I believe weekly planning is one of my most important and productive activities. The age-old saying, “If You Don’t Prioritize Your Life, Someone Else Will” stands true. I find that if I don’t intentionally structure my week, I’m prone to procrastination or getting sidetracked on activities that don’t help me progress toward my goals.
A weekly planner doesn’t do the work for you, but it can help you prioritize and focus your time. It will maximize your efficiency and help you develop processes that can streamline repetitive tasks.
In this article, I’ll walk you through how to build a weekly planner. This is loosely based on mine which is a mix of several productivity systems. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll be equipped with the skills that will enable you to create something that works for you.
What Is Notion?
First up, what is Notion?
Notion is self-described as
A single space where you can think, write, and plan. Capture thoughts, manage projects, or even run an entire company — and do it exactly the way you want.Notion
Put simply, it’s meant to be an all-in-one productivity app. I’m a big fan due to its flexibility and ability to adapt to many different productivity systems. You can build up your weekly planner as simply or as complicated as you’d like.
Find Your Productivity System
What I’m going to show you below is how I’ve put together my weekly plan. Over the years, I’ve experimented with quite a few different systems and methods, but I find that it works for me. Even now, my weekly planner is continuing to evolve and change!
There’s no point putting a GTD (Getting Things Done) system in place when you can’t stick with it and prefer using a simple to-do list.
Not every system will work for everyone. And that’s ok, experiment and find what works for you!
Check out this free to-do list template – Notion: Minimalist To-Do List Template
How To Make A Weekly Planner On Notion
Before we step through how to build the planner, I must warn you that there is a bit of a learning curve with Notion. At some point, I will put together a “build with me” style YouTube video! Unfortunately, in the meantime, just drop a comment down below if there’s anything that needs to be clarified or have a read of Notion’s how-to guides.
Setting Up A Database
Starting with a blank page, add an in-line database (/database).
I populate it with the following column headings:
- Done – A checkbox property that you can check off as you complete your tasks. There’s just something about ticking off a to-do list that is so satisfying!
- Task – The task itself. You can open up each task and add additional notes/to-dos as there could be subtasks within each item.
- Status – I only have four status types – not started, in progress, waiting, and done. Another idea here is to put the GTD style status of To Do, Next Actions, Waiting For, etc.
- Day – Tag a day in which you think you’ll get to this activity
- Due date – Self-explanatory!
- Priority – If you have competing tasks, focus on the high-priority ticket items
- Goals – As you can see below, I’ve set up another in-line database. This then allows me to link the two databases via the Relation property type. By linking the two databases, you can quickly review how you’re progressing against your goals once you set up the appropriate filters/rollups. Another post all in itself!
The way I approach weekly planning is by linking quarterly/annual goals to my weekly schedule. This helps me to closely align my tasks to high-level goals and ensure that I’m spending my time on the important stuff.
As you can see, it’s essentially a large to-do list, but the power comes in the various fields that you will populate it with.
Interesting read – Blog Content Creation Template For Notion
Setting Up Views
This is where the real magic for Notion kicks in. You can set up several views, from sorting by days, priority, goals, etc. Once you get used to the functions in Notion, you can then get into more advanced views as well.
Here’s how to set up various views:
- To add a view, click on the “+”
- Next click on the “Board view”
- In this example, we Group by days, but if you want to say sort by Priority or Goal, click on the “Group by” and select as appropriate
From here you’re free to drag and drop tasks between categories. I find that this provides a really useful holistic view of what I need to accomplish on a particular week and I can prioritize accordingly.
Interesting read – 7 Notion Features To Save You Time
How To Use A Weekly Planner
Breaking It Down
From my weekly planner, I can then break it down even further into daily tasks and to-dos. Prior to setting up my daily log in Notion (which will be another post!), I used to apply a time boxing system to my calendar.
Timeboxing was popularised by Cal Newport in his book Deep Work. It’s essentially a system whereby you map out your day by hours. By combining the weekly planner and a daily schedule, you can manage your time and energy throughout the day. Schedule in the tough tasks first, eat that frog!
An example of my daily view is below. As you can see, I still apply the timeboxing system.
You may also be interested in – How To Make Notion Calendar Smaller
Every Sunday night, I spend 30-45 minutes reviewing how the week went and planning for the next. My weekly review consists of a few items, as shown below.
This list is meant to help me “reset” each week and help transition into the next week with a clear mind. While I’m going through that list and before I plan the next week, I find it helpful to reflect on what went well, what went bad, and what I can learn from that week. The progress review helps me to refocus and plan for the following week.
As you may have noticed, this system all of this links back to helping me achieve my high-level goals!
Interesting read – How To Add Image To Gallery View In Notion
As I mentioned at the start, Notion is very flexible and you can make your weekly planner as simple or as complicated as you’d like.
Play around with a system, find out what works for you and stick with it. You’ll smash your goals in no time! 💪
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