How to transform Notion into an idea machine

Chuck Frey
4 min readSep 30, 2022

News flash: Your digital note-taking tool is NOT going to transform you into a genius.

Digital note-taking has ignited a ginormous revolution in personal knowledge management (PKM). Millions of users are employing these tools to capture their research, insights and ideas.

But their ideas usually aren’t big enough to help them make a dent in the universe.

Linking related ideas together has become a hot topic today. Dozens of writers tout it on as if creating such “knowledge graphs” is the Holy Grail of personal knowledge management.

This technique has some value, to be sure. But it’s not likely to power the leaps of thinking that are required to generate true “A-ha!” moments and breakthrough ideas you need to tak your thinking — and your life — to the next level.

Why do valuable ideas matter so much today?

By itself, capturing your top-of-mind ideas in a “second brain” is not likely to transform you into a genius.

That’s OK. It’s not your fault.

It’s the way our human brains are wired.

Most people’s thinking tends to follow well-worn, habitual paths, based on our beliefs, experience and environment. Our standard mode of thinking is so deeply ingrained in our daily lives that we don’t even give it a second thought.

Unless we face extraordinary circumstances or a compelling goal that we feel passionately about, we rarely deviate from our habitual mode of thinking.

That means your top-of-mind ideas tend to be mediocre at best.

Sure, you may get an occasional flash of insight. But it’s not sustainable.

Your success tomorrow will be based in large part upon the quality of your ideas today.

Average ideas — average results.

Extraordinary ideas — extraordinary results.

Here’s what you’re up against:

  • Discontinuous change.
  • Compounding innovation in nearly every field.
  • AI replacing routine thinking tasks — and…
Chuck Frey

Thought leader in mind mapping, visual thinking and creativity for 15+ years. Relentless explorer, learner and dot-collector. I help you elevate your thinking.