Trying out

Lately, I have been trying out Notion as a way to track TODO items. I always tell people I like either using a spreadsheet or a plain text file for this (or the equivalent in paper form, etc). Notion feels like that.

A text page in Notion is like a text file. Free form, write what you like. A “database” in Notion is like a spreadsheet. And you can embed linked tables all over the place that go back to the database.

So here's how I am using it. I can have a “Project page” where I keep resources and notes on a project and embed my master TODO list but filter it down to display just the project TODOs. Every time I try a new “app” or “system” there's always some limitation imposed by the system which makes it hard to organize appropriately for the way I think about tasks. Notion seems to solve that problem.

Are there drawbacks? Sure. No working offline is a MAJOR drawback. But one I'll live with for a while. I can always fall back to email to draft notes and lists when offline (e.g. flying). If I want some data I might need (e.g. while camping, I guess?) I can dump it into another format (e.g. markdown files) as you can export the pages.

It is also “slow for capture” which is a problem I have learned to get around after trying so many systems. What I do is use IFTTT when I need to quickly capture something. I have an IFTTT note widget that sends an email to me with the address macdonaldster+TODO@g.... This gets auto-tagged as “TODO”. I frequently clear these into whatever system I am using to organize. In this case by adding them to the master task list in Notion.

Tags: #productivity