With countless distractions around us, one of the greatest challenges of our time is managing time efficiently. Staying organized requires discipline, but it also necessitates careful planning and recollection - and that's where Notion can be of help.Notion can help you set up a calendar view that encompasses all of your weekly tasks, whether they are personal or professional. It provides a holistic view of the items on your plate, enabling you to optimize your week and achieve as much as possible without burning yourself out.
In this post, we will mainly focus on the technical aspects of creating a weekly planner using Notion. However, we will also provide practical advice on how to add a reasonable number of tasks per day that you can accomplish despite distractions.
Excited about setting up a well-optimized weekly calendar on Notion? Great! Here are the seven steps to it:
1. Write down everything you want to accomplish and assign an urgency rating
Think of every week as a project - and the first step of planning any project is defining the scope. Put down the list of everything you want to achieve within the next seven days. We are not talking about your weekly meeting yet. It’s just about your personal goals right now.
For instance, activities like hitting the gym, spending time with your family, reading a book, and brainstorming for a new business — can all be added to your calendar. It’s what keeps you kicking and takes precedence over your work life.
You can record these tasks on a new Notion page, but what might be more effective is putting pen to paper.
Accomplishing these tasks has a long-term impact on your health and happiness. Not achieving them won't cause financial ruin, but they are crucial for your overall well-being. In other words, you can move them to the next week if other things take precedence without having a major impact in the near future.
But you must assign them an urgency rating. For example, working on your business plan might be a super-urgent item - you can mark it as “High”. But you can postpone reading the book until next week - so you can tag it “Low”.
2. Write down tasks that you must do
Some tasks must be done every week - they are absolutely non-negotiable. It could be commuting to work, meeting with your team, creating reports, doing dishes, prepping meals, and so on. It's crucial to add them to your calendar for your immediate well-being.
Write down how much time you plan to allocate to these tasks and how often you want to perform them.
3. Create a calendar database view
Let's move to Notion now. Create a new page in Notion and select the Calendar template.
Start with a new database. You will see an empty calendar on your screen for the whole month, but we will want to switch to a weekly view of tasks. You can adjust the time range by clicking on the ‘...’ icon next to the New button at the top-right of the calendar. Then, click on the Layout option.
In the new view, click on Show calendar as, and select week. This will display the calendar in a weekly view.
Customize your weekly planner by assigning it a name, icon, and cover image to make it visually appealing.
4. Add items and properties
Let’s add entries to your calendar now. Click on the ➕icon that appears when you hover over any day on the calendar to pull up the new page view.
You can add any number of properties for each action item. In this instance, we added a checkbox to indicate task completion, a start and end date with time, and an urgency indicator.
5. Make properties visible on the calendar
You may want to see the current task status without reopening it - right on the calendar as seen in the below image.
To make this possible, click on the ‘...’ icon next to the New button at the top-right of the calendar, and select the Properties option. Next, click on the eye icon to display selected properties on the calendar.
This step will help you get a quick glimpse of your progress across all your weekly tasks.
6. Add a reminder
Don’t worry if you fall off the track often in the first few weeks. It is normal to get caught up with ad-hoc activities and not find time for the tasks on the calendar. It is important, however, to keep aware of the imminent tasks.
The best way to keep a mental note of the upcoming tasks is using Notion reminders.
To set up a reminder, head over to the task page. In the page body, type ‘@’ and select the option ‘Today’.
If you want to change the date of the reminder, simply click on it again and select the desired date and time from the calendar.
Notion will notify you about the task at the scheduled date and time. These notifications give the gentle nudge you need to prepare for the upcoming tasks and stay on schedule.
7. Drag and drop activity into another day
It's common to get caught up in ad-hoc activities and not find time for calendar tasks, so don't be too harsh on yourself if you fall off track during the first few weeks. However, it's important to stay aware of upcoming tasks.
Keep in mind that dragging and dropping a task will only change the date, not the time or time frame. To make those changes, you will need to open the task and adjust them manually.
These were the seven steps to creating your weekly planner on Notion. We created just one task for now, but try it out for yourself and keep optimizing your planner till it fits your work rhythm.
Additionally, remember that the weekly planner is one of the six database types Notion offers. You can also view the tasks in the timeline, gallery, list, board, and table view. You can learn more about Notion databases here.