In my humble opinion, the less friction you experience during the process, the more effective the note-taking system.
Let's start by breaking the note-taking process into three components: Before, During and After.
In the BEFORE phase, it’s about how easy it is to start taking the note. Remember, the less friction you experience, the better.
In the DURING phase, it's about how quickly you can get your thoughts into the note-taking system.
In the AFTER phase, it’s about how you can resurface relevant notes when the situation calls for it, and this is actually the hardest part.
Before jumping to my Notion setup, as long as you have those 3 boxes checked - before, during, after, the application you use doesn’t really matter
My Notion setup is made up of a "backend" and a "frontend"
These are just databases with five different notebooks. All together they cover my entire personal life. I set this up once and I won't touch it again. It's called Backend because it's kind of an infrastructure.
These are Notion pages that have all my current “projects” I’m working on.
Let’s go into my “Platforms” notebook. This is just a depository of notes I take to the different platforms - YouTube vs. Instagram vs. Clubhouse.
You can also see the different labels in these examples. This labels are divided into 3 status:
This is pretty cool right? 😎
But where do I actually write the notes?
So, if we open an example of this Database, we can see that the note have three different sections:
As you can see, the workflow goes from bottom to top, but when I revisit the note I will be actually reading top down
The Frontend is the key part for the “AFTER” phase.
I have a page dedicated to Content Strategy, this is where I breakdown the different platforms I create content for. I visit this overview page every other day to remind myself what I need to do next.
Here you might notice that on the right hand side, you see the exact same notes from the “Platforms” notebook that we just went over. I did this by using the Linked Database feature (type “/linked database” and search for the name of the database 😉).
Now, this by itself may not be very useful. But if we look at what happens when I click into my YouTube page on the left side.
I still have the Platforms database on the right, but only the notes related to All Platforms and YouTube are visible. This means as I work on my Youtube plan, I can easily and quickly reference notes I’ve taken in the past for YouTube 🤩!
To do this just follow this steps: 👇
What if I’m on my YouTube page and wanted to take a note?
Simply click “New” and the YouTube label is already pre-populated, click “Template”. The status gets updated to “Open” automatically and you can start typing!
By the way, it’s totally fine to have multiple “Open” status notes at the same time. Don’t forget, after completing the notes, the status should be updated to either “resurface” or “archived”.
Check out how I plan a productive week with this weekly agenda template on Notion!