If you’re anything like me, you might need some external help being more organized and productive. A couple of years ago I posted a blog post about how using Any.do, a to-do list app, changed my life. I’m still an advocate for Any.do, but I’ve recently added a new tool to my toolkit: Notion. It’s a doozy, so I thought I’d like to share how I’ve been using it.
Introducing Notion, the all-in-one workspace
Notion aims to combine the best of note-taking, wikis, tasks, projects, and databases into one convenient and well-designed tool. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks and I would say that it does a really good job of it, but I’ve barely scratched the surface.
Notion kind of feels like the Minecraft of productivity apps. You’re presented with an empty canvas and an array of blocks. You’re free to build your workspace however you see fit. It’s both extremely powerful and extremely daunting all at the same time.
Due to this, I spent quite a bit of time researching how other people use Notion before I tackled it myself. It’s also not uncommon for one’s Notion workspace to change regularly as you try out new ways to manage your life.
How I structured my Notion workspace
Let’s have a look at how I’ve set up Notion for us to use in our household. Hopefully, you can draw some inspiration from this.
My wife and I share a Notion workspace and we each have our own private boards too.
Our shared dashboard
The shared workspace is great for planning meals, keeping track of a grocery list, keeping a handle on our finances, planning vacations, etc. Here’s what our current household dashboard looks like:
As time goes on I might refine the categories a bit more, but this is working well for us right now. I’ve neatly separated different aspects of our life and it’s pretty simple to find what you’re looking for at a glance. I also included little quotes and illustrations I got from unDraw to make the dashboard more aesthetically pleasing.
My personal dashboard
Our personal boards are used mainly for our respective fitness goals, work projects, hobbies, and personal to-dos. That way we can keep our shared workspace clear of that kind of clutter. Here’s my current personal dashboard:
I tried to keep it similar to our shared dashboard to make switching between the two effortless. Here I just have different categories that make more sense for me to track.
Digging a little deeper
I try to structure pages in ways that make the most sense for their contents. Let’s look at how I keep track of goals for the next year by breaking them down into months and the current week ahead:
Here I can see my goals for the current year. Unfortunately, for the purposes of this post, I’ve redacted many of them. For each goal, I have two columns: A to-do item for the goal and a link to a Notion page. This other page can contain all kinds of information about the goal or subtasks that I need to complete.
Further down the page, I have a gallery section with pages for past months. I only started using Notion this month, so it’s looking pretty barren, but soon I’ll be able to start populating it. At the end of a month, I will duplicate that month’s page in Notion and put in this gallery.
For my month’s tasks I have three sections:
- Tasks I need to get done this month
- Ones that would be nice to get done this month
- Ones I’ve completed this month
When it’s time to do one of this month’s tasks, I drag the task to the “This week” screen.
On the current week screen, I use a board layout with columns for “No status”, “In progress”, “On hold” and “Completed”. Once completed, I move major tasks to the “This month” screen and tick them as done. That way, when the month is over and I move it to the year screen, I can see what tasks I got done for each month.
In the effort to keep this post concise, I’ve only shared one section of my workspace. However, feel free to ask on Twitter if you want to see more. I’m also open to suggestions on how to improve my current workflow. Notion is ever-expanding, so I’m sure my workspace will look very different a year from now. It’s all about finding the optimal workflow for yourself. This tool has the power to make you as productive as you’ve always dreamed of being.