How to build a Second Brain in Notion: A Step-by-Step Guide ( + free template)

notion second brain


In this article, we’ll show you how to create a second brain using Notion. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a second brain, it’s a system for centralizing and organizing ideas, thoughts, and knowledge in one place. Notion’s flexibility makes it an ideal tool for building your second brain.

Let’s get started!

We recommend you open your Notion workspace and follow our video at the same time so you can learn faster by building. You can also download the finished template for free below. So, let’s dive in and create your own second brain template!

Building the Second Brain Notion Template

1. Create a new page

  • Open a new Notion page and give it a title like “Second Brain Notion Template.” To maximize space, use small text with full width.
  • Add a Cover Photo: Choose a cover photo to personalize your template.

2. Create the Second Brain Database

You’ll need a central database to store your information. Type /database and choose “Inline” to create a table. Name it “Second Brain Database” and hide the title for a cleaner look.

Define Properties: Customize your database by adding properties below

  • Name: Title of the resource.
  • Type: Categorize your entries (e.g., web article, book, idea, movie).
  • Date: Record the date you added the resource.
  • URL: Include the URL for web resources.
  • Summary: Add a property for summarizing the content.

3. Create the Category Database:

  • Establish categories for your resources by creating a separate database.
  • Use the “Gallery” view for a button-like appearance. Each category will serve as a filter for your entries.

4. Set Up Relations

Link your Second Brain Database to the Categories database by adding a relation property. This connection allows you to associate resources with specific categories.

5. Organize Layout

Arrange your workspace by placing the Categories (button-like icons) on the left and the Second Brain Database (table view) on the right. This layout keeps your categories easily accessible.

Using Notion Web Clipper to capture digital resources

Notion’s Web Clipper helps make it super easy to save web content directly into your second-brain database. By simply installing the Notion Web Clipper extension to your browser, you can quickly clip web articles, blog posts, and other online resources. The clipped content will include the URL and a block of text from the webpage, which you can then edit and personalize within Notion. For a further guide on how to use Notion Web Clipper, read more below

For our quick guide on how to use Notion Web Clipper with this Second Brain Database, follow these steps!

  1. Install Notion Web Clipper in your browser: Add the Notion Web Clipper extension to your browser.
  2. Clip Web Content: While browsing, click the Notion icon in your browser’s toolbar. Select the “Second Brain Database” as the destination.
  3. Edit Entry Details: Once clipped, open the Notion page and fill in details like the date, type, and summary. Notion’s Web Clipper will include the URL and a block of text from the webpage.
  4. Embed Web Content (Optional): To display the web article within Notion, use the /embed command and paste the URL. This feature allows you to access the content directly in your second brain.

Further customization

  1. Sort by Date: Utilize Notion’s sorting options to arrange your resources by date. This feature helps you keep track of when you add each item.
  2. Filter and Group Resources: Create different views to filter resources by type or category. Grouping resources by type, for example, gives you a clear overview of your collection.
  3. Advanced Filtering: Experiment with more advanced filters to refine your views further. For instance, create views that display only web articles or books.

That’s it! You have successfully built the template

Building a second brain with Notion offers an efficient way to centralize and organize your ideas, knowledge, and resources. With the flexibility and customization options Notion provides, you can tailor your second brain to suit your specific needs. Whether you’re collecting articles, books, ideas, or any other information, Notion’s capabilities make it an invaluable tool for knowledge management.

Download our template

For the finished version of the template that we built during the build-with-me tutorial, download it for free below and check if everything is the same as your version. Although it’s free, we would greatly appreciate any donations so that we could keep doing this!

Note: Enter code BRAIN100 to get this template for free at checkout!


If you are looking for a pre-made template, check out our Resource Hub Template, which can act as a helpful digital second-brain tool for you to arrange your data.

resource hub notion template


If you have any questions or need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask. Start building your second brain today, and unlock the power of organized knowledge!

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