Black and white illustration of a person working on their laptop.
To increase your productivity with Notion, use this app as if it is a combination of a planner, calendar, and notebook. Also, be sure to use it frequently to stay on track with your goals.

There are a lot of apps to help you stay organized out there. If you have a lot going on in your life (work, school, personal projects, etc.), it can definitely benefit you to use such applications—and Notion is one of the better ones for doing so.

Where to Download Notion for Mac and Windows

To download Notion onto your device, go to Notion’s official website. On the homepage, you’ll see two clearly labeled buttons just below the black-and-white illustration of someone working on their laptop. There’s one button to “Download for Mac” and another to “Download for Windows.” This grants you access to Notion’s desktop client.

Alternatively, you can use Notion in your preferred web browser. In the top-right corner of the homepage, you can sign-up and use Notion in your browser for free. The account creation process is quick and easy—it only takes about a minute. Afterward, you’ll be brought to a “Getting Started” page that gives you some introductory information about using Notion.

How to Use Notion to Increase Your Productivity

You can use Notion for pretty much any type of organizational need. This app is all about helping you keep track of information, such as dates, figures, finances, projects, and much more. Think of Notion as a hybrid of a planner, calendar, and notebook.

To organize information effectively, you must first determine what aspects of your life you need to organize. After you identify what you need to organize, break the information down into segments to categorize them. Next, arrange the categorized information into a flow that determines the priority of each segment.

For example, we at How-To Geek are constantly pitching, writing, and editing multiple articles at once. If we were using Notion, an ideal way for us to make use of its functions would be to create a task list.

Creating a task list in Notion's browser version.

Moreover, you need to use Notion regularly in order to stay organized. Using it once a month isn’t going to help you in most cases. Frequently checking the information you’ve organized in Notion—as in on a daily basis—will help you keep on track with meeting your goals. Again, think of Notion as a hybrid version of a planner, calendar, and notebook.

Everything You Need to Know About Notion Templates

Templates are the biggest factors that separate Notion from other organizational apps. The variability and abundance of different templates in Notion are staggering. Not only are there tons of useful default ones but there are many user-created templates that you can buy or download for free. Regardless of the type of information you need to organize, there’s bound to be at least one or more templates out there that will fit your needs.

Which Template Should You Use?

Due to the high volume of available templates, it can be a bit overwhelming to pick one. As such, we’ll give you some examples to help you figure out what might work for you.

At How-To Geek, we’re constantly brainstorming new ideas for articles. Therefore, the “Remote Brainstorming” template would be a great choice for us. This template would be useful for keeping track of new ideas both for individuals working alone and potentially in meetings with other writers and editors.

We could start with a big question: “What are some new Windows features?” Then, we can jot down a few answers to this question to explore. As we go through them—either by ourselves or in a meeting—we can cross out ideas that were already done. If one answer seems like it’s worth exploring in more detail, we can add a note about it next to the lightbulb that symbolizes new ideas.

Using the Remote Brainstorming template in Notion.

Though, let’s say you need to organize concepts and broader ideas instead of specific details. There are templates for that as well! Let’s pretend you’re an interior designer and have a client who wants a dark living room or lounge of some sort. There’s a Mood Board template in Notion that could be helpful for this task.

In the Mood Board template, you can drag images straight from Google into it. This allows you to quickly and easily create a gallery that fits a specific tone or vibe. As such, in your next meeting with your client, you can show them this gallery and have them tell you which images feel like what they want. As a result, you’d get a better sense of your client’s needs.

Using the Mood Board template in Notion.

How to Create a Good Template

Before you head into creating a new template from a blank page, you should play around with some existing ones first to get some ideas on what makes for a good template. Here are some things to consider:

  • Use headings (or another feature) to segment different sections for better organization
  • Use a variety of visuals, such as colored text boxes, to make the template more interesting
  • Use the AI to help you come up with template sections (type in what you need or want)
  • Use a variety of general images, header images, emoji symbols, and text sections to make the template look nicer and flow better

While you consider the above-mentioned points, it’s important to have a goal for your template. Think of a big question, like “How do I organize ideas for a new fiction story?” Afterward, answer the question in as many ways as possible. This will lead to you generating a useful template that can both keep you on track and meet your goals.

Creating a template for fiction creation in Notion.

Best of all, you can add and remove things as you go, so you don’t need to worry too much about making mistakes.

How to Get More Templates for Notion

You can both buy new templates or download them for free through Notion’s community template board. To find it, in Notion, click “Templates” in the bottom-left corner. This brings up a pop-up window that has a menu of available templates on the left. Scroll all the way to the bottom and click the text that says “More from the Community”.

A red arrow pointing to the button on Notion's internet browser version that leads to the webpage to download new community-created templates.

This opens a new tab in your internet browser that has many template categories in a left-side menu. Click any of them to show a bunch of available templates for download on the right of the window. The ones that cost money will have a price listed under their featured image—and the free ones simply won’t have a price listed. Alternatively, you can use your internet browser to get to the community template board directly.

Notion's community-created template board.

After you click on the featured image of the template you want, you’ll end up on a webpage that lets you preview the template as well as duplicate or purchase it. Once you’ve taken a look to make sure this is the template you want, click “Purchase template” if it’s one that costs money or “Duplicate template” if it’s a free one. Also, make sure to select the right account under the “Duplicate Into” section when downloading free templates.

Purchase page for a manga tracker template in Notion.

Following the acquisition, your new free template will be available on your Notion account. Purchased ones require you to pay and enter your email address before you’re given access to them—but the process is similar after the paywall.

How to Get Someone Else’s Template

If you know someone who is willing to share a template with you directly, there’s a straightforward way of getting it. Simply ask them for a link to their template. When you copy and paste that link into your internet browser, the template will open in Notion. That’s it!

There are other ways of downloading and opening templates, however, they aren’t very intuitive and don’t work well with templates that contain images and specific formatting; just use the link method to save yourself a headache.

How to Share Your Template

To share your template with someone, use the reverse of the link method we mentioned above. To do so, when you’ve got Notion open, click the three-dot button at the top-right corner of the window. When the dropdown menu appears, select the “Copy Link” option.

Red arrows pointing out how to copy the link of a Notion template.

After that, all you need to do is send the link to the person with whom you want to share your template. If they paste the link into their internet browser, your template will open in their Notion app with the exact formatting it has in yours.

Profile Photo for Reyadh Rahaman Reyadh Rahaman
Reyadh has been writing full-time for years, covering technology and video games at websites like VGKAMI and Game Rant. When he's not writing technical articles for various publications, he's working on his fiction novels, playing video games, or reading up on interesting topics. Reyadh studied Broadcast Television/Videography at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario.
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