Meet the people using Notion to plan their whole lives

Tommy Meyer, a web developer from Phoenix, Arizona, started using Notion around 2018 after realizing he was carrying around three different notebooks at all times in a bid to stay organized. “I haven’t written a paper grocery list in years,” he says. He also uses it to help him plan fantasy novels he wants to write.

While Notion lends itself to note-taking and journaling, Adam Warren, a voice actor and voiceover artist from the UK, also uses it for managing his YouTube channel projects.

“I earn something equivalent to the wage of a good full-time job from Youtube and Patreon now, and all management for that business is done in Notion,” he explains. “I have all my video projects in a database, and use the kanban view to track their status. I also write the scripts for my videos right in those database pages.”

For people who enjoy feeling organized, these kinds of platforms make a lot of sense. Apps like Notion can help us structure and simplify our lives so they feel less overwhelming and chaotic, says consultant psychologist Elena Touroni.

However, spending too much time optimizing and organizing our lives can be counterproductive when we prioritize creating to-do lists over completing the actual tasks on them, a phenomenon known as the planning fallacy, says Gabriele Oettingen, a psychology professor at University. New York

Using Notion to track whether you’re drinking enough water or going jogging, or using it to plan assignments, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re actually getting those things done. “In a way, Notion might help me to get structure, but it might not work to get me going,” she says.

For people like Bergen who use the same app to map both their personal and work lives, there can be downsides, Touroni adds.

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