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  • The Beginner's Guide to Notion: Start 2021 the Right Way

  • There are a lot of apps, websites, and systems available to use, including Google Drive, Bear, Evernote, OneDrive, etc., but what if one system could do it all?

    Fortunately, Notion does do it all. It is an all-in-one workspace where you can take notes, organize your life, manage a team, and so much more.

    I use this for everything: school, projects, and even this blog.

    The Basics

    The fundamentals of Notion include blocks and pages. Blocks are quite literally the building blocks of your workspace. Think of it like Legos. From here, you can add almost anything to your page or create a new page. To add a new block, type a slash (/).

    Adding a block in Notion.

    Inside of pages you can add notes, to-do lists, tables, calendars, Kanban boards (a way to visually depict work at various stages of a process), and timelines. To create a page, type "/page".

    Creating a page in Notion.

    Once a page has been created, you can choose to work from a template or build your own database.

    Building a page!

    Congrats! Now you have officially created a page in Notion. Let's move on the more advanced elements.

    Building Your New Page

    Tables, calendars, boards, and lists are the major blocks that can add significant creative value. You can take project planning, client meetings, to-do lists, and document creations to the next level.

    Tables

    Tables are like simple Excel sheets that still allow you to customize columns and include unlimited rows. You can create lists and databases with this feature. A pro tip: Add columns like a due date or files to add even more multimedia to your page.

    Table view

    Calendars

    Calendars in Notion can be viewed into the week or one month ahead. Adding pages to your calendar can help you plan events, build your first editorial calendar, and simply coordinate your day. You can set up a reminder for each task too.

    Calendar view

    Lists

    All of your pages can be viewed as a list to help you visualize what needs to be done in a day. They are perfect for skipping the creation of a table.

    List view

    Boards

    Boards can be used to track the status of a project or jot down ideas. Boards are flexible because they are essentially a moveable set of cards. Boards in Notion follow the Kanban methodology.

    Board view

    Uses for Notion

    Even though Notion is extremely versatile, you should first evaluate if it is suitable for your needs. Some questions to ask yourself before committing to Notion are as follows:

    1. What app or system would Notion replace?
    2. What features of Notion would fulfill your needs?
    3. Do you still see yourself using Notion in a year?

    The core features of Notion include notes, documents, boards, calendars, tables, databases, checklists, spreadsheets, and team management.

    Once you have decided to continue with Notion, here are some ideas to start your journey. If you visit Notion's website, you will find countless templates and ideas from other "Notioners."

    • Manage your workouts and track your diet
    • Log all of your goals and targets for the new year
    • Create a page based on your interests and make a journal of your hobbies
    • Manage large or small projects
    • Bring all of your travel information together and plan a trip
    • Capture new articles, videos, ideas, and links using an inbox
    • Track expenses and savings

    Need a little more guidance? Check out this video by Thomas Frank!

    I need your input, please! Would you be interested in a free Notion template made by me? If so, what type of template would help you the most?