3 simple steps to organise your ideas on Notion

3 simple steps to organise your ideas on Notion

This November, I'm challenging myself to write every day. You can read them all under the "Shorts" category, where each post should be around 500-1k words. Think of them as "less polished" than my usual longer blog posts. This is Day 3.

At first, I used to use Readwise to save and organise my ideas. It was incredibly easy to use their web clipper to save sentences I liked, which went straight into my Notion library. I saved a lot, but I rarely go back to read them unless I'm looking for something specific. I had a huge backlog of uncategorised saved texts to deal with. Even though it's easier to save the highlights, it actually makes us lazier. (Or maybe I don't have a reliable system to fall back on) Now I have a gallery view page on Notion, where I manually copy and paste sentences I like. It may sound counterproductive, but I've started to be more selective about what I save. When I paste the sentences into their respective categories, I get to read the past ones too. I think it's a win-win situation. Here are three easy steps to get started with organising your ideas on Notion.
 
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If you don't have Notion yet, you can sign up and try it for free.

Step 1: Be selective of what you read

Be very selective in what you choose to read. I get that we want to learn everything we can, but there is only so much time. What you can do is narrow your interests to ~5 top areas you want to learn most about, for now. Start there, until you're capable of learning more, your brain will thank you. I'm sure you also have your main sources of content materials. Twitter? Email inboxes? Make sure you try to curate and tailor your feed to what you're interested in. Else, it'll become overwhelming if you don't.
 
 
Create a new page for each topic/category.
Create a new page for each topic/category.

Step 2: Save sentences on Notion database manually

Create a new page for each topic within the gallery view of your Notion database, once you've identified your areas of interest. Start copying and pasting the sentences you like onto each respective page. Optional: When you have enough in each category, you can also categorise within the respective page itself. Optional: The numbers indicate the number of notes on each page. Just add a basic number property, and add the number of notes. Then, sort the gallery by number count. I do this so I can easily see where I've been putting my attention. For example, inside the "Future of work" page, I have several categories such as:
  • Getting into self-employment
  • Working 4-day work weeks
  • Async work etc.
 
Depending on what the sentence is, I'll paste it under the respective category. By doing this, it allows me to read (even briefly) the past sentences that I've saved too, rather than relying on automation.
 

Step 3: Done

That's it. That's how I save ideas and sentences I like.
They're only raw ideas, and I could improve my current system more to learn better. I used to have a note-taking system where I properly process and create new notes of my own, but I wasn't able to plan and time-block accordingly because of other priorities. This is what I used to time-block on my calendar, inspired by Ness Lab's From Collector to Creator course:
  • Read, highlight, and annotate raw notes
  • Process and create my own notes from raw notes
  • If I can, I curate and connect all the ideas together to form new content
Maybe another time I'll time block my calendar better. Do you have a note-taking system or somewhere you store your ideas? What kind? Share with me below!

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Why writing? I want to think and express myself better.

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