How to use Notion: A Quick Beginner’s Guide

Forget about Trello, Evernote and Google Docs: Notion does all that and more

how to use notion

This article will be your starting guide to Notion. Productivity is the name of the game in all industries. Whether you are a novelist, manual laborer, college student, or CEO, you will not see success in your academic or professional career without high productivity levels.

One of the biggest obstacles to productivity is disorganization – something you may be familiar with, as you jump between several apps and websites just to complete a single task.

What you need to curb this problem is Notion, a new app that streamlines all necessary documents, datasets, and communication systems for your work and school.

Gone are the days when you have to keep tens of tabs and apps open all at once. Condense your chaotic workspace into the Notion work environment today. The guide below will help you get started.

How to Use Notion

Here’s what you’ll learn about in this guide:

  1. What is Notion
  2. Getting set up
  3. Sidebar
  4. Create a page
  5. Slash Commands
  6. Blocks
  7. Toggles
  8. Notion Web Clipper

What is Notion?

Notion is an all-in-one workspace intended for writing, planning, and collaborating. The app not only optimizes your individual workspace for virtually any task but also your collaborators’.

Whether you need to procure a hub of information for your college study group or compile vital company documents into an online space for employee access, Notion will streamline this work for you.

In this app, you can create the ideal layout that will work best to improve your workflow, along with the ability to customize toolkits to your work requirements. The tools available for use include:

  • Notes (or Docs). There are more than 30 different types of content you can add with this tool. It’s ideal for replacing Google and Evernote, for example.
  • Wikis. Instead of forcing yourself to accommodate for additional apps like Confluence and Github, you can take advantage of the Wikis tool in Notion.
  • Projects and tasks. After you’ve downloaded Notion, there will be numerous tools available for organizing solo and team-oriented tasks. These tools are excellent replacements for apps such as asana, Trello, and Jira.

If you feel like you’re missing out on some apps, have no fear. You can also embed over 50 different third-party apps in your Notion workspace. This way, you can create a hub to which you and your team can refer as you work, no matter what platform it’s available on.

Lastly, you can communicate in real-time with your coworkers by merely commenting on the app’s shared content. Here’s how to take advantage of this incredible app.

1. Getting Started with Notion

The Notion app can be downloaded on virtually any device of your choosing. It is available for download in iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and as a Web Clipper on Firefox and Google Chrome.

Those who sign up individually may also be able to use Notion for free if using the Free Plan. Team use is available through either the Enterprise or Team plans. The app is free for students!

Notion sidebar
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

The sidebar is where you’ll find some important tools such as settings, templates, import, etc. It’s very flexible, you can organize your work the way you like.

Most of your commands will begin here, so get familiar with the page types and controls located in this section of the interface. Get familiar with this – you’ll be using it often!

3. Create a Page

To get your workspace going, you will first need to create a page. Now that you’ve gotten familiar with the sidebar, you’ll remember that the lowest command in this section, listed after “Trash,” is “+New Page.” Click this to get started on designing your brand-new virtual workspace.

Creating a page in Notion app
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

If you do not wish to build a custom workspace from scratch, you can use a template instead. Choose “Templates” from the left sidebar and scroll through the template options presented to you. (You can also find “Templates” as the third item in the content creation options list in the “+New Page” interface.)

For either, you can add an icon to the page for even better organization.

4. Get Familiar with Slash Commands

Using the slash command feature in Notion
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Hit the forward-slash “/” key to bring up a menu of content types (blocks) that can be added to your page. When you activate the slash command, you’ll immediately be presented with a list of available blocks.

5. Add Blocks to Your Page

To achieve the highest level of functionality, organization, and communicative advantages, you will need to break up your content into the appropriate blocks. The types of blocks offered by the Notion app include:

  • Headers
  • Text
  • Tables
  • To-do Lists
  • Toggle Lists
  • Images
  • Call-outs
  • Embeds (embeds are only available for video files and maps)
Adding blocks in Notion
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Identify which blocks will be most beneficial to your workspace and begin with those. Try not to create a distracting work environment by combining too many different types of blocks. Keep things compartmentalized yet simple.

6. Learn to Use Toggles

Toggles are great for organizing a page in a detailed manner. With this tool, you can significantly improve content prioritization and create an interactive experience for the reader. In the list of content types summoned by the “/” command, you will find the “Toggle list” as the 9th option.

Learning how to use toggles in Notion
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Notice how, above the “/” list, the Toggle block is listed as an “empty toggle” and that you have the option of dropping blocks inside. The Toggle tool will allow you to make useful elements such as collapsible lists or even secondary web pages. These will all be opened by a simple click on the anchor text you’ve chosen to toggle.

7. Install the Notion Web Clipper

We strongly recommend that you install Notion as a Web Clipper, as it will dramatically improve the efficiency of communication between your web data and customized workspace.

With the Web Clipper, you’ll be able to import the text and images of the web pages you visit into your tables in Notion. You will be able to capture the formatting of these web pages as well.

This is especially useful for compiling source material for projects, for example. The links will be organized into a table for future reference.

Wrap Up

Notion is one of the most powerful apps for streamlining work responsibilities and team communication. With this guide, you now have the building blocks to get your workspace up and running to boost your productivity like never before.

Now I want to hear from you.

What will you mostly use Notion for?

Is it for taking notes, creating databases or maybe as a personal wiki?

Either way, let us know and leave a comment below.

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