Book notes to capture the basics of this productivity system

How to leverage the system to visualize and execute on your vision

if there’s no single technique or tool for perfecting organization and productivity, there are very specific things we do to facilitate them. — David Allen

If you’re not familiar with the GTD (Getting Things Done) method, it is a fantastic methodology that allows for clear, holistic life management.

The growth of tools like Notion have also made it possible for individuals and teams to construct workspaces to fit their needs, allowing for more in-depth customization of workspaces and dashboards.

If you haven’t read GTD, or could use a refresher, here…


Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’re leading a meeting, going over how to do “X,” and you get nods that secretly communicate how lost your employees really are.

Why does this happen?

The most common mistake managers make is assuming employees and team members have basic understanding or expertise on tools, workflows or projects. This can be hugely problematic, largely because it’s not apparent until it’s a problem. Employees and new hires can mask their lack of expertise for a number of reasons; fear of looking inexperienced, discomfort asking for help or defaulting to ‘figure it out’ mode, to…


Here’s How It Works (Prefer YouTube? Scroll to the bottom)

This could be the biggest new feature of 2021 for Notion. In this post, we’re going to talk about what synced blocks are, how they work, and share some tips to get the most out of them.

Blocks Make Up the Foundation of Notion

Notion team members often describe their platform as a tool that runs on Pages, Blocks, and Databases. This is what sets it apart from word processors like Google Docs. In addition to writing text, you can seamlessly add a variety of Blocks to a page, including tables, images, and links. …


These three lines of code fixed my entire Notion workspace.

Over the past few months, two things have been true:

  1. I’ve been using Notion in a browser (mostly because I tend to have several pages open simultaneously)
  2. The “+New” button is everywhere I look, and I couldn’t turn it off without locking the entire page.
I need these to go away.

If you’ve customized your dashboard, you’ve surely bumped up against this button, which in many cases, breaks layouts, especially if you often use gallery views. Case in point:

I’ve done some light CSS and HTML work in the past, and figured there had to be a way to hide this button without locking the entire…


I’m wrapping up my 6th year of teaching and one thing’s clear: we need rethink systems of lesson planning.

Using Notion to teach is more than an obsession with a tool; it’s about fundamentally changing how educators create transformational courses. By streamlining the process, there’s higher impact teaching, and more effective learning.

Let’s look at a typical lesson plan, which usually includes:

  1. Essential Question
  2. Standards, Learning
  3. Goals, Assessments
  4. Modeling
  5. Checks for Understanding
  6. Guided Practice
  7. Feedback

It’s hard to make the case against any of these, but our brains don’t plan or design learning in this way. Projects that are collaborative…


The day has finally arrived! For Notion users, the release of their API (application programming interface) has been an eagerly awaited moment.

We won’t get too much into the weeds on API’s, but they essentially allow for different apps to speak to each other, send/receive information, keep multiple apps connected. API’s can be great resources that save time by avoiding duplicating information and decreasing manual operations.

Notion users have been pining for the API for a while. …


This software’s building-blocks approach has many use-cases for educators.

At the end of the ‘19-’20 school year, teachers were thrust into full-time, online learning positions. Immediately, lesson materials, activities, and student work had to be completed 100% online. With teachers utilizing technology in widely different ways, this posed a huge challenge; many teachers are still grappling with online or hybrid classes. longer than anyone anticipated.

To take a slightly more optimistic perspective, this past year has also required teachers and schools to re-evaluate practices, and how we can leverage technology to streamline teaching, planning, and administration.

Notion — a popular…


How to track your time and take control of your schedule with Notion and Toggl

From one week to the next, millions of workers abruptly shifted to remote work, remote teaching, or remote learning. Many of us got thrown into a new work environment where many of the same performance expectations exist, but with entirely new physical and (lack of) social environments.

For freelancers and creative consultants, the concept of time-tracking is nothing new. Primarily used as a way to track time per client or per project, time-tracking can help all of us take control over our schedules, completely rethinking what days and weeks look like while we work in total or semi-isolation. I’ve found…


Notion’s ability to network with tasks, projects, and other databases in infinite permutations is what sets it apart from other bookmarking/visual library tools

It’s no secret (especially to friends) that I love Notion as a tool that helps organize my life. Its ability to link different databases and spaces fluidly, while being able to customize what’s visibility at any given time, has created — to borrow Tiago Forte’s term — a Second Brain for all things work, teaching, and personal.

When I first started using Notion, I would look for super-users and try to recreate their workspaces, or copy super-complex templates and try to adapt them to my needs. …


A month ago, the Brooklyn high school I teach at – in lock step with NYC – decided to close school and switch to remote learning, for an indefinite amount of time. It seemed logical at the time, but few of us thought of this as potentially being the end of in-person teaching and learning for the 2019-2020 school year.

Back when I worked at Superform, much of the creative work we did was distributed. I collaborated with developers overseas, and in some cases, 100% of client meetings were done via conference call, video, or even just a Slack channel…

David de Céspedes

Founder of thenotioncoach.com, Dad, Teacher, Productivity Guy

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