A Notion Life Operating System

TL:DR | Creating a Notion.so OS through the combination of various amazing creators, as well as my own intricate designs. Come see what I've been working on!


9 min read
A Notion Life Operating System

Here is what I think goes into a Notion OS.

Now I've looked at what makes a good Notion dashboard or system. However I've come across many from amazing people. Whether it was August's PPV, Tiago Forte's Second Brain (PARA), Ali Abdaal's or Thomas Frank's various videos on the tool, and many other great YouTubers as well.

Each person has their own way of doing things, which also includes myself. I created a bunch of special databases and templates well before I started looking into these other creators.

Let's first start off with sharing the link to a playlist I created and curate of some of the best YouTubers in the Notion Space! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpSW4GtmcuolQZ-dU0OVOg40YqZ1ODKaX

You'll notice a significant portion of them are from August Bradley's channel, as he is a phenomenal creator, and honestly I first created the playlist to help keep track of where I was on his channel! haha


Here is a peek at what my Notion looks like

I couldn't go into each part of my system simply because of private information, or the PolyCast CRM (Which is a really cool database) because of personal information on there.

Here is what my main dashboard looks like, and you can see a lot of PPV influence, but I hope to expand upon what August has done. He made an amazing habit tracker, but so did I and others. My goal is to combine them into an even more intricate data system. [Mind you August is on a whole other level too, so that is a big statement to make!]

PolyInnovator - Personal PolyInnovation System Notion Dashboard

At this point in time I'm still organizing everything, and getting used to using each tool or template. As you can see there are no tasks showing up from the PPV. Despite there being a lot in the DB, but that is because of how much I use it at this moment. Systems don't matter if you can't make them into a habit, or use them regularly.

I am working on that, although I wanted to more information first on how to properly do it in August's view from his channel.

Other areas you may notice some PARA, as in The Archives and Resources, which are two separate collumns in the Second Brain, but for me it ended up being easier to combine them.

Now Growth for me is interesting. You can see I call my dashboard the "PolyInnovation System" as you can also check out at the top of this website.

It is what I would call my Modus Operandi for a good and successful life. This is where my Self-Education through the Modegree comes into play, as well as the habit tracking on the left, and finally the Four Pillars Philosophy. Of which takes into account MIND BODY SPIRIT EMOTIONS. I need to track those not only separately, but also inclusively. Honestly writing this line right now gave me an idea on how to do that better too.

In a way I am keeping the PARA four pillar type format, replacing those databases with either August's or my own. The philosophy of the second brain from what I understand is keeping an Input going through the Slow burner (over time adding more things to it), and then finding/creating and Output.

If I could create multiple inputs, and multiple outputs I feel that is not only more polymathic, but also allows me to incorporate many more strategies other creator's have made!


The Next is my Output

In the previous section I spoke on my inputs for the most part, and how do I organize all of my various tasks/databases/workflows.

However when I started using Notion it was because I had tried literally most of the task/project management tools out there. I know that statement seems hyperbolic, but I literally made a blog post at that time on Medium to list them all out. I brought that over to here, and when I finish revamping that post I'll edit this and link it here.

I honestly trashed on Notion a bit at that time because I couldn't understand the complexity of the abstraction layers. However IRONICALLY that is what I wanted, for I was trying all these different tools for one main reason... my content.

At the time I still saw each platform or medium as their own silo, which in a way they are, but they are able to be repurposed too. So the PolyCast had its own content plan, the blog did too, and the videos I made as well. All of them were separtate, which then lead me to think about the OmniContent main series I do now. Where I could create all three at once. With the various tools, the most I could get out of them were about two layers of abstraction.

Meaning I would have various "projects" as many of them called it, which I often put down as YouTube/PolyCast/Instagram, etc. Then beneath that I could have the database or table to organize the content planning. Now some did better than others such as Infinity, Airtable, Monday.com, and a few others. Asana was alright, but I didn't jive with the system. I do encourage others to try it though because I will say it was really well made!

However when I got to Notion I made a Database and it was so small on me screen, and I couldn't figure out the menu on the side. I was frustrated, and thought man this is SO limiting.

Then I realized I needed to use full width (a big deal on an ultrawide monitor), the side menu isn't as important as you might think for the most part, and that I could do interesting things with the properties in the database.

Once that happened I nearly exploded with excitement.

PolyInnovator Content Production Ecosystem
PolyInnovator Content Production Ecosystem

Once again they got brought into silos, but I think that is a good way to inevitably do it. I do think there has to be a way to make the OmniContent from any starting point. So personally I prefer blog, but when I was creating the strategy for it I ย did experiment with starting from any of them.

However the quality diminished in my experiments, but it can be done. I also have now gotten to the point where each Silo has their own series once again, in addition to the omnichannel one.

This is because I have some ideas that do better in those mediums, like the small rants or ideas in the Fireside Micro-PolyCast. I wanted a way to organize those in their own medium page. However I do think that the pool of ideas, which is now rather isolated, could eventually be one pool for any content type. Then the final stage could also be multi-format as well, which gives me a circular system once I tweak all of this.

PolyInnovator OmniContent Database

As you can see in this image here that I haven't done a lot of these just yet, but I have had the experience to know that they work. I've optimized over the past year too on making each Sprint as omnichannel as I could. Espeically as a solopreneur, as that was my goal. To take Gary Vee's bold statement of "You should be making a 100 pieces of content a day" to a new level. When I originally made this strategy, and I counted out the output pieces it totalled 107.

This database and strategy takes into account:

  • content repurposing
  • cross posting (i.e. my TeleInnovator videos to YT, FB, and Special)
  • sharing to various sites
  • sharing by making clips and images
  • format changes like from blog to video to polycast
  • etc

This is why I create those images there. One for horizontal platforms like the blog and videos, one for vertical like for pinterest or stories, square for instagram/pinterest/polycast art, and finally the last one is a quote taken from the blog. There is another which is for my linkedin article.

The linkedin piece is simply a method for me to habit stack my work, so that I create an article every time I do a sprint, allowing me to increase the amount of times those go out!


Self-Growth

The Four Pillars Philosophy is something I've worked hard on cultivating, and although I need to do better with tracking my spirituality and emotions. I do think that my body and mind are taken care of for the most part.

I'm thinking of reworking this one, but this is how my workout is set up. Using the kanban board as days of the week. That way I could move it around, and see it holistically.

However with many other systems there is a tracking component, of which I hadn't considered too much when making this one. I'm probably going to make each of those collumns into a template for certain days of the week or groups of exercises. Afterwards I could make a database that each template could be applied to, and then tracking of the workouts and what gets done will be possible.

The Modular Degree is the concept I've been building out, and even on Airtable it may have had more functionality with the groupings. However I'm still developing this template that I will make public at some point.

Being able to organize your own educational materials you've collected, and be able to pursue them over time. I am aiming to incorporate interleaving, as well as spaced repetition in some form in the properties.

Currently it is simply gathering the information of the course, platform, hours to complete, cost, etc. However the Modegree is more than just courses/MOOC's there should be included articles, books, podcasts, etc.

Incorporating all that the internet has to offer.

With a view for various semesters I've categorized the courses into.


Opening up my Personal Workflow

I haven't actually talked much on how I use Notion.so very much, and it really does feel like I have to open up myself in doing so. Please realize this when reading it, and don't be malicious with this information. I wanted to share because I love the tool, and I want you to love it too!

Let me know if you think Obsidian, Roam, or some other tool could do these things better/differently. I'm curious to see what could happen with an API too!

Although I've taken from many great templates I do strive to edit them a lot to fit my own needs. So I only take credit for the templates I made like the OmniContent and Modular Degree for example, and the unique ways of combining other templates. This is also one reason why I made the playlist, so I could share the love with the other creators.

This whole Notion community needs to be built up!


EDIT:

I thought it prudent to add the description I made for the playlist:

The prospect of creating a life operating system within Notion is so fascinating to me. After trying almost every task and project management software online (this was 2019*), I had trouble with most being too limited.

Mainly because of the solely two levels of abstraction they would allow. I.e. projects / then tasks.

Vs. with Notion it is freeform, and you are able to create as many layers as you like. Allowing a unique information architecture for anyone.

Creating your own PERSONAL operating system of sorts. I'm able to do things in Notion that I wouldn't be able to in Windows.

I've taken the best videos I've seen so far, or want to watch myself, and put it all into a list for you to enjoy. I curated the first half to try and give you a slow start. That way it isn't over whelming at first.

You'll notice a lot is from August Bradley, as he is an amazing youtuber. His PPV is one the most advanced systems out there. However I also personally pull from Thomas Frank, Ali Abdaal, GTD, PARA (sort of) which is Second Brain Concept, Zettlekasten, and much more.

Not to mention I've created my own super unique templates as well. I plan on making videos to add to this list in the future!

Join Notion today! https://www.notion.so/?r=713e38a5ff884212ba91a8277f8b3d00

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