How I use Notion as a developer

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Notion is an amazing tool that helps you organize your work and you can pretty much adjust to all of your needs. Also, there are a lot of templates to choose from made by incredibly creative people.

My Overall Setup

My Overall Setup

I use Notion for a lot of stuff (activity tracker, money manager, diary) but it all started when I realized that I had way too many development blog posts saved in my browser's bookmarks. Once I took a clear look at them I said to myself

There's no way I would ever find here, even if I wanted

So, something had to be done about it and that's when I started using Notion! My first database was Reading List.

Reading List

Reading List

The Reading List serves as my organized collection where I put the articles or tutorials that I find interesting for stuff that will surely be useful for my career. More than being a collection of stuff that I haven't read before, it's a collection of stuff that I know will always be useful for me and that I should always take into consideration.

Yes, a Google search might serve the same purpose but here I'm capable to organize the info as I want

And that's what I do. Since Notion allows you to add tags and filters, it's the perfect way to only what you actually want to see, which facilitates search. I also ended up using Gallery mode because, for me, having a list of links isn't particularly interesting and I want something that is eye-popping and I can find easily. I would say that the images do the trick!

However, I ended up realizing that not everything belongs to the Reading List and they are just stuff that I find around the internet that seems interesting but I don't really have time to read them right when I find them so that's where Quick Links appear!

Quick Links

Quick Links pretty much represents what I don't want my Reading List to look like but when you're on your phone you don't have time to make an incredible-looking database. Instead, you just copy & paste the link and title and you're all set for when you actually have time to study whatever you've found. It basically serves as a triage for whatever comes into my Notion. The material does the check-in here and then they are properly dropped in their own place! I try to have this page as clean as possible since I don't want to repeat my mistake with the bookmarks!

Task List

Task List

I don't like to program my day or even week but, sometimes, when you actually want to have side-projects, you need to organize your life! If you don't, you'll never find the time to work on them so that's why this Task List exists. I mostly use pen and paper for work but for my side projects, considering that I only have the weekends to work on them, it's a great tool and helps me assess the project's progression.

Blog

Blog

I think this one is self-descriptive but I write all my content on Notion before assessing if it's good enough to be published. It's also where I take note of topics that I might want to cover or links to other blog posts that I may want to expand upon.

Note Taking

Note Taking

Here stands the important notes that I take (well, duh!) from my Reading List or books. Some things aren't worth taking notes on and some others deserve a special place to which I can quickly refer to. For example, Rework and The Opinionated Guide to React are two books that I read, enjoyed, and took some notes along the way and I want to preserve them without having to get to the original material again!

App Ideas

App Ideas

I guess that we all have this section on a paper, note app on the phone, or a word document but here stands my quirky ideas for apps, including with technologies that I have no idea on how to work with. Some are supposed to be personal projects, others might turn into actual products. The important part for me here is that I classify these projects on their type (personal or product) and degree of execution ("As of now, how easily can I build it and how motivated am I to do so?"). For me, the degree of execution plays a huge part in it because while all ideas are great, I may just not feel incline to elaborate on them... but I don't want to lose them as well.

Learning X

Learning X

This is basically a sub-division of Note Taking but I also insert here resources for these specific technologies. I'm still starting to build a system for this section but at least I have a visible section for something that I'm currently learning and that's the important part!

That's pretty much it!

If you read this far, thank you so much for it! Hopefully, this post ends up helping something that might need some organization in their life! I usually ramble a lot on Twitter so you can find me there!

Hrithwik Bharadwaj's photo

I have shifted from jira to notion now to manage a team . I just love it

Rui Sousa's photo

We also use it at the company I work with. I'm not the biggest fan when it comes to issue management but I do like how everything is properly organized!

Flolight's photo

I was thinking about using Notion for a while... Now I know how to start, thank you !

Rui Sousa's photo

I'm glad it helped you to decide that! 😃 It's an amazing tool and it will boost your work/study for sure!

Brenda Michelle's photo

Nice post. Notion is also my go to for everything. I really like how you organize your reading list.

Rui Sousa's photo

Thank you! If it wasn't for the chaotic state of my bookmarks, I probably wouldn't ever start using Notion this way but I'm glad I did!

Mohd Shad Mirza's photo

Nice, I really liked your degree of execution column. I'm gonna add it to my workspace 😁

Rui Sousa's photo

Thank you, Mohd! It's great to see that it serves as inspiration for your work! 🤘

Mohd Shad Mirza's photo

Bdw Rui Sousa, I wrote a blog on notion setup too. You can check it out: iamshadmirza.com/how-i-set-up-notion-for-pr..

Dany Tulumidis's photo

Nice Post! I also use Notion since a month and i love it. I can also recommend Pocket as a tool to save articles for later.

Rui Sousa's photo

I'm glad you like it! 😄 Notion also has an extension called 'Notion Web Clipper' that pretty much allows you to do what Pocket does but just sends it to your Notion account, which is very handy

Tanisha Payne's photo

I've created a notion account a month ago and haven't fully taken advantage of all its features. Definitely will carve out some time to understand how to effectively use this app.

Rui Sousa's photo

You won't regret it! It might feel 'too much' at the start but it's a blank canvas for you to work upon and to create your own system!