5 Ways Students Can Use Notion for Better Notes + Dashboard Template
A few years ago, I would have done anything for digital notes organiser like Notion for university/college. If you haven’t heard of it, we’ll dig into the benefits of Notion for students in this article, but for now think ‘Google Drive on steroids’.
‘Back in the day’ (lol ‘14 - ‘18) I was definitely a Google Docs/Drive gal, but it felt so clunky. None of my files/notes connected together in a way which didn’t involve a some kind of click-maze. On top of that, my backpack was still heavy with ‘binders’ for each subject covered in coffee stains from pulling all nighters.
What I needed was a customisable all-in-one dashboard where I could log in everyday, instantly manage my notes/tasks for each class and access from anywhere. Enter Notion.
What is Notion & what can you use it for?
Notion is essentially ‘digital LEGO’ where you are given a bunch of digital ‘building blocks’ to build your dream digital dashboards and tools. Basically, instead of being locked-into how a piece of software works, you can build Notion custom to how your brain works/your personal requirements. Even better, instead of splitting your digital life over 20+ apps, you can build yourself one super-app in Notion.
I’m a Certified Notion Consultant/Coach at The Notion Bar — one of the most common questions I get is ‘can I use Notion for ____?’. The answer is probably. Anything from grocery lists, to client portals or custom business dashboards.
I personally create a wide range of aesthetic/functional Notion templates, which have 8k+ + downloads and can be viewed here.
How to sign up for Notion as a student
If you’ve never tried Notion, you can explore it here for free — for full disclosure, I’m a Notion Partner, so when you sign up with my link, you also help support me and my content.
Is Notion good for students?
Notion has become a hit with university/college students to manage their course loads. If you search TikTok for ‘#notionapp’ or explore the #studytwt and #notiontwt hashtags on Twitter, you’ll see it filled with student dashboards. My Simple Lectures & Class Notes and Aesthetic Student Planner templates consistently be some of my most popular templates.
Now it’s time to explore some of the best ways to use Notion as a student to supercharge your notes and get that A
#1: Create dynamic pages where you can collaborate & embed almost anything
I mentioned before how Notion is ‘digital LEGO’ — above you can see all the different types of blocks you can embed — from PDFs, to YouTube videos, to toggle blocks. All at your fingertips.
You can build simple note take pages and eventually put it all together to build dashboards like below. The best part about it is that everything is drag and drop and you can add/delete things from your dashboard over time
Additionally, Notion is every group project’s DREAM. Just like Google Docs, you can share your pages with any project collaborators via email.
2: Ditch heavy folders/binders for digital ones
In my Aesthetic Student Dashboard template, I have two databases that are are connected to each other with ‘relation properties’— ‘tasks’ (defined by anything that’s actionable and has a date/deadline assigned to it — readings, lectures, homework etc) & ‘classes’.
You can think of each class page as a ‘binder/folder’. Any time you add a lecture, reading etc in your ‘locker’ to a class, it will end up in the binder. Notion is a web-app where information is auto-saved on the cloud, so you’ll be able to access your notes from any browser/device where you’re logged in — bye bye achy back and loose sheets!
3: Visual overview over everything
One of my favourite things about Notion is that you can turn whatever database you create into custom views.
In my Aesthetic Student Dashboard template I’ve turned the ‘tasks’ database into a calendar view where you can easily manage your class schedule.
On top of that, using linked databases, I’ve created mini folders for each type of ‘task’ so you can quickly see its archive view. If you were doing a research project, you could use these same techniques to create a custom views for the information you were gathering
4: Easier note-taking in lectures with ready to go templates
If you were ever taught to organise pages in your physical notebooks with a specific layout ‘title — objective — date’ in school, you can re-create the digital version of that in Notion.
You can set-up database templates pre-filled with the information you need to get started quickly on new entries. In my Aesthetic Student Dashboard template an excellent example of this is the lectures notes template. You can create as many templates as you like and edit these overtime as your needs change.
5: Instantly turn notes into actionable review tasks & homework
One amazing thing about Notion is that you can transform a simple piece of text into a toggle, bullet point or even page. After you set-up your database templates, you can turn any piece of text into one of your templates.
In my Aesthetic Student Dashboard template, you can turn your lecture notes directly into review topics or even homework without even leaving the page! Dreamy.
If you found this insightful, feel free to Buy Me A Coffee here— see you around The Notion Bar!