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Productivity hacks for Notion

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Notion is a powerful project management app. Learn more about features and benefits and discover if it's right for your team.

Tired of the hassle of everyone in your organization using different document sharing programs? Ready to create a better solution for organizing meetings and to-do lists, once and for all? If you’re into boosting your productivity, you may have heard of Notion as one possible productivity tool to use.

What is Notion?

Notion is a productivity app and task management solution that allows you and your team to build the type of workflow you want–without everyone trying to sync different platforms. Here, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know to maximize your productivity within the Notion platform.

Notion tips for productivity

Review version changes

Accidentally deleted something important? We’ve all been there, and if you’re using Notion, you’re in luck. Just like when you’re working in Google Docs, Notion allows you to see all of the updates that have been made to a page. If you click on the ellipses at the top right hand corner of the sidebar in your Notion workspace, then select page history, you’ll be able to go back and see all of the changes since the document was created.

Share pages

If you’re using Notion to work with your team, you no longer need to worry about sending documents and spreadsheets over email, Google Drive, or other sharing services. When you want a colleague to take a look at one of your Notion pages, simply click share. The other party will be able to view the document just like a website. Want to work with the other party on the document? Click the “show link” option after you click share. From there, you’ll be able to select whether the person you’re sharing your link with can view, edit, comment, or duplicate your Notion page.

Create formulas

Tired of doing math on your own when you’re working in Notion? Just like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, Notion gives you the option to create formulas, allowing your sheets to do the math for you. Whether you’re doing a sheet for payroll or you’re working on a personal budget, Notion provides you with the tools you need to manage data easily. Using easy keyboard shortcuts, Notion makes it easy, even for beginners.

Locking pages

If you’ve shared a page with a group and need the edits to stop, you can easily lock a page within the Notion system. Navigate to the top right hand corner of the page, click the toggle list, and select the lock page option. You’ll also have the option to unlock the page if you decide that further group editing is needed.

Create a table of contents

When you’re creating large documents for a group of people, adding a table of contents can be a simple way to organize the information that you need. Creating a table of contents within Notion is simple. First, you’ll type a forward slash, then, select table of contents. A set of links will be generated automatically, allowing you and your team to easily navigate within your document.

Set reminders

Your life is busy, and it can be hard to stay on top of all that you need to do every day to keep things moving. Thankfully, reminders on Notion can make project management easy for you to remember what tasks need to be completed before you can move forward with your work. To create a reminder in Notion, first, find the information that you want to set a reminder for. Then, type an @ symbol followed by the day and time you want to be reminded. If you'‘d rather remind another member of your team of the information, type another @ symbol and then type their name next to the original reminder. This can eliminate the need to use Google Calendar or another calendar system for reminders.

Use color coding

If you enjoy having your work visually organized so you always know where everything is, using the color coding blocks in Notion is a smart way to create the digital workspace that makes sense for you. Some people prefer to color code each individual projects, while others use colors to indicate areas of work that need action (such as green for an area that is ready to go, yellow for an area that needs more work or needs improvement, and red for an area that need to be removed or totally reworked). You can use colors to label subpages and can give team members a quick glance at what needs done.

Export pages

Working with a client or customers who has yet to hop on the Notion ship? No worries–you can easily export materials in a variety of file formats so you can all work from (literally) the same page. Just like when you’re sharing a document within Notion, you’ll start by clicking on the three dots in the upper right hand corner of the page. From there, you’ll select export. Then, you’ll choose your file format (you can choose from PDFs, HTML files, Google Sheets, or CSVs for those who use Excel).

Create a home page

You can easily organize all that you’re offering in Notion by creating a home page that functions much like a website. You’ll be able to add links that can make it easy for you and your team to get the information you need without having to muddle through all of your Notion documents and sheets. These pages can be created from scratch or from ready-made Notion templates.

Create a reading list

Creating a reading list in Notion allows you to keep tracks of the books you want to read that will push you to the next level in both your business and personal lives.

Set tracked goals

Creating a goals chart within Notion can help you ensure that you’re moving forward with your personal and business progress. When you work regularly in Notion, you get to see how you’re making progress toward your goals, and you’re less likely to put them on the back burner.

Create pages using Notion templates

With the Notion database, it’s easy to create pages that are both easy to follow and pleasing to the eye. When you click on the Templates button within Notion, you’ll see that you have many options catered to specific needs within the software. Whether you’re looking for a meeting template or a roadmap to engineer a new product, templates will make it simple to set up your Notion pages in a way that makes sense for you and your team.

Dark theme in notion

To enable Dark Mode in Notion:

  • Go to 'Settings and Members'
  • Select Appearance
  • Change the dropdown menu to 'Dark'

You can also hit ctrl+shift+L on a PC or cmnd+shift+L on a Mac to enable dark mode in Notion. Your interface will turn into an easier to view app and your eyes will thank you.

Quick search in Notion

Another helpful tutorial to maximize productivity with Notion is to learn how to execute a quick search. To quickly search for a new page in Notion:

  • Hit cmnd+P on a Mac or ctrl+P on a PC.
  • This will pop up a quick menu that will scan all of your pages.

Reference another page or person using the @ symbol in Notion

You can link directly to another page by simply typing the '@' symbol and selecting the page you wish to reference. You can also mention specific users and subscribers by typing in the '@' symbol and selecting their name.

Note: Any time you mention a person they will be notified under the 'All Updates' tab in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

Create block columns in Notion

Notion allows you to organize blocks side by side. To create a block column in Notion:

  • Select the six grey dots to the left side of the block or blocks you want to organize.
  • Move the selected block the side of the block you wish to create side by side columns
  • Once you see a blue vertical line you can click away.

Forward slash shortcut in Notion

Instead of selecting the plus icon or right-clicking to create a new block, just hit '/' and type in the name of the block you wish to create. This will allow you to quickly create new blocks in your template without touching your mouse.

Improve your Notion workflow with Speechify

Speechify easily converts text into audio, making it simple to keep up with the documents you and your team are working on in Notion. There’s no need to sit down at your computer with Speechify. Your library of audio files automatically syncs with all your devices, from Android to iPhone and beyond, so you can stay up-to-date on the go.


Does Notion help with productivity?

Unlike other popular apps such as Evernote, Slack, and Trello, Notion is so much more than a note-taking and simple communication app. You can build an all-encompassing productivity solution for your life within it. I’ve written before about how I built a Notion habit tracker, and I still use it to track my workouts, catalog my journal, and aggregate my writing. In fact, I’m writing this blog post in Notion right now. 

Does Notion work on my Apple or Samsung phone?

Notion has both desktop and mobile Notion apps, allowing you to stay up-to-date anywhere you go. The mobile app is available on both Android and iOS platforms.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.