How I ditched my hippocampus for a digital one


Look, mom! I'm building a second brain.
Why?
Because organic brains are old-school. THEY ARE FOR BOOMERS. Not efficient. Not competitive.

Ok, a moment of truth. I haven't really ditched my organic hippocampus.
In fact, I love my brain. I think it's cool. And pretty.
But it has its limits.
It forgets names, addresses, tasks, important and not important dates, a lot of stuff.
So I figured there might be a way to augment my brain somehow...
Introducing:

A second brain concept. And it's digital.

Fun fact: Nietzsche approved. No superhumans were harmed in the making of this post.

My dear reader (hi mom), allow me to start with the:

👁 Digital Hippocampus aka Digital Braindump concept.

Digital hippocampus use case: quick information entry and retrieval.

Remember that dumb detergent advertisement song that you heard a couple of times in the 2000s?
Of course you do.
Of course your brain loves to switch that moronic song on during your most important business presentations.
So let it be so. Let your organic hippocampus be tasked with that important task.
Obviously it loves doing this to you so much.
For everything important: the digital hippocampus sounds like a saner idea.

Imagine the ability to have access to any specific information instantaneously. Stuff that you can't Google. The name of that guy. Names of someone's kids. That hilarious phrase in Seychellois creole that you learned from the local and want to use the next time you're interacting with Seychellois. The name of that shop in Dubai with the dopest sneakers you've ever seen in your life. Interesting facts. Not interesting facts. And bazillion other use cases.

Tools: Macbook, iPhone, Bear Notes app, Shortcuts app, Alfred app, Alfred-Bear workflow by drgrib, PopClip app for Mac and its Bear extension.
Below, I'll outline how these tools create my digital hippocampus. Don't be put off by their diversity, most of them work on the background. Set and forget.

As with everything in life — before you can access it, you need to enter it.
To quickly enter new information into my digital brain:

1) I double-tap on the back of my iPhone to launch the ''Create a new Bear note'' shortcut. This simple action opens the Bear app in the ''writing mode''.
No need to search for the app in the phone. I just tap twice on the back of my phone with my very own or someone else's finger. That simple.

2) Start writing whatever I want. I'M THE BOSS. I'M THE CAPTAIN OF MY FATE. THE KING OF MY GOALS. I'M GARY VAYNERCHUK.
You can set up the double-tap functionality in Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap.
As for the shortcut itself, just open the Iphone's stock ''Shortcuts'' app and create a new one that creates a new Bear note.

But if my MacBook is nearby, I can enter any data on it super quickly as well: I use a custom ⌘+D hotkey to open Bear in the ''Create a new note window'' and start writing whatever I want. I'M THE BOSS. I'M THE CAPTAIN OF MY FATE. THE KING OF MY GOALS. I'M GARY VAYNERCHUK.
Alternative Macbook quick entry: when I just need to copy some information from the web into Bear I use the PopClip app for Mac and its Bear extension. Just select the text and send it to Bear by clicking on the Bear icon. Noice.

The practical part. The Highlight. The Crème de la crème.
To quickly search for anything in my digital brain:

I just use the spotlight feature on my iPhone.
One swipe-down gesture from anywhere on the screen and I'm finding whatever I need fast.
To search for anything on Macbook: I use Alfred's app spotlight workflow by drgrib.
⌘+spacebar to open Alfred's spotlight, type ''BS'' to specify that you want to search in Bear, and enter the search query.
This is also super fast.


This is my current solution for my very own Braindump. I'm closely following Reflect's development to potentially transition to it once it allows my current workflow to be implemented via it.
If this post gathers some interest, happy to share my other workflows to tasks and time management, and productivity in general.