You Don’t Need A Complicated Second Brain To Organise Yourself As A Creator. In fact, I do it with just 3 lists.

Creators OS — My 3 List System For Building Knowledge & Turning It Into Content

Ev Chapman
5 min readOct 19, 2022


One of the biggest mistakes I made as a wannabe creator was not building a system for generating new ideas.

Sure I kept a list of ideas that I wanted to write about. But it got short really fast!

Photo by Toni Koraza on Unsplash

The key to longevity as a creator is building a system where ideas get continually generated. So you’re not constantly searching for ideas, but new ideas are just popping into your list like magic.

People have lots of different names for a system like this: Zettelkasten, second brain, operating system, digital garden, and thinking space.

But whatever you call it, if you are not cultivating & building your knowledge as a creator, you are missing out on a big opportunity to cultivate new ideas.

There’s a lot of complex systems out there for building these knowledge systems. I’ve tried many, failed at many & in the end I discovered I only need three simple lists to keep my knowledge & ideas growing (& to keep hitting publish on a lot of content).

List 1: [Input in] The Spark Inbox

Your ideas don’t live in a vacuum. You always want to be bringing fresh kindling for the fire into your thoughts.

The Spark Inbox is where everything starts. Anything that I read or consume on the internet (or in real life) gets piped in here (through Readwise). As I write notes about books or articles or podcasts or videos all of these automatically end up in my Spark Inbox ready for when I sit down each morning for my writing time.

A typical morning in my Spark Inbox. Any notes that have sparked me while reading content come in here & I always have things to think & write about

I use Readwise as a conduit to get all these notes automatically into my spark inbox so that when I turn up each morning for my sacred writing time, everything is already collected and I can focus on thinking & writing.



Ev Chapman

Following my magnificent obsessions 🤩. I write about how to build your personal knowledge & share it with the world.