Q: Is there a need/market for a Notion Course for Novices?

Notion can Organize your life!
Josh Witers unsplash.com

         We want to be more productive. We spend a lot of time thinking about how to be more productive. And we know we need the right tools to help us get there. You review the literature to find a tool or tools that will help. And you notice there are many tools on the “best of” lists. Within that literature, one of the most talked-about tools is a productivity tool called Notion. What is Notion? Why are people raving about it?


         Notion is an all-in-one tool that allows you to build a productivity system that fits you like a glove. It enhances your ability to get thigs done. This is a personal productivity system that will do what you want the way you want. Not a system designed by someone else but by you. It doesn’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole.

I can’t tell you how many times when I worked in corporate America I bought and tried out someone’s new and wonderful system to make me more productive. Most lasted a month or two because they didn’t work the way I did. The Notion tool can replace multiple tools you are currently using and most importantly for me, Notion will do what I want the way I want it to. Notion is very extensible, it is used in many different ways by many Notion Masters.

You will begin to benefit from Notion after you have implemented your first system or portion of your life in Notion. That could take as little as an hour, or more likely several days after you first understand the fundamentals and have built a solid foundation of Notion knowledge.

Notion Characteristics

  • general-purpose,
  • highly extensible
  • an extremely flexible productivity system
  • Notion lets you represent any use case you have- projects and tasks, recipe book, knowledge hub, contact management system, meeting notes, calendars, and many others
  • Notion allows you to build a single life Operating System- Yours.

It takes your information and helps you organize it and see it any way you want. Notion doesn’t limit you. You are limited by your imagination. Yours will start out much simpler and then extend the system as your future needs dictate.

Notion has been described as a set of LEGO blocks that you can put together any way you want. You can build a house, an airplane, or a city. To me, a better analogy is art. An artist starts with a blank canvas (page) sitting on an easel(workspace) and has a color palette (Notion commands) that can be used to paint a simple or complex picture. But with Notion you are in control of the end result, Notion is just the tool like the artist’s paintbrush and color palette. Every person who uses Notion has a different way of creating their picture.  Some people have very complicated elaborate pictures and some of us have simpler ones. Some like more colorful renditions of their systems and some are plain.

The beauty of Notion is that you can start out with a simple picture and easily change it as you go until you have your final painting. For many that can be called their Life Operating System. (Title compliments of Maria Salamanca  and Marie Poulin.)  Here is a snapshot of Marie Poulin’s system. Keep in mind that she has combined all of what is going on in her life over the last three years to arrive at this system. your first system will probably be only the top two left-most blocks in Marie’s diagram. So don’t panic!

Notion will expand to meet your needs. Because of this flexibility, the system can be overwhelming when you first start, if you don’t have a good foundation. It can become even more overwhelming when you go out to the Notion website, see the many templates available, and fall prey to trying one out before you understand the fundamentals. I went down this rabbit hole for at least six months when I first started.

Why do we need a course for novices?

         We need a course for novices, non-programmers, and those who took a false start and want to try again because they deserve to reap the benefits of Notion. Notion is a tool that will benefit everyone. Learn to use Notion without wasting time by going down rabbit holes. When you first start using Notion you need to learn the fundamentals and build a solid foundation and understanding of what you can do.

Novices and non-programmers usually need to learn new applications at a different pace than programmers who are more used to the terminology. Programmers are also more used to experimenting with new software until they understand it.

         If you are a programmer, highly experienced in using and teaching yourself new software applications, then this course will move at too slow a pace for you. In that case, I would highly recommend you check out Marie Poulin’s Notion Mastery Course at https://gumroad.com/a/637367411. Marie is a Notion Master and has a very extensive course that takes you through numerous use cases so you can see Notion in action and gain new ideas and understanding of how you can extend Notion for your Life Operating System.

How would The Course for Novices be taught?

         The course contains a set of 6-8 Zoom webinars. There will be time for Q&A at the end of each webinar. The students will receive an expanded glossary of terms, a set of references to other Notion materials, help in building their first foundational parts in Notion, and an information display dashboard so they have easy access to the information they have included in their workspace.

Each student will get one private zoom session to get personal help with the development of their initial Notion setup. Cohort 0 will be for those 8-10 brave souls who want to learn Notion and will provide criticisms about the content and teaching method and who feel free to ask questions. Cohort 0 members will get access to the course and all successive improvements at a deeply discounted price.

At the end of each lesson, you will get ideas to experiment with to reinforce what we covered in the webinar and to get you used to trying out Notion features. Notion is such a robust system that experimentation is a must once you get to the intermediate and master levels.

A partial course outline is shown below for reference and so you will have an idea about how much we will cover. If you don’t understand the terms listed, then that is a good indicator that the course is relevant to you. Each of the lessons shown on the outline will be explained so that you know what each term means in the context of Notion. I will go over how each is used and show explicit examples. Each Zoom Video will be recorded and archived so you can review it again as you build your own Notion space.

Why should you take this course rather than another?

  1. Existing Notion courses are built by the early users of Notion who are now Notion Masters. If you are not coming from a programming background the terminology they use, and the pace of their course is too fast for novices.
  2. Non-Programmers need to get the fundamentals down, build a foundational reference point for themselves that they can use in the future as they apply, and use new more advanced features. Take the time to learn the fundamentals and get a solid foundation. This knowledge reduces false starts that may frustrate you and cause you to quit. It can become an impediment to your productivity rather than an improvement if you don’t learn the fundamentals. As with any personal productivity and knowledge management applications available, there is a learning curve and your use of the tool will proceed in a meandering way unless you master the fundamentals first.
  3. This course will help you learn Notion in the shortest amount of time without false starts.
  4. This course first focuses on the Notion palette of tools and then shows you how to use them effectively to meet your needs.

I would appreciate comments in the comments section to let me know what you think. Cohort 0 will begin either right after Thanksgiving or Christmas. Let me know if you are interested in joining Cohort 0 by sending me a note at bob@enlightenedproductiveyou.com.

Course outline

  1. What is Notion and How can it help me be more productive?
  2. What is Notion
  3.  Systems vs. Tools
  4. How do I get Started with Notion?
  5.  systems are defined.
  6. What are tools?
  7. What makes Notion the Swiss Army Knife of productivity tools?

    D. Define workspace, page, information and Database (Collection of like items)    

  1. What is a workspace
  2. What are Pages
  3. Databases
  4. What is a dashboard

         E. Glossary

         F. References

         G. Tips