work anymore. So that’s something I really appreciate with with the habit faction of the productivity group type.

Okay. Yeah, I was just going to open up for discussion before, before we leave. And that was definitely, I was going to share all the slides. I think we have all the sights in slide five sorry. We have all the slides in zoom. I was also going to offer my discord.

I usually run a pay discord. But I’m just going to share it with everyone here, if, as a thank you for coming along if you want to, continue the conversation. I have a small group of people who talk about this stuff and we share our work and we learned in public and we talk about just, all sorts of stuff.

It’s more coding related. But you’re all welcome to join because you’ve been through this journey with me. And, and this is discord, so not everyone’s on this cord and I understand that, but I’m in discord. It’s it’s a nice place to hang out throughout the day.

Q&A: Denys on Learning in Public in YouTube [00:32:47]

Okay. Yeah, I’m just going to open it up for general questions and answers or if anyone has a question that has a takeaway that they want to share about this course how they’ve changed in, in, in their perspective.

Speaker 4: [00:32:58] Hi at first I wanted to publicly thank Sean for letting me use his learn in public posts. I used it to send to my newsletter subscribers about some thoughts I was having around learning in public so I could get feedback from them.

And then I could actually do a public blog post on it. And when I discovered, when I sent it to my newsletter, subscribers is their idea of learning in public was gathering information and discussing it with other people. It really wasn’t like producing work. So I need a different term for it, for my field.

It’s not, I, so it’s given me something to noodle about, and it’s just interesting. How things don’t always translate the way you think they’re going to translate. And then the one thing I learned in doing this course, I have this thing about always wanting to do everything, right?

There’s one best way to do it, and I’m going to figure out the way to do it and I’m going to do it right. And then I’m going to be super effective and productive or something. And what I got from the mentor sessions is each mentor took the BSAP course materials and really customized it for what they needed to produce, what they wanted to make in the world.

And so Like you Sean were talking about you know, podcasts and blog posts and a newsletter. And I was like, that was awesome. And then I go to Ali and Elizabeth’s session and they during YouTube videos and they’re like, yeah, I don’t do any of this other stuff. I just like, I use like these two pieces and this is what I use.

And I don’t worry about that. No, I don’t worry about doing habits. I just do what I feel like, no, I don’t do a routine. I just do whatever. I feel like I have energy for that day. Like, they’re just like complete opposite of like a lot of other people. So it was really helpful cause it’s just like, yeah, there’s like no way to mess this up.

There’s here’s a bunch of tools you can use them how you want. Pick what you need. This is how it works together. Don’t get obsessed about, you know, notion or Rome or, you know, whatever, like just, you know, make life easier for yourself here. Here’s an invitation, you know, and I was like, oh, this is so much such a relief, such a relief.

I I’ve had a good time then implementing pieces of this in making my YouTube videos. And now I have a clear vision of what I want to do with it and how to keep adding onto it without punishing myself and trying to set up this really rigid structure.

swyx: [00:35:23] So, yeah, it’s is that your primary, medium? I actually don’t know.

Is it, is it, is your YouTube connected to P ancestors

Speaker 4: [00:35:33] podcast page the high

swyx: [00:35:35] CAS? I’m still not used to video podcasts. This is awesome.

Speaker 4: [00:35:38] Okay. Well, I started, I said the podcast started with doing like interviews with people. And then this last season, I thought I’d make it more a narrative and actually do the work in public.

Right. And like, you know, but I do have interviews on there with archivists and librarians and historians and authors and stuff like that. That was the first season. And. They’re just like audio without the video component. And I can’t believe you’re going to watch this. Oh my goodness. Of course,

swyx: [00:36:09] you’re doing more.

You are more on YouTube than I am. I’m just, I’m just messing around.

Speaker 4: [00:36:13] I am so excited. I now have a hundred subscribers and I am like, oh yeah, I hit a hundred this weekend. And what’s funny is in the statistics, like when YouTube shows you the statistics, like I know like people watched like 26 hours of my videos, like in the last week.

Right. But like I have a hundred subscribers, right. Like I know how many people have watched and you know, it’s really funny. So it is that 1% like that are actually interacting and commenting. So

swyx: [00:36:45] it is, it is. That’s why, that’s why I think there’s. That’s what, that’s the rule for general audiences? Because they don’t necessarily have to have anything to say.

But if the response rates are much higher, if you have a conversation with someone actively in that field, right. Which is why I always wanted to try to push people towards you know, picking what others put down in a sense of like, who else is doing this work? Who else can you bounce the energy off of so that you’re, you’re, you’re both pushing yourself in,

in, in new ways.

So, so that’s great. Thanks. Thanks so much for sharing. Yep. No,

Speaker 4: [00:37:14] you’re free to watch my videos. Now. I’m used to hearing myself talk now I’m watching myself so I can handle it. But that’s the hardest part.

swyx: [00:37:22] The imperfection piece, like this is, this is an ideal, right? Like, particularly cause you know, Tiago has to has the model, his behavior.

We shouldn’t, we shouldn’t, we shouldn’t think that we all have to do it exactly like he does. Because we all, we don’t all teach building a second brain. We have other contexts as well. So I definitely view it as like a menu where you just pick off the stuff that you like. I really like para I really like the capture tool toolkit.

I think 12 favorite fibers. The 12 number is bullshit. Yeah,

Speaker 4: [00:37:52] I do too. I did seven cause then I had one for each day of the week that I could like pick up and look at, you know, and kind of unit one. When I journal in the morning, I could look, you know, so yeah. But yeah, I. Be a mentor in the next session.

Oh, absolutely not now. There’s

swyx: [00:38:08] I think it, I think it really,

Speaker 4: [00:38:11] this is all the stuff I don’t use with this. Wonderful. Maybe I’ll maybe I’ll have more done, but I

swyx: [00:38:18] don’t know. Well, I mean, if you, if you just see like how disorganized I am, like you’re, you’re, you’re doing fine.

Speaker 4: [00:38:24] Beautiful though. I, I really love it.

It made me like re I only subscribed for a few weeks, but it it, it inspired me to be more I don’t know what the word is. I guess it’s vulnerability or just sharing in my newsletter part. So rather than just saying, oh, here’s the latest podcast, here’s the latest blog post, you know, and, you know, a couple of nice things.

So it was just like, oh, I’m just going to dump. And just like, just really talk to people. Like I’m actually talking to somebody on the other end of this email versus, you know what I mean? Yeah, yeah.

swyx: [00:38:54] Right, right. To your friends, right. Your friend, and, you know, make a, a letter to your friend would be like, you know, like here’s, here’s, what’s going on in my life.

And then here’s some other, like, so recently what I’ve done, just, just to show people I forget, what’s the CK thing. Oh

Speaker 4: [00:39:09] God. Like I just moved my oldest daughter into her first apartment. Right. So like, you know, like talking about that a little bit, it’s like, oh, you use, I can use convert kit

swyx: [00:39:19] kit too.

It’s awesome. Yeah. I reluctantly use it. There’s so many bugs. Oh, it’s not

Speaker 4: [00:39:23] as bad as MailChimp. That thing is awful

swyx: [00:39:26] booking software, as you see all the bugs and you’re like, I could fix that, but I can’t.

Speaker 4: [00:39:30] Oh, I do have to tell you something funny. Cause I used to script to edit my videos. And when you switch like the temporal switch or whatever, but the the transcription transcribed, like the automatic transcription instead of Denise Allen, it calls me Sid Sydney salad.

swyx: [00:39:45] That’s bad. It’s

Speaker 4: [00:39:47] really funny. No, it cracks me up. I put it on Instagram. I was like, oh, I didn’t say just scripted it. I, you know, I wasn’t going to say it, but it was just like my transcriber’s like Sydney salad. This is Sydney salad

swyx: [00:39:59] with PAs. I don’t know if anyone else uses district, but you can train it.

You can, you can train it. Yeah.

Speaker 4: [00:40:05] I noticed that. Yeah. You’ve looked into it every week. I learned something new and descript to make my life easier because then at least once a week they update the software. So they’re constantly like, Hey, restart it, restart it. Can you restart it again? We added more updates.

I’m like stop. And they add like new

swyx: [00:40:21] buttons. Oh, there we go. Yep. Right there.

Yep. Every time. Well, they’re, you know, they’re hard for your, for your money? No,

Speaker 4: [00:40:32] no, it’s a great product. I,

swyx: [00:40:34] i, I wanted to show people like so the, the way I do my newsletter now is I don’t just drop the link. I tell you why, why. My pitch for you reading it. And then if you’re not going to read it, I’m going to tell you the, the, the punchline anyway.

So I don’t know. I’m just like innovating. I’m just like messing around with it. Cause I don’t know if this helps people or not, but it’s just to kind of let it out. I would want, so that’s, that’s just, that’s just my only guideline. So yeah, too

Speaker 2: [00:41:00] pitchy,

swyx: [00:41:00] just give me a link is what

Speaker 2: [00:41:03] it’s it’s too salesy or too pitchy.

Just giving me a link. Yeah. Well, I, I, I like a description and a little bit of kind of what’s in it before you click.

swyx: [00:41:13] Yeah, exactly. Like I just, like, I want to do things that are different from everything else I’m seeing out there. So that’s my only thing. It’s just like, don’t even do

Speaker 2: [00:41:22] that

Speaker 4: [00:41:22] the same way and there’s no other, there’s no other genealogists doing what I’m doing.

There’s nobody yet. No, I’m it. I’m the only one doing this format of podcasts. There’s two guys that do like a. I’m just going to say the boomer show. I’m sorry. They’re just like two older guys and they’re just talking, you know, and it’s fun and it’s, it’s horrible, but it’s just, it’s, you know,

swyx: [00:41:44] if you like, if you like storytelling, have you, have you come across them off

Speaker 4: [00:41:47] the moth?

No. Oh no. I mean, my kids listened to it

Speaker 2: [00:41:52] and handling,

Speaker 4: [00:41:53] oh wait, let me, let me write this down. Hold

Speaker 2: [00:41:58] on. She’s a great book called everybody writes and she has a newsletter. She has a newsletter, which she writes as a letter to you. So it’s not, and I know you started doing the same thing. It’s a real newsletter.

We’re real content. That’s kind of, it’s completely separate. It’s nearly like a blog post and an email, but it’s really, really good. And she sends it on the Sunday.

Speaker 4: [00:42:21] Oh, let’s do that. Okay. I’ve been using the, do you know the story grid format from who’s the guy that wrote to do the work, the guy that works with him?

swyx: [00:42:33] I have no idea.

Speaker 4: [00:42:36] Yes. I don’t know where my book is. Yeah. You know, the S the story grid. I use that book somewhere. The whole idea of conflict and the, the number of beats per minute. I don’t have it down at all, but I’m like, I, it was one of those things. Like I could either wait till I get it perfect.

Practicing it on my own, or I could just start producing episodes and people will. Yes, the story grid book. That’s, it’s fantastic for developing nurse narrative storytelling.

swyx: [00:43:09] Okay. That’s awesome. Yeah. Wow. Okay. Well, thanks for sharing. Oh, I was just going to finish the thought with if you find a really good story to tell you might want to go on the math and then tell it because they, they really, they really like good stories and you, I’m sure you have a ton.

I have a

Speaker 4: [00:43:27] ton. I’m doing gene genealogy research. Yeah. I have a

swyx: [00:43:31] ton. Cool. I’m gonna, let’s see, let’s see what they did.

Q&A: Meryl Johnston on Learning in Public [00:43:34]

A bunch of, a bunch of people commenting. I want to answer some questions. Meryl Johnston says, what about working in public? That’s actually a title of a book that someone who has, has built but that’s, that’s more on open source.

But yeah, it’s, it’s absolutely a thing building in public working public producing in public

Speaker 3: [00:43:48] was suggesting that I’ll just quickly jump in. I was suggesting that for Dennis, when she was saying that the public term didn’t resonate with her group, you are suggesting a different name for that. Yeah.

I came across working in public. Cause as a concept before I, before I heard of your concept, Swyx with the learning in public. So I’ve done the work in public before with public podcasts to share accountability of what I’m working on. But I like the framing of the learning in public. Yeah. That’s something that I’ve actually taken away from, from the, from these

courses, trying to get things out there earlier, even if I’m learning, if it’s something that I’m learning about and trying to think through and making my own knowledge face more public.

So that’s actually something, an outcome that I really am happy about with the course that I got my own notion, my personal blog page up using notion as part that was one of my intermediate packet tasks. That’s awesome.

swyx: [00:44:46] Yeah. I like the framing of learning because if you just come across like that, no one can get angry at you for them.

If you’ve got stuff wrong, then then you, even your strongest critics can just become your, your teachers, right? Like if you, if you just listen to what they’re trying to say, some people get really offended when, when you get things in their domain wrong and you just go like, yeah, I’m just, I’m just learning this thing.

And, and, and listen with an open mind. I think, I think you can learn something from almost everybody. So that’s, that’s something I, I, I prefer the term learning rather than building or working, but they’re all in the same vein, which is, you know, do, do more put stuff out earlier and get more feedback.

Are there so congrats on doing that. Okay, awesome. Thanks Merrill.

Let’s see, Dave Dave says, I think it could help giving members of the same, the group, same guidance, guidance on how you see effective learning. Maybe share your process with them. I’m not sure is that, that address to be

Speaker 2: [00:45:38] no, that was the Denise. That was both the name. I think the name is somewhat important, but I think actual guidance on helping frame things. Cause I think we have the idea of airway is the best way. And also theater people who are doing it, not your way will think their way is the best way on thing. You’re going to lead by example

and say, this is how I do it this way.

And this is why it’s so good. And this is why it’s so helpful, kind of, you know, dangled the carrot in front of them.

The Resistance and Gratitude Journaling [00:46:04]

swyx: [00:46:04] Cool. Very cool. Steven Pressfield is also known for the war of art which I feel like it would be a travesty not to mention that because it’s, as one of the most cited books for pushing through the resistance that I feel often you know, so I have a commitment to myself to publish one blog post a week.

And today I did it. Literally sometimes I get unblocked and then sometimes I feel the resistance and I don’t push out anything in between May 28th and June 7th. I didn’t, I didn’t write anything. So I did technically miss a week. But I just, I pushed out the one I knew I could deliver today just for this group, essentially.

That, that I thought like, yeah. Okay. I felt guilty about last week having poor internet issues. So I just wrote up what I was going to say anyway. But yeah, War of Art, really great for identifying the resistance and saying like, it’s a, it’s something that everyone, everybody deals with.

Okay. Dave, Dave has a screenshot here. I don’t know what the screenshot says. Quick to open. All right. Am I going to regret opening this, Dave? All right. You want to talk through this? What is this?

Speaker 2: [00:47:02] You have some brilliant. If it was like, like a side profile in a year or something was like, I’m in the room.

This is at the end of my newsletter. That’s going out later on today. So I just thought it was quite relevant to share what we were talking about. Derek could have, you know, actually I’m panting people and that’s what I’m trying to do. And that’s what I’m trying to encourage. And that’s kind of prior to the forum, I thought I’m going to put on the bottom of my

newsletters is people that have inspired me or given me a voice or helped me out.

I’m going to try to actually kind of those people as well to mention them.

swyx: [00:47:35] Yeah. Yeah. That’s really, that’s really great. Yeah. So I think a gratitude practice is really helpful, particularly for just like enjoying life in, in Just, I think sometimes when we feel down, when we don’t, we don’t necessarily remember how, how lucky we are sometimes.

So having a gratitude journal like that can be, can be really helpful. It’s like

Speaker 2: [00:47:53] you wrote this newsletter today. It really is. You’re talking about gratitude minors that are starting to put technology on how I went on the tour and looked at old famine houses in Ireland from the 18th century on how technology back then was a blacksmith and a forage and a hammer and how we’re.

So, you know, we’ve luxury of kind of multinational media company of 20 years ago. We’ve more reached than they data right now from our laptop. And I was talking about how we needed to kind of be grateful and actually shared it with the world as well. This is so strange. It’s like take a screenshot to my machine today.

swyx: [00:48:32] Well, I mean, I I’m saying it based off of your prompt, so I did have something to go off of.

Don’t Just Write Essays: Remove Resistance [00:48:37]

Oh, I should mention for those people who are starting on new blondes you might get caught in this. I I’m currently in this trap, so I’ll, I’ll show you something I’m struggling with right now, which is that everything I write is basically an essay.

Some of them are very high. A very high impact. So for example, this was a very, this was a very highly traffic blog posts of mine. And people expect quite a lot out of it. But some of them are just tutorials, like how to do X and it’s just my notes for myself. So I think, I think there’s, there should be some kind of hierarchy in your, in your blogs.

If you’re setting up a blog of like something, that’s an essay, something that’s a tutorial or something, that’s a note. So I don’t think I necessarily do this very well. But I want it to give you an idea that like having some kind of separation of like, okay, these are essays. I don’t have to put these out constantly, but notes are very low bar that I don’t have to be a

big deal.

They can just be like a three you three sentence thing. And, and that’s something that I see, I see coming up a lot in, in other people’s work. So I think I may have covered this, but I just want to cover it again. Who’s the guy that does five years. I care. There we go. This guy I may have talked about this, but a lot of these tiles are just like PIL, and then you just kind of block this here and that’s, that’s, that’s an intermediate packet, right?

Because that’s a, that’s a reusable thing that you can you can come back and tie up into a bigger blog post, or just use that as a reference for yourself. So that’s, that’s one form of Tio. The other one I did not cover in previous sessions is Nikita Boulevard. If there’s, if there’s a proper Russian speaker here, let me know.

But this is, he has his own Wiki, so he just throws in like, okay, I’m interested in writing writing prompts. Great. And it’s just, it’s just updated over time, you know? I’m gonna, I’m gonna drop the link here so that you can see it. Glen says, it looks like he’s using dead. John. I think he’s using GitBook maybe then John’s the, the trading tool.

I’m not sure, but like having a place essentially where it’s not a big deal to drop a piece of information and store it somewhere. And this is a public second brain, essentially. Right? I really like this compared to what I have. I just have a bunch of messages. And I feel restricted. I feel restricted.

I feel the resistance, you know, like every, like, AF especially after I have a good one, then the next one has to top it and I, and I never do. So then I just stopped writing for two weeks. So set yourself up so that you don’t Yeah, fall into this trap, essentially because I’m facing it right now. And it’s a real problem that I’m dealing with.

So I like this, I like this approach. I like the TIL approach. And just any other way, which in which you can unblock itself from, from publishing something out there that doesn’t have to be a big deal. Okay. Okay. I’ll give you one more example and then I’ll shut up, which is this, these CSS-Tricks has been doing this a lot again, so I, you know, I’m very

developer focused, but here, this blog post is one paragraph.

Sorry. No, well, it it’s, it’s riffing off of someone else’s blog posts. Let me, let me see if I can find a better example for you. Cause I don’t think maybe I can just find his work.

Speaker 2: [00:51:32] I know what you’re talking about, but do you like

swyx: [00:51:34] those posts? Well, he’s, he’s adding his commentary, you know, that’s that’s it it’s it’s it doesn’t have to be a big deal.

So maybe you don’t, maybe you don’t like it just cause like it’s, it’s, it’s so minor. But it’s actually substantial part

Speaker 2: [00:51:46] of the behind CSS tricks that, that I find the value is to go and look for something. And then I learned that their article, I would be thinking, great, I’m going to get what I’ve used to.

I’m going to get to

swyx: [00:51:56] detail in here, look at this, like it’s someone else’s blog posts and he’s just taking the most relevant parts. And then it says link to the blog posts. So it’s a form of progressive summarization, but it’s a blog post for him. But like, Hey, you know, he agrees. That’s why he’s quoting it.

Speaker 2: [00:52:12] Well, I do agree with that, that if it can be as short as possible card is too much of that going to influence I’m writing a blog, it has to be at least 800 awards

swyx: [00:52:23] know, I’ll ask you what

Speaker 2: [00:52:23] SEO bullshit

swyx: [00:52:25] stuff. Yeah, exactly, exactly. So I really like this. I really like this idea of like, just removing resistance, you know, it doesn’t, it’s not about this format.

It’s not about my format or whatever, but just if you feel resistance like I don’t

Speaker 2: [00:52:38] think for people to start note though, I think for people starting now, you need to be cautious that this is not a shortcut to publishing more and more, and you haven’t given it that time to kind of marinade in your consciousness as well.

Three Strikes Rule [00:52:51]

swyx: [00:52:51] Yeah. So yeah, th I would say, I would say to something on the order of like, that’s why, that’s why I have the three strikes rule. Right. Something, I, I definitely think about a lot in terms of like the first time you come across, the first time you come across something, you’ve just heard about it.

So you don’t have that much of an opinion. The second time you’ve started to explain it, but you also found it useful to, to explain the second time and the third time you have enough of a context to start writing about it. So I find, I find this very helpful for moving that, that diamond leftwards because there are natural positions for the diamond to be all, all the

way shifted to the right this diamond the code diamond, right?

Like the natural position is to be all the way here. We need to, we need to find ways to move it all the way, all the way left as much as possible to, to try to convert more.

Okay. So, IP says 35 principles post. You got it coming up. I do have a search on my site. Okay. So, yeah. All right. All right.

Guy Margalith on Fear and Your Second Brain [00:53:40]

So I’m gonna, I’m gonna leave it there in terms of like the content that I have. But I wanted to leave some room for a guy since you’re, since guys here. Not to put you on the spot again, but like, people love no last time you took over, what, what do you normally cover in your session?

Yeah, I just recap

Speaker 3: [00:53:55] yours actually. No, I mean only partially joking. I I’ve gotten such wonderful content today from you and also from others, Denise in particular. So thank you for that. I’m actually going to quote you. I hope you don’t mind Denise in my session tomorrow. For me it’s tomorrow, I don’t know for others.

So I would say the, the one big takeaway I got from your sessions and from Tiago sessions and from taking the course again and teaching it is something that’s been really bugging me about my second brain. And I couldn’t really articulate it as clearly until this until probably this week. There was a, in the premium Q and a, for those who are in the premium

option for building a second brain Tiago had, well, one of the, I think one of the students also had a fantastic quote and I’m going to piece it in the chat here because it really resonated with me.

And here I found it and just bear with me for one second. While I pasted in here, the student was Andrea Ames and she said she was talking about fear, fear, and your second brain. And for me, this really resonated you’re talking about the resistance a bit. Swyx and for me it’s that resistance is fear because in my, in my line of work, and I don’t know if others

are in a similar line of work, if I put something in public and it.

Touches on something that is related to my work. And I don’t have permission to talk about it. I could lose my job and that instills quite a bit of fear. If you could lose, you know, have severe career impact for, for expression. And that’s what really bugged me the first time I took building a second brain because I want to, I have a lot to express.

It’s probably why I took the course in the beginning. It’s probably why I volunteered to be a mentor. I want to express myself. I’ve always wanted to. And I, the things that I’m most interested in, not coincidentally are the things that I do it for work. And there’s a few things that are not work-related that I can talk about freely, but the things I really want to talk

about are work-related and I can’t talk about it without a lot of hassle.

So how do I break through that resistance? How do I overcome that fear? And Andrea said, instead of fearing being judged, maybe I should reframe it. And I should fear not being seen. Like what’s the bigger fear. If the truth is I could. Get permission to talk about things. I just let that fear stop me. And that’s a result I’m not able to express.

And so I focus on other things like capturing, organizing, even distilling, but I just cannot express. I, it is, I’m always hitting that wall. How do you get through it? That’s what I want to deal with now that I’ve taken this course again, and I’m not anywhere near there. I still have a lot to do, but now I know exactly what the issue is.

And now I have some tools in my disposal to get there and you all have helped me get there and I’m grateful for it. So, you know, in my sessions, we do a little bit of notion templating. And so the only thing I would add that I, that I did develop a notion template for a project starter or a kickoff template.

Similar to what Tiago does. I think, as long as you reduce friction in, in those kinds of tasks, it makes the project kickoff and and project ending process a bit smoother. But really, I mean, folks, it’s all about the expression and if we can figure out how to do that, and I got lots of good ideas today, I think we’re, we’re, we’re in a good shape.

So that’s where my mind is at the moment.

swyx: [00:57:28] So for those who aren’t here in our third week guy actually shared his mindfulness engine, which is blew everyone away. I feel like, if, if you’re here for the notion stuff, I did not touch motion at all today, but is there are you saying

Speaker 2: [00:57:43] that’s not what I came from

swyx: [00:57:48] inspiration is always good for seeing how people use their tools and you can pull that in. I definitely, you know, and I’m very inspired by it, by the way that you sum up your, your daily, weekly, monthly. I really like that. W so I’m gonna, I’ll, I’ll share this in the notes for it, for people who are, who weren’t around for a week three, but did you

want to share your, your checklist.


Speaker 3: [00:58:06] it’s it is not quite ready for prime time. I will share the I’m still working on the, frankly, I am going to share the building a second brain startup template that I’m developing, focusing on distill an express. And I will have the I’d already has the project completion checklist template in there.

And by the time that I do my session on a Tuesday at 2:00 AM Eastern time for me, it’ll be a, for me, I’m in California. It’ll be 11 at night for that. It will be in there as well. And I will have a loom video that I will post to a circle, a swell. So it’s not quite ready, but it’s it’s all in there or will be

swyx: [00:58:47] in there shortly.

You agreed at this. I’d say, I mean, you know, there’s, there’s ways to express within I just vaguely know that you work in the foreign service or some kind of yes, right. I mean, that’s gotta be a huge organization. You you could share just internally, I guess, you know, I, I, I could,

Speaker 3: [00:59:04] I definitely could.

And that is, that is where probably I’m I’m going for, but frankly, it’s not as interesting, you know, it’s like, like I want to share this stuff and I want to share like you know, the stuff that Dave is talking about and like that, and to like think bigger picture and the stuff I want to share touches on, on foreign policy, on bureaucracy.

But at the same time, it covers, you know, productivity, writing tech. And for that, I still need permission as long as you’re touching even a bit. And that’s the challenge, but yes, absolutely. And that’s the advice Tiago gave me a year ago is you know, be the expert in internally on, on some subject, but it, you know, I dunno

swyx: [00:59:43] it doesn’t excite me, especially.

Yes, it’s there. Have you, have you considered, so, doing a Michael Crichton which is have a pen name and write fiction, but use the fiction to explore the issues that you want to actually write about.

Speaker 3: [00:59:57] That is an interesting idea. I have not considered that. That is, that’s a great idea. That’s a really good idea.

I, is there a link to some article or something? I don’t, I don’t know. Is that the author? Michael Craig?

swyx: [01:00:09] Yeah. Yeah. The Jurassic park guy. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, just go read his Wikipedia. It’s he’s he’s got, he had it. He led a full life. Let’s just say it was like he was bored in medical school, but he wasn’t allowed to write, so he just wrote under a pseudonym. And from that came these movies.


Speaker 3: [01:00:28] Awesome. I’m going to write a musical and no one will figure it out.

swyx: [01:00:33] Yeah. Cool. Cool. Well, appreciate you coming along and sharing.

Yeah. W w w well, over time you know, I, I don’t want to drag too long, but we are available to you on email and on circle and on discord, if, if anyone prefers to hang on in discord, I’m in there all day.

Cause I have my my book community. But no, it was a pleasure serving. I like, I like that word serving alongside with you.

Oh, we have a last minute. Henry’s from Beretta feel

Organizing Files on your Mac [01:00:59]

Speaker 1: [01:00:59] hi Shawn. Hopefully it’s not too last minute cause I, I, I just wanted you guys to you know, present as much as you could before I interrupted with the question.

So I have I guess maybe two organizing related question and two learning and public questions. Organizing, I think part of At one instance in your presentation, you mentioned something about, you know, wanting to organize your files and Dewey decimal systems or something. And another instance you had mentioned that you may be a little bit more


But is there anything you might be able to share, just how you go about organizing your files, especially you be? Yeah, like, I don’t know. You’re a Mac person, PC person, Mac

swyx: [01:01:39] max Akerson. I don’t have them any files, so I don’t think it’s that interesting. I I have my this literally my work desktop.

I have, I have work stuff. Sorry. I know I have, I have cold stuff here. These are all get hub. These are all the code reboots. I just, I don’t have many files. I just have code. And then, and then I have my work stuff and some of these are like, you know, order forms and stuff like that. And they’re all sorted by name.

I just don’t have that many files. I’m sorry. But you know, in terms of the, in terms of the, the librarian thing that I was referring to was just really this, this stuff, right? Like the the cloud stuff. When I, when I worked at Amazon, I, I just slotted a whole bunch of stuff in here, and I didn’t really do any progressive summarization or anything like that.

So this is very much building a library, hoarding information and not really using it to produce any, any output. So it’s a bit of self criticism for me saying like, yeah, I went through the motion of the capture habit, but I didn’t really do anything else with that. So, You know, I’m trying to reflect on the lessons here, which is you should, you should bias your

second brain towards action.

Arguably this is just a resource, so I don’t need it yet. So I’m just sticking in there just in case. But it definitely reflects on me that you know, I wanna, I want to do more action. But ironically, the, the, the most disorganized stuff that I do is the, is the more action focused one. So, I recently reorganized this, but now I have my newsletter source material that I lay

out, you know, that I, that I update throughout the week.

I have my mix-tape stuff where I do my audio podcast work. And then I have just like business ideas to do that. I need to get done. These are no, I don’t know why. I just like decided to put one note here instead of a, instead of a no shit. And I should’ve just done that anyway. And then here here’s our buckles ideas, which are just like a random list of stuff.

So it’s super disorganized, but I know where to find them. That’s the main, main thing that counts. So yeah. I have a organization habit here and this organization habit here and it kind of works. I don’t know.

Speaker 1: [01:03:34] Yeah, no, that’s great. Thank you. Thanks for those insights. So, did I just hear you say that when you worked at Amazon, are you, are you not with AWS at this time or you are

swyx: [01:03:48] in February?

Speaker 1: [01:03:49] Oh, okay. Okay. So yeah, I think that was going to be my second file system question is basically for your work stuff. Do you also try to somehow organize things? You know, in, in company system, according to any para thing, but

swyx: [01:04:03] I actually did a para reoccurring organization at work, but I don’t think I can show you too much in there that’s confidential.

But it’s para yeah.

Speaker 1: [01:04:12] Awesome. So, I think learning in public question may have a few subsets

Swyx Twitter Journey [01:04:18]

When, when do you think I know like a whole lot of people in software industry over the last 20 years or more? You know, they’re obviously always up to date and the first to know about new products and, you know, everybody just joined Twitter and everybody is just like, has a public profile on Twitter itself.

But when, when did you start your Twitter journey? I guess in terms of commenting or posting things of that sort, was it almost like 10, 15 years

swyx: [01:04:42] ago? Well, no, I don’t think Twitter. Is that old? Is it, is that old? No, I joined, I joined Twitter a while ago, but I didn’t use it. So it’s, it’s a bit misleading to look at, you know, when someone joined.

Right. I got serious about it three years ago, 3, 3, 4 years. So you could see, then you can see sort of growth. I don’t know how far back you can look You used to be able to look like the, the whole history. But I’m not sure. I’m not sure you can anymore. Yeah,

I got, I got seriously around about 2017 and for those, for those people, like, if you want to know what it looks like to tweet into avoid for like a year you can, you can go look at my own, my own. My own tweets it’s sometimes really sad because I would just go from months just like shouting into the void before I figured out that, oh, you should engage with

people on stuff they’re working on so that they are interested in what you have to say.

Yep. This is me. I don’t know, making memes, like not really, not really having, like, I started replying a little bit, but like not really having much traction on the stuff that I wrote. Yeah, I don’t know. You just, you, you, you, you, it’s a very long slow ride and as people start recognizing you and you, you start getting pulled into people’s networks and it’s a lot

easier after awhile.

Speaker 1: [01:05:56] Hmm. Very cool. Thank you. So then in line with sort of the learning topic there is this learning in public, and obviously some industries just require that, you know, learning is continuous. But because I’m just so fascinated by how you present things and just your journey overall, when, what was your education career like?

Did you do schooling here in the U S and then moved to Singapore? Or I’m just curious if you, if,

swyx: [01:06:23] if that’s okay. Yeah, of course I was born and raised in Singapore and went to school for college in the us. And then I basically worked in the U S and UK for the next 10 years. So. Yeah, I basically spent most of my adult life in the west, you know, air quotes.

I did travel around a little bit. But I’m only, I’m only here in Singapore physically because of COVID. Cause I was in New York city when COVID hit and New York looked pretty bad, so I didn’t want to stay there and rely on like, you know, maybe have to chance it in the hospital. So I came back to Singapore where I thought it would be safer.

Speaker 1: [01:06:56] I see. Okay. Very cool. Yeah. I think maybe that’s about it. How would you say cause I think your blog post, you mentioned something about joining Amazon maybe last year. And then obviously you’re at a new place. How would you say overall your experience at Amazon was, and sorry for this interview type of questions or like the questions?

I, I don’t, I’m just, I’m I’m just as, yeah, just interested by this whole coding thing that you’ve put together on your website and just your works

swyx: [01:07:24] within oh yeah. Yeah. I mean, I I’ve been pretty open about so Amazon has a, has a cultural writing, which I think I, I. Appear a and very strongly aligned with, and also there you know, despite having 1.3 million employees they have a culture of working in small teams that are dissociated from each other.

So I liked those very much the, the problem with working at, at some becoming like Amazon still is that you still have a lot of legacy technology to deal with. And that was going to be fine. And they, they pay you pretty well for it. So the only, the only reason I left was because I found a startup opportunity that I really liked and I thought was gonna be a rocket


So Amazon’s always going to be there. But sometimes the right startup comes along and you’ve just got to take your, take a chance.

Speaker 1: [01:08:05] Let me close. Thank you. And yeah, just on I dunno, you may want to probably wrap up soon. I don’t know, but just, just want to thank you again. Your presentation itself up the information at the wisdom of the tools it’s, it’s fantastic and quite valuable and helpful.

So thank you. And, and to, yeah, sorry. I, sorry. Di w w w for foreign service itself, like, are you able to share what we, Jen, is it that you work with or you have an expertise in. Or have you already shared it? And we don’t know. I don’t know. It’s

Speaker 3: [01:08:37] all in my it’s all in my LinkedIn profile. I’m happy to paste that.

Okay. We’ll take a look. Yeah. I, my, my career itself is public. It’s just that sometimes we deal with quite sensitive information that, that can’t be very public.

swyx: [01:08:53] If he tells you he might have to kill you.

Speaker 3: [01:08:58] I’ll make sure to learn that in my second brain.

swyx: [01:08:59] Thanks for Rita for all the other great questions. And you can always follow up with us on email as well. Yeah. Thank you. All right. Yeah.

Tropical MBA and Balaji Srinivasan [01:09:05]

Before it gets too long I wanted to quickly, there was some, there was some discussion going on that I missed out about. Yeah. So truffle MBA, I do enjoy the podcast.

I don’t, I still haven’t figured out who boss man is. They just keep referring to the boss, man. And I’m just like, who the hell are these people? But they have really interesting content Let’s see, there’s a discussion about Balaji Srinivasan, who talks about the pseudonymous economy. Yeah, I think that’s a, that’s an interesting concept.

But B keep in mind that he, he lives, he’s probably living like a hundred years in the future. And it’s a very strange thing to be disconnected to like, thanks so much. Thanks so far ahead and, and still have to reconcile that with, with day-to-day life. So I definitely take what he says with like, okay, that’s a possible direction for the future, but no practical

relevance to me today.

But that’s it. I do want to highlight one of his talks, which I thought was pretty, pretty good. The Largie Silicon valley exit which, which Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong cited as. His inspiration for partially for starting Coinbase itself. So I, so I, if, if anyone’s interested in Balaji’s worldview and how that shapes the crypto environment definitely check out this


That’s all I’ll say about that. Okay. Let’s see, what else? Yeah. Someone commented it. NYC is basically open now. I know I I’m regretting it right now anyway.

Closing Remarks [01:10:20]

Cool. I think, I think that’s about it. It’s been, it’s been a really awesome chat. I love the engagement for everyone. I don’t know how to say goodbye.

It’s always kind of awkward. I, I’m gonna, I’m gonna make sure I share again you know, the. Th these, these notes, you guys, you guys all seem to have it. But we have, you know, we have people’s contexts in here. You can Glen was asking if there’s a public discord, there is no, there is no public discord for the learning public stuff, but it is it’s private and you’re all invited because you have stuck with me through thick and thin, as far as I’m concerned, this is one of the, the most rewarding experiences and also a little bit stressful of like, you know, doing, doing a zoom workshop.

I’ve never done this, like on a, on a weekly basis for so long, I’ve done smaller workshops, but these are, these are interesting. I do have a public one, so, so don’t share this discord. This is only for you guys. I do have a public one for finance stuff. And that’s just cause my first career was in finance, something I did, I never talked about, but I used to be in hedge funds.

But yeah if you want to join that discord and talk money You’re welcome to come on in, but no promises on whether it’s quality or not. I literally just started it because I didn’t have an outlet to talk about it. So, that’s, that’s where, that’s where my, my friends hang out for for this for money stuff.

Okay. That’s it. Thank you so much. Let’s go, you know, build a second brain. I’ll see you around on circle or the internet somewhere. I’m relatively open as you, as you might be able to tell, I just want to see you you know, achieve your goals as, as a people who build in and learn and, and yeah, this is awesome.

Thank you so much for, for taking part in this journey with me.

Speaker 3: [01:11:46] Thank you guys. Thank you,

swyx: [01:11:47] Sean. You guys have been awesome. Thank

Speaker 3: [01:11:49] you so much.

swyx: [01:11:50] Yeah, thank you. All right, bye. Everyone. I am going to stop sharing now. Let’s see you on the other side.

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