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How to Use Notion to Increase Your Productivity

Updated on May 28, 2020
Tristan Stocker profile image

Tristan has been trying different methods of personal knowledge management and organisation in order to increase daily productivity.

I recently decided to use Notion as my main organisation system of choice and it has quickly become one of my most used services.

Source

Notion - an Outline

It is somewhat difficult to describe exactly what Notion is or what it does. The simple answer is that Notion can be used for essentially everything that uses data input.

Here are just a few of the ways that Notion can be used for to increase organisation in your life:

  • Organise media consumed.
  • A journal.
  • Plan out YouTube videos.
  • To-do list.
  • Planner.
  • Agenda.
  • Sales CRM.
  • Reading lists.
  • Grade calculator.
  • Daily reflection.

As you can see, the number of tasks that Notion can be used for is impressive. However, all of this function would be for nothing if Notion was too difficult to use. Luckily it is not too difficult to get to grips with, many templates are included and anyone can share their own templates. All aspects of every ‘database’ and ‘page’ can be easily modified to suit your exact needs.

How Notion Fits Into my Life

I currently use Notion in 3 main ways and I plan to soon increase this to 5. I’ll try to explain how I use it and why nothing else comes close to its versatility.

I have 3 ‘databases’ that I use daily:

  • Resonance Resources.
  • Legal Love.
  • Words of Wisdom.

A few months ago, I came across an article written by Tiago Forte about building what he called a ‘Second Brain’. I have been using this method to ensure that the media that I consume (and resonates with me) is not forgotten.

The reality is that most of the media that we consume is forgotten quickly, even if it resonates with us at the time.

How familiar does this sound: You’re reading a book about self improvement and read something that you think is mind blowing. You think this new quote or fact could change the way you view things but by the next week you’ve forgotten this life-changing information because you didn’t do anything with it. Notion can be used to change that cycle.

Resonance Resources

My Notion Resonance Resources database.
My Notion Resonance Resources database.

Resonance Resources is my personal knowledge management (PKM) system of choice to ensure that any research or media consumption can be revisited whenever needed.

Indeed, I can revisit these important articles, videos, podcasts, websites and books whenever I chose or reference them when people ask me related questions.

Each of the titles in the left column is its own separate page, can be clicked on and is where all of the relevant information from that source is stored. Notion allows for tags to be added and I include information such as date discovered and the URL so that I can return to read the original website if needed.

I once read that our brains are excellent at computational tasks but are poor at memory storage so it is best to offload this information into an organised system. This is where the term second brain originates.

Legal Love

My Notion Legal Love database.
My Notion Legal Love database.

I am going to study Law at university so I use Notion to keep track of the extra sources I have read or relevant articles I have seen in the news.

This system can obviously be applied to any topic such as hobbies or other academic subject. rather than needing to Google key-terms or read entire chapters of books to find the information you are looking for, it is all within this simple to search database.

Within this database I make use of tags to keep track of the topics which are found in different sources. This allows me to look for relevant information based on tags if I am not looking for a specific source — an indispensable feature.

Side note: this is also one of the reason that I prefer reading on a Kindle as my highlights sync to the Kindle web client so I can copy entire passages which are important rather than having to interrupt my reading.


Words of Wisdom

My Notion Words of Wisdom database.
My Notion Words of Wisdom database.

Words of Wisdom is a small database where I put all of the ‘life advice’ lessons that I come across. In this case I am not overly bothered about the exact source of the information but it is useful to know who created the concept.

This database is likely the one that I tend to reference most in conversations as they have brought me significant value and caused me to reconsider how I approach actions in my life.

Obviously a similar database could be customised to be about key terms for a specific subject or even a shopping list — it can literally be modified to be exactly what you require.

Summary

Notion is an excellent service and I’m sure that most people can find a worthwhile use for it in their lives.

Sometimes the data entry may seem slightly tedious but your future self will certainly thank you for putting the effort in when the information was fresh in your mind.

There is a web service for any browser and apps for Windows, Android, Mac, iPhone and iPad. Therefore, information can be added whenever and wherever while also being cross-platform.

Notion has also recently become free for personal use, there is really not a reason to at least try the service and see how you can use it for your own productivity, organisation and knowledge management needs.

There are so many more features included that I haven't included in this article but give Notion a try and see how it can give your life a boost.

Thanks for reading.

Tristan

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