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Notion for Beginners: Organize Your Life

As a long-time Notion user, I’ve turned it into my digital life hub. From meticulously organizing dashboards for both my personal and work life to crafting a master schedule that keeps me on track, Notion has become an indispensable tool for streamlining my days.

In this blog post, I’ll be sharing my experience and equipping you, the Notion newcomer, with the knowledge you need to unlock its full potential. You will surely become as addicted to Notion as I am!

Plus get a walkthrough of my personal and work Notion dashboards in the Youtube video linked at the end of this post.

*Note: This post contains affiliated links from which I will earn a small kickback. Thank you for your support!*

notion for beginners

Organize Your Life

As a paper crafter, I’ve done it all when it comes to planning with paper. I tried bullet journaling and planners to organize my life. I bullet-journaled meticulously for about 2 years and loved it. It is a lot of work though, so when I found Notion, I never looked back. 

Notion has really given me the ability to keep all my thoughts, events, schedules, and lists all in one place. It’s given me a digital planning space that is one-hundred percent customizable with new updates every month. The latest update is the Google Calendar integration which is a total game changer (we’ll talk about it later!). 

If you are still figuring out which type of planning is the best for you, check out my Intro to Bullet Journaling Post or other Journaling/Planning posts here.

The Pros of Using Notion

I’m sure you don’t need more convincing, but here are a few great points that might clue you in to how amazing the Notion platform really is. 

  • Streamlined Workflow: Notion acts as a central hub for all your tasks, notes and plans with no need to keep track on multiple apps anymore. I use Notion on my computer and have the app on my phone and it’s all connected, so I can update anywhere.
  • Enhanced Organization and Productivity: You can utilize Notion’s many features like databases, to-do lists, reminders, and progress tracking to manage your life, goals, hobbies, and work. 
  • Flexibility and Customization: This is my favorite part of Notion and it will call to all you creatives out there like me who want a life planner that organizes, but also let’s you have total control. My personalized dashboards and pages are exactly the way I want them to be after scouring hundreds of shared templates of Notion users have created. 
  • Collaboration: You can collaborate with others real-time using Notion workspace or share your planning dashboards and pages with family and friends. My husband and I use shared pages to plan things like our travels (RV Life!), Holidays, future plans and meal prep.

Plus a personal account is Free!! 

notion for beginners

Create Your Free Notion Account

Getting started with Notion is super easy. Just head to Notion.so and sign up for a free account. Once you’re in, you’ll be greeted by a clean and intuitive workspace. Don’t worry, you don’t need any special skills to navigate Notion – it’s surprisingly user-friendly.

I will talk through some of their basic concepts next and leave you to exploring the depths of the platform to create your very own dashboard for your personal life, work life, or both! 

Notion's Building Blocks: Understanding the Interface

As Notion says on their website, think of it as a bottomless bin of building blocks. Each block has a function that you can utilize in more than one way. Here are some of the main blocks you will be using when you start planning in Notion:

  1. Pages: Pages are going to be your blank canvas and your main form of structure. Instead of folders, you use pages to create and organize.
    1. Within pages there are different building blocks you can use such as bullet points, headings, dividers, image and file uploads, integrations and more. Page sections can be separated into multiple columns which is how such gorgeous dashboards are created. 
  2. Databases: Databases are the next building block. From tables to calendars, lists, and galleries; databases bring organization to the next level.
    1. You can sort pages in databases, but here’s the kicker: databases themselves are pages. 
  3. Templates: These are premade pages ready for specific functions. When you first sign up for Notion, they will walk you through their free templates.
    1. I encourage you to explore these. You can use them as is, customize them or use as starting points to create entirely new pages. 
    2. Many people in the Notion community share templates online, so you have access to thousands of premade templates which makes for an organizational heaven! 

Building Your Own Notion Workspace

It took me a couple of weeks, hopping onto Notion for an hour or two each day to become comfortable with the platform and create a work/life planner that fit my needs. To this day I still make little changes on it, but ultimately I have my Notion space exactly the way I want it to be. 

Here are a few suggestions to get you started on Notion: 

  1. There is no saying how much time you’ll actually need, but I suggest playing around with the templates and looking at the resources I provide below to get you comfortable with the platform. 
  2. As you get comfortable with the wide span of capabilities Notion has to offer, you can determine what you want to use it for.
  3. Make a list (you could even do this on Notion as practice!) of all the things you want to organize in your life.
    1. Examples: calendar, day planning, meal prep, book tracking, exercise tracking, journaling, random notes, travel planning, work organization… the possibilities are quite literally endless! 
  4. Start with some premade templates or make your own and begin using Notion! Make sure to download the App too.  

Common Notion FAQs

  • Are Notion Pages Private?
    • Yes, they are. You do have the ability, however, to share them with others or make the page public on the web.
  • Are Notion Templates Free?
    • There are hundreds of free Notion templates out there if you search online. There are also hundreds of paid templates as well. In the resource list below, you will see some sites you can find Notion templates. 
  • Can Notion Sync with Google Calendar?
    • Yes! This is a recent update that many people are happy with. Notion fully syncs to Google Calendar now.
  • How Notion Works?
    • After reading blog post and looking at the other resources I provide, you’ll be fully equipped with the knowledge of how Notion works and what you can do with it. 
notion for beginners

Notion Resources and Templates Page

As I’ve sought out new Notion templates and resources over the years, I made up a Notion page specifically to link everything I find in case I feel like using again or sharing it. 

So CLICK HERE to see a giant list of resources, websites, integrations, and templates (both paid and free) for you to explore. To duplicate to your own Notion, just click the icon that says “duplicate” if you hover over it. It is right next to the search icon.  

There is always Notion’s original help pages for you to look through too: HERE! 

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Youtube Notion Walkthrough/Tutorial

I’ve done a walkthrough of my entire Notion dashboard! Have any questions or comments? Tell me what you think!

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