Notion Productivity Tool | Tips and Tricks

Product details: Notion

Notion Productivity Tool | Tips and Tricks


    I first started using Notion Fall 2020. I have always struggled to be productive from home, but because of COVID, I had no choice. It was essential I found a system to keep me accountable. In the past, I used standard planners, tried bullet journaling but always ran into the same issues. On my busiest weeks, I would stop using my planner. It's funny to look back at weeks I remember being chaotically stressful only to find blank pages. Notion helped me eliminate this problem. All it took was one weekend to set me up for a successful year. 


    Think of Notion as an aesthetically pleasing version of Excel. When I first saw people post their Notion pages on Pinterest and YouTube I got intimated. I had no idea how people transformed what you see on the left to what you see on the right side of the image below.

    Comparison of Notion starting page and aesthetic Notion dashboards

    But the reality is like I said, Notion is a pretty version of Excel. Because of this, setting up a table with certain properties is important. For 2021, I have been using one table for school deadlines and another for meetings/events. After my tables were functional, I started to play around with widgets and other tools to make my pages pretty.  

    In my deadline table, I like to include the following columns 

    As you can tell by the icons next to the text in each column, each column also has a property. Each time you make a new column you will be asked to choose a property. This is very important to organize your information later on. This process is intuitive, but check out this video by Notion.

    There's also a ton of other support videos on their channel. 


    I use Notion as a simple to-do list. One day, I thought it would be nice to have the option to organize tasks by date and corresponding weekday. I started searching YouTube, Reddit pages, and random sites for instructions on how to achieve this. It took me forever, but here I am to share the code and save you some time. 


    - Create a column using the "Date" property 

    - Create another column with your title of choice and change the column property to “Formula”

    - Select Edit Formula 

    - Type formatDate (prop (“the name of the column that has the date”,) “dddd”

    Notion code to automatically generate weekday from a numerical date 
    On my page, the formula looks like the image above but yours will vary depending on how you name your columns. I got this code from this 
    If you’re interested in more data related codes she has more in the video. 


    At the beginning of each semester, I input assignments and other important deadlines from my classes into a single table. Once this step is done, my favorite way of looking at tasks is by filtering out completed tasks, sorting them by the earliest due, and filtering tasks that are not due within the same week. When it’s written out it sounds a little confusing or even complicated to try and achieve so I also included a screenshot of my filters below. 

    Notion filters for students and school work 


    Up until this point in the post, I have only talked about creating and sorting tables, so you can guess that my favorite viewing mode is Table View. My second favorite viewing mode is Board View. I like the Table View for daily checkups and task completion, but when I am trying to get ahead on my assignments for the week, I like to use Board View and sort the data by Class. The Board View layout helps me visualize weekly expectations for each class. One of my favorite things about Notion is that you can view the same tasks in different ways simultaneously. For example, my homepage with quick links to my classes, a cute weather widget features a small version of my deadlines in Table View. On another page, I organized the same deadlines using a different set of filters and Board View. Below are pictures of two pages I currently use on Notion. 

    Notion page inspiration 


    Remember that understanding how to use the table is the most essential part of Notion. After you get a hang of adding filters and sorting information in a way that suits your needs the fun begins. You can add widgets, integrate Spotify, and change up the colors and column widths to create a more aesthetically pleasing layout. "Beautifying" your Notion pages takes a while, which is why I recommend testing if Notion suits your needs before diving in. For example, I only used the Table and Board View for months before I started decorating my pages. 


    Notion set-up for beginners 

    This was the only page in my notion set-up last semester and it was equally as helpful as my current set-up. Because I love Notion so much, I don't want you to feel frustrated trying to figure out random customization features before even getting to experience the benefits of using Notion simply for organization/productivity matters. In this post, I have provided foundations for deadline organization using Notion's database. I will shortly create another post with more information about widgets and aesthetic customization. In the meantime, feel free to share other tips with the community or questions about Notion you might have!! For more tips click here

    • Mari Mari :

      Thank you for the Notion Tour! I'm still intimidated by it because a lot of the tutorials I've watched has been overwhelming. I downloaded a few templates and after reading your post, I'm willing to give it another try x

      3 years ago 
      • Rosalia T Rosalia T :

        Yes, it's super scary at first! If you have any specific questions let me know! I would love to help :)

        3 years ago 
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      1 year ago 
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