January 23, 2023

Start every project with a collection of ideas instead of blank page

An archipelago is an extensive group of islands like the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Maldives, the Bahamas. In the book Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte, the author applies it to knowledge work, with archipelago of ideas.

To create an archipelago of ideas in any creative work, begin by collecting all kinds of divergent ideas, sources, inspiration. This collection forms as a backbone of the creative pursuit – essay, presentation, design etc.

Once this collection reaches a critical mass, converge, remix and eliminate ideas that don't work to create something new. It's easier to create a first draft from such a collection rather than a blank page.

Tiago Forte mentions that the Archipelago of Ideas technique is a modern reinvention of the age-old practice of outlining – laying out points you want to include up front. It separates the activities of choosing ideas and arranging them.

Instead of starting with scarcity, start with abundance—the abundance of interesting insights you’ve collected in your Second Brain.

Tiago Forte, Building a Second Brain