Be it sticking with a new year’s resolution or a resolve to work out every day, things get easier when you start turning them into habits. That’s easier said than done though — it takes great resolve to stick to an activity day-in and day-out, long enough until it becomes your second nature.
An important aspect of forming a habit is that you need to do things even when you don’t feel like it — that’s where you need a companion to help you track and remind you of the activities that will eventually become your habits.
One great potential companion on this journey is Notion. Packed with all the features you need to create a habit tracker, track your progress with visual cues, and measure your success, Notion becomes an obvious choice for anyone who wants to build strong habits.
In this article, we will walk you through nine steps of creating a habit tracker in Notion and measuring your progress.
Let’s get started.
1. Create a database in Notion
We will build the habit tracker in a Notion database because it allows setting properties for each column. We can set checkboxes, date and time, numbers, currency, rollups, etc.
This feature is useful because each habit might need a unique way of tracking. For example, while a checkbox might be enough to record daily consumption of green salad, you need a page count to finish a book which requires a “Number” property type.
We will use the table view of the database.
Let’s start with a new blank Notion database.
2. List down what you want to achieve
In the next step, we will write the list of habits you want to build. You can do that in a Notion page or even step out of Notion and write down the list on a piece of paper.
Here's the list of habits that we will record and track:
- Freelancer outreach emails
- Record the distance and time on the treadmill
- Waking up at 7 AM
- Calling one family member
- Read more than 50 pages of a book
3. Add each item as a new column in the database
Alright, now that we have the list of habits, it's time to put them in the Notion database.
We will expand the database to have 5 columns, each of which will record one habit.
We will have 7 rows, one for each day of the week.
Here’s what the database looks like now.
4. Assign the right property to each column
As you might have noticed, each habit requires a different Notion property type because of the nature of the habit. For now, all the columns you see in the above screenshot have the “Text” property type. But we need to change that.
Here's the list of properties we will use for the habits:
Habit/ Column Name
Freelancer outreach emails
Record the distance and time on the treadmill
Files & Media (Take a photo and upload)
Waking up at 7 AM
Calling one family member
Read more than 50 pages of a book
And here’s what the database looks like after each column is assigned the right property type.
5. Set reminders
Alright, all our tracked habits are now in Notion. However, one often overlooked yet immensely valuable feature is the Notion reminders. They serve as essential tools for habit tracking.
Notion's reminders provide timely nudges and foster discipline, making them a key component in achieving both personal and professional tasks.
You can command Notion to remind you of a task at a specific date and time. To do that, you need to add another column within your database with the “Date” property type.
Next, click on the cell where you want to add the reminder, click on “Remind”, and set the date and time when you want to receive the reminder notification from Notion.
6. Update the database daily
Alright, we are all set with the habit tracker and reminder notifications. It’s all up to you now.
Don’t feel disheartened even if you can’t complete all the tasks. It takes time to get into a rhythm.
However, try your best to update the tracker daily, even if you could only partially complete the task.
7. Add progress bars
As weeks go by, you will notice that you have gotten into a rhythm with your daily tasks. You still need reminders but committing yourself to the planned tasks would not take so much mental juice anymore.
However, you need to make this progress visible — that’s the best way to motivate yourself. One way to do that in Notion is by creating a progress bar for each of your tasks.
To add progress bars, you need to add another column to your database with the property type “Formula”, write the formula, and set up a “bar” or “ring” type progress bar.
8. Create a template button
While your Notion habit tracker is now ready, it might be useful to create a template button that makes it easy to duplicate the template of your weekly tracker.
You can simply type “/button” to initiate the template button block, select the “Insert New Block” option, and finally drag and drop the tracker into it.
This will create the template button, and clicking on it will populate your screen with the habit tracker without entries, and you can fill it up again.
Can you create a habit tracker in Notion?
You can use the Notion table view database feature to create a habit tracker. This will allow you to assign relevant properties to each habit that you intend to track, making progress tracking easy.
Is Notion good for habit tracking?
Notion is the perfect tool for tracking habits because it comes with a host of features like the Notion databases, reminders, progress bars, etc.