New Year: Second Brain 🧠

Everyone starts out the new year year with high hopes and expectations. They outline their so called resolutions which are a compass that will enable them to navigate through the year and make the most of it, but only a few succeed or completely abandon their routine. 2021 could have been just another year for me, but something was different or rather I had acquired something that would allow me to change. I knew I was off to a great start when I learned something new, a concept about a personal knowledge management system called a Second Brain. In fact this very site you are reading is styled to reflect my Second Brain. I dived into every single source material that I could find on this idea or mental model of a Second Brain. My excitement was much greater than the time I learned about Mindmapping and speed reading. This time around, I could finally put an end to my weird habit of information hoarding for the sake of intellectual entertainment. I could finally utilize the knowledge that I had been consuming over the past few years and create something out of it. Switching from data consumption to value creation. I read this article and later watched this video.

My 2nd Brain Workflow

My second brain workflow goes something like the structure listed below. You can utilize this markdown file as an example

Title (H1 - H6)


Author name

Img (optional - we use words, but we think in pictures. Pictures are great for memory retention )


Gratitude (HTML5 Tag). In all that i do, i give thanks. I express my gratitude in a number of ways

Q&A (HTML5 Tag). I ask myself questions relating to the content. It takes for a quick summary and understanding… (end)

2021 Goals

Content Consumed

  1. The Second Brain
  2. Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata (Book Series)
  3. Learning latin with Scorpio Martianus
  4. Unknown P - Daily Duppy
  5. Every Type of Programmer
  6. 100 Ways to Learn Out Loud
  7. Be The Creative Force in Your Own Life
  8. DeGoogle
  9. Planned Obsolescence
  10. Giki Zero
  11. Open Source Motion Capture
  12. French Dababy
  13. 3 Idiots
  14. Replace Gifs with Videos
  15. Antitrust , Cease & Desist & Price Fixing
  16. Glorius Dotfiles
  17. Is Attribution Enough to Avoid Infringement?
  18. Copyright is Brain Damage
  19. State Machine in Rive
  20. The End of Photogammetry?
  21. I Made Art from Hate Comments
  22. Pan-Africanism
  23. Magufulification of Africa
  24. Artistic Coding in Blender
  25. Gimp: Pop Out Circle Avatar
  26. Gimp: 3D Text Ingenious Method
  27. Gimp: Duotone Effect
  28. Gimp: Animatesd Gifs
  29. Gimp: Watercolor Logos
  30. All 39 Gimp Tools Explained
  31. Gimp: 3D Text Effect
  32. Gimp: Slice Effect
  33. Inkscape Explained in 5 Minutes
  34. All 21 Inkscape Tools Explained in 10 Minutes
  35. Gimp: Word Art Logos
  36. 10 Hidden Features in Gimp to Improve Your Workflow
  37. Inkscape: Isometric Shop Icon
  38. Inkscape: Isometric Design
  39. Inkscape: Line Art Logos
  40. Install Linux and Suffer?
  41. The War Against Bloat Continues
  42. ZSA Moonlander Programmable Keyboard
  43. Why So Many Linux Users End Up on Arch
  44. Mozilla No Longer Supports A Free Internet
  45. Alacritty is Fast, but Kitty is Faster
  46. Vim Can Save You Hours of Work
  47. Turning Your Window Manager into a Desktop Environment
  48. Recommended Configuration Settings For Qutebrowser
  49. First Look At Spacevim
  50. YouTube is Now, but LBRY is the Future
  51. Getting Started with Spacemacs
  52. Creating Packages For the Arch User Repository
  53. Artix Linux Full Installation with Runit
  54. Aseprite Parallax Toolbar
  55. This is Reaper 6
  56. Learn In Public
  57. Creative Exhaust; The Power of Being Open By Default
  58. Start Taking Action on Your Dreams
  59. Polyglot Rap
  60. Korea’s First African American Model
  61. Gilly and Keeves: Isis Toyota
  62. Vim in 100 seconds
  63. Is Supabase Legit
  64. I’ve become an arch enemy of myself
  65. Ethical hacking in 100 seconds
  66. SQL in 100 seconds
  67. Svelte in 100 seconds
  68. CORS in 100 seconds
  69. Make awesome SVG animations with CSS
  70. Sass in 100 seconds
  71. Write good code comments
  72. Top 3 ways to center a div
  73. Reverse engineer CSS animations
  74. Why so many distros? The weird history of Linux
  75. 4 steps to become a developer
  76. Serverless computing in 100 seconds
  77. WebRTC in 100 seconds
  78. Bitcoin in 100 seconds
  79. Use FOMO to grow your app
  80. Restful API’s in 100 seconds
  81. Dgraph graph in 100 seconds
  82. Vimdiesel
  83. Next.js in 100 seconds
  84. Websockets in 100 seconds
  85. 7 Database paradigms
  86. Git in 100 seconds
  87. Progress web apps in 100 seconds
  88. Computer networking in 100 seconds
  89. Deno in 100 seconds
  90. Flutter in 100 seconds
  91. Docker in 100 seconds
  92. Firebase security in 100 seconds
  93. Svg in 100 seconds
  94. React in 100 seconds
  95. Angular in 100 seconds
  96. CSS flexbox in 100 seconds
  97. JavaScript promise in 100 seconds
  98. SEO for developers in 100 seconds
  99. Regular Expressions in 100 seconds
  100. Beyond console log in 100 seconds
  101. Jquery in 100 seconds
  102. Linux directories in 100 seconds
  103. ~/.dotfiles in 100 seconds
  104. Web assembly in 100 seconds
  105. Typescript in 100 seconds
  106. CSS animations in 100 seconds
  107. Big O Notation in 100 seconds
  108. Gilly and Keeves: Last White Football Team
  109. Gilly and Keeves uncle Daycare
  110. Gilly and Keeves Sleep Cop
  111. The Only White Comedian for a Black Crowd
  112. Seven Habits of Effective Text Editing
  113. Neovim Dotfiles
  114. using polybar with awesome WM
  115. Vim Koans
  116. Nvim Lua Guide
  117. UnixPorn
  118. Zettlekasten Simply Explained
  119. Remove Duplicate lines in VSCode
  120. What is Right to Repair?
  121. I Turned My Tesla Into a Pickup Truck
  122. How Tesla rewarded me for telling the truth
  123. Farmers are Hacking their tractors because of a Repair Ban
  124. Arduino Motion Capture Suit
  125. Adding Mocap to my Indie Game Devlog
  126. The Javascript Trap
  127. Free Software is Education
  128. Free Software is Even More Importatnt
  129. Proprietary Software is Often Malware
  130. Copyleft; Pragmatic Idealism
  131. Why Free Software needs Free Documentation
  132. Selling Free Software
  133. Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software
  134. Why Free Software isnt Practically Superior
  135. This is how you keep your dignity and not sell your soul
  136. What Programming is Never About
  137. Dont Be Afraid to Code it Yourself
  138. Stop Pushing Javascript
  139. The Reason Behind Systemd
  140. Is Google Evil?
  141. Stop Submitting to conformity and use your brain
  142. Procedural Programming in a Nutshell
  143. Mozilla - Devil Incarnate
  144. How i use SVG in Blender
  145. I Got Rejected from Y Combinator
  146. Matt Tran & Techlead Blackmailed and Doxxed Me
  147. Four Game Devs, One Art Kit
  148. Did it for the culture
  149. OnlyFans girls get a heavy dose of reality!
  150. If Kevin Samuels Was A Rapper
  151. If Dababy made Christmas Music
  152. Inkscape & Gimp Masterclass
  153. Accidentally Went on a Gay date
  154. Learning Management System
  155. Modular Laptop
  156. Automate Arch Linux Installation
  157. Richard Stallman’s Personal Site
  158. Building search with Hugo
  159. Lunr + Hugo
  160. Hugo Docs:Search
  161. Andrew Schulz Aks Joe Rogan About UFC Fighter Pay
  162. What Will Harris Learned Staying with Khabib in Dagestan
  163. Cross Site Request Forgery
  164. Energized Pro Sources
  165. Steven Black
  166. The FED just killed retirement
  167. The Middle Class is Gone
  168. China’s Rush into Africa, Explained
  169. Why Jumia is Beating Amazon and Alibaba in Africa
  170. What if we broke the chains of neocolonialism
  171. Africa Post-Colonial Development
  172. How it Neocolonialism Impeding African Development?
  173. Sieve Scripting
  174. [Fresh Salad Roll]()
  175. Wage Theft
  176. Wage Theft in the USA
  177. Wage Theft; How it Happens
  178. Inside Mayweather vs Paul
  179. DOTD; Dry Scooping Trend
  180. DOTD; Celtics Fan Arrested…
  181. Donkey of the Day Playlist
  182. NYT; The 1619 Project <!– >
  183. The 1619 Project details the legacy of slavery in America
  184. Fye Fye
  185. Try Jesus, Dont Try Me

    Other Stuff

  186. Ditched Ymusic in favor of Newpipe Legacy

  187. Converted all my bitmap raster graphics into scalable vector graphics


Q&A + Prince Kaizen Namwali

  1. What problems does a second brain solve?
  2. Information overload
  3. Post traumatic growth
  4. Knowledge management (personal)
  5. Writers block or any creative block (creative output)
  6. Tutorial Hell (escape)

  7. What apps do I need to build a second brain?

  8. Any note taking app that enables you to view folders (PARA),search functionality, markdown - if possible, lightweight (not Microsoft word), sync feature, Cross platform is a plus.

  9. Notion

  10. Obsidian

  11. Markor

  12. Evernote

  13. Vscode with Foam

  14. Roam

  15. Trilium

  16. Flexncil

  17. What is PARA?

  18. an acronym that stands for Projects, Areas, Resources and Archive

  19. Projects are the things you want to do that are associated with a deadline

  20. Areas are things in your life that demand continuous improvement (self improvement doesn’t expire)

  21. Resources are the sources of content that you consume (podcasts, blogs, articles, courses, videos, songs…)

  22. Archive is the the resting place for your completed projects and ideas that you don’t know what to do with just yet.

  23. What is CODE?

  24. an acronym that stands for Collect, Organize, Distill & Express.

  25. Collect is the capture habit

  26. Organize is the knowledge factory, not a library

  27. Distill is the filter, the unused ideas are archived

  28. Express is the creative output of the knowledge factory

  29. How does a Second Brain work?

  30. It involves 4 simple steps(CODE). You collect information by capturing it from whatever source you are consuming or random ideas that just light up in your Brain. You then organize that information into your folders (PARA). You then distill that information even further by filtering out what you don’t need(archive). Finally you express everything into some creative output (design, song, blog post, publication, book…).

  31. Who is a Second Brain for?

  32. Everyone (human beings)

  33. Knowledge workers (developers, researchers, teachers…)

  34. Entrepreneurs

  35. Freelancers

  36. Content creators

  37. Productivity enthusiasts

  38. Self improvement enthusiasts

  39. Polyglots

  40. Why build a Second Brain?

  41. All the knowledge you already have/know will flow, the content you consume will connect and your future self will be in sync. <!– When a white person says you cant do something you call them a racist, if another black person says it i call it wishful thinking and if in asian person says it>

  42. What browser extensions/addone can be used in tandem with a Second Brain?

  43. Readwise

  44. Memex

  45. Are there any rules associated with a Second Brain?

  46. No rules, its just personal.

  47. Is it possible to create an offline Second Brain?

  48. Yes, using paper & mind maps

  49. Are there any medical journals or research papers written on the Second Brain?

  50. That is something worth looking into…

  51. How does a Second Brain minimize regret?

  52. What are the benefits of a Second Brain in academia?

  53. If you had discovered about a Second Brain earlier, how would your life have been different?

  54. I would probably have done way more stuff by now, but dwelling in the past only causes depression. Its best to in the present were you have control - the choice you make and dont make have a direct effect on the quality of your life.

  55. Does building a Second Brain magically grant success?

  56. When you search the term, Second Brain, something about the gut pops up, are there any similarities and distinctions between that and this personal knowledge management system?

  57. Which application is best for building a Second Brain?

  58. The answer is subjective, but at the moment i love Obsidian due to its rescursive search feature, community plugins and graph view. However, i would lean more towards Markor because i can actually use the details tag, unlike Obsidian which forces me to scroll. I believe the answer also depends on your level of computational literacy. Since most of the Second Brain application are open source you can add features your own features where some of these lack. Markor only lacks a recursive search feature and a true AMOLED theme (not even substratum can save me)

  59. What’s the point of building a Second Brain, if the future will be run by robots, AI & automation?

  60. Unique Human Intelligence is still essential even in the presence of artifical/higher intelligence.

  61. *What are some of Second Brain styles you see around the internet?**

  62. How do you structure your Second Brain?

  63. I use the PARA method, but the one thing I do different is that for every markdown file I add a details tag at the bottom called Q&A. I believe asking myself questions will help me get to the core of the file that I am looking at, helps with critical thinking and helps with storytelling ( interviews, casual conversation and what not)

  64. Who can take away your Second Brain from you?

  65. No one…

  66. Do you ommit anything from your Second Brain?

  67. I believe a Second Brain should be unfiltered and you can write whatever you f•••••g want. Just be careful that you don’t share it online. Keep it encrypted. Only share what you distil.

  68. What do you think about using Github or Gitlab as Second Brain?

  69. Its a great idea, just be sure to keep the repositories private. The only drawback I find is that some of the scripts and HTML tags I add to my markdown don’t render because Github has its own markdown flavor. I can’t view colors and so forth.

  70. What can you lose from giving away your Second Brain?

  71. You give up your ideas, even though it might take someone else time to make sense of your notes

  72. Whats the best markdown flavor for a Second Brain?

  73. Whatever flavor allows me to render all HTML tags and scripts. Github flavored markdown is out of the picture

  74. What’s the best not taking file extension for a Second Brain?

  75. Markdown hands down!

  76. Is using RMarkdown for a Second Brain a viable solution?

  77. keep it super simple with regular markdown, but feel free to include other file formats for your projects and what not

  78. *Is Emacs or Vim great for a Second Brain?**

  79. That’s a matter of personal preference

  80. Can you get in trouble for having a Second Brain?

  81. You cant get in trouble for what the eyes of others cannot see. Its personal just like your toenails

  82. Are people with Second Brains less susceptible to fake news, conspiracies, brainwashing and the like?

  83. At what age should one build a Second Brain?

  84. Between the age of reason and initial access to a computational device ( phone, laptop, tablet, PC)

  85. Does TV threaten the idea of a Second Brain?

  86. What would a Second Brain look like if it was a Non Fungible Token?

  87. Can a Second Brain replace storing information in a database?

  88. A second Brain is not supposed to replace anything. Its supposed to work with your current workflow.

  89. How Can You Keep Your Second Brain Healthy?

  90. How can you make money with a Second Brain?

  91. What’s the suitable work environment for people with a Second Brain?

  92. I believe that if you are a knowledge worker you should work remotely because they type of environment is more optimal.

  93. How can sync my Second Brain across my devices?

  94. There’s a multitude of options, consider the following

  95. Syncthing

  96. EteSync

  97. Paperwork(.cloud)

  98. Next cloud

  99. Fruux

  100. How can I keep my Second Brain secure from prying eyes and intellectual property kleptomaniacs?

  101. There’s a multitude of options, consider the following

  102. age( go - github)

  103. Kryptor

  104. Cryptomator (Recommended)

  105. Tomb


  107. Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS)

  108. Veracypt

  109. MAT2 (metadata remover)

  110. Exif Cleaner

  111. Do you need to have attribution for a second Brain?

  112. No! Its yours, its personal , but should you feel inclined do so, even though no one will ever see it.

  113. Do you need permission to have a Second Brain?

  114. It’s all about the permissionless mindset…

  115. Is it possible to get a cease and desist letter for the contents of your second Brain?

  116. No! A second Brain is not subject to any copyright laws of Planet Earth or Interplanetary laws. That’s like saying that your urine is subject to copyright infringement…

  117. Why did you learn latin?

  118. I got bored of using an English dictionary to look up words

  119. What do you think about Unknown P?

  120. His style of music is just different. Its comical just like Big Shaq’s music, lyrically and well annunciated as Epic Rap Battles of History. Overall his music style though its considered posh drill, i would rather call it intellectual music. You learn something by listening to his music and you feel intellectually energizes, as opposed to being numbed by the mumbles and dumb lyrics of other music types…

  121. What would you say is the most crucial thing you learned this year as opposed to last?

  122. It takes value creation to make money - TK Coleman. I could have that on repeat whole day. Value is what drives the human world. Value creates even more value for people and in return monetary value in the form of fiat or cryptocurrency comes pouring in like rain in your wallet.

  123. What is the most interesting thing you learned this year?

  124. Learning about planned obsolesence got me thinking, i even wrote an essay on it to explore the title even more. Planned obsolesence is just plain evil, no wonder its outlawed, but its still practiced…

  125. Does collecting information increase your knowledge?

  126. No, thats a false claim. The act of merely collecting information alone does not make you smart or more knowledgeable. The argument could be made about people who have massive collections and shels of book, ie Tai Lopez, but that doesnt meant they are smart.


Pa ground sipalibwino, koma omwa tea adzamwanso.

Building a Second Brain altered my perception of Gratitude...

By Prince Namwali, 2021-01-01