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Notion + GTD

March 02, 2019

The aim of this post is to provide instructions for setting up a "Getting Things Done (GTD)"-style workflow using Notion. It does not cover the workflow itself; it only covers how to setup the necessary views within Notion.

The target audience is people familiar with GTD that want to try a new tool for implementing it.

Some context:

  • GTD is a methodology or framework for task organization, management, and execution. For details, refer to the excellent summary found here.
  • Notion bills itself as an "all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases". It's available on web, desktop, and mobile. For details, refer to their website found here.

What You'll Get

Before you continue reading, let's go over the end result:

  • View of all tasks
  • An inbox of tasks not yet assigned to a context or given a status
  • Task lists (or boards) filtered by:

    • Status - Up Next, In Progress, Done.
    • Context - @Computer, @Home, #Someday etc.
    • Project - Renovations, Hawaii Trip, etc.
  • A calendar view of tasks

Requirements

You'll need to create an account and log-in to Notion.

Steps

Database Creation

  1. Create a new page:

    1. Name it Tasks
    2. Select the Database > Table view
  2. Modify the database properties by clicking Properties:

    1. Delete default properties
    2. Add the following properties:

      • Description - Text type
      • Context - Multi-Select type
      • Project - Multi-Select type

        • Use Select if you want tasks to only belong to a single project
      • Status - Select type
      • Due - Date type
  3. In the table headers, click Status to show the drop-down menu. Then, click Configure Options to add default statuses

    • Add Up Next, In Progress, and Done

Now that the primary database is created, you can begin adding tasks into the master task list.

Notes:

  • For Context, follow the GTD framework for populating the options. Use contexts such as @home or @computer.

View Creation

Now, you can create additional views with specific filtering and sorting for inbox, contexts, projects, calendar, and more.

Inbox

To create an inbox view:

  1. Click Add a View (in the top left)

  2. Name it Inbox

  3. Select Table:

  4. Add a filter:

  5. Filter only tasks without a context and that are not done:

Contexts

To create a view for a context (e.g. @Computer, #Someday):

  1. Click Add a View

  2. Name it Context - <CONTEXT_NAME>

  3. Select Table

  4. Add a filter for only tasks matching the context that are not done:

Projects

To create a view for a projects:

  1. Click Add a View

  2. Name it Project - <PROJECT_NAME>

  3. Select Table

  4. Add a filter for only tasks matching the project that are not done:

Calendar

To create a calendar view:

  1. Click Add a View

  2. Name it Calendar

  3. Select Calendar

  4. Add a filter for tasks that are not done:

Additional Views

To create additional views, follow the same pattern:

  1. Add a new view of a certain type (try Board to for Kanban-style)
  2. Add filters
  3. Add sorting

Examples:

  • Due Soon

    • Filter tasks that are not done
    • Sort by due date

Conclusion

That's it! If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me.

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