3-2-1: Notion Hacks, Goal Tracking & MagicBeans

Hey — it's Rames

Just came back to my hometown of Sauternes a few days ago. What a trip we had! Still, it feels awesome to be home, and it gave me writing superpowers because this week's issue is packed with awesome tips and resources.

By the way, I need your help! I'm thinking about creating a Notion course, as many of you have asked. This will be THE complete guide to mastering Notion. Would you be interested in something like that?

Should I create a Notion course?

3 Tips

1/ Lateness formula

When it comes to task and project management, I'm never able to understand how the due date relates to today's date. Maybe it's because I don't always know which day it is, or because sometimes the date is too far in the future. So, I like to come up with formulas to help me out. Here's one I built for one of my upcoming templates (see the "Lateness" property to the right).

This formula takes the "Status" and "Deadline" properties as input and provides a visual representation of the lateness of tasks as output. In case you're interested, here's the formula I used:

if(empty(prop("Deadline")) == true, "", if(prop("Status") == "Completed", "🟢", if(prop("Days between (F)") == 0, "🟠 Last day", if(prop("Days between (F)") < 0, "🟡 " + format(prop("Days between (F)") * -1) + " day(s) left", "🔴 " + format(prop("Days between (F)")) + " day(s) late"))))

Josh Redd came up with another visual representation, which I also liked a lot. He uses checkboxes instead of status, but the principle is the same.

He uses the following formula:

if(prop("Done"), "✔️", if(empty(prop("Due")), "📆", if(divide(dateBetween(prop("Due"), now(), "hours"), 24) < -3, "🚨", if(divide(dateBetween(prop("Due"), now(), "hours"), 24) < -1, "🔴", if(divide(dateBetween(prop("Due"), now(), "hours"), 24) < 0, "🟡", "🟢")))))

What's particularly clever is that he used a great hack to make his column slimmer. To replicate it, follow these steps:

  1. Transform your Formula property into a Checkbox property.
  2. Resize the column to the minimum.
  3. Transform your column back into a Formula property.

This will ensure that your column stays as wide as the checkboxes ones🪄

2/ Automatically add today’s date to a date property

Another great hack from a Notion user is to use a Notion "bug" to automatically input today's date in a date property using templates. It's not something you can normally do: with database templates, you can select a specific date to be added when the template is used, but you can't make that date be today.

Thanks to Ben Smith's sneaky hack, you can do it.

All you have to do is:

  1. Open or create a database template
  2. Transform your Date property into a Text property
  3. Type "@Today" into the text field and select "Date when duplicated"
  4. Transform your property back into a date property

And that's it. Now, whenever you use the template, today's current date will be used. It's super handy for many things, especially journaling 📝

If it's easier to understand, here's the process on video:

3/ Share/Publish to the web update

Notion recently revamped their "Share" section (the one at the top-right of your page). It's much cleaner now, which makes for a really nice update.

2 Resources

1/ Goals Tracking & OKRs

Last week I wrote a blog post outlining how to track goals and OKRs in Notion. It's a very helpful resource for anyone looking to track objectives and key results, both personally or as a team/company. Here's what you'll learn:

  • What are OKRs?
  • Setting up an OKR template in Notion
  • Building the databases
  • Linking the databases together
  • Adding views
  • Free OKR Notion Template
  • How to write OKRs
  • Tips for Using Notion for OKRs
  • Best practices for Goal Tracking and OKRs

There is a free Notion template for those interested, so I highly recommend that you check it out 🙂

Access blog post

2/ MagicBeans

Magic a freemium tool that supercharges your finances and invoicing in Notion. Everything stays within Notion, so there's no issue with storing data on a third-party app you don't know. As they say, "[...] we use Notion API to fetch your data to generate charts and invoices, but we do not store any of your financial data on our servers."

Here's what the free plan offers:

  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited clients
  • Custom invoice templates
  • Essential Reports
  • Notion Instant Sync
  • Community support

And if you're interested in trying the $20/month subscription, here's what you get:

  • Everything in Free
  • Automated reports
  • Bank connection
  • Health and Insight reports
  • Priority support

To be honest, I haven't tried it yet. But I've heard great things about it, and it seems like a legit product. I will definitely try it in the future when they can connect to French bank accounts.

Try MagicBeans

1 Tweek: Tweet of the Week

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