• obsessedwallflower

My Digital Bullet Journal (with Notion)

I always thought I was someone who couldn't function unless I planned my life with actual pen and paper. But maybe the lack of structure after graduating college and actually finding an online platform that worked for me turned me into an online organiser and I haven't reached for my physical bullet journal since.

As I said, the lack of structure after graduating made me stop really using my bullet journal, but it wasn't until earlier this year that I started organising myself digitally when I started this blog and my bookstagram. I needed a digital way to visualise my posts because I often switch them around and doing it by hand got really messy really quickly. But then I started to test out organising everything else digitally as well and, although I still reach for pen and paper when feeling particularly overwhelmed, I couldn't function without ~you guessed it~ Notion.

If you've been anywhere on the internet for the past year, and if you've recently seen ANY booktuber talking about organising their reading, you know which app I'm talking about. Am I slightly annoyed that I've had this blog post planned since April and only now got to it? Yes. But I'm also glad I've used Notion for half a year now, so I got a good idea of what works for me and what doesn't.

The thing with Notion is that what makes it great is what also made me terrified. It is 100% customizable (like bullet journaling) making it perfect for every need you have but making it very daunting when you look at a blank page and have no idea how you'd prefer to view your stuff.

I started out trying plenty of different templates (some people I follow that often make Notion videos are Muchelle B and Rowena Tsai, and I really love their style) but I'll link everyone whose page I might've been inspired by or flat out stolen. Because I keep my whole life on this I won't go through every single page, but give you an overview of my main dashboard and the pages I use most often.

This is what my dashboard or my "life" spread looks like. Previously I didn't have any photos and it looked really blank, but after seeing Leonie's (The Book Leo) video on the subject, I loved her layout and decided to copy it for my own dashboard. The overall aesthetic is also loosely based on Joel's (Fictional Fates) pages, as I didn't copy anything but loved the way his looked. It makes it cute instead of purely functional and it brings me joy to look at it, without making it time-consuming. One of my favourite things about organising things digitally is that I only had to set everything up once, and now I can just copy and paste my templates without spending time every week/month setting them up.

In my dashboard, I have lists of things I use occasionally but not often, such as any documents I might need on the go (things like my insurance card to my CV), a list of goals, projects, recipes, cleaning, and self-care checklists, things I want to watch and songs I want to learn how to play. Basically everything I like to have handy or could need to use at any moment. Then we go to my main pages, the one I use more often (and all of them are favourited, making it easy for me to access them).

The page I use most often is obviously my planner. At the top, I have a monthly view, which links to my Google calendar but I'll be honest and say I don't really use it because I'm an iCal kind of girl and Notion doesn't yet link to it. However, that's where I keep any events/appointments, and I reference the monthly view when planning out my weeks. Speaking of which, I like to be able to see the whole week at once, so that's how my planner's set up. The top section of the days is to any events or appointments I might have, while the bottom section is for my to-do's. I also enjoy having the posts I'm uploading that day in a different colour, to make them stand out. I only tend to have one to two weeks worth of plans because otherwise, I think it gets too cluttered. On the bottom, I have one of the few sections I've yet to master, my to-do inbox. I keep the tasks organised by type (content creation, errands, things to do around the house) but this is the one thing that's yet to become natural to me. I definitely prefer having them this way instead of in a table though, because I can just drag and drop the task to whichever day I plan on doing it.

My next most-used page is where I organise my blog and Instagram content. I started organising it all on Monday.com after Anna Newton (The Anna Edit) did a video on how she organised her blog posts and her videos. I absolutely love this page and how I keep track of everything because it lets me see every step of the way (have I taken the photos but not edited them? do I still have to caption any posts?). Notion also makes it pretty easy because you can choose different views of the same content, and the calendar view is especially helpful for my Instagram posts.

Then we come to how I organize my reading, even if my go-to platform for some things is still Goodreads. This is also a carbon copy of Leonie's spread and my favourite thing about it is having my physical TBR as a list. It feels great to cross them off and see how many unread books I actually own, no matter if they're physical or eBooks. Above that, I like to keep track of all the review requests I've gotten, with information about whoever issued the review, if the book is already out and, if not, it's release date, the genre and, on a second column, when I plan on uploading my review so I have a rough deadline. Below, I've got a board that works just like Goodreads. The thing I've always struggled the most with organising my reading is having separate places for the books I want to get and the books I already own because I never liked having un-owned books in my Goodreads "to read" page. Now I have a place to keep all my bookish things, without having my wishlist as screenshots scattered around my phone/computer. And if I do decide to use Goodreads for that, I have a clear outline of my owned books in Notion.

The last two pages on my main screen are more for reference than anything else. I've got a master summary of every single thing I've learnt in my Italian lessons so far, separated by subjects (verbs, pronouns, etc) with a handy table of contents. And my last page is a simple table with all of my plants, their names and progress photos.

So that's how I organise my entire life with Notion. What I love about it is that it's really easy to add things as you feel the need and, once you do a page, you can easily keep it as a template for future things. It also syncs up with the app on my phone and, although I don't like how it looks on mobile because I like the wide overall view, it's great for when I'm on the go or need to check anything.

How do you organise your life/reading? Are you interested in Notion or are you a firm lover already? I know how daunting it can be to first set things up, so I always find it extra helpful to see how other people choose to do it.




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