Posted in Notion, Tools

The biggest knocks on Notion

If you do any research into the tool Notion online you’ll find some common complaints coming from users. These include: slow loading times on mobile, no real offline mode, and no native application for mobile use. Now I’m a fan of the tool, don’t get me wrong. It’s the closest thing to a Swiss army knife I’ve found when it comes to taking notes, organizing data, and handling images all in one place.

This could just be a case of feature frenzy but I think there is something more here. Notion is a small shop of dedicated people, but it is just that, a small shop. Making the changes needed to maintain their momentum in the marketplace is key if they want to continue growing and succeeding. Rumors have it they are working hard on coming updates to address issues such as performance and offline modes. If that’s the case, great. However perhaps dedicating a little more time to the community side of the platform, for example the “Notion Pros” program they had talked about starting, could be the best thing to buy them additional time and good will as they continue their development efforts.

I want to see Notion succeed, really I do. I just hope they remember that this type of tool is as much about the people using it as the features of the tool itself.

Posted in Notion, Techniques, Tools

Making my task list part of my notes in Notion

I’ve been focused on using Notion for the past couple of weeks and have found a specific feature has crept into my daily workflow without me even thinking about it. This feature has turned what was an organizational challenge into the proverbial “piece of cake.”

Linked Databases

Notion supports the idea of taking a database (or in their case, a list) and linking it (embedding) to another page in Notion. By doing this you can create custom views for each page while maintaining the integrity of the main database.

I’ve put this to use by creating a master task list (something you can find a number of excellent YouTube videos about) and then linking to that list on other related pages with filters that focus on the page topic. For example, I’m planning a trip in a couple of weeks and have added a tag to my Master Task list for the trip. As I think of things I need to do for the trip I add them to the task list, but at the same time I can add things that aren’t related to the trip such as household chores.

Everything on one page

Where the power comes in is on the page I created for the trip that includes destination maps, travel itinerary, and general notes for traveling. On that page I link to the Master Task database and then create a view that filters to only those tasks tagged with the travel tag. Now when I’m focused on my travel planning I know everything I need is in one place and I don’t have to do double work to keep lists up to date.

One of many features

This is just one of many, many features on this platform and combined with the smooth user experience and multiplatform support I’d have to say it’s something that will be part of my productivity arsenal for a long time coming.

Posted in Notion, Tools

Free Notion for students and educators

One of my new favorite tools, Notion, has made it a point to help both students and educators put their crazy powerful platform to use in the classroom.

In an email from Ben Lang at Notion:

As of right now, Notion’s Personal Plan is officially free for students and educators – all they have to do is sign up with their school email and the premium features will be there waiting for them. We also added a bunch of new templates designed just for them to our Template Gallery – class notes, course syllabi, even a homepage for roommates!

To make it as easy as possible, I’ve included a few resources: You can find more information at notion.so/students and notion.so/educators

There’s no question in my mind that Notion could be a powerful addition in any classroom, whether it’s for organization, reference, planning, or other things at this price it’s absolutely worth a look.