How to Use Notion for Note Taking
With a minimalistic interface and a myriad of customization options, Notion is a great app for digital note taking. Its highly structured and flexible system helps you keep things organized and tailor every page to your needs. You can create lists, embed media, sort and rearrange your notes, and more.
Read this guide to get the gist of what Notion is capable of in terms of note taking. You’ll also learn how to organize your notes in different ways.
How to Use Notion for Note Taking
You can do so much more in Notion than just typing plain text. Here’s a rundown of a few features that will take your virtual notebook to the next level.
Set Up a Page
Start taking notes by setting up a new page. Click “+ Add a page” in your sidebar and start from scratch. Enter a title for your note and type away. Easy enough, right?
To give more personality to your page, you can decorate it with an icon—which will also appear next to its name in your sidebar—and a header. Hover your cursor over your title, and you’ll see the options pop up.
If you find the sidebar distracting, click the arrow in the top right corner or hit “Ctrl + \” on PC or “Command + \” on Mac to close it. Your workspace is now ready for your notes.
Your content in Notion will always be in “blocks,” which makes it easy to reorganize. Just click and hold the six-dot menu by the block in question and drag it to its new place. You can also organize your blocks into columns by dragging one next to another.
As you start typing, you’ll create a text block by default. Text blocks are just one type of block a Notion page can consist of. Click “+” next to a new block to browse all the options Notion currently offers.
Format Your Text
You can keep your text plain or format it to make your notes more visually pleasing. Here are some basic formatting options you can use:
- Add headings to your text by clicking the H1, H2, or H3 option when creating a new block or typing “/” and the type of heading you want to insert.
- Edit the text color, background, and style in the popup formatting menu whenever you select text.
- Select a background color for an entire block by pressing its six dots menu and navigating to “Color.”
- Create a highlighted section with the “Callout” or the “Quote” block options.
- Add a divider to your text by selecting it from the block list or typing “/divider” or three dashes consecutively.
- Make numbered, bulleted, or toggle lists by adding them from the block list or typing their corresponding “/” command.
- Change the font you’re typing in by clicking the three-dot menu in the top right corner of your page. You can also toggle small text and full-width here.
You can always convert existing text blocks into other types by clicking their six dots menu and moving your cursor to “Turn into.”
Structure Your Data
Jotting down notes in your Notion can be as simple as opening a new page and beginning to type. However, this method will lead to a more cluttered workspace with each new page created, with no system to find what you need. Notion offers a high level of structure to help you keep your notes organized. You’ll do that by creating sub-pages.
- Click “+ Add a page” in your sidebar to create a new page that will serve as a “notes navigation page.”
- Add headings to this page with names for each category into which you want to organize your notes.
- Grab any page you want to move here from your sidebar and drop it under the appropriate category.
The page will now be located under this new navigation page. Structuring your notes this way removes some of the clutter from your sidebar while still keeping pages accessible. Toggle the arrow by the navigation page in the sidebar, and you’ll see each page within it.
You can also add new pages directly within this page.
- Click the “+” sign next to the new block and select “Page” or type “/page.”
- Type your notes on the newly opened page.
If you don’t want to move a note under your navigation page but still want it to appear on the list, you can simply link to it.
- Click “+” by the new block and find “Link to page.”
- Select the page you want to link from the list.
Of course, you can also create sub-pages within sub-pages the same way, and so on.
Tip: To keep your list of notes organized, you can use toggle lists to hide long series of entries.
- Add a toggle list by clicking “+” and selecting the option or typing /toggle.
- Name your list.
- Drag each sub-page you want to hide into the toggle.
Organize Your Notes in Databases
Databases can elevate the organization of your notes even further. Tags will make searching for them much easier, while properties like dates will allow you to sort your notes however you want.
Create a database to start inserting notes:
- Add a new page and click “Table” under “Database,” then “+ New database.”
- Click into the first cell under “Name” and give a title to your note, then press Enter.
- Click the “Open” button that appears when you hover over the cell.
- Write your notes on the new page.
You can add various properties to your note on the same page, and they will all appear in the database when you exit the window.
Take Amazing Notes With Notion
Digital note taking has moved far beyond basic word processing software and clunky folders on your desktop. Today, we can organize all our notes efficiently on one platform and easily access them from any device. Develop your own system for taking and storing notes. Utilize Notion’s growing repertoire of cool features to organize your materials and make them interactive.
Did you know about all these tricks to elevate your note taking in Notion? Do you have any other tips you want to share? Let us know in the comments section below.