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I don’t mess around when it comes to organization. From color-coding to drawer organization to a meticulous desk setup, I love to have parts of my life lined up personally. But when it came to finding the planning system that worked for me I was at a loss. I tried paper planners, bullet journals, and countless apps to no avail. That was until Notion came into my life. Notion is a free software originally designed to be used by large companies in keeping track of different employees’ work. However, it has risen to popularity among everyone from tech geeks to hyper-organized college students like me. To me, Notion is like creating my own little website dedicated to helping me succeed. Notion can be overwhelming at first, so here is a guide of how I use Notion to help you understand what you can best get out of the program.

1. Task Tracking

While to-do lists are always a classic go-to, I needed something a bit more advanced to track exactly what I have due for each specific class or club. While Notion does have a to-do list function, I use a table instead. In this table, I can write the title of my assignment, tag it by subject, and even set the due date. With this setup, I can then filter the tasks by subject or date or whether or not I’ve completed it. It has majorly helped me make sure I’m doing things on time and has kept me from getting overwhelmed trying to remember everything.

2. Calendar

Another amazing aspect to add to your Notion is the calendar widget. You can place it wherever you want on your page, or make it the entire page if you need to. You can easily add new events to your schedule with the click of a button. The best part is that you can import your previously made calendars such as Google or Outlook calendars directly into Notion. 

3. Habit Tracking

Similarly to task tracking, I like to keep a log of the various habits I do. It helps me know when I’m slacking off on exercising or when I should reward myself for journaling for the month. I also use a table for this, but I have it set up differently. I have the dates as the title for each row and have columns with checkboxes for each habit I’m tracking. I also have a column for notes so I can write what exercises I did or how long I journaled for. You can also make an archive page in Notion that you can put all of your old months into so you don’t lose your data!

4. Wishlist

Have you ever had the experience of constantly seeing things you want to buy but when it comes to your birthday or a gift-giving holiday you suddenly have no idea what to ask for? If so, you need to make a wishlist page. Notion has a function for creating web bookmarks in a sleek and organized way. Gone are the days of messy notes apps lists of random website links and unreadable product names. 

Tips and Tricks

Getting started in Notion can be a little overwhelming but once you get the hang of things, you’ll never need a paper planner again. If creating your own spreads or pages sounds intimidating, not to worry! The best aspect of Notion is you can import previously made templates from other people. There are countless fellow organizers who share their wonderful pages for free that you can copyright into your Notion. Notion themselves even has a template library you can look through to get started. Another great aspect is that you can color code almost every aspect of your Notion. And to add a little personality to your page you can add images wherever you want and essentially turn it into your own little vision board. Anything is possible!

Julia is a freshman English major at Lasell. She enjoys reading, writing, exploring nature, and spending time with her family. Most nights you can find her in bed watching Keira Knightley movies.
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