Happy Planning

Using Notion to organize my reading!

Hello, lovely bookworms! I hope you have all been having a wonderful October so far!

Notion and Book Bloggers seem to go hand in hand. I’ve seen many of my fellow bookworms start using Notion to organize their books and reading habits. This month, I decided to give it a try!

What is Notion?

Notion.so is an online application website that uses calendars, databases, and other planning tools. The site is set up to be a personal workspace or team workspace (depending on your plan) that can be broken down into pages containing any of the tools mentioned before. Its capabilities for organization are endless, and it’s filled with many neat APIs for third-party apps such as Spotify or Twitter. Notion has a free plan, but you can upgrade depending on your needs!

How am I using Notion?

Earlier in September, Drizzle and Hurricane Books posted a wonderful post on how they use Notion to track their reading/blogging. In the post, they had shown how they use a Content Calendar and an Ideas Kanban board; I decided to give both those things a try! You can read on how they use Notion by clicking on the link above!

Content Calendar:

Having a content calendar makes my blog post planning 10000x easier! I don’t know why I never tried making one on Google calendar before, BUT now that I have Notion, it’s been my go-to this month. Having a large-scale visual of when things are due, with tags too, has been so helpful. I can simply grab a card from the Blog Post Backlog, and drop it onto the date I want it to be due. From there, I assign it the missing tags it needs.

Currently, the tags I am using for organization are:

  • Type of Post: Book Tag, Update, Book Discussion, Wrap Up, Review, Haul, Other
  • Location: Blog, YT (future?)
  • Status: To Do, WIP, Posted

If I change my mind about when I want to publish a blog post, I can easily move it to a later date or drop it into the Blog Post Backlog Board.

Idea Board

The Idea’s board from Hurricane and Drizzle’s post has been an absolute lifesaver! It allows me to neatly organize the ideas by the type it will be under and, over time, becomes a nice pool to choose from. Instead of jotting things down on a piece of post-it Bandit(my puppy) will surely get his teeth on, I can drop a card in here and move it to the Blog post backlog when I decide to work on it!

Blog Post Back Log

Any Blog post ideas that I decide to draft from the Idea’s kanban board, go through here before being placed in the Content Calendar. All cards go into the Not Started column. Once I open the card up and begin to draft the content for the said post, it gets moved to the In Progress Column. Finally, when I’m completely done drafting, it gets placed in the completed column.

Once I’ve decided on what day I would like to post the contents of the card, I grab it from the Completed column and drop it onto the content calendar. From there, I begin to set it up on WordPress and tag the content calendar card accordingly.

Reading Map

Raise your hand if you needed some help tracking your reading this year???

I have too many books on my TBR and thanks to some reading slumps here and there, I won’t be able to finish all of them before the end of this year…..at least not without tracking my reading and scheduling.

I took my TBR list and dropped them in this calendar, assigning them a start and an end date. Right now, I auto-assign all books a week to complete. This is giving me time to take notes (something I’ve recently started doing) and accounts for possible no-reading days (when life gets too hectic or work takes all my time). If I finish a book or DNF a book before the week is up, I can update the end date and tag it accordingly.

Each card has the properties:

  • Date: The date range of when I will be reading the book
  • Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Contemporary, Fiction, Gaslamp, Adult, Young Adult, New Adult, Horror, Mystery, Mythological, Retelling, etc…..
  • Status: Reading, DNF, Finished, Not Started
  • Author: The author/s the book was written by
  • Format: Hardcover, Paperback
  • Own?: Yes or No

Currently Reading, TBR, Need to finish Backlog

These tables are pretty self-explanatory. Currently Reading will have all the books I’m reading at the moment. Some books may overlap with the reading map. TBR shows all the books I have yet to read but are on my shelf. This also overlaps with the reading map. Lastly, the Need to Finish Backlog list is all the books I started sometime this year, read the majority of them and then for some reason did not finish. Each of these books I’m either 3 or 4 chapters from the end and have enjoyed, but one day I put it down and did not pick them back up.

Thoughts so far?

Having all of these tables and Calendars may seem like a bit overkill. However, being someone who needs to see things broken down and needs to have a systematic way of organizing her thoughts, having everything split out like this works. It’s made it easier to keep track of what I’m reading and/or drafting. It’s given me some structure.

There are moments where the fact that I let so many books back up my TBR causes me to freeze in a panic. I want to read one, but what do I even read first? I would overthink it, freeze up and end not reading none. Using Notion to organize my reading has alleviated some of that anxiety. Of course, there are things here and there that I can change and most likely will change in the future. For right now, though, I feel like what I have is working 🙂

Do you use Notion? How has it helped you organize your reading?

If you haven’t used Notion, How do you organize your reading?

Let me know in the comments below!

XOXOXO,

Jeimy

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