How to Build a Second Brain in Notion (+Best Template)

Modest Mitkus
September 28, 2023

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 Second Brain.

Continue reading to learn more about what a Second Brain is and how you can build a Notion second brain template free on your own. Also, find out the best Notion second brain template from all.

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.

Having your own Second Brain helps you capture, store, and retrieve important knowledge, ideas, and tasks, so you don't have to rely solely on your own brainpower.

How Second Brain Works?

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

  • P - Projects
  • A - Areas
  • R - Resources
  • A - Archives

This structure makes it easy to find what you need quickly, recall information effortlessly, and foster creative connections between different pieces of knowledge. It's like having a readily accessible, organized extension of your own mind to enhance learning, productivity, and innovation.

How Second Brain Works PARA method

Best Notion Second Brain Template

Before we dive into how to build a second brain in Notion on your own, we would like to show you another option that allows you to get all the benefits of having a second brain in seconds. Instead of doing all the hard work on your own, consider simply downloading a pre-made Notion Second Brain template.

This Notion template has 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.

Why this Notion Second Brain template is the best?

Notion Second Brain template is the best option because:

  • 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.

Get Notion Second Brain here

How to Build a Second Brain in Notion

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. This is a dashboard of our Notion Second Brain template.

Dashboard of our Notion Second Brain template

PARA method Notion

The PARA method is like the secret sauce that brings your second brain to life, so it's key to make sure your workspace dances to its beat. If you haven't done so yet, now's the time to create those pages packed with databases for your Projects, Areas, Resources, and Archives.


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 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


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


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

Using Second Brain Notion Daily

Using your Second Brain in Notion on a daily basis is like having a personalized assistant that helps you navigate the complexities of your life with ease. It's your one-stop hub for information, tasks, and insights, intelligently organized to boost your productivity and creativity. Here's what it's like:

Effortless Organization: Each day, you effortlessly access your Second Brain to retrieve notes, tasks, and resources, all neatly categorized. No more frantic searches or scattered notes. Everything is at your fingertips.

Smooth Workflow: You glide through your day with a structured workflow. You seamlessly move from projects to tasks, making progress while maintaining clarity on your priorities.

Inspiration on Demand: When you need inspiration, your Second Brain provides a wellspring of ideas. Cross-referencing notes and resources sparks innovative connections, helping you approach challenges from fresh angles.

Seamless Learning: Whether it's deepening your knowledge or exploring new subjects, your Second Brain is the ultimate learning companion. Curated articles and insights feed your curiosity.

Reflection and Growth: As the day winds down, your Second Brain encourages reflection. You update notes, track progress, and adjust plans, nurturing personal growth with each cycle.

Calm Amid Chaos: Even on hectic days, your Second Brain keeps chaos at bay. With a quick glance, you see what's due, what's planned, and what's next, allowing you to stay composed and in control.

Overall, using your Second Brain in Notion daily brings clarity, order, and empowerment to your life. It's like having a supportive partner that boosts your efficiency, creativity, and personal development, making each day more fulfilling and productive.

Is Second Brain Worth It?

Yes, a Second Brain is definitely worth it because it:

  1. Boosts Productivity: Streamlines tasks and saves time.
  2. Ignites Creativity: Sparks new ideas and perspectives.
  3. Aids Learning: Enhances information absorption.
  4. Reduces Stress: Organized systems lead to calm.
  5. Offers Long-Term Value: Archives experiences.
  6. Adapts to Change: Grows with your needs.
  7. Enables Collaboration: Smooth knowledge sharing.
  8. Fosters Growth: Encourages self-improvement.
  9. Builds Confidence: Enhances decision-making.
  10. Amplifies Efficiency: Initial effort leads to compounding benefits.

In a world where information overload is common, a Second Brain is a strategic asset that empowers you to navigate complexity, manage information, and achieve your goals with greater efficiency and focus.

Our customer Chaz sums up it perfectly:

Notion Second Brain review

Looking for more templates for your productivity? Make sure to check my list of the best Notion Productivity Templates.

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.