Have you heard of notion?

"Databases for dummies" is what I like to call it, because I know nothing about new-age coding, but notion makes me think I do. After months of playing around with the program, watching youtube videos, and duplicating free templates provided by the productivity gurus of the internet, I've finally created a space to dump all my thoughts, ideas, worries, goals, lessons, tips, and task items.

I spent the last few days of 2020 getting my life together in on this app, and wow. It's so much easier (and fun, and more aesthetically pleasing) than using a physical planner or bullet journal.

Here are some screenshots from my setup.



My dashboard is home base. It's where I can see my life at a glance. If I scroll down a bit, there's a list of projects and a calendar so I can see everything quickly and easily. The weekly reset is laid out for when I do my weekly planning (usually for an hour or so on Saturday or Sunday), and the monthly reset is laid out for when I do my monthly planning (usually whichever day the 1st falls on).

I keep a meal planner full of meal ideas for the week. I don't plan to stick to them as strictly as it looks, but if the ideas are there it makes mealtime and grocery shopping that much easier. I also have a link to my "eating" page which is where I keep all the online recipes I've clipped recently. Notion has a web clipper tool, and it's easier to keep everything all in here than having to scroll through a never-ending Pinterest board.

The clipper also makes it easy to add to my reading and wish list pages. That way I don't have 85 tabs open all at once on any given day. I just clip the page and close out.

I wasn't concerned with having a board for household chores, but Hannah made this template and it's too perfect not to add it to my setup.


I'm still working on setting up my work page since it's a new year and I'm starting a new position, but it'll be so nice to have everything in one place instead of having separate notebooks for different pursuits.

The biggest draw, for me, is that I can access notion from all my devices. It's a seamless experience. If I update something on my computer, I can see it instantly on my iPad. If I'm on-the-go wondering if a bill was paid or not, I can quickly check my finances page on my phone. The mobile version isn't nearly as robust, but it gets the job done. With the free plan, you share pages with up to 5 people, so J can view/contribute/adjust the home and budget pages if he'd like as well. Spoiler: he doesn't.

The platform definitely isn’t perfect. It doesn’t have offline mode, there’s no easy way to integrate my iCal, and simple note taking is anything but. However, it’s the most comprehensive (and free), planning software I’ve found. For this reason, I had to share it here. 

If 2020 has taught me anything, it's that all the planning in the world can and might go out the window at a moment's notice. As much as we'd like to think we're in complete control of our lives, we are not. Still, I firmly believe that if you don't make a plan for your future, you'll wake up one way wondering where the past went. And life is much easier for me when all those small decisions we make on a regular basis are already mapped out ahead of time. Is my Type A showing?

😉


credits
main photo source »»
Hannah Cao's dashboard template
Muchelle B on YouTube

12 comments

  1. notion is definitely my go-to right now. it's also very therapeutic! i store everything there and it's helped boost my creativity too for some reason. i mainly use notion as a backlog for films i watched and books i read, financial planning and writing stuff for the blog as well as creative writings (prose, poetry, etc)

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    1. yes! that's another great thing about the software: you don't have to use it for everything. you can use it selectively and still get the most out of it depending on your goals. playing with the aesthetic layouts def boost my creativity as well. this was the digital bullet journal i've been needing!

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  2. Oh my goodness gracious Disa. I feel like Notion is what I've been trying (emphasis on trying) to set up my Google Drive folders capture but it's no where near the comprehensive and streamlined interface. This breakdown was so informative. I can see the potential of Notion and will definitely set some time aside this weekend to do a deep dive. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. yesssss. i know lots of people love using google for everything, but it just wasn't working for me. i know there's a way to integrate your google calendar into notion, so that could definitely work for your planning needs.

      be warned: the setup is a timesuck. i spent hours getting mine to look and feel a way that works best for my lifestyle... and i'm still not done, but the perfectionist planner within me loves the whole process haha. it's kinda therapeutic. and then once everything is set the way you need, it's very easy to maintain. check it out and report back!

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  3. Hi! New to your blog haha.

    I actually just started using notion for my blog but I never thought I could use it for more than that. When I get to fully know notion, maybe I can move to digital planning.

    Kandice, www.kandicekaye.com

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    1. welcome, Kandice!! yes, it can be so much more than a blog planning tool. that's what i've been loving about it. i don't like having separate spaces to my work, my family, my hobbies, etc. it's so easy having it all in one place... and at my fingertips at a moment's notice.

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  4. I'm going to have to try Notion out. I've always heard of it but never made my way around to trying it. I'm trying to do better with my finances and planning out my "to-do's" a little bit more easier. I need to get back on track, 2020 I fell off completely.

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    1. doooooo it! if anything, it's a great place to dump all your tasks and random thoughts throughout the day. i've been feeling much less scatterbrained in general since adopting the tool. ❤️

      (it's alot to learn, though. so definitely watch some youtube tutorials)

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  5. I've been looking for something new to help with my planning goals! Thanks for this! I'll let you know about how it's working for me soon! thanks

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    1. yay! yes, please report back on how it's working for you. i've been singing its praises everywhere.

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  6. I definitely need to try something like this for meal planning! I see so many recipes I love but when it's time to go to the grocery store I draw a huge blank on anything I'd like to cook/eat :P

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    1. yes! it's so helpful to just have it, even if i don't stick to it very strictly.

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