Web design, development and productivity

For those of you following my blog and YouTube content for the last 3 - 6 months, know that I generally use Notion to power my work and help me stay more productive.

In this article I want to break down how I combine a few different setups in Notion to create a powerful workflow that I've found really helps me general ideas and content more effectively.

My workflow

My content creation workflow and my creative process in general can be split into the following areas.

Capture - Store your best inspiration and thoughts as and when you have them

Formation - Set up and organize

Development - Ship that content!

Of course everyone's creative process is different and even my own process doesn't always follow a seemingly rigid structure. But largely, having these three areas mapped out in Notion has really helped me string together content a lot more easily than simply blocking time to write something.

In my personal experience with this system, I've actually found the process of generating content arguably more organic than before.

Capture

The original creation of programmer, entrepreneur and Notion expert Valentin Perez, the topics forest allows you to capture and store your best thoughts, ideas and inspiration by putting them into categories.

Topics forest in Notion

Having topics laid out like this allows you to easily navigate and reference things you've previously found and kick-start the idea generation process instead of staring at a blank page.

To set this up, you can simply just spin up a new page in your personal or team Notion and a wiki-like layout full of links to pages.

Formation

The formation stage of the system happens in my content calendar setup which is a pretty standard and simple Kanban board layout. Notion has an existing content creation Kanban setup which you can get from the template gallery and modify how you prefer.

After browsing my topics forest and/or when a potential article title comes along, I plug it directly into my content calendar in the ideas 💡column and assign a tag depending on the content type I have in mind.

From here, you can open up each individual content idea and begin dropping in or linking to stuff that you already captured in your topic forest. With Notions recent;y updated page linking functionality, this makes it fun and powerful to connect what you've captured to what you're forming.

Doing this and building up a nice backlog of ideas with links to previously captured material, making sure that I'm never short of something to create and also have a solid starting point.

Then, when I'm eventually ready to develop the content I move it to in-progress which brings us onto the final cog in the system.

Development

Now regardless how efficient we've been so far at organizing our ideas and thoughts so that we always have a starting point, there's always going to be a point where we have to bring together all of this and write a - hopefully interesting 😅 - piece of content.

I don't have any cold hard tips to do this efficiently, but as you can see in the above image, before jumping into my blogging platform of choice (Ghost in my case), I simply write everything in Notion directly as I find it much less distracting. Paired with some instrumental lo-fi or classical music and forest app, I generally find that the first draft comes together relatively seamlessly.

One rule of thumb I try to stick by is not to get too caught up on the first draft - just get the words down and refine afterwards. Doing this we reduce the risk of hitting a block or second guessing our work. In the worst case, we can always place it back in the ideas column and revisit and reform another time.

Last words

So that's a quick glimpse at a practical example of how I've been using Notion to supercharge my content writing. If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy my previous Notion article all about some of my favorite Notion templates. I also have a couple of YouTube videos about Notion too.

More Notion

My top Notion templates | June 2020

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