A Notion App Review: 15 Tips for Beginners.
Since its release in 2016, Notion has made a splash in productivity, and for good reason. It removes the need to distribute work across multiple applications and acts as a versatile note-taking, task management and collaboration tool. Notion’s modular approach to pretty much anything means you can turn it into whatever you want.
However, if you’ve just signed up for Notion, there is no doubt that the minimalistic user interface will confuse you. Unlike other productivity tools, you won’t see any fancy toolbars or formatting options to play with.
However, Notion’s simple design and aesthetics are its strengths. Rather than forcing you into a particular structure or hierarchy, it’s up to you how you want to use it.
In this Notion app review, you’ll find some tips to help you get started and speed up your journey with Notion.
1. Insert blocks
Everything is blocked in Notion. Every time you start typing something, you start with the default text block. But you can insert anything other than a text block.
Press the forward slash key and you should see a floating panel with all the blocks you can create. You have main blocks at the top of the list. They allow you to insert pages (more on this later), create subheadings, insert to-do lists, add separators, quote text, and so on. You will use them often.
Then you have the database, media, and advanced blocks. They are very powerful and allow you to do anything from uploading files, inserting kanban-style boards to embedding calendars. Experiment with each block. The more blocks you add, the more meaning the concept becomes.
To make things easier, you can filter the block by typing its name immediately after pressing the forward slash (/) key. Then press Enter to paste it directly. Memorize your favorite blocks and adding them should be easy.
2. Transfer Blocks
With Notion, you don’t have to get it right the first time. After placing notes and tasks on the page, you can rearrange them in the order you want. This applies to all block types in Notion.
Hover over the block. Then drag the block pointer that appears to the left of it to move the block. The blue line should mark certain points where you can free each block.
Notion also allows you to create columns. Just drag the block horizontally and release as soon as you see a vertical blue line.
3. Converting Blocks
You can convert one basic block to another even after you have added content to it. Start by choosing a block handle. Then move the pointer over the “Enable” item in the context menu and select the required block type.
If you want, for example, to turn a block of standard text into a subheading, select heading blocks like H1, H2, or H3.
4. Create sub-pages
You don’t have to create a separate page in the Notion sidebar every time you want to work on something new. Instead, use a page block to embed a page within another. You can have as many subpages as you want.
For example, you can use one page as your main dashboard and create subpages leading to your other content. Not only will this help you organize things logically in Notion, it will also provide a messy sidebar.
The concept is very versatile. You can also drag existing pages to other pages in the sidebar to turn them into subpages and vice versa.
5. Link to other pages
The Page Link is another incredibly useful block in Notion that, when combined with the Page block, can help you get things done. Add it anywhere to link to another page.
6. Text Format
At first glance, it seems that Notion is missing any formatting options. Do not worry. Just select the text you want to format and you’ll see a nifty toolbar with several options for bold, italic, and underline. It also allows you to add links, change text color, etc.
7. Add Page and Cover Icon
Notion allows you to personalize any page (including nested ones) with an icon and cover image. To do this, hover your mouse over the page title and use the Add Icon and Add Cover options.
You can select icons and cover images from the built-in icon / image gallery, or upload your own.
8. Transfer templates to other pages
You can move any block to another page. Select a block handle and move the pointer over Move. Then select the page you want. Or you can just drag it to the corresponding page in the taskbar.
9. Quick Search
Looking to find something in your Notion workspace? Select the Quick Search option in the upper left corner of the window and start typing to instantly filter pages and blocks.
Once you get started with Notion, you can’t do without a quick search. To invoke it even faster, press Ctrl + P or Cmd + P.
10. Share Pages
Depending on your Notion plan, you have access to several powerful sharing options. If you have a Personal or Personal Pro plan, you can invite people (Notion calls them “guests”) to view, comment, or edit pages. You can also share pages publicly. To start sharing, select the Share option in the upper right corner of the window.
If you have a team account, Notion shares all of the pages under the Workspace section in the sidebar with the rest of your team. You can still create private pages that no one has access to in the Personal Area.
11. Lock the page
In Notion, it is very easy to screw something up and not notice. Locking a page can prevent accidental editing. To do this, select the three dots at the top right and select “Page Lock”.
12. Import Content
You can import plain text, Word, Excel and CSV files into Notion. Plus, you can import data directly from alternative productivity tools like Evernote and Trello. To get started, select the Import option at the bottom of the sidebar.
13. Enable Dark Mode
Notion supports dark mode. Select the Settings & Members option in the sidebar and turn on the toggle next to Dark Mode to enable it.
Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + Shift + L or Cmd + Shift + L to switch between dark and light modes more quickly.
14. Notion Web Clipper
When browsing the web on the Internet, you can use the Notion Web Clipper extension to add any web page to your Notion workspace. It is available for both Chrome and Firefox. After installing the extension, log in with your Notion credentials and you’re done.
15. Use Templates
The concept can be overwhelming, but page templates can help. Select the Templates option at the bottom of the sidebar to open the built-in template gallery. Then expand a category, such as Personal, Education, or Project Management, and make your selection.
Select Use this template and Notion will automatically create a new page based on the selected template. Of course, you can edit the template however you like.
More templates from the Notion team and community can be found in the Notion Template Gallery.
There are so many things to do with Notion that we barely managed to scratch the surface in this Notion app review! However, once you understand the basics, you will be more comfortable using it. It’s time to create a Notion workspace according to your specific needs.