New Year, New Quarter, New Notion(s)

Author: Deyana Atanasova

So, a bit over a year ago, in November of 2019, I downloaded TikTok. Say what you will about it, but I genuinely learn something new every day from that app (…yes, I go on it every day–I’m working on that). 

One of the TikToks that I came across recently could not have reached me at a better time as I began thinking about how to not only approach the new year but the new quarter as well. This winter term will be my final quarter at DePaul (that I know of for now, at least), and I wanted to try something new regarding my study habits. 

Lo and behold, a TikTok shows up that says “this is your sign to get Notion and organize your life ✨ So, in the semi-altered words of John Mulaney: “And then I didn’t

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For those who don’t know, Notion is kind of like a wiki, calendar, to-do list, journal, planner, agenda, recipe blog, spreadsheet, and an all-around whatever-you-want-it-to-be platform. It’s super intuitive in my opinion, and it’s super customizable. Here is what mine looks like at the moment:

The built-in “Getting Started” guide helps you work through and personalize the pseudo-site to fit your needs, and it comes with a ton of different templates that may seem either super useful or a bit overwhelming. Either way, I always appreciate having something new to explore. 

One of the most difficult parts about learning remotely is that I am not able to tie a place to a particular class, which is something I never really realized has such a profound impact on how I process and remember things. Whether it’s a compartmentalization thing or an actual cognitive psychology thing, place is important to me. 

Notion, then, is my little nook; a D2L doppelgänger of sorts. At most, it’s a study haven where I can hyperlink syllabi for accessibility, and at the very least, it’s somewhere to start.

I didn’t buy a planner for 2020, but I’ve seen enough Twitter threads and general discourse to know the frustration of buying one and leaving it half-empty. Some folks prefer writing things down as opposed to creating digital to-do lists, but Notion is the closest thing that has felt like a “space” to me for quite some time, carved by my own habits and needs. 

So, if you haven’t yet bought a planner for 2021, and you are looking for some new organizational tools, or are looking to fulfill a new notion of sorts, this is your sign to get Notion and create your own space. 

(P.S. The quote on my homepage about planning is from the movie Parasite which I adore! I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet, and if there is only one movie that I had to choose to see again for the first time, it would be that one.)

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