Notion Layout Tour

Notion Layout Tour

So, as you may have noticed, book twitter has suddenly been talking about a site/app called Notion! As I LOVE organisation, I had to jump on the bandwagon and give it a go. I’m still working on making my pages as cute as some people on twitters’, but I wanted to talk a little bit about how the basics work and how I’ve set up some of the pages I use.

First off, some resources! I used some of the posts from Jess @ noodledesk on Tumblr, including this one! The Notion YouTube also has some great videos you can use as tutorials. I also made use of some of the links found on this Notion page, made by Skye @ Shurrens on Twitter!

The first thing I did when I made a Notion account was to think about what kinds of pages I wanted to make. I decided I wanted a calendar page for events, a TBR page, a recipe page and a habit tracker. I also later decided to add a page for my blog, and I found an employability template to add for future use. Some of these pages are default ones on Notion when you create an account, so there are some ready-available templates. I have done some editing of the default templates (and I think I might’ve actually deleted some of the originals and started from scratch), so if something about them or mine doesn’t work for you, it’s super easy to edit and remove things.

Once I’d decided what pages I was going to start with, I started organising the links on my homepage. My home page is the parent page if you like, with the others as sub-pages, that show as a link. I rearranged these links and added colours to them so everything was quickly accessible. I also put a ‘to-do’ list on my homepage — if you type a / in Notion, it brings up a list of different commands you can use, including a to-do square that you can cross off. The ‘focus’ image and caption in the centre I chose to work as inspiration (obviously my photo with Taylor Swift is the most inspirational photo in my life). Underneath all this, on my homepage I created a kanban board for my goals. Kanban boards allow you to add different statuses as column headers, and then create tiles for your goals (or whatever you’re using the board for), and then drag around your tiles as you make progress. I didn’t want to clutter my homepage, so I left it at that for now. For icons for each of my pages, I just used emojis, though you can import images of your own to use! I’ve seen a lot of cute icons people have made. There’s also a nice range of images you can use for the headers, though again, you can upload your own. It’s super easy to move blocks around — just click and drag. It’s a very intuitive interface, and I really like how fresh and clean it looks.

my home page for Notion! My goals board is a little further down the page so it’s a different screenshot lol

While my recipe page is a simple Gallery which is a great type of database to use for saving links that you might want images attached to, some of my pages are a bit more complicated. My TBR, for example, is a table, with columns for title & author, media type (I include essays etc as well as books), their priority to me, my progress (ie currently reading, to read, finished), and for those I’ve finished, a rating, possibilty to add a link to any articles, and a box for a summary. Of course not every item on the list will have every column filled in, but I thought they might all be useful for certain things. One of the best things about Notion for me is the amount of metadata you can add. For my recipes page, for example, I added a multiple-select piece of metadata where I can select what meal(s) the recipe is for — is it a breakfast recipe, or one that I’d use for lunch or dinner? You can then use the filter function to only show you the relative entries, which makes finding things a lot easier!

my Notion reading list! As you can see, I’ve not added much yet. This one will be a bit of a WIP.

The final thing I wanted to talk about for this post is my habit tracker. I struggled to find a template that worked for me, so I ended up coming up with my own plan. I wanted one that was just for the month, rather than one that you keep adding rows to, as I’m not that interested in being able to see previous months, but I also didn’t want to delete them. I made a template that I create a copy of for each month, so the old ones are still accessible, but I can easily just look at the current month. I made a grid, with the days down the side, and my habits/goals across the top. Some of my goals are simple checks — did I read? Did I exercise? And some need a number inputting: how many steps did I do? Notion allows you to set boxes so they’re formatted as currency which is useful if you wanted to include any information about how much you spent that day. I also added to the bottom a counter for the percentage of boxes checked or, for the numerical boxes, the average. I also, of course, gave each month an appropriate emoji. Aesthetics first, right?

I only started Notion in mid-September so my Habit Tracker starts from the 13th, but you can see where I’ve filled in the check boxes and step counts! And of course I gave each habit an appropriate emoji.

So, hopefully that might help anyone who’s looking to start using Notion, or offer some inspiration as to what pages to add! Mine isn’t the prettiest yet, but it is functional, and I’m getting a good grasp of the system generally. I’m excited to get really stuck in and dive deep into the other functions it has on offer!

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