Nathan Sykes

May 10, 2021

Building My Second Brain

Inspired by a school paper I had to write on building a digital archive of your brain, I've been using Roam Research for about 30 days on a daily basis. I've found that it's an excellent tool to categorize everything going on in my world, and it remains the only note app that can support my heavy use for work, philanthropy, academics, and writing (my second book).

Here's my brain, by the way, if you're interested:

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Each one of those dots are a subject, like "Howdy Interactive", or "Andrew Wilkinson", or "Vacation". As I write, I create bidirectional relationships with the topics, forming a network of notes - just like a brain works! Instead of being a hierarchy like most note apps (looking at you Evernote), Roam Research allows your notes to live everywhere and nowhere. For example...

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Here's a micro-company we're currently building internally, code name GOAA. It's passed validation and we've determined there's a target market for it, so we're going out and building it up to $41,666/mo in recurring cashflow before moving on to the next opportunity we'll be pursuing.

That's my project page inside of Roam Research for GOAA. Those [[Square Brackets]]? That's what links pages to each other. I can see that I've thought about GOAA 40 times outside of the project page - on May 8th, May 7th, when I was looking at making membership site modifications, when I think about Howdy Interactive's head office, etc. I can navigate to those pages to get additional context. It's bidirectional, and awesome.

I recently invested in Nat Eliason's Effortless Output with Roam. It's $197, which I feel is worth the value. It can be done in a few hours, and really shows you how to leverage this tool.

Roam Research is an excellent way to handle your personal knowledge management. We're also experimenting with using it to handle our Standard Operating Procedures, instead of Notion:

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Not sure how that's going to work, though - still an experiment. Don't switch just because I am!