Tools for managing information overload and improving how we think are on the rise

These tools help you think, improve ideas, build knowledge, and expand brain capacity.

These tools can help you go from idea capture to new thing created if you use them effectively.

They help you make your ideas better by enabling you to browse your thoughts non-linearly, nurture your ideas over time, and improve your overall cognition and creativity.

While you’re exploring your curiosity and gathering research data, these tools help you process everything you make note of and generate insights and novel ideas. Data ≠ Insight, but data is the building block of insight, and these tools are getting better at helping us turn our data inputs into insight outputs.

These tools are built to work the way your brain works, which helps to optimize the interactions you have with your computer. Non-linear writing’s ability to jump from sentence to sentence, idea to idea, changes the way the mind thinks through ideas.

They’re simple pieces of software on the surface, with great depths of design and capability.

They’re designed to aid your thinking as opposed to aiding your processes: managing tasks, schedules, communications, etc.

When you capture, process, rework, and refine your ideas over time, you boost your creativity and generate novel ideas more frequently, which leads to more—and better—creation. Ideas improve by writing about them not by thinking about them, as Writing is thinking, just more tangible.

Humans are the only species that creates. Of all the species in the world, we’re the only one to make art, cook food, and build technology. Creation is what makes us human.

So in that sense, we might as well do everything we can to improve the way we create things—and the thinking that goes in to the things we create.


Some tools worthy of your attention:

Command Browser

  • Highlight any text passage in browser while reading
  • Have your highlights resurfaced regularly and saved for review
  • Remember more of what you read and build better knowledge
  • Capture your thoughts and critical context by adding notes to highlights
  • Integrate with Readwise, RemNote, and Notion to easily gather all your highlights in one place Command Browser interface screenshot

Readwise

Readwise makes it easy to revisit and learn from your ebook & article highlights. While I take time to collect my thoughts, all I’ll say now is that Readwise is becoming core to how I read, write, and learn. It’s an incredibly powerful tool that delights as well as educates. So simple yet so powerful. Give it a try. Readwise interface screenshot

Roam Research

With more writing to come as I dive deeper into the world of Roam, here is a good place to start: Why I like Roam over Bear for improving my thinking. Roam Research interface screenshot

Obsidian

I’m increasingly tinkering with Obsidian as the tool with which to manage this digital garden. It’s so powerful with a robust feature set, and it works on top of markdown files, which is a huge advantage to Roam and other note-taking apps. For the time being I’m experimenting with it as the interface for the ideas within my garden, while Roam serves as a much messier knowledge hub for everything I read, learn, think, write, etc.

Obsidian interface screenshot


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