January 3, 2023

Intermediate Packets are the atomic blocks of all creative pieces of work

Intermediate Packets are the concrete, individual building blocks that make up your work. For example, a set of notes from a team meeting, a list of relevant research findings, a brainstorm with collaborators, a slide deck analysing the market, or a list of action items from a conference call. Any note can potentially be used as an Intermediate Packet in some larger project or goal.

In addition, intermediate packets are a way to divide every work into atomic elements to manage, reuse in future projects or knowledge. Every profession or field of work has their own equivalent of Intermediate Packets. Eg. iterations in Product Design, modules and demos in Engineering. Intermediate packets can be treated as individual knowledge assets that can be remixed and reused in future. Eg. reports, deliverables, pieces of writing, graphics, slides etc.

According to Tiago Forte, there are 5 kinds of intermediate packets:

  • Distilled notes (from books and articles)
  • Outtakes (failed ideas or materials)
  • Work in Process (deliverables, graphics, etc produced in past projects)
  • Final deliverables (concrete pieces of work which could become components of something new)
  • Documents from others (knowledge assets created by someone else)

Working with the concept of Intermediate Packets could unlock a lot of creative potential and powerful benefits.


  • Building a Second Brain (Tiago Forte), Chapter 7: Express – Show Your Work