If you’re a student, you’ve probably heard of Notion.
Notion is an all-in-one digital organizing tool that has rightfully taken over the Internet in a few short months, and in this post, I’ll teach you how to organize your life with this versatile tool.
This post is the second post in a series of three, and if you’re a beginner at Notion, check out the first post here: How To Set Up Notion For Students.
If you’ve already tested the waters with Notion, then you’re ready for this post! Here, we’ll go over the different planning and organizing features of Notion and how to use it to organize your whole life!
Please realize that because this is a blog post filled with text, it will be difficult to teach you exactly how to set up Notion (you can check out YouTube videos instead). What I’ll be doing is give you some ideas and get you started on the content of your workspace, not necessarily the visual aspect.
Download My Template
First things first, if you want to skip the work of setting up your own Notion, you can buy my Ultimate Student Planner Notion Template and start using it immediately!
Setting Up Notion
In case you need a reminder, here are some of the basic steps in setting up Notion:
- Go to notion.so and click Sign Up in the upper right corner.
- Go to Download and choose the option you need (I suggest Mac & Windows).
- Sign in to the app once it is finished downloading.
You can play with the different features in Notion, such as the slash (“/”) shortcut, embeds, page settings, font colors, and more! Once you’re a bit more familiar with how Notion works, you’re ready to customize your own workspace and make some pages!
Notion For Academics
Notion is extremely versatile, and you can easily use it as a digital school binder. This means that you can make a copy of your schedule, save links for online Zoom classes, save copies of your syllabus, and even take notes during lectures.
If you haven’t already, create a new page from your sidebar– this will act as your Home page and will hold all the pages you’re going to create today.
Next, create a new page within your Home page by typing /page and selecting Page (the first option). This will embed a new page within the current, which is exactly what you want to do.
You can title this page whatever you’d like, such as School, Academics, Learning, etc. Then, I recommend you create an inline table using /table and selecting Table – Inline. This will be where you store information about your classes!
Setting up the table
Follow these steps to set up your table and store all the right information and files in it:
- Title your table; it can be named Classes, Schedule, etc.
- Click the + button on the rightmost column to add columns for information like the teacher, what days/periods you have it, and whether or not it’s weighted.
- Hover over the first column (which you should’ve named with the name of the class) and click OPEN.
- Select New template; we will be making a template to use for all of the classes in this table to store important information.
- Decide what information you’d like to write down and imagine how it would format on Notion.
- Create the template! Here’s an example:
Once your table is created (and if you’ve followed my steps and example), you’ll be fully prepared for all your courses and ready to take notes– you can take notes directly on each page in the Lecture Notes table– and succeed in the class.
Other pages and links
In my opinion, successfully setting up the classes table is one of the most important steps of creating your Academics page. But of course, there are various additional elements that play a part in your academic life.
So consider the following elements and add them to your page by creating another column on the page (simply create the block and drag it onto the side of the already-existing table). The ideas marked with an asterisk are for high schoolers!
- Your college prep action steps*
- List of extracurriculars/awards you have and are looking for
- List of courses that are relevant to your major of interest
- List of dream colleges and their admission requirements
- SAT, ACT, AP tests study guides*
- Scholarships you’re interested in
- Extracurricular online courses you’re taking
- A page for new vocabulary
- A “bookshelf” for books you’d like to read
YOU’LL LOVE THIS POST: College Prep Checklist For High School Upperclassmen
Notion For Productivity
Notion is generally considered a productivity tool, so here is where all its tools can really shine! Personally, I do not have a separate page dedicated to productivity-related elements. Part of the reason is simply that Notion has so many tools, I get a bit overwhelmed!
Within my Home page, I have a “personal” page that contains the following:
- Monthly focuses
- My daily routine
- A list of daily habits
- Weekly focus
- Daily to-do list
On my home page, I also have a calendar to keep track of important dates, as well as a simple table to keep track of upcoming tasks using the Eisenhower method! If you’d like to implement the formulas that will actually organize your tasks with an algorithm, you can check out this post here.
Notion can be super simple, but it can also be extremely complex (as shown with the thousands of formulas you can write to do different things). You can play around with Notion’s countless features and see which ones will benefit you the most!
Lastly, do not fret if you’re not the best with design or are struggling to make Notion look “aesthetic.” I’ll have a free template for you available in the last post of this Notion series (coming soon!).
Notion For Future-Planning
Another important part of planning and organizing your life is to plan for the future. There are 3 things I focus on: my personal (long-term) goals, my academic plan, and my financial state.
Therefore, I focus my Notion set-up on these 3 things! However, since my academic plan is implemented into my Academics page, I’ll just be showing you how I organize my personal goals and track my finances.
I have a separate Growth page that I created within my Home page, and the main element on this page is my goal board.
You can create a board like this by typing /board and selecting Board – Inline. Create 3 columns, labeling them not achieved, in progress, and achieved. Then, just add “cards” to each column! You can add detailed steps or helpful resources to each goal simply by opening each card.
There are many more things you can add to your Growth page, such as:
- Self-care routine
- Some self-care activities
- Things that make you happy
My expense tracker is simply a table (/table) that’s linked to my home page. Here’s what an example looks like:
I have a tag for each month, which helps me organize my expenses and earnings when I filter the table. I only display items for the current month, which I achieve by selecting Filter and adding a filter for Where [month] is [current month].
An important thing to remember is that when adding your expenses, don’t forget to add a negative/subtract symbol in front of the number! If you don’t do this, the table will count this number as an earning and not an expense.
Notion For Organizing Information
If you’re like me, there are tons of information that doesn’t quite fit the labels of academics, productivity, or future planning. These can include:
- Movies and documentaries you’d like to watch
- Dramas or shows you’d like to watch
- Recipes you’d like to try
- Things you’d like or need to buy
- Vocabulary for a language you’re learning
- Your favorite YouTube channels
- A monthly playlist of your favorite songs
- Achievements you’re proud of
- And so much more!
In my opinion, it’s better to create these pages and use them occasionally than to not create them and end up regretting this decision. Therefore, go ahead and create these pages!
You can link them to a sidebar on your main page, or create a separate page for miscellaneous items! However, do not overwhelm yourself with too many unnecessary pages; over time, it’s likely that you’ll cut down and simplify your workspace.
This post is simply a general overview of what you can include in your Notion set up to organize your life; if you’d like to see more examples, detailed tutorials, and more, check out these resources below:
- Notion’s built-in templates
- Notion Pages
- Danny Hatcher’s Notion tricks
- YouTube videos
I hope this post was helpful in guiding you through Notion and showing you its potential! It truly is possible to organize your life with this app, so do some research and use it to its maximum!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of this series!
- How To Set Up Notion For Students
- How To Organize Your Student Life With Notion (this post!)
- My Notion Setup + Free Template