Notion, the next-level productivity tool that literally changed my life

For more than a decade, I have tried LOTS of productivity tools that would somehow satisfy my demands in terms of my daily workflow whatever it was on the profession and on a personal level. But with time, I would always find little imperfections within the product, you know us being a designer. You always questioned your little routine 'picky-ness', to make sure you always bring the best of your skills alongside with the right tools. For the past 6 months, I have been using Notion. Without sounding 'cheesy', this might be the best subscription I have ever paid in my life and I will tell you the 'why' in this article.

Without sounding 'cheesy', this might be the best subscription I have ever paid in my life

Image Courtesy by Notion

So what is Notion?

For shorts, Notion is an all-in-one workspace. Simple as that! A space where you can write, plan, collaborate, get organized and beyond. A lot more, trust me!

Design first.

Learning about Notion's history, you have to admire how they put 'design first' through their story and it's now reflecting on the platform. From a designer's perspective, I still remember my first time onboarding on Notion. Everything was carefully crafted in the 'welcoming experience', through the messages and exercises to get familiar with its features and behaviors. It was really thought-out and somehow quite simple through their micro-interactions to guide you inside out the platform. I remember feeling how it was really well done and was glad to be able to be supported by such a powerful tool. It's been now 6 months past and I use Notion every single day (This article is written on Notion). It's just really that practical and did actually made my life easier in terms of productivity in life and at work.

Notion through keywords

Along those lines, I would fancy to share a set of keywords that for me represents Notion really well. We have never done this exercise on ABDZ, but If you feel connected with some of those keywords, you should definitely get on board and give it a try yourself

  • Fast, Powerful, Integrated
  • Diverse Customizable Workspace
  • Templates
  • Beautified Writing Experience
  • Be a Power User
  • Private and Shared Links
  • Perfect Workflow Tool
  • Cross-Platform Applications
  • Pure Collaboration
  • Note-taking, tasks, knowledge and more.

Integrations

Other than the extremely useful and beautified writing experience, I think Notion's biggest edge is its integrations to almost you can think of and beyond. For example, you can easily add 'create a gallery' and add 'image links' to customize your design mood board. Or create a project task list of to-dos for your work and be able to connect your entire process with embed files from Whimsical, Figma and more. This 'workspace' is ensuring the success of my work and by keeping a collaborative aspect with my colleagues. It's crazy how you can just be free to do whatever you want and for any ends, you may be trying to accomplish. That's the true beauty of Notion.

Image Courtesy by Notion

A homepage for every aspect of my life

More than 6 months ago, my entire family and I have moved to live abroad in Switzerland, in case you've missed it. You can read all about it on ABDZ at Reflecting on my move to Switzerland. To keep track of this entire process, I have built a 'life board' where I created a 'Trello-inspired' board to track all updates and to-dos for everything almost. Using 'agile methodologies', my partner and I were setting up 'weekly goals or shall we say to-dos' to accomplish whatever there was to accomplish like setting up an appointment for 'bank account' or sending important paperwork for an apartment. Everything will be shared inside a 'page' that we could both easily add updates or even attach 'important documents' as PDF so in time there wasn't a need to search into the emails. A lifesaver! With a little structure, Notion actually helped up enhance the family's fecundity to do more. Here is a snapshot of that particular 'board'.

Being a Pro

Another thing I love about Notion is that the more you use it, the more you become a 'power user'. You found little tricks to apply for your next 'workspace' or I really do enjoy exploring Notion Templates where you learn to explore what the community has been sharing or what the rad team from Notion has been cooking up. It's always refreshing and it's fairly easy if you wanna use it for your own 'workspace'.

Image Courtesy by Notion

Image Courtesy by Notion

Notion has also proven to be effective at work too. I have attached a recent video from the rad folks from Metalab (via Notion's YouTube Channel) that uses Notion for every project. I think it's an interesting and novelty practice that is going to be more present across our industry. At my workplace, we don't use it across the organization but I do use Notion for my own design process/developer cycle and it has proven its utility as thoroughly. It certainly does compete with a management tool like Jira for instance. But again, in my honest opinion, Notion comes as an extension with a sense of who you are as a person and how you wanna tackle your tasks in life.

 

Final Thoughts

I think it's clear that I love Notion. It serves its purpose and even more than that. For my 6 months usage so far, Notion has shared a numerous count of updates that just made the tool even more immersive and powerful. I wanna salute the work to the team behind Notion, they are building something really fantastic. There are so much more to be done and they are just getting started.

Written by

François Hoang

Running by the name of François Hoang, I am the Editor and one of the writers on the blog. If you wanna request a feature, tweet me at @AoiroStudio.

Brought to you by