Cognitive Productivity: An Alternative To Defeatism, Bravado, and General Productivity

Two days ago, I announced the release of my new book, Cognitive Productivity: The Art and Science of Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly Effective.

Let me now provide you with some context for Cognitive Productivity_.

This new book addresses a critical problem: We have so much information to process that it’s difficult to benefit deeply from any of it!

There are three typical approaches to this problem.

  1. Some people take a defeatist view. They claim that the Internet is “rewiring our brains” and we are doomed to distraction unless we withdraw from the Internet.
  2. Others take a naively optimistic view. They believe all is good: we don’t need any special strategies for capitalizing on knowledge.
  3. Others realize there’s a problem; but they assume that general productivity principles and information technology will do the trick.

This is not a perfect characterization because the major problem. Most people just don’t think in terms of using knowledge to become more effective. (I explain this absolutely critical difference in my book.)

This book offers a cognitive productivity approach to this problem. It’s an approach that leverages and extends cognitive science.

We can thrive in the Knowledge Age. But to do so, we need to apply productive concepts and strategies that jive with cognitive science. In other words, we need a Cognitive Productivity toolkit!

This book serves two modern needs:

  • The perpetual need to use knowledge to become more effective;
  • the need to understand the human mind can process knowledge to become deeply effective.

No matter how expert you are, this book is designed to help you to

  • think clearly and systematically about what you do, and ought to do, with “knowledge resources” (ebooks, PDF files, videos, books, and other things that convey knowledge);
  • evaluate knowledge resources;
  • focus your attention on resources that are actually worth processing;
  • systematically take notes about them;
  • quickly locate your notes and other “meta-information”;
  • extract precious “knowledge gems” from these resources— knowledge gems are key snips of information that you can use to solve problems;
  • productively master “knowledge gems”;
  • view “learning” as adult mental development;
  • understand the major components of the human mind and how they need to change for you to master information.

There is no silver bullet. Forget “speed reading” (or similar scams). There is, however, knowledge you can use to systematically derive personal excellence from knowledge.

This ebook is published on Leanpub. Lean publishing enables readers to provide feedback on an evolving book. So may be able to affect its development. In fact, I’m waiting for feedback before writing the conclusion, adding a brand new chapter, and finalizing odds and ends (like the index). By purchasing this book now, you will be entitled to all future updates of the first edition of this book (it’s just like software.)


  • if your career or personal happiness depend on continued learning,
  • if you want to thrive in the Knowledge Age, or
  • if you simply want to understand expertise,

then consider reading the new ebook, Cognitive Productivity_

Published by

Luc P. Beaudoin

Head of CogZest. Author of Cognitive Productivity books. Co-founder of CogSci Apps Corp. Adjunct Professor of Education, Simon Fraser University. Why, Where, and What I Write. See About Me for more information.