Last year, I discovered Notion and started using it to manage my entire work. It helped me a lot to keep my work organized and be more efficient.
Even since I started using this tool, I’ve made numerous iterations to my setup making small improvements every now and then.
After using Notion for almost a year now, I am now able to use it more efficiently by making use of its advanced features.
In this article, I’ll share my Notion set up for 2020 and show exactly how I use it for maximizing my productivity and minimizing my time doing repetitive work.
If you already use Notion, this article will help you find some inspiration on how you can organize your work. And if you have no idea about Notion, this article will show you how powerful Notion really is!
Let’s get started.
My Notion Setup For 2020
Notion is a powerful tool for organizing your life and increasing your productivity. It’s not a tool to just organize your work.
You can use it for various purposes such as note writing, daily planner, journal entry, and more.
I use Notion to organize my work in one place and be more productive. This helps me spend less time organizing and more doing some actual work.
If you’ve never used this tool, my Notion setup can feel overwhelming to you.
But let me tell you this:
Once you start using Notion, you’ll learn new features, ideas, and methods on how you can organize your setup.
The setup that I’m going to show you is a result of hundreds of changes made over the last year.
I didn’t create this set up overnight. It took me a lot of time to understand certain functionalities and learn how I can incorporate them into my setup.
As someone who spends a lot of time creating content, I created this setup around my content work to help me easily plan, schedule, and manage my content.
But I also use it to manage my social media calendar and my design work.
Here are the pages of my Notion setup and how I use them in my day-to-day life:
The homepage is where my most important pages are located. Here’s how my homepage looks like:
I have my pages categorized under Inbox, Create, Admin, and Miscellaneous.
Below this, I have an inline page called Weekly Targets. This page is a Kanban board where I add my weekly and monthly goals.
There are three columns on this board: Weekly, Monthly and Completed.
In the Weekly column, I add all my tasks for the week. And, the monthly column contains all my monthly goals or priorities.
Here’s an example of my weekly priorities:
To speed up the process of adding weekly tasks and goals, I’ve created a template page that I use to quickly add tasks.
In Notion, you can create templates and use them to avoid tasks that are repetitive. In the above example, adding the due date, checkboxes, and icon are repetitive tasks that I want to avoid.
Here’s how it works:
Whenever I want to add tasks for the new week/month, I simply create a new page under the respective column and click on the ‘Priorities’ template.
This is how my Priorities template looks like:
Once this template is loaded, I only have to write the week date in the title, set the due date, and add tasks. All the other stuff such as the icon, the properties are in place thus saving me time.
There’s another great use of templates in my setup which you’ll come across later in this article.
The weekly targets board is really helpful because it helps me to not only have a clear view of the week but also my goals for the month.
I don’t add multiple weekly targets simultaneously. This is to avoid myself from being overwhelmed by the number of tasks I have to complete.
So that’s my homepage. I’ve kept it very simple to avoid any distractions. Let’s move on to the inner pages of my workspace.
This is the most important and complex page of my entire setup. I manage my entire blog content calendar from this page.
The page consists of a table where I add all the content I work on. The table consists of the following columns:
This contains the name of the content piece. But there’s more to this column than just a name.
In Notion, each table entry can be a page. This means you can add more content to this page.
Instead of just writing the title of the content, I add more information that will be used throughout my content writing process.
Here’s what’s on this page:
I’ve created a template so that whenever I add a new content entry, I can quickly load up the above template and start adding details about my content.
The template contains the following accordions:
- Target Keyword
- Target Word Count
- Draft Link
- Meta Description
- Top Competitors
- Pain-point of Audiences
- Headline Ideas
Apart from this, the template also contains three inner pages named Editing Checklist, Post Publishing Checklist, and Promotion Copy.
The Editing and Post-Publishing checklist pages contain different tasks I have to complete for my content. And the Promotion Copy page is the page where I write the promotion copy for that particular content.
The purpose of the project column is to assign the content to its specified project. Since I work on my personal blog and Pixify, this column helps me categorize my content more easily.
You can either use a text field to write the name of the project, but I use the Relations property for this.
In Notion, Relations can help you create a relational database. In simpler words, it can help you connect data between two tables. This way, you can link or connect data from different tables.
With the relations property, I can assign a task to any project. And I can find all the tasks assigned to any project with the Relations property.
For this, I’ve created a Tags Database page which we’ll get into later.
Due Date & Publish Date –
These two columns are pretty self-explanatory. I prefer keeping the due date and the publish date different because it allows me to give room for properly editing my content and not rushing it.
It also helps in staying ahead in your content calendar.
Once the content is published, I simply check the published box. The published content then disappears from my main table view.
In Notion, you can create multiple views for a table. These views can be based on certain properties or filters. This way, you can have multiple views of a table with certain properties only and can hide unwanted information.
For my content calendar, I have created multiple views as shown below:
The ‘All Content (Active)’ view only shows the unpublished content from all my projects (Pixify and Personal Blog). I also have separate views for each project calendar as well.
And lastly, I have an ‘Archived’ view that shows all the published posts.
This feature is very helpful to remove the published posts from my main calendar and avoid getting it filled.
As a content marketer, it’s important to have certain goals for your content and most importantly, where the content lies in the content marketing funnel.
With this column, I can assign the stage of my content.
As my content goes through from different stages, I change them up in this column. It helps in keeping track of the progress of my blog posts.
This column specifies the type of content.
Since I create guides, tutorials, list posts, infographics, and other various forms of content, this column helps me directly assign the type of blog post as soon as I add it to the calendar.
Once the content is published, I add the URL into this column.
So, that when I’m looking at my published posts from the table, I can quickly view them by clicking on the URL without having to go to the website and find it.
Related to All Social Content (Relation) –
As I mentioned above, the Relations property is very helpful to connect data between two tables.
This column connects my content calendar to my social media calendar. So, whenever I plan a social media post that is related to my upcoming content, I can connect it to the content entry in my content calendar directly.
That’s all about my content calendar. On the surface, it looks like a simple content calendar. But as you look deeper, it is very optimized and helps me work faster.
Every creative spends a lot of time on their content calendar. And having an optimized and organized calendar like the one above can save a ton of time.
Let’s move to the next page which is my social media calendar.
Social Media Calendar
My social media calendar page is very simple but again, very efficient. Here’s how it looks like:
Again, I have a table where I can add entries for each social media post. And, I have columns to define and categorize my social posts.
Let’s take a look at these columns:
This column contains the working title of the social post. Again, this column is more than just a name.
As soon as I add a new entry to my social media calendar, I load up a template which is shown below:
The template contains toggles for different platforms. If you’re a creator, you know that using the same copy for each platform is not always a good idea. That’s why I have toggles that I can expand and write the copy for each platform separately.
I also have a section on the right titled ‘Design & Resources’. Whenever my social post contains any media (images or videos), I add them under this section.
With this Relations column, I can connect my social media posts to my content. This is really helpful to properly plan out my social media campaign for my posts.
The status column contains the status of the post.
This is a multi-select column where I can add the different platforms the post is going to be published on.
Instead of adding a single entry for each platform, I only use one entry for all the platforms.
With social platforms having stories, I use this column to categorize whether my social campaign is a post or a story.
This column is useful especially when I’m planning content for my Instagram.
If the post requires any design work, I use this column to make sure I design the required image and check the box before posting it on social media.
Due Date & Publish Date –
Again, I keep both the due date and the publish date of my social content separate.
Similar to my content calendar, this checkbox column allows to me check the content that is published and it disappears from my main calendar view.
Speaking of calendar views, my social media calendar has another view which is in the form of a calendar.
The views you create in Notion can be in various forms such as a table, calendar, kanban board, list, and gallery.
With the calendar view, I can have a birds-eye view of my social media calendar and see how frequently I am posting on social media.
Whenever I want to add tasks that are not yet assigned or on priority, I use this page.
Instead of adding tasks to my Weekly Targets calendar, I use this backlog page to avoid getting overwhelmed by a long list of to-dos.
The page contains a table with different columns such as the Name, Priority, Status, Project, Done.
I’ve kept this page very simple and don’t use any templates for the entries.
You might be wondering if my content calendar page already contains the list of published posts, what’s the reason to have a separate content archive page.
Honestly, there’s no good reason to have this page except I wanted a page to have a list of all the content I’ve written over the years.
I have categorized the page into two categories: Client and Self.
The ‘Client’ section contains content I’ve written for my clients and the ‘Self’ section contains content that I’ve written on my own blogs and guest posts.
In essence, this is to separate content that I’ve written for myself and the content I’ve written for others.
Let me show you one of the pages of my content archive.
Here’s the content archive of my personal blog:
It’s a simple table with the name of the post, the word count, and the year it was published. I haven’t added any more columns to the table but I do plan to expand the table so that I can make use of it in a better way.
In the footer of the table, you can display different values calculated from the table. For example, in the above table, I can view the total word count of all my content by using the ‘Sum’ property.
I was able to calculate the total word count of all the content I’ve published with this nifty little feature.
Pretty neat, right?
I manage and organize my design work entirely using this page. The first thing on my Design page is my Design Goals.
I have added three design goals to improve my skills and also learn new skills.
Next up on this page is my design portfolio. This contains the different design projects I’ve worked on recently and need to be added to my portfolio.
The table contains different columns for different design platforms. As I publish these projects to different platforms, I check the column of the respective platform.
That’s all on my Design page currently. I am not fully taking advantage of Notion to manage my design work.
But I do plan to add projects that I have in mind and use Notion while working on design projects.
The goals page contains the different goals I have for the year:
As you can see from the above page, I have categorized my goals into Financial Goals, Business Goals, and Personal Goals.
Financial goals contain the goals I have to achieve financially for both my personal blog and Pixify. Business goals have different goals to grow my business, get customers, etc.
Lastly, the personal goals section is to add goals that I want to achieve personally. This contains goals such as learning a particular skill and more.
This page helps me be on track and work hard to achieve the goals I’ve set for the year.
This page was created fairly recently and isn’t fully complete. I created this page with the purpose of logging down all the finances related to my work.
Currently, it contains a section of my financial goals for the year and the financial highlights of the previous year.
I’ll update this post as I make changes to this page. For now, one thing I can tell is that I plan to add sections for my purchases, invoices, and more on this page.
Whenever I want to write down something, I open the Notes page and write it down here.
Whether I’m planning something or writing notes from something I learned, this is the page where everything goes.
There’s not much to show and discuss this page except for the fact that I write my notes here. One notable thing about this page is that I create pages inside this page when I’m writing notes that are large.
We all need entertainment in our lives and I love watching movies. Since I’ve been using Notion for only a year, I haven’t added all the movies I’ve watched on this page.
The page currently only contains the list of movies I’ve watched recently and the movies I plan to watch.
I write the movie name along with details such as the genre, a column to check the movies I’ve watched, and the rating of the movie.
Please don’t mind the ratings I’ve given to the above movies. And yes, I’m a fan of classic movies.
Videos To Watch -
I don’t always entertain myself when I’m not working. I also spend a lot of time watching videos on YouTube to learn something new.
Whenever I find a video worth watching, I add it to this page, assign a category to it along with the channel name, and add a duration of the video.
The reason I add the video duration is that depending on the free time I have, I can decide what video to watch by looking at its duration.
Also, when I’m done watching the video, I write stuff that I found useful or need to remember in the notes column. This is very useful because I won’t have to watch the video again to remember the content of the video especially when it comes to long videos.
The quotes page simply contains a list of quotes that I like. I write these quotes on this page.
Tags Database -
I mentioned the Tags Database above in the post and how I can see all tasks assigned to a project using this page.
Here’s how my Tags Database page looks like:
It’s nothing but a gallery of different projects and platforms. Whenever in one of my tables, I assign a task to a project, I use the Relations column and add the project from this database.
By doing this, I can now go to my Tags Database page and click on any project tag and view all the tasks assigned to it.
Although my workspace isn’t full of tasks at this moment so this page isn’t used frequently by me. But if you manage a lot of projects and your workspace is full of tasks everywhere, you can create a tags database and view all your tasks related to a project from this single page.
So, are hooked on to the idea of Notion being your all-in-one workspace?
If yes, then let’s discuss the pricing of this tool.
Notion is completely free with all its features for up to 1000 blocks.
A block is a single piece of content you add to a page. For example – a table entry, to-do list item, an image, are all a block. Your whole setup is made from these blocks.
Though Notion claims 1000 blocks are more than enough, they would quickly be used if you want to create a fully-fledged workspace.
I have already exceeded my 1000 block storage.
So, how much does Notion cost if you want to use more than 1000 blocks?
Notion is very affordable and costs only $4 per month which provides you unlimited block storage.
And, I’ve got an exciting offer for you!
Sign up for Notion for free and get a $10 credit that you can use to get unlimited storage.
Making Notion Work For You
So that’s all about my Notion setup. You can recreate my complete setup on Notion yourself or you can use it as an inspiration to create your own setup.
It’s important to remember that what works for me won’t work for you. That being said, try to create your workspace in a manner that helps you be more efficient.
Also, it’s doesn’t matter if you’re just a beginner getting started with Notion. You don’t have to use Notion’s advanced features right away.
If you’re looking for more inspiration apart from my setup, you can find some great templates on this website to figure out how you want to set up Notion. Also, you can check out Notion’s subreddit on Reddit to learn more about Notion from the people using it.
My recommendation is that you start by a simple setup and as you use Notion over time, you’ll understand the tool much better and will be able to create a setup that helps you get more productive and work efficiently.
If you need any more help or have questions on how to use Notion, feel free to comment down below. I’d be hanging out for a while to answer your comments.
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