One of the marvelous things about the web is you never know what inspiration you’ll stumble across. A case in point was Srinivas Rao’s recent Medium post and video that explains how he uses Notion to manage content creation and projects.
At the time, I had no idea what Notion was. But the subject of his post sounded mighty intriguing, so I decided to explore it.
Little did I realize I was about to be blown away. What I discovered was a flexible, revolutionary tool that is now transforming how I create and manage content and projects.
A devoted Evernote user
At first, I was skeptical of Notion. I’ve used Evernote for over five years, and it has become the nerve center for all of my content creation and as my personal knowledge base. I rely on it completely. But it’s not without its shortcomings:
One of the biggest this its lack of structure. You can only nest folders two levels deep, and there’s a strict limit on the number of folders you can have in your Evernote account. As a result, I got accustomed to using Evernote as a friction-free, unstructured way to capture ideas.
The problem is that I’m so prolific that good ideas quickly get buried in the stack of notes in my Evernote account. Unless I stumble across them via a search, some of them may never again see the light of day.
This problem was brought to my attention a few days ago when I was searching for something and accidentally unearthed several articles I wrote several months ago. They were 95% complete, but never published. That’s because I didn’t realize they were still there!
The Notion solution
Notion promises to solve that problem by enabling me to customize a wiki-like dashboard with all of my work in progress, research notes, projects and much more – neatly organized in ways that are meaningful to me.
In addition, it does so flexibly, enabling me to make up the structure as I go along, and modify it at will as my needs and understanding of Notion’s capabilities evolves.
Uneasy first steps with Notion
My first steps were challenging, as I tried to figure out Notion’s conventions for doing things. In a few small ways, it wasn’t quite as intuitive as I had hoped. But through persistence and a few messages to Notion’s support staff (quickly answered, BTW!), I was able to figure out what I needed to do.
I’ve managed to reach several milestones, including importing my first Word document and creating a few rudimentary tables for tracking tasks, complete with status tags. But I haven’t begun to explore Notion’s integrations or some of its more advanced features. That’s coming soon!
My slow adoption of Notion for content
Instead of pulling all my Evernote notes into Notion, which would be overwhelming, I have been copying and pasting selected content and projects in progress into Notion pages. A few days ago, I figured out that I can add to-dos at the top of articles in progress. That’s a quick and easy way to make a note to myself of what still needs to be done!
Managing my work in progress better
I’m already falling in love with Notion’s ability to keep my work in progress front and center, so I can immediately move projects along faster. I’m no longer wasting time trying to figure out where a specific note is and then deciphering what I need to do to move it to the next step.
My progress so far with Notion has me excited about how ELSE I can use it. Notion is a worthy successor to Evernote in my opinion. It’s also easy to see that it’s much more than “just another productivity application.” The developers of Notion have created something truly special. I look forward to this journey!