How to use Notion for streamlining your work and life in 6 easy steps

Dive into the world of Notion, the all-in-one workspace solution. This beginner’s guide reveals how to use Notion to combine notes, tasks, databases, and calendars seamlessly, making project management and daily planning a breeze.
How to use notion

Image credits: Notion.

Welcome to the ultimate beginner’s guide on how to use Notion. Whether you’re juggling projects, organizing your daily life, or looking for a comprehensive note-taking solution, Notion offers a versatile platform that caters to all.

This article on how to use Notion app will walk you through the essentials of setting up and navigating your Notion workspace, enabling you to make the most out of its powerful features.

What is the Notion app?

The Notion app is a revolutionary workspace app that combines the functionalities of word processors, spreadsheets, databases, and to-do lists into one seamless interface. Available on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows, it supports cross-platform compatibility, ensuring access to your data from anywhere. Notion stands out for its customizable interface, allowing users to tailor their digital workspace according to their needs.

Whether it’s managing documents, collaborating with team members, or planning projects, Notion’s versatile building blocks adapt to various content types, making it a powerful tool for individuals and teams alike.

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Notion: Your workspace for wiki, docs & projects

Notion is a versatile app that blends notes, tasks, wikis, and databases to create an all-in-one workspace for individuals and teams. It serves as both a project management system and a project management app, streamlining the way work gets done.

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How to use Notion

Let’s dive in our definitive guide on how to use Notion. Whether you’re aiming to streamline your productivity, organize your projects, or simply create a digital space for your thoughts and ideas, learning how to use the Notion app is a game-changer.

This guide on how to use Notion is designed to walk you through the essentials of setting up your Notion workspace, from creating your first page to exploring the advanced features that make Notion a favourite among students, professionals, and creatives alike.

what is notion

Image credits: Notion.

With practical tips and step-by-step instructions, you’ll discover how to make the most of Notion’s flexible platform, transforming the way you work and manage your daily life.

  1. An Introduction to Notion: Start by creating your Notion account. Open Notion on your desktop app or through a web browser, sign up, and take a moment to familiarize yourself with the interface. Notice the left sidebar for navigation and the blank page waiting for your first project.
  2. Navigating the Sidebar and Your Workspace: The left sidebar is your gateway to organizing your Notion workspace. Learn to create new pages, access different databases, and adjust your settings for a personalized experience. Organizing your workspace efficiently from the get-go can significantly enhance your productivity.
  3. Understanding Blocks: Blocks are the foundation of creating content inside Notion. Whether it’s a text block, to-do list, or an image, understanding how to add and manipulate blocks is crucial. Experiment with different blocks like tables, kanban views, and calendars to see how they can serve your project management and note-taking needs.
  4. Exploring Pages: Notion pages are where your ideas come to life. Learn how to create a new page for each project or category of your life. Use templates or start from scratch, adding content blocks to build out your page. Linking between pages helps create a web of information that’s easy to navigate.
  5. Leveraging Databases: Databases in Notion allow you to store and organize data in various views, such as tables, kanban boards, or calendars. Understanding how to set up and use databases can transform how you manage projects and tasks, offering customizable solutions for tracking and visualizing your work.
  6. Utilizing Notion’s Collaboration Features: Share your work with team members, assign tasks, and collaborate in real-time. Notion’s collaborative tools ensure that everyone stays on the same page, enhancing teamwork and efficiency.

By following these steps, beginners can unlock the full potential of how to use Notion, transforming it into an indispensable tool for managing both work and personal life. Whether it’s through taking notes, organizing tasks, or collaborating on projects, Notion offers a flexible and powerful platform to enhance your productivity and creativity.

1. The Notion app

From task lists to project management, Notion offers a versatile platform for users to organize their work and personal life in a single app. Whether you’re a first-time user or looking to refine your Notion skills, this introduction will guide you through the basics of navigating the app, setting up your workspace, and exploring its endless possibilities.

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Image credits: Notion.

Notion emerges as a dynamic tool for enhancing productivity, enabling users to merge thought, composition, and planning within a unified platform. Here’s an easy guide to getting started with Notion:

  • Fundamental Elements: At the heart of Notion lies the concept of “blocks,” acting as the primary component for crafting content. Offering a selection of nearly 90 types of blocks and integration with over 500 services, Notion empowers you to generate diverse content effortlessly.
  • Structuring Content: Within Notion, creating pages helps you systematically arrange your content. These pages can host an array of blocks, ranging from text and files to URLs, databases, and beyond.
  • File Management: Notion’s adaptable file system streamlines the management of your documents directly on the platform.
  • Data Organization: The database feature stands out in Notion, providing a sophisticated means to shape, display, and manage your information for varied applications.
  • Efficient Navigation: Getting to know the sidebar and workspace navigation in Notion is key to refining your workflow and organizational strategy.
  • Collaboration Made Easy: Sharing your work with others is straightforward in Notion, fostering smooth and productive teamwork.

Diving into these aspects and delving deeper into Notion’s capabilities allows newcomers to harness this robust tool to learn how to use Notion for either personal growth or professional advancement.

2. Sidebar and Workspace

Another crucial step on how to use Notion is to learn about sidebar and workspace. The sidebar and workspace in Notion are the command centers where organization meets efficiency.

This section will introduce you to the fundamentals of navigating your Notion workspace, customizing your sidebar for quick access to your most important pages, and how to effectively manage your projects and ideas in one central location. Learn how to make the most out of these features to streamline your workflow and boost your productivity.

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Image credits: Notion.

Mastering the sidebar and workspace in Notion is crucial for maximizing organization and productivity. Follow these insights for effective navigation:

  • Page Access: The sidebar in Notion acts as your central navigation point, leading you to various areas including Teamspaces, Shared, and Private sections.
  • Quick Access via Favorites: Elevate your most crucial pages to the Favorites section for swift retrieval.
  • Organized Teamspaces: Teamspaces consolidate notes, documents, and assignments for distinct teams in one neatly arranged sidebar location.
  • Discover Shared Content: The Shared section houses pages shared with or by you for enhanced collaboration.
  • Personal Space: The Private section offers a secluded area for brainstorming, planning, or solitary tasks in Notion.
  • Quick Search: Employ the Search function in the sidebar to locate specific pages or items swiftly within your workspace.
  • Personalize Your Experience: Tweak your Notion setup by adjusting workspace preferences and managing team members from the sidebar.
  • Instant Page Addition: Effortlessly introduce a new page by selecting the “New page” option in the sidebar.
  • Recover Deleted Items: The Trash section serves as a repository for retrieving accidentally removed content.
  • Workspace Switching: Transition between workspaces effortlessly by clicking on your workspace name in the sidebar and choosing your target workspace.

Leveraging these steps and the utilities found in Notion’s sidebar will streamline your process, ensuring you remain organized and efficient on the platform.

3. Understanding blocks

Third step on how to use Notion is understanding blocks. The “Blocks” are the building blocks of Notion, allowing users to create, customize, and organize content in a myriad of ways. This segment delves into the variety of blocks available, from simple text and to-do lists to more complex tables and databases. Discover how to leverage blocks to enhance your notes, projects, and databases, transforming your pages into dynamic and interactive workspaces.

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Image credits: Notion.

Grasping the concept of blocks is essential for content creation in Notion. Consider these points for a deeper understanding:

  • Blocks as Core Components: Blocks form the foundational elements in Notion, covering a spectrum from text and images to tables, databases, and more, enabling the crafting of tailor-made tools and pages by combining various block types.
  • Block Creation: Initiating blocks in Notion is achievable through the slash command (/) or by hitting the “+” adjacent to an existing block. Various block types are accessible via keyboard shortcuts, Markdown, or by entering the slash command followed by the block’s name.
  • Block Categories: Blocks in Notion are sorted into six principal categories: Basic blocks, Databases, Media, Embeds, Advanced blocks, and In-line options, each offering diverse block types for a multitude of content needs.
  • Customizing Blocks: Once blocks are in place, you have the option to customize them, making your pages distinct. By hovering over a block to reveal the block menu, you can edit, reposition, replicate, or transform blocks according to your specifications.
  • Understanding Block Limits: While the free personal plan in Notion once imposed restrictions on block usage, opting for a paid subscription grants unlimited block access, enabling endless content creation and organization within Notion.

Becoming proficient with blocks in Notion is a pivotal step toward effectively arranging and managing your content on the platform.

4. Understanding how “Pages” work

Pages in Notion are the canvas for your ideas, projects, and documents. This introduction on how to use Notion will take you through the process of creating and customizing pages, illustrating how they can act as both standalone documents or intricate databases. Learn the ins and outs of pages, how to structure your content with blocks, and the power of turning pages into publicly shareable web pages.

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Notion gallery views
Notion timeline views

Image credits: Notion.

Learn how to create and manage pages inside Notion is key to organizing your workspace effectively. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Starting with Pages: In Notion, each new page is a blank canvas waiting for your ideas. Kickstart your creation by selecting “+ New Page” from the left sidebar or by hitting cmd/ctrl + N. Title your page and begin your journey of adding diverse content.
  • The Building Blocks: Pages in Notion aren’t just standalone elements; they act as containers that can hold a variety of other blocks. This foundational concept allows you to enrich your pages with text, images, to-do lists, databases, and more, offering endless possibilities for customization.
  • Sharing Your Work: Transform any Notion page into a public web page to share your blogs, portfolios, or other projects with the world. Simply set your page to public, share the URL, and voilà – you have your own corner on the web.
  • Editing Made Easy: Notion ensures that tweaking your pages is a breeze. Whether it’s duplicating, deleting, or adjusting the settings of your pages, everything is at your fingertips. Plus, you can designate a public homepage for your workspace and even personalize its URL.
  • Block Types in Pages: The versatility of Notion pages comes from the myriad of block types available, from simple text to interactive databases. Use the slash command (/) or the “+” sign to seamlessly integrate these into your pages, making your content vibrant and engaging.

5. Notion’s file system

Notion’s file system provides a robust solution for managing and organizing your digital files. In this section of the guide on how to use Notion, explore how to upload, embed, and manage files within Notion, from images and videos to PDFs and Google Docs. Understand the nuances of Notion’s storage capabilities, file size limits, and how to integrate your local files for a seamless workflow.

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Notion link previews
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Image credits: Notion.

Notion’s approach to file management allows for a seamless integration of various file types, enhancing your organizational capabilities. Here are the essentials:

  • Uploading Files: Notion supports the upload of numerous file types, making it easy to store and access your media directly within the platform. From images and videos to PDFs, drag and drop your files onto a page for immediate use.
  • Understanding File Limits: Depending on your Notion plan, file upload sizes vary. The free personal plan accommodates files up to 5MB, while the paid versions significantly increase this limit, catering to more extensive needs.
  • Linking Made Simple: Direct interaction with local files isn’t Notion’s forte, but with tools like “Link Your File,” you can create shortcuts to your local documents, enabling quick access without the cloud.
  • All-in-One Document Hub: Notion excels as a comprehensive document management tool. It streamlines collaboration, increases visibility, and secures your documents, all within a unified workspace.

6. Utilizing databases

Let’s conclude our guide on how to use Notion talking about databases. The databases in Notion are a powerhouse feature for organizing complex information in customizable ways. This part introduces the concept of databases, how to create them, and the various views and properties that can be utilized to manage your data. Whether you’re tracking projects, managing a content calendar, or creating a personal CRM, learn how databases can revolutionize the way you organize and access your information.

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Notion intro to databases
Notion database properties

Image credits: Notion.

Harnessing the power of databases within Notion transforms the platform into a dynamic tool for information management. Here’s how to make the most of it:

  • Database Creation: Initiate a database by selecting “New Page” and choosing the database type. Each entry in a Notion database is a unique page, ripe for customization with properties like text, dates, and more to flesh out details.
  • Understanding Database Dynamics: Notion databases serve as a structured framework for your pages, allowing for an organized overview and detailed exploration of each entry.
  • Properties and Views: Enhance your database with properties to categorize, label, and enrich your data. Utilize filters, sorts, and different views (such as Kanban, calendar, or gallery) to navigate your information efficiently.
  • Flexibility and Use Cases: The adaptability of Notion databases makes them suitable for a wide range of uses, from project management tools and calendars to complex CRMs and dashboards, elevating your productivity and organizational prowess.

By mastering pages, navigating the file system, and leveraging databases, you unlock Notion’s full potential as a comprehensive tool for content creation, file management, and data organization, paving the way for unparalleled productivity and creativity in your projects.


How do you use Notion for beginners?

To start using Notion as a beginner, sign up for a Notion account and explore the desktop app or web page. Open Notion and choose a template or start with a blank page. Watch YouTube videos or follow a Notion tutorial to understand the basics, like creating pages, to-do lists, and adding blocks such as text, images, and tables. Use free templates to quickly set up your workspace.

How do you use Notion most efficiently?

Maximize Notion’s efficiency by integrating it with tools you already use, like Google Docs. Organize projects using Kanban view, manage tasks with a detailed to-do list, and schedule your time using the calendar view. Use the web clipper to save important web pages directly to your Notion workspace. Create a task list for daily goals, and utilize templates to streamline your workflow.

What is Notion mainly used for?

Notion is primarily used for project management, note-taking, creating databases, and personal organization. It serves as an all-in-one workspace where you can write, plan, collaborate, and organize – from taking notes, adding tables, and managing tasks with to-do lists, to tracking projects in a Kanban view. It’s versatile, making it suitable for both personal and professional use.

How do students use Notion for beginners?

Students can leverage Notion by creating a dedicated workspace for their studies. Start with a Notion tutorial or setting up a calendar view for deadlines, use templates for class notes, and organize study materials with databases.

Add tables for tracking assignments and callouts for important reminders. Begin with simple structures, like a task list for daily study goals, and expand as you become more comfortable.

Why is Notion so popular?

Notion’s popularity stems from its versatility and user-friendly design. It combines note-taking, database management, project tracking, and more into one platform.

Its flexibility allows users to customize their workspaces with free templates, and its collaborative features make it easy to share projects and documents, like Google Docs. The ability to tailor almost any system, from to-do lists to complex databases, makes it appealing to a wide range of users.

What is Notion so used for?

Notion is widely used for organizing work and life. From creating detailed project plans with task lists and calendar views, to storing notes, documents, and using the web clipper to save web content. It’s a powerful tool for collaboration, allowing users to share pages and work together in real time, much like Google Docs.

What is Notion and how do you use it?

Notion is a comprehensive app that allows you to create, organize, and manage tasks, notes, and projects. If you want to learn how to use Notion, start by creating a new Notion account, then explore using the desktop app or web version.

Create new pages to start different projects, use the drag-and-drop feature to add new blocks like text, images, or databases, and explore free templates to get started quickly.

How do you create a Notion layout?

To create a Notion layout, start with a new page, then add and organize blocks to build your desired structure. Use headers for sections, text blocks for content, and incorporate other blocks like images or call outs for visual appeal.

For complex layouts, add tables or database views like Kanban for project management. Experiment with templates for inspiration and structure.

Is setting up Notion worth it?

Setting up Notion is worth it for anyone looking for an all-in-one solution to organize their personal and professional life. With its ability to create custom workspaces, manage projects, and store all kinds of data, it can significantly enhance productivity and organization.

How do you organize your Notion?

Organize your Notion by creating a structured workspace with clear categories for different areas of your life or work. Use the left sidebar to navigate between pages and databases.

If you want to learn how to use Notion, and how to organize it, start implementing a task list for daily activities. Utilize the calendar view for scheduling, and organize projects with Kanban view. Regularly review and adjust your setup to find what works best for you.

What do you use Notion for?

I use Notion for a wide range of purposes, from managing daily tasks with a to-do list to storing important documents, akin to Google Docs. It’s my go-to for organizing projects using the Kanban view, scheduling my week with the calendar view, and taking detailed notes.

Notion’s flexibility and the plethora of free templates make it an invaluable tool for both personal and professional organizations.

Executive summary

In conclusion, diving into Notion accounts for the first time can be both exciting and overwhelming given its vast capabilities. From creating your first table to navigating through the different ways you can customize your workspace, Notion offers a unique blend of flexibility and structure.

Whether you’re looking to manage a complex project, organize your daily tasks with toggle lists, or simply create a Word document, Notion’s settings and templates provide you with the tools you need to tailor your experience.

Remember, the key to lean how to use Notion lies in experimenting with adding new blocks, adjusting your layout, and exploring the plethora of options available. For those seeking guidance, a Notion tutorial can offer step-by-step instructions, helping you understand the essentials and advanced features alike.

As you become more familiar with how to use Notion with a Notion tutorial, you’ll likely find new and creative ways to enhance your workflow and productivity. The next part of your journey with Notion will be shaped by the projects you’ve created, the details you’ve meticulously organized, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with mastering this versatile platform.

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