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How I use the Notion app to organize my life

Notion serves as a second brain. A tool that helps you organize many aspects of your life in a digital form by creating pages and databases.

Guillermo Gonzalez
Guillermo Gonzalez
4 min read
How I use the Notion app to organize my life
Photo by Jonny Caspari / Unsplash

To say that Notion is a life changer for me is an understatement! My life is a bit busy. I don’t want it to be, but the fact of the matter is that it is. Working long hours, having two jobs, and being a father, husband, and pastor, among other things, have definitely put a time constraint on my life.

My personal Notion setup (2019)

Back in 2018, I realized I was about to give up. As much as I wanted to respond to those text messages, phone calls, and emails, I just couldn’t. I had to let some of my co-ministry partners know that I wasn’t going to be able to meet their expectations in areas they needed help. I had to “call out” on my jobs just to catch my breath. I had to ask for forgiveness from other people that expected me to do something. I was just unable to meet a lot of commitments I had.

I am just not as available as I was before.

I am a number two in the Enneagram – a Helper.

I always say yes to things. I want to help. I can’t say no.

Being a busy person as well as always saying “yes” to people asking for favors brought me down.

I went on vacation and even on vacation, I was unable to concentrate and focus. I was a nervous man. A derailed individual. Unhealthy.

When I came back from my vacation, I decided to change my way of doing things. I knew I needed to change.

I knew that was going to take a lot of work since my mind and life were all over the place and it was a mess.

I didn’t even know where to start.

What I needed to do first was to get organized.

To be able to get organized, I needed to see my life.

So, I figured I would just write everything about my life down the best way I could and then figure out a way to organize it from there.

And that is what I did. I wrote every single aspect of my life down on a piece of paper.

Then I tried to find something that could help me organize it all digitally.

I had been using Notion to organize my business. So I figured I would try something similar for my personal life.

After 3 days of work, it finally came together!

My workspace

My current Notion’s workspace (2019)

I’ll be honest, this setup didn’t really change my busy life. How can it? It’s just a piece of software. But what it did was that it allowed me to see the things that were important, the things that were not that important, and how to prioritize them.

Here I will show you how all these pieces come together for me. This is my attempt to have a 360° view of my mind and life. And in the end, you will see a video of me explaining each part.

There are several things in this space, but most note-worthy are my pinned items:

The Pinned Items

This section is my most visited pages. So, I decided to pin them to the top of the page so that I don’t have to scroll down the page and find them. And they are also kind of in priority of what I visit the most from within the pinned items:

  1. 2019 Goals – I visit this page almost every day, but it’s at the top because often review my goals. The number 1 reason why many people don’t accomplish their goals is that of perseverance, and something that contributes to a lack of perseverance is the lack of visibility.
  2. Daily Pages – by far the most important daily page. Here I access my created workflow of the day. Kind of like my personal planner.
  3. Knowledge – by far the most fun page I have in my workspace. This is a page with several databases where I maintain, keep track of, and notate everything “knowledge” related.
  4. Notes Database – this page is part of my Knowledge page, and it’s basically a database where I keep track of all my personal notes.
  5. Book Database – also part of my Knowledge page, and it’s a database where I keep track of all the books I am reading and my reading schedules, plans, upcoming books, etc.
  6. Book Notes Database – also part of my Knowledge page, and it’s a database where I keep all my Book highlights, notes, thoughts, etc.
  7. Articles Database – this one is part of a page called The Radic (now my personal website), and this is a database where I keep track of all my articles on this website.
  8. Encouragement File – this is my personal encouragement file.

The Different Sections

These sections are basically the different sections of my life currently. Think of them as buckets. You have several categories or buckets in your life and in them, there are several things. Well, these are mine for right now (they may change in the future, but for right now this is how they look).

Notion and its possibilities

I am a geek by nature. I love software, apps that can better your life. But you have to be able to make them work for you, and not you work for them. This is why I like Notion. It’s pretty adaptable to what I need it to do. It does have a learning curve, but once you understand it, you will see the potential.

I will continue to write more articles about specifics on how to use Notion and how to properly use it. Let me know if you would like to see me talk about anything specific as this helps me narrow down the focus of the endless of possible topics we can bring from Notion.

Check out my YouTube video on me explaining this:


Guillermo Gonzalez Twitter

Computer Science graduate. Served in many churches as a Youth Pastor and Executive Pastor. Now I am the Lead Pastor of Mariners Church in Santa Ana, CA.