Every January I make lists, set goals and plan to become more productive in the new year. However, by February my lofty aspirations have typically crumbled due to my failure to instate concrete plans. Determined to swerve around this annual pitfall, I’m starting 2022 off with a new productivity tool: Notion. Notion is a note-taking and task-managing software that you can use for personal organization or collaborative work. This app first caught my eye when I noticed “Notion tours” on Youtube and saw how studytubers use it to create hubs for their online schoolwork. These videos sucked me into a spiral of researching how to set up my own Notion, and, drawing inspiration from creators like dobochobo, I spent my Winter Break curating my dream Notion workspace. If you’re looking for productivity inspiratione, here’s everything that I’ve included in my Notion setup:
I tried to structure my Notion like a house, with the control center page serving as a doorway into my organizational world. The great thing about Notion is that you can tweak each visual element to match your personal style, so I made all of the photos and text on this entryway page cozy and cottagecore inspired. Maintaining this aesthetic throughout my workspace helps me destress and actually enjoy getting my work done! The four “rooms” I can move to from my home page are Life, Academia, Goals and Career. Below these rooms, I’ve left space to jot down quick to-do lists and included a widget that tells me the weekly weather forecast. When building your own Notion, you can check out sites like Indify for other widget ideas, such as clocks, calendars and countdowns.
Moving on to my first Notion room: Life. My Life page functions as a planner for errands and responsibilities, and it’s also home to various databases which help me with “adulting.” One fun feature of this page, that makes using Notion a solid upgrade from a traditional planner, is the backburner table. Here I organize all of the tasks that I want to eventually complete but are not quite pressing enough to deserve spots on my weekly calendar. So far, I love how this tool helps me stay on track with these long-term projects! Another favorite aspect of this page is my recipe box. This is where I file away all of my go-to recipes, which has proved super helpful when meal-prepping and grocery shopping. I tried to carry my dreamy, countryside theme from the control center to the Life tab. If you also want to maintain a Notion aesthetic, keep in mind that embedding relevant gifs and playlists can be a great method for keeping your pages on theme!
The second (and most used) room in my Notion is Academia. This page has been key to my starting this college quarter off with confidence. Within Academia you will find a thumbnail that leads you to a roadmap for each of my classes. I devised these roadmaps based on my syllabi, and I use them as checklists to make sure that I never miss an assignment. These types of class pages on Notion are great places to connect to your Google Drive or Canvas accounts. In addition to my roadmaps, quarter countdown and weekly planner, my Academia page is home to two main databases: Major Audit and All Classes. My Major Audit will help me plan out my schedule during future rounds of course selection and is a great resource to refer back to when making sure that I’m progressing with my academic goals. The All Classes database is a handy storage space where I catalog all of my work from past courses. Throughout my college career, I’ve experimented with lots of planners, and I’ve already decided that this Notion room trumps them all. I love how I can personalize it with motivational quotes and cute images while centralizing all of my academic responsibilities.
Rooms three and four of my Notion, Goals and Career, are key to my hope of following through on my 2022 intentions. My Goals page is relatively sparse, featuring simple blocks like my annual reading list database, my monthly goals, my long-term goals and an embedded Pinterest board full of inspiration for new hairstyles and piercings. A wonderful feature of this page is how I can archive past goals to refer back to later and how I can use checklists to monitor my progress towards long-term goals. Even if you don’t have the time to create an entire Notion workspace, I would highly recommend building a goals page to bolster your New Year’s resolution efforts! Similarly, my Career page has quickly become an essential tool for keeping myself motivated and grounded. Within Career, I store databases of resumes, cover letters and writing samples for my portfolio. I also have an embed leading to my LinkedIn and checklists of my weekly responsibilities for my jobs and school clubs. Career goals tend to be the most daunting for me each year, so I’m excited by how this Notion page makes me feel more prepared to tackle steps towards my aspirations.
Given that I’m only in my first month of using Notion, I’m excited to keep customizing and refining my workspace to best serve my 2022 goals. I can’t wait to experiment with incorporating my Google Calendar into the control center and making some of my course roadmaps collaborative for my study buddies. If you love using planners, or just enjoy curating mood boards or aesthetic social media pages, you’ll probably fall in love with Notion. It’s truly the best way to make organization fun, and I can’t recommend it enough as a tool for starting the year off on the right foot.