If you streamline one surprisingly subtle element of your work, you can save countless hours.
This element is document organization.
Documents make our work lives so much easier —when a situation arises, you don’t need to wonder “what do I do?” You already have a system in place for your whole team to reference.
No more pointless questions that you need to answer day in and day out. No more hours spent fumbling over an issue that already has a solution. Just check the docs!
But where do you keep all of your to-do lists, procedures, style guides, meeting notes and other important documents?
Sometimes, you might have had that double espresso, be totally on your game and know exactly where to find everything:
However, I’d say the chances are good that that isn’t normally how it goes.
I’d be you normally start the document search by clicking through several desktop folders or Google Docs folders, then by typing related keywords into search bars.
If you don’t find the document there, maybe you turn to your Dropbox or Evernote.
Then, hm—didn’t you link someone to the document in Asana once? Maybe you should search your old tasks there for the link too.
When you’re working with a team, this problem is essentially multiplied exponentially and becomes completely unbearable.
Ugh. Assuming this happens a few times each day for each team member, how much time do you waste?
Organization is one of the most—if not the most—fundamental part of successfully completing any content marketing task. You’ve probably tried multiple solutions, but most of the time they fall short in one aspect or another.
That’s because there’s hardly ever a place where you can actually put everything that has to do with your work.
Notion is designed to be that place. It acts as a “mission control” to perfectly organize and store any and all information that pertains to your work and your team.
That seems pretty lofty, right? I agree, but Notion offers solutions for documents, notes, tasks, lists, databases and almost any other type of information that you could deal with throughout the course of your day.
In this article, we’re going to take a deeper look at this “all-in-one workspace” to see how it might be able to transform your normal information hunt into a well-organized, perfectly orchestrated team headquarters.
Notion Review: The All-in-one Workspace That Can Organize Anything
Notion can fill in tons of gaps in your team’s organization. Where other platforms fall short, Notion has come up with a solution. Let’s walk through all the types of documents and other work-related items that Notion can support.
1. Import Your Stuff into Notion
This is a huge part of the beauty of Notion, so I want to break it down into the various types of documents that you can import into Notion.
Simply by clicking on one of the many different options, you can import almost any type of document that you might need while working with your team.
The import feature is made flexible by the number of integrations that are possible. When it comes to collecting documents on Notion for further use, you have almost no limitations as to what type of document you can use.
Notes and docs
For notes and docs, you can upload documents from your Evernote, Word, Google Docs or Dropbox Paper, which means that you no longer will have to worry about scouring these programs individually to find a certain piece of information.
It doesn’t stop there though—you can embed tons of information from a wide rather of apps and programs, like Google Maps, Twitter, Typeform and Codepen, right into your Notion docs.
Knowledge base / Wiki
Second, for your knowledge base, you can upload from several very common programs like Confluence or GitHubWiki, which essentially means that you’ll never have open new tabs to look for that information again—you can just search within Notion and instantly find what you’re looking for.
I think this is especially powerful when you consider integrating a team collaboration tool like Confluence. Its power for managing team discussions and workflows is magnified when integrated with the clever neatness of Notion.
Tasks and projects
Your team revolves around tasks and projects, so Notion has a great solution for integrating your other project management programs to help keep everything in one place.
For example, you can import your Trello boards or Asana’s team management tools into Notion to organize and manage all from one spot.
By integrating other powerful tools, you can fully harness Notion to manage, monitor and communicate with your team.
However, if you’re not already using a workflow or project management tool, Notion has its own unique system of creating and managing workflows. It can become the project management tool you always knew you needed.
Spreadsheets and databases
Most of us use spreadsheets and databases religiously. They’re too helpful to leave out, so Notion also supports the integration of powerful spreadsheet tools like Google Sheets or Airtable.
Keeping your notes, documents, knowledge and databases in one easy-to-use interface sounds like a no-brainer when you imagine the ease with which you could accomplish all this by putting it together in one spot.
2. Create New Pages
Creating new pages is the most basic and common activity that you’ll be doing on Notion, so it makes sense that it’s pretty flexible.
Rather than just being one single button to create a new page, you’re presented with several options that allow you to customize and format the new page to make it fit your specific needs for the part of the project.
The first thing you need to do when creating a new page is choose the type of page to create.
This means you need to decide if it will be a simple document, a database, a gallery, a calendar, a board or if you’ll choose from one of the templates that Notion has already premade.
These templates are extremely flexible. For example, if you’re creating a document for design specs, you can easily do so by choosing the appropriate template and inputting your information.
The design spec template has spaces for background and research, a to-do list and other important parts like a link to a website.
When it comes to knowledge base, the templates are equally flexible. You can easily and quickly add a new page for a team home, personal home, meeting notes or employee onboarding.
These templates are beautiful and practical—they really speed up the whole process of creating guides and walking team members through completing tasks.
One interesting thing to note about the knowledge base templates is that the employee onboarding template is very similar to a Trello board designed to compare and contrast potential hires.
Whether you use a template or import from Trello ultimately comes down to you, but the incredible flexibility of this tool to accomplish similar tasks in multiple ways is extremely helpful for keeping all the team’s knowledge in one place.
For tasks and projects, you can choose from list-style templates like to-dos, checklists and workflows, but you can also select templates with varying formatting like the calendar template or the roadmap template, which are both designed to help you organize and visualize upcoming tasks and projects.
Finally, you can select from different styles of template for collecting and storing data as well, including a notes and drafts template, recruiting pipeline, lightweight CRM, reading list and fundraising database.
Obviously, you can collect data in a nearly infinite number of ways, so these templates are simply a kickstart to help you design and develop pages that will help you gather and analyze data with your team.
3. Create New Sub-pages
This step is where your workspaces will really come to life.
The pages that you add are complemented and fleshed-out by sub-pages, which are equally flexible and can be created based on the same templates.
When you’ve created a page, all you have to do to create a sub-page is click the small plus symbol beside the page on the collapsible menu on the left-hand side of the page.
Within the sub-pages, as within the pages and workspaces, you’re able to fully customize who’s able to view, edit or modify the information within. You can even lock sensitive pages to make sure that no changes are made to the document.
Final Thoughts on Notion
It’s very clear that Notion is an extraordinarily flexible tool that anybody can use to improve their organization.
While anybody can use this tool, people who work in teams and regularly deal with different types of documents, programs or data will find that this tool drastically decreases the amount of scavenging they have to do to find the right information. It provides a nice framework for collaboration and productive contributions to the project. Notion is also available on mobile for total connectivity.
For larger teams working with bigger data or for entrepreneurs who need more access, there are paid plans that start at $4 per month for an individual and $8 per month per team member, which isn’t too bad considering you could end subscriptions to a lot of other paid organization and project management tools.
Perhaps the best part is that Notion can be used completely free of charge by teams that just need a basic platform to manage their documentation and don’t have a need to host large files have advanced permissions settings. This means it’s particularly easy to get started with Notion—you essentially have an unlimited free trial available to you.
If Notion sounds tempting, you’ve got nothing to lose by giving it a shot.
Yassir Sahnoun is a content strategist, writer and co-founder of WriteWorldwide. He helps SaaS businesses with content strategy and SEO. You can learn more about Yassir at YassirSahnoun.com.