Converting to Notion for planning and productivity – let’s see how long that lasts
For the past year and a half, I have used some form of the bullet journal system in a journal I carried around everywhere as my main planner (more about my exact layout here). In the spirit of the new year and trying something new, I converted to using Notion full time for planning and tracking my life. For those who may be unfamiliar with this platform, Notion is note-taking and project management app that has been transformed into a new digital planning site by some, including myself.
I started using Notion during my spring semester freshman year as a tracker for my class assignments and exams and to track my internship applications. It was very bare bones and not used to its full capability, but I had started seeing YouTubers I watch posting Notion tours and I was intrigued by the customization and versatility of the app.
While I am taking the semester off to do a co-op, I would still like to use the app to track my new work life and everything else I do. And I figured with a change in pace, this would be the greatest opportunity to introduce something new into my routine. I just finished designing my pages (because if you know me, I was of course going to add some color to my pages), so here’s a quick tour through my main pages.
My notion opens up to my headquarters page, which was a title I saw on Pinterest that I really liked. I have links to all of the pages that I need, such as my weekly planner, a budget and expenses chart, and a habit tracker on one side of my two-column spread. In my previous bullet/art journal style fashion, I made the right column purely for adding pictures and widgets.
The second most important page is the planner. Here I list out all of the tasks or events that I have for each day of the week. Unlike traditional planning, you would be able to look back on previous weeks, but until I figure out how to do that in Notion correctly, I just have my to-do lists as tasks that I erase at the end of the week. (If you have any ideas for how I can achieve weekly to-so lists better, let me know in the comments. I’m all ears!).
In 2022, I want to be more conscious of my spending, which comes with tracking my income and expenses. Using this spread is a lot more interactive than checking my bank account every day, especially because the template sums up your expenses for the month. Creating a budget for my life expenses will also make my life a lot easier as I need to save money to gear up to pay for rent during the summer.
A quick tip: to filter the table by month, create a group filter where the date is the on or after the first day of the month and the date is on or before the last day of the month.
The last main page I use is my habit tracker. This will be an even newer addition into my routine because I never tracked this type of information before, so I need to get into the habit of doing so 😉 . Maybe I’ll make one of my habits to track me filling out the page in the first place…
Other pages I have that aren’t fully fleshed out yet are the list pages of books, movies, and recipes (which I’ll probably look for templates to use) and my college main page. I haven’t filled it out yet because I’m not taking classes this semester, so it’s not something I need immediately.
Because I’m still a bit new to making Notion more cohesive, most of the pages I have are templates from the Notion gallery or recreations of pages I saw on Pinterest. As I use the app more, I’ll probably keep decorating and altering my set-up to best fit my needs. Chances are, this layout I’m showing will not be the same in a month, but I’ll make this a show of starting anew and progress. I want to make my own templates to share with others once I’m more familiar as well.
So here’s to first steps of trying new systems out and hopefully, the changes we’ll see over the next few months of me using Notion will be a productive change of pace.