How I Built a Notion Dashboard for Maximum Productivity?
Note: This article is part of my toolkit newsletters↗️ where I share resources about building things. Join me :)
Today, I will share my tips on how I build my “High-Performing Notion Dashboard” — how you can easily create one using my Notion templates.
1. Structure your Notion system 🌟
I used to have multiple, scattered digital docs: one for goal-setting, one for action plans, one for progress tracking, one for habit tracking, and separated docs for project kanban, resources, and bookmarks.
These docs are often lost in the sea of Google Drive. I would rather spend time making progress than wasting time on document search. Also, tool-switching can reduce my ability to focus and kill my willpower.
I decided to solve this problem. I wanted to:
- Unify my workflow— Plan, Track, Hit, Review, Prioritize, Manage in one systematic Notion dashboard; to sync my goal planning <> execution activities
- Create a Notion system that I can use for personal, work projects, and business goals planning.
- Boost accessibility to info capturing, task processing & get things done
I created 4 types of Notion system
- Planning Tools. A suite of Notion templates to create Personal OKR, Life Goals, Action Plan, and Vision Board. Able to display goal progress visually using progress bars.
- Review & Journal. Templates for daily, weekly, and monthly reviews. Add journal entries or search past journals based on themes/keywords.
- Tracker Tools. For daily productivity, i.e. habit tracking, reading, personal CRM, note-taking, personal finance & cashflow trackers.
- Project Tools. Work-related tools such as project management tracker, task planner, content calendar, project bookmarked.
2. Using OKRs to get better results 🦄
This Notion system is structured using OKRs (Objective and Key Results) — a popular framework popularized by Google to help organizations 10x business results.
OKR has also become popular in personal development because it combines goal-setting (focusing on the outcome) and system-setting (creating a daily process to help you achieve the end result). James Clear explains why having a system is more important than a goal.
Example of using OKR in this Notion template:
- Pick a life category you want to focus on improving (i.e. Finances)
- Create an “Objective” around that life category (i.e. Keep and grow money) and break it down into “Key Results” that you can track in the progress dashboard.
- Each “Key Result” can be broken down into quarterly targets (i.e. Save $20,000 before Q4; Save $10,000 before Q2; Save $5,000 before Q1) to make your goals more manageable.
3. Progress Dashboard 🎢
One thing I always wish existed in every goal planner is the ability to sync my goals with progress tracking, adjust my target, show my progress visually, and rank the status of the goals.
I’ve made a Progress Dashboard to unify the process in one place:
With this system in place, I can also check my progress from different perspectives:
(1) Check progress status
Am I “Behind”, “On Track”, “Completed” a particular goal?
(2) Check quarterly focus
What’s my focus and what do I need to execute in Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4?
4. Review & Journal 📔
Some of my best business, marketing ideas, and creative problem-solving come from journaling. By using this review & journal management template, I can keep track of my reflection notes and gain clarity for my next action steps.
(1) Daily Review
Write a brief review at the end of the day: what went well; what didn’t go well; what you’re going to do next. I can also log a Daily Journal and search past entries based on themes/keywords.
(2) Weekly Review
A place to analyze my weekly goals and log a Weekly Journal. Other metrics I love to include: average phone screen time, meditation (min), and exercise (min) — I get this data from Apple Health and fitness tracker device.
(3) Monthly Review
A place to log a Monthly Journal and review the past 30 days. Pro tip: You can extract insights from your Weekly Review or Daily Review to get a sense of what to reflect at the end of every month.
5. Tracker Tool ✅
For personal development goals, I like to incorporate separate trackers that I can log for activities like reading, networking, and learning. Let’s take a look at these Notion templates:
(1) Daily habit tracker
A one-page Notion habit template that I use to master discipline and accomplish my daily routines. I also use a Notion setup to generate habit patterns using color code, i.e. red (skipped) vs. green (done).
(2) Book tracker
I use this tool to keep track of my reading progress, book lists, and book notes in one place. I also created category tags that I can associate with each of the books I have read such as Biography, Startup, Business, Psychology, etc.
(3) Finance & cash flow tracker
I use this template to keep track of my income, expense by category, manage receipts for tax purposes, analyze cash flow and month-to-month comparison on my money habits and performance (with Notion formulas)
(4) Networking CRM tracker
To build quality relationships, I keep track of all the connections that I have made. This includes: last contact date, next meeting date, areas I can provide help & resources mentioned in Zoom call, i.e. links, articles, notes, etc.
(5) Note-taking tracker
A note-taking template that I use to record takeaways I’ve learned from online articles, video courses, and research essays. I can also organize my notes by topics, content themes, or mark them as Favorite.
6. Project Tool 👩💻
I use Notion to manage all my work projects. This can avoid using multiple apps because tool-switching can reduce the ability to focus as we tend to search for project resources across multiple places.
I made a project template that can support my project activities from A to Z: planning, ideating, task listing, prioritizing, tracking, scheduling & bookmarking — I can funnel in all relevant project resources in 1 place.
(1) Project roadmap
I use this template to create project task lists, monitor to-do status, and prioritize each to-do. I can clearly see what are the action steps ahead or pick up from the last item that I worked on without feeling lost.
(2) Project calendar
A place to visually assign my project deadlines. I have also made a “switcher template” to turn this calendar into my content calendar for things like social media posts, product launches, content marketing, etc.
(3) Project bookmarker
I use this template to curate all the project resources such as landing page inspiration, marketing ideas, copywriting examples, and so on.
To make your goals more actionable, break down your big goals into smaller projects that you can execute towards the end result. For example:
- Goal: improve writing skills. Project: start a personal blog and publish a blog post every single week.
- Goal: have multiple online income sources and grow $55,000 monthly recurring revenue. Project: start a Shopify store.
- Goal: build an online presence for your company. Project: start a YouTube channel and grow to 100,000 subscribers.