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Simplify Your Notion Building Experience: Use the 1W1D Method (+ Bonus Offer for Early Supporters of the Mini-Course Inside!)

For a Functional, Calm and Organised Workspace in Notion

Hi Friend,

Today, I’m going to show you a simple method which I call the 1W1D Method to create a functional, calm and organised workspace in Notion.

Today at a glance:

  • Common mistakes Notion beginners make

  • What’s the 1W1D Method?

  • How Slow Productivity and the 1W1D method are related

  • Breakdown of the 6 steps of the 1W1D method

  • Announcement of the bonus offer for the early supporters of Mini-Course: Writer’s Hub OS in Notion!

Notion is a blank canvas.

That is both an advantage and a disadvantage of Notion!

If you’re new to Notion or even if you have been using Notion for a while now, you might be feeling overwhelmed or that your Notion workspace is a bit messy and chaotic. You’re not alone.

Today’s article is just for you!

I created the 1-Workflow-1-Dashboard (1W1D) method as my go-to system to build anything in Notion after making a ton of mistakes myself.

And it’s something I wish I knew 3+ years ago when I first started using Notion to organise my personal life, career, side hustles and hobbies.

If you learn the 1W1D method, you will waste less time in Notion and be more productive and focused on the tasks that are actually moving the needle.

Common mistakes Notion beginners make

Unfortunately many Notion beginners struggle to use Notion effectively. Here are a few reasons why:

  • You think Notion is the silver bullet that will solve all your productivity and digital organisation problems.

  • You’ve put everything into a single dashboard page (You’ve seen them online, they look so good online!)

  • You’ve tried to implement too many workflows and systems in Notion all at once.

The reason beginners tend to make these mistakes is because they haven’t slowed down to really take the time to understand how best to build functional yet simple dashboards that work for them in Notion.

The steep learning curve of Notion and the overwhelm of their messy workspaces in Notion means they give up and go back to whatever existing tools that were hoping to switch out of.

Or worse, they might continue to constantly switch in and out of tools, wasting even more time.

I get it, we live in a distracted world. We’re exhausted from having to learn yet another tool or app in our life. If we don’t get a quick win, it’s hard to keep going with it.

If that’s the case for you, I think the 1W1D Method might just be something that can help you transform your Notion experience, so that Notion is working for you not against you.

What’s the 1W1D method?

It’s my approach to building action-focused dashboards in Notion.

1-Workflow-1-Dashboard.

I think of Notion as my Productivity Co-Pilot. It’s not just there to look pretty (it’s a big bonus that it does!). It’s really there to help me be more organised and productive so that I can focus my time and attention on what actually matters.

Often, what matters is:

  • Taking action.

  • Making progress toward goals and outcomes.

  • Most importantly, helping you live the life you want on your own terms.

The best way to show you how this method works is to use an example. Lets use the example of how I built my Writer’s Hub OS in Notion 14 months ago with this method in mind. And it’s the same system I’m still using right now as I participate in my sixth Ship 30 for 30 cohort and write The Slow Digest newsletter.

Before we dive into the 1W1D Method, I want to touch on how it has helped me practice Slow Productivity.

How Slow Productivity and the 1W1D method are related

Cal Newport’s 3 principles of Slow Productivity are:

  1. Do Fewer Things

  2. Do Things At A Natural Pace

  3. Obsess Over Quality

The 1W1D Method has helped me build Notion dashboards that serve these 3 principles.

In the case of my Writer’s Hub OS, it helps me focus on the task at hand: Writing and writing related activities (e.g. reviewing content analytics, identifying content ideas that can be expanded further).

When I’m in my distraction-free writing dashboard, I get into the “zone of writing”. This allows me to focus on the quality of my writing and work at a natural human pace.

Now, lets dive into the 6-Step 1-Workflow-1-Dashboard (1W1D) Method.

6 steps of the 1W1D Method

Step 1: Decide on the purpose of your Dashboard

Before creating anything in Notion, get clear on why you need a new dashboard or page in Notion.

Each Dashboard should focus on 1 purpose or solving 1 problem. For example, the Writer's Hub OS is the dashboard that allows me to focus on my digital writing and content creation. Everything I choose to include on this dashboard, must serve the goal of writing.

Anything else is a distraction.

Step 2: Sketch your new Dashboard on paper first

Jumping straight into building in Notion can feel overwhelming with it’s many features, buttons and options.

Sketching this on paper removes the distractions and overwhelm that you can experience building from a blank page in Notion. Think of building in Notion like building a house. You got to have a blueprint before you start building.

This ensures you’re spending your time in Notion wisely.

My initial wireframe for the Writer’s Hub OS in Notion

Step 3: Decide if you need new databases and/or if you’re linking existing databases to this dashboard

You’ll likely need some new databases when you’re building a new Dashboard.

In the case of the Writer’s Hub OS, I created:

  • A Library of Content Database to store my the writing content

  • A Platforms Database so I can link content to different platforms I’m publishing to.

Writing down the names of the databases you need and the database properties types (e.g. Date, Multi-select, Text) on the paper sketch will be helpful when you start building in Notion.

Step 4: Create your new dashboard in Notion

Now that you have your wireframe, you can start building in Notion.

During this process, if you need to make changes to what you’ve sketched out, that’s totally ok.

Step 5: Keep databases on their own separate page in Notion

A common problem beginners have is they don’t know where their original databases live. They might even accidentally delete databases!

Here’s my simple recommendation: Keep all your databases on one page.

I call this my system’s page, and here’s what it looks like (to give you an example):

My Systems page in Notion, where all original databases are stored

Step 6: Brings in data from databases by using “Linked Views” of Databases

Notion’s superpower is databases and linked views.

You can view the same data in different ways and in multiple locations across your whole Notion workspace using the Linked View feature in Notion. It sounds a bit complicated, but it’s not once you see it in action.

You can view database information in the form of:

  • List

  • Table

  • Timeline

  • Calendar

  • Gallery Cards

  • Kanban Board

My Writer’s Hub OS contains various linked views of the Library of Content Database. You can see a few examples in the images below:

Writer’s Hub OS - Kanban board view of the Library of Content database

Writer’s Hub OS - Calendar view of the Library of Content database

So I hope you can see how using the 1-Workflow-1-Dashboard (1W1D) method has helped me create systems and workflows within Notion that helps me focus and take action on my priorities.

Whether it’s writing, juggling daily tasks, working on a client project or learning a new skill.

If you’re interested, I cover more Notion best practices and dive deeper into the 1W1D method in my Mini-Course: Writer’s Hub OS in Notion.

Now that I have finished (yay!) creating the course content, the pre-sale for the mini-course has end.

But if you’re still interested, get in on the Early Bird. You’ll get early access to the early and you’ll also be in the running for the special bonus offer.

Special bonus offer

As promised last week, the special bonus offer…

10 people who jump on the Pre-Sale or Early Bird will be randomly selected to get a bonus 30 minute 1:1 Consultation Call with me!

  • I will review your Writer’s Hub OS Notion set up and give you feedback, tips or advice.

  • Ask me anything about the course, building or using the Writer’s Hub OS in Notion.

Once the course is launched, the consultation call will be priced at USD$60 for those who want to take it up.

I didn’t want the bonus just to be another Notion checklist or PDF cheat sheet. I really wanted it to be valuable and helpful to you. Giving you my time to help YOU get the most out of your Writer’s Hub OS seems to fit the bill.

So I hope you think so too.

Early Bird prices will end on Monday 13th November.

But if you have hopped onto the pre-sale or the early bird, you’ll actually get early access next week! Keep an eye out for an email!

Thanks again for all you supporters who have already jumped on the pre-sale and provided your feedback on the course! It’s greatly appreciated

A weekly roundup of interesting and relevant resources in the realm of Slow Productivity and Notion systems to help you find time to cultivate your side hustle and passions beyond day job.

  1. Slow Travels in Germany and Denmark by Simply by Christine (5:16 Minutes)

    I’m been a long time fan of Christine’s video content on simplicity and intentional living. I think it’s very complimentary to Slow Productivity. In this video, she talks about the importance of slowing down and really experiencing the culture of a new place. Now that I’m in my 30s, I resonate so much more with slow travel.

    Watch the video

  2. How I Built a Business While Working a 9 to 5 by Mariana Vieira (10:53 Minutes)

    I enjoyed her honest breakdown on what it’s like to build a business part time. She does a great job talking about the challenges of having a side hustle alongside a career in law. Being super organised and managing time well is key to living the Hybrid Life. (She is also a Notion user!) If you’re building a part time business, this is definitely worth a watch.

    Watch the video

That’s it!

Thanks for reading.

Hit reply and let me know if you think the1W1D method can help you be a more effective Notion user — I’d love to hear from you!

See you next week,

CK

Whenever you're ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Ready to learn how to use Notion to create your own writing system so you can write consistently? → Ultimate Guide: How to create your digital writing system in Notion under 1 hour (Free!) ✍️ 

    Join 110+ people who have downloaded this guide to build their own Writer’s Hub OS in Notion with built-in slow productivity principles.

  2. Ready dive into building your own “Idea to Published” writing system in Notion (or just plug and play a done-for-you template)? → Mini-Course: Writer’s Hub OS in Notion (Early-Bird ending soon) 💡 

    Perfect for new digital writers, solopreneurs and content creators to help you achieve long term sustainable and stress-free daily writing & content creation.

  3. All-in-one Travel Planner in Notion that helps you ideate, plan, research and organise your trip stress free → Travel Hub Notion Template (Free!) ✈️ 

    Join 700+ people who have already downloaded this system and upped their travel planning game.

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