thomaslfb

Light mode

Keeping Everything Organized, and how I use Notion for everything

2021 August 6th

Introduction

This article is a follow-up to the previous one where I talked about the content of this blog, writing an article and the importance of documenting a project. Feel free to go and read it if you want but rest assured it is not necessary to understand this one.

Keeping Everything Organized

As a person (yes), a developper (I try) and also someone that has a huge collection of photos it's crucial for me to keep everything organized. Today I want to share with you some tools I use to keep everything in order. This will be more focused on the dev side of things, think "Keeping Everything Organized (as a Programmer)", I'll probably make another article on my other website specifically covering photographer/artist organization as tools and purpose differ.

Notion

I use Notion.so a lot these days and it has been my main note taking/link saving/todo tool for the past months. I used a lot of other tools in the past and tried some more so I'll talk about them later.

What do I do on Notion everyday :

  • Update my weekly todo-list
  • Update my current project todo-list
  • Save interesting links, images, videos or anything else I found
  • Write about what I read, what I saw, what I heard

But it's not all of it of course! In Notion you can create lists and tables, link them, add properties to them (tags, images, links, etc...), sync elements from one page into another, create links and reference between pages, ... the possibilities are almost endless! As a real life example is better than words I would recommend you looking at this template I made if you want to learn more about (almost) all the features in Notion.

Alternatives and possible combinations

It's important for me to go through some alternatives as even if I currently use Notion I used and tried other services that might fit you more. I'll try to go from the simplest solution to the more complex (kind of, it's not easy to define that).

A pen an paper

You can't really get simpler than that, the most analogic solution to take notes and make lists. I use it from time to time when I have something to write quickly or I want to make a todo list of important/urgent things. Can't go wrong with a pen and paper, main downside being you have to carry them with you if you want to access your data, it's harder to store properly for later uses and you don't have all the power of a modern tool but the feeling of writing on paper never gets old.

Notepad / The note applicaton on your phone

Everyone knows the good old Notepad or Note app well it's an efficient solution to take quick notes and todos. Pros :

  • Quick access
  • Simple use

Cons :

  • Hard to keep track of (you could make a system but good luck)
  • Limited functionalities

Same as the pen and paper I use it from time to time when I just wanna take a quick note and if it's good enough I'll copy, paste and format it in Notion.

Google Sheets/Google Docs

Same as Notepad but can do pretty much everything. I included Google Sheets in that one

Evernote

I used it for a few years and if you only take notes and want to access it everywhere it's possibly a better if not the best solution. I decided to switch after trying Notion and giving up a few times before so Evernote is a strong competitor. I would say the may problem for me was the lack of new functionalities like the possibility to edit in Markdown.

Obsidian

Talk about Zettelkasten

Trello

Trello isn't a note taking app per se and more of a project management tool