Have you tried every project management tool under the sun and STILL haven't found the one you like?
If so, we'd probably get along great.
Just recently I started using Notion.
First, I started using it to manage my days/week.
That's what this video is about.
But since, our entire team has started using it and it's helping us run our 7 figure business way more effectively.
So today, I wanted to share how I use Notion.
Transcript / MP3
What's good. Everybody, Greg Hickman here. And in this video, I want to break down how I use notion the notion app specifically to manage my workweek, manage my day as I continue to grow my business all agency, which firstname.lastname@example.org. So without further ado, let's just jump right in.
All right guys. So here's the deal. I don't know how you manage your week. I love and really dive into all of the YouTube videos where people break down, how they sort of stay on top of all of their tasks. And I have to say I've been a little bit of a snob when it comes to project management tools. I've used them all. If you asked my team, they will say that it's really been like the bane of their existence because I love technology. So I will see a new tool and I'll sign up for it. I'll make our entire team move to it. And then I'll realize why I don't like it. And then I'll stop so much so that for a very long time and sort of a little bit, now I would just operate using sticky notes and sort of like a Kanban board, uh, until I actually found and fell in love with the bullet journal.
Um, and once I was able to take the bullet journal and apply it to notion, it sort of unlocked the kind of combination of having something that is analog, like a notebook, but also digital that can go anywhere with me and the team can see what's going on, uh, when I moved to, to notion. But if you're in a situation where you've tried all the project management tools, uh, and you have done the, to do lists, you've used all the high performance planners and the, all of the things and it still hasn't worked. Maybe this will work for you if at all possible. And at the very least, maybe you'll find a little nugget in here on how I actually plan my weeks that you can adopt and be more productive and more efficient. So without further ado, I'm really quick. I just want to address the tools that I have tried. Um, and many of them have actually evolved since I started using them, but it's obviously a very slippery slope when you, uh, jump back and forth from tool. So we've used Trello, we've used teamwork, we've used Reich, we've used base camp. We've used, um, everything in air table as well. That was kind of one of the last ones until we came to notion. And I'm actually probably missing a few in there, but let me The notion. So what I want to do is I want to break down
On paper, how I was structuring the management of my days and weeks in a notebook. Because the thing that I love about notion is it feels a lot like paper because I can drag things. I can move things around. And so I was able to take a blank canvas in notion and make it feel like what I would normally write in my notebook, if that makes sense. So let's jump in. Um, I want to just sketch out what my pages actually looked like. And if we have a notebook, I would always open up the notebook so that this line down the middle is the spine. And obviously the left page and the right page. Now, what I would do is I would then grab another color here. I would then divide the left page up into a bunch of different columns or blocks. And I would do Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and then I do Saturday and Sunday.
Then I would come over to the right page. And this is where I would actually break things down, uh, in a couple different sections here. I'd write out my big three tasks for the week. One, two and three. These are the three things that I like if I finished those three things this week, the week is this is a success. And I have actually worked on the tasks and activities that will move our business forward. The other section is targets and we have, you know, three to five KPIs that we're trying to hit each and every quarter. And so on this page, I would literally every week rewrite my core targets for the business. So every time I was looking at my notebook and this was really helpful, I was able to be reminded of our targets, which helped me look at all of the tasks on the paper and look at the tasks in a way where I can run them through the filter of if I'm working on this, is this going to get me to one of these targets?
If no, I should probably be questioning if it's something that I should even be doing. So just wanted to put that in there. Now I'm below. That is really where I have all of the, to do lists essentially that I want to get done for the week. Now in my early days, I would just sort of set up a to do, and I just have all the two dues, you know, listed here. Um, but I realized there's two different types of tasks. And so I compartmentalize my week based on, uh, project tasks and then what I call the whirlwind. So the whirlwind are things that have to get done anyway, um, record a new podcast, um, you know, write the new email, meet with my team, have these meetings, whatever those things like they're going to happen regardless. And they've sort of become a piece of how you operate each and every week.
That's a whirlwind task. But when we meet as a team every quarter and we set these goals, we set these targets up here coming out of that planning session. There are projects and there are tasks associated to those projects that will allow us to actually hit those goals. And those tasks are the type of things that I want to be making time for, because those are the things that allow us to hit the goals. They're not whirlwind. So I need to make time and block times for these important tasks that are going to drive the business forward, to hit, hit those KPIs. So what we do is we basically have a task list that are all of my tasks that week that are associated to the key targets. So if you had to look at it, like they kind of carry a little bit more weight, if you will. The next step that I do is I look at my, my workweek and I know that on certain days I have a certain amount of bandwidth. So I look at on Mondays Mondays sort of have a theme for me, we'll use pink here, and that is team. So I have most of my team meetings on Monday. So the amount of availability that I have to work on big projects isn't that much. So I'll probably take a few items from my whirlwind and move them to my Monday because I can get them done inside of that window of time. But Tuesday things start to open up. So then when I look at my Tuesday, I might take these two and now two Tuesday has a big block of time for those two tasks. And I really then just plan out my whole week looking at my calendar and pick a couple of other colors here, you know, these tasks.
So this color, maybe those two happen on that day. Um, maybe there's a one task that happens on, uh, on Friday. That's a big one and a meaty one. And then maybe there's another one that is, uh, purple here. And that is, you know, goes into Thursday. So I'm here kind of brain dumping all of my main project tasks for the week and my whirlwind. And I'm really just moving them over to a specific day based on where I know I'm going to have time and also to optimize around my energy. So that's how I was using the bullet journal. So hopefully that makes sense. So for me, when I found notion, I realized that I wanted to mimic the bullet journal layout. And so I want to take you into quick, a high level view of my current week and then really the template that I use, uh, each and every week to manage it.
So let's jump into the computer. So this is my week, every single week. Uh, I kind of label the week and you'll see the page looks sort of similar. I have my big three things that I want to work on this week, right up here on the left. And then I have our quarterly, um, up here on the right, and then I have it all laid out where I have my big three and then any other ancillary to dues that happen, uh, below that, then I have some things that I want to keep on my radar. Uh, like someone on our team has gone on vacation. There's this other thing that I've been working on and I want to do, I'm reading this book called the advice trap, and I've actually read it every day, this week. So I keep track of, uh, little things like that, that I'm doing.
And then you'll see down here, uh, the quarterly project tasks, um, these are related to specific initiatives and then there was whirlwind tasks. Now these I'm not going super deep into notion. Um, I'll link up to a couple people that I follow, um, on YouTube that have helped me get inspired by, uh, how they use notion. Um, but these are all, uh, pull these little tasks here are all pulling from a master database that lives somewhere else. And that's really cool. A cool feature of notion is that you can have pages that have relational embedded databases from somewhere else. So really our team has a master task database. And what is happening on this page is there are filters. And these filters allow me to sort the tasks that are assigned to me that are tied to a project and within a specific date range.
So these are the ones that show up for me. They're the same with the whirlwind. It's a task. Whirlwind is the type of task. So it's not associated to a project it's just associated to whirlwind and it's filter is set for that week's dates and anything assigned to me if Lisa on our team opens up her dashboard, which she chooses to have a slightly different layout, she will still see her tasks because it'll be filtered for that week and any tasks associated to her. So what I want to hop into here is, um, really looking at the, the template and I'll kind of walk you through how I set it up. So each and every week I have a master dashboard and I have a weekly agenda and I go in here and set up the new week. So I'll come in here. And, you know, this week was October, I believe it was five through.
And I do Monday through Sunday, October five, through 11. And then I come in here and choose that date range. So we would say five and eight and choose the 11th. And then I would just come in. And so obviously I'll have written this out beforehand and I'll type in my, you know, thing, number one that I want to get done, you know, thing, number two, et cetera. And then my quarterly targets, you know, whatever your KPIs are you could look at. Then I come in and I would say, Hey, is there anything that I need to keep on my radar? You know, what do we have a client intensive, maybe I'm going on vacation. Maybe there's a dentist appointment. Um, I use this to manage my personal to, um, someone's on vacation. Then if I'm reading a book, I would, you know, write the name of the book, the thing that I want to make sure that I'm doing every day, I'm still, I'm still testing and playing with different ways to do this.
Um, and then I have my, uh, my quarterly projects and like I said, my whirlwind and so to sort, I would just come in and filter and look, it says, uh, any tasks where it contains my name. It does not include my whirlwind. And I'd say the exact date is the fifth through the 11th, and it'll automatically sort, and you'll see those tasks just change. And I do the same thing with the whirlwind, and now it says, now it contains the whirlwind. I do the same dates and I would choose the fifth through the 11th and then that sorts. And now I have my whirlwind tasks. So now I have all of the tasks that I need to get at now. Um, I'm still fairly new to notion and learning all the cool things. Some people might tell you to drag this into these spots, um, that seems to have messed up some of our databases.
So if you're a notion Ninja comment below, I'd love to know how you would do this, but for me, it's just easy to look at these and then say, okay, well, where am I going to do this? Um, I know that every Monday I have a lot of team meetings, so that's sort of, one of my big three is to meet with my team. I know on every Tuesday I have a coaching call with one of our, uh, groups of clients on Thursday. I have another coaching call. So I quickly come in and I come to the key days and I add like the big things that are already on that day. Cause if I have like a 60 or 90 minute coaching call that day, I'm not going to add on three other big things because a lot of my time is going to be spent on that.
And that's a significant amount of time. So I'll try not to achieve as much on that day because, or from my project list, because I already have other things a lot. So if I have team meetings, um, I'll come down and look at my, you know, whirlwind tasks. And I might, uh, fill that in over on here. So these are typically, you know, whirlwind tasks. I would do that over underneath on there, but I'd say, Hey, I have my team meetings. Um, and then I'm going to work on, uh, you know, I was working on some updates and thoughts for our Academy program. So I basically look at this project over here and I'm going to say, Hey, I'm going to be doing that task this day or on Monday afternoon, then I can come over and say, okay, well, um, because how many meetings I have, I might not even be able to get more time in for like anything that's big.
So I'll just delete that. And I might have a couple other, you know, call to schedule dentist or something like that, or, you know, haircut, what have you. So that's how I kind of manage it. I'm using the tasks over here to then kind of assign a specific day. Then I'd come over to Tuesday and say, Hey, like, well, we're working on new welcome kit. I don't think that's going to take me very long. So welcome kit letter a and then I'm also gonna, you know, brainstorm new lead magnets. That's something I'm going to be working on, fix that typo. So that's really how I do it. And then I moved my way through each and every day and make sure that I'm allotting time, uh, for all of the tasks. And if I fill up the whole thing and I still have tasks that are open, I then really need to kind of question the priority of what those are and maybe change the deadline or say, Hey, I'm not being able to get to that this week, or if it's super important.
And I have a really busy week, I might throw in something on a Saturday morning, but for my personal life, like when I look at this, like I'm saying, Hey, I'm gone mountain biking with John, uh, on Saturday. Then I might throw in here that leaves, you know, my son has a swim school Saturday at 9:00 AM. He also has a ski school at 9:30 AM on Sunday. So I would do kind of the big events that are happening on the weekend if maybe we're going out to dinner. Um, you know, for example, at the recording of this, you know, tomorrow is, uh, taking Sarah, my wife to dinner for her beading. So like that's a, that's going to be a core thing that obviously is important to me. That's a big three, cause I'm leaving work early, I'm going to get some things prepared and then we're going to drop the kids off to go to babysitter and then we're going to go, uh, have a good, uh, good evening to celebrate her birthday.
So because I'm leaving work early because there's some prep because there's some of those things like that is, uh, that has to happen on Friday. So I can't have projects run long. I'm going to intentionally design my Friday so that I can take off early to do those things. So when I see the whole week here on the right side, the things that I need to get done and want to get done, I can really assign them to a different inappropriate spots, uh, on the calendar. So that's how I use. That's how I use notion, um, to manage my week and manage my day. I hope you found this useful again, if you're a notion Ninja, uh, I'm still learning, uh, again, I'm linking up to the people that I've followed below in the comments section. I'd love to hear how you manage your week.
What tool are you using? How has it been going for you? Is notion something you're liking is something that you now might want to try. I'd love to know comment below and let me know. Now, if you're watching this and you're an agency owner and you're like, how do I start to make the most of my days and my weeks so that I have more time to work on my business. Um, we'd love to chat with you as well. I actually put together a free training below this video. You can learn the three steps that we took to really kind of systematize and streamline and grow our business to six figures a month. Uh, and this is just one little piece of it is knowing how to manage your time. But in that training, I'm going to show you kind of the other three core things that we did to really transform our agency so that we were able to serve more clients with less effort. I hope you find that. Well, the catch it in the next video, [inaudible].