Your mind is your most precious asset. Ness Labs is a virtual gym for the mind offering neuroscience-based content, community, and coaching. Want to learn more? Here are some common questions, answered.

What is Ness Labs?

Ness Labs is a platform providing neuroscience-based content, community, courses, and coaching to people who want to make the most of their mind. The two main topics you will explore when joining Ness Labs are mindful productivity (how to do more without sacrificing your mental health) and metacognition (how to think about thinking). Ness Labs is a place where you can learn and connect with like-minded people. It’s just like going to the gym, but for your mind.

Is Ness Labs a brain training app?

Hell no! Brain training apps don’t work. We make no claim to improve your mental fitness. Instead, we want to help you think better. What Ness Labs offers is a place to learn more about the way your mind works using neuroscience-based content and a community of fellow curious minds.

Who is behind Ness Labs?

Ness Labs was founded by Anne-Laure Le Cunff, an ex-Googler with an MSc of Applied Neuroscience from King’s College London. It started as a way to make the most of the generation effect by sharing what she was learning about neuroscience, and has grown into a collective platform for curious minds with more than 30,000 email subscribers, 2,000 paid members and 100,000 unique visitors per month.

So, how does Ness Labs work?

Ness Labs offers a blog and a free weekly newsletter, with articles at the intersection of neuroscience and knowledge work. The best articles are available as thematic ebooks via the library. We also offer a free Chrome extension to remind people to take mindful breaks at work, with tips and links to corresponding research papers. Finally, we offer workshops, 1:1 coaching and consulting to individuals and companies. Get in touch if you are interested in working together.

Do I need to become a member to benefit from Ness Labs?

You don’t need to. The free weekly newsletter is packed with value. But the membership is an affordable way to put what you learn into practice by discussing your challenges on the forums, using the deep discounts we negotiated on mindful productivity apps, and expanding your horizons during our online events. The membership also includes access to our courses.

I want to promote a product on Ness Labs, is that possible?

It depends. We only promote products we think will be useful to our readers. No “brain training” apps claiming to improve cognitive function, no pseudoscientific psychometric tests, no dubious health supplements. If your product can genuinely help our readers live happier, more productive and creative lives, we do have collaboration opportunities.

What is mindful productivity?

Mindful productivity is a sustainable way to work and think. Many productivity systems focus on getting things done, but few ask whether you should get these things done in the first place. In a world where speed has become a measure for performance, mindful productivity is about being consciously present in what you’re doing, while you’re doing it, in conjunction with managing your mental and emotional states. It’s a way to give us new perspectives on work and life; helping us enjoy the process and better understand ourselves. Besides helping with focus, mindful productivity also helps us notice signs of anxiety or stress at work earlier and better deal with them. Learn more about mindful productivity.

It’s the first time I hear about mindframing, what is it?

Mindframing is a mindful productivity method developed at Ness Labs. The first phase consists in developing the necessary mindframes for mindful, meaningful work, such as growth mindset, metacognition, and self-authorship. The second phase consists in turning goals into growth loops by encouraging a work approach based on creativity and continuous learning. It’s a flexible framework to build your own routines within, rather than a prescriptive set of rules. Mindframing works best for knowledge-based work with a creative output, such as coding, writing, and design.

There are lots of articles about metacognition on Ness Labs, what is it?

Metacognition, put simply, is “thinking about thinking” or “knowing about knowing.” It’s being aware of your own awareness so you can determine the best strategies for learning and problem-solving, as well as when to apply them. The word “metacognition” literally means “above cognition”—it’s one of the most powerful forms of self-monitoring and self-regulation. It’s a fancy word for something fairly simple once you break it down. Learn more about metacognition.

What about tools for thought?

Tools for thought allow us to think better and to generate compound interest on our thoughts. Some tools for thought include note-taking apps, tools for productivity and creativity, personal knowledge management platforms, collaborative web annotation extensions, mind mapping and other visual thinking tools, and many more. At Ness Labs, we are big fans of note-taking as a simple and effective way to build your own personal knowledge base and think better. See our guide on how to choose the right note-taking app and our collection of featured tools.