Build a Second Brain in Notion (Award-Winning Template)

Modest Mitkus
February 13, 2024

Have you ever noticed that the most productive people are the ones who are perfectly organized? They effortlessly manage their time, live clutter-free lives, and consistently achieve their goals, no matter what challenges they face.

But here's the secret – they likely have a system in place. Today, we're going to explore one system that gained a lot of recognition in the past few years. And for a reason. Yes, we're talking about a Notion Second Brain.

What is Second Brain?

Think of a Second Brain as your personal digital assistant for organizing and managing information. It's like an external extension of your memory and thinking.

The term "Second Brain" was popularized by Tiago Forte. He wrote a book where he explores different strategies and techniques to create a personal digital system, with one goal in mind: to boost productivity, creativity, and information processing.

How Second Brain Works?

Unlike traditional note-taking, a second brain follows the PARA method and categorizes information into:

  • P - Projects (multiple tasks with main goal)
  • A - Areas (parts of your everyday life)
  • R - Resources (things you collected online)
  • A - Archives (things you no longer need)

This unique method helps you easily capture, store, and retrieve important knowledge, ideas, and tasks, so you don't have to rely solely on your own brainpower.

Notion Second Brain dashboard

The main dashboard of award-winning Notion Second Brain template made by Notionway.

How to Build a Notion Second Brain

Building a second brain in Notion on your own takes time and practice, but it also saves you money. If you've decided to build a second brain on your own, just follow these steps that helped us build the best Notion second brain template above.

1. Define Your Purpose and Goals:

Clearly identify why you want to build a second brain. Are you looking to improve productivity, enhance learning, or streamline your workflow? Defining your goals will help shape your Notion setup.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Why am I building a second brain?
  2. What do I aim to achieve with it?
  3. What are the exact goals I want to accomplish through this?

2. Create a Workspace:

Start by creating a dedicated workspace for your second brain. This could be a new Notion workspace or a separate section within your existing workspace.

How to build a second brain workspace

3. Design Your Notion Structure:

Decide how you want to organize your information. Notion uses a system of pages, databases, and blocks. Consider creating sections for different aspects of your life, projects, areas of interest, and personal growth.

Some of the pages might include:

  • Tasks
  • Projects
  • Goals
  • Habits
  • Notes

4. Set Up Pages and Databases:

Databases form the heart of your second brain. Create databases to store various kinds of information, including notes, articles, tasks, bookmarks, and more. Personalize the properties (columns) of each database to match your requirements.

Ensure they are interconnected so that using your own second brain doesn't become cumbersome when repeatedly inputting the same information. Learning how to connect Notion databases demands effort and time, but you can access free tutorials on YouTube to assist you in this process.

Remember, your second brain is a reflection of your mind, so make it an enjoyable and engaging space to explore.

How to apply P.A.R.A. method in Notion?

The PARA method is like the secret sauce that brings your second brain to life. If you haven't done so yet, now's the time to create pages for your Projects, Areas, Resources, and Archives. To help you understand, how it should look like, take an inspiration of our award-winning Second Brain Notion template.

Projects in Notion Second Brain

Think of the Projects category as the command center of your second brain. Here, you'll manage active tasks, plans, and goals that are in progress. It ensures your most important endeavors stay organized and on track.

In our Notion Second Brain template the project page is where you can manage all of your personal or professional projects. This page allows you to organize and track the progress of your projects, assign tasks, and set deadlines. By having a clear overview of all your projects in one place, you can stay on top of your workload and ensure that everything is moving forward smoothly.

How to build a Second Brain Projects

Areas in Notion Second Brain

Areas represent the broader themes that shape your life. This is where you group related projects, tasks, and resources. Whether it's work, health, or personal growth, Areas provide the context for effective organization.

In our Notion Second Brain template areas is a place where you can check the progress that you've made this year. Checking this section can help you to stay focused on your goals. This page helps you to ensure that none of the areas were left overlooked, as they were all important to you when you wrote down your goals. Also, it reminds you to don’t forget to give yourself credit for the progress you’ve made.

How to build a Second Brain Areas

Resources in Notion Second Brain

Consider Resources your treasure trove of knowledge. This database holds articles, references, and insights you've collected. It's your go-to for expanding your understanding and sparking new ideas.

In our Notion Second Brain template resources page is a great place to collect and organize all kinds of valuable links and information. Whether it's articles, videos, podcasts, or anything else, this page makes it easy to keep everything in one place.

By having a centralized location for all your resources, you can easily access and refer to them whenever you need to. Plus, with the ability to tag and categorize your links, you can quickly find what you're looking for and stay organized.

How to build a Second Brain Resources

Archive in Notion Second Brain

Archives are the resting place for completed projects, notes, or outdated information. It declutters your active space while preserving a record of your journey. It's like tidying up without losing the valuable lessons learned.

In our Notion Second Brain template archive page contains all the areas, resources, projects, tasks and notes that are no longer important in your current life but may still hold value for future reference. By storing them on this page, you can clear up mental and physical space while still having access to them if needed.

How to build a Second Brain Archive

Award-Winning Notion Second Brain Template

Notionway's Second Brain template allows you to get all the benefits of having a second brain in seconds. Instead of doing all the hard work on your own, simply get our a pre-made Notion Second Brain template. It already helped hundreds of people organize their entire lives for good.

Whether you're a student, professional, or entrepreneur, Notion Second Brain will help you capture and organize everything in one place, ensuring no idea, task, or goal is lost.

This template is brilliant, and people have noticed it:

  • 1st place at Product of the Day on ProductHunt
  • 4th place at Product of the Month on ProductHunt
  • 2nd place at Golden Kitty Awards 2023, Bootstrapped & Small Teams Category

Notion Second Brain Key Features:

  • It helps simplify your life by organizing your tasks, notes, projects, resources, and goals in one streamlined system.
  • It enables you to quickly capture important resources, tasks, and notes on a daily basis so that nothing slips away.
  • It offers easy task prioritization, scheduling, and assignment to projects, helping you stay on top of your priorities.
  • It promotes a clear mind and digital space, designed for quick and easy cleanups in preparation for the upcoming week.

Overall, this template provides a powerful and efficient system for managing your personal and professional life in Notion. Additionally, it saves you 100+ hours of attempting to set up a Second Brain on Notion by yourself.

Best Notion Second Brain Notionway

What's inside Notion Second Brain?

Inside you’ll find a whole operating system with multiple Notion templates that will help you build a second brain and organize your digital life

  • Dashboard. View your projects, tasks, areas, goals and more.
  • Tasks. Capture and manage tasks. Schedule based on priority.
  • Projects. Work on projects, track progress automatically.
  • Notes. Organize your thoughts and declutter your mind.
  • Resources. Collect and organize all kinds of valuable resources.
  • Goals. Set clear goals and track your progress towards.
  • Inbox. Quickly add notes, tasks, resources and more.
  • And much more...

What makes it unique?

  • This Notion template combines two powerful productivity methods - GTD and P.A.R.A - in one system for greater efficiency.
  • Comes with in-depth video instructions for every part of the template, allowing you to make the most out of it.
  • It is multi-device compatible, allowing you to use it seamlessly on your phone, tablet, or computer for a consistent and streamlined experience.
  • Has already helped over 500 people!

Our customer Chaz sums up it perfectly:

Notion Second Brain review

Frequently asked questions

What apps for building second brain?

The best and most popular apps for building a second brain includes:

  • Notion: a popular all-in-one workspace that allows you to create databases, take notes, and organize information in a streamlined way.
  • Evernote: a note-taking app that allows you to capture, organize, and share information across different devices.
  • Obsidian: a note-taking app that focuses on building a personal knowledge base through the use of markdown and backlinking.

Starting with Notion template is the easiest option, in my opinion.

What is the point of a second brain?

A second brain is a personal knowledge management system that allows you to store and organize information in a way that makes it easy to access and retrieve. The benefits of having a second brain include:

  • Reduced mental clutter and increased focus
  • Improved productivity
  • Better decision-making
  • Improved decision-making

What is the difference between getting things done and second brain?

Getting Things Done (GTD) is a specific productivity system designed to help you manage tasks and projects. A second brain, on the other hand, is a more general concept that refers to any system for organizing and storing information.