Khe’s Notion Tour: Life Dashboard

Khe’s Notion Tour: Life Dashboard

So before we dive into the future kay is releasing a cohort three today of notion Training and that’s line of training. So if you’re someone that needs some live training sessions inside of notion This one will be perfect with you and you can find all the links to that in the description below So guys, let’s roll into caves tour. Hello everyone. Welcome back to the key productive YouTube channel It is francesco here today. I’m joined by Kay he and Welcome, it’s great to have you Thank you francesco a big fan and and i’m humbled to be on the other side of the video screen Yeah, it’s gonna be it’s gonna be really good fun. We’re gonna dive into k. He’s set up For those who don’t know. Okay, he runs rad reads He is not just into notion, which you’ll discover today. He talks all about work life and Even finance as well. He was in wall street for 15 years. Wasn’t it? Yep, 14 and a half blimey that’s dedication and He has there he works as a contributing editor to the courts as well so we’ll make sure to include that all below but his wrists recent work notion on motion has been Particularly, very good because he includes lots of articles in rad reads He has been doing some youtube videos And also he’s about to release on January 21st cohort number three of his notion course So it’s gonna be really exciting. Maybe you can fill in a few of the gaps of things. I might have missed there Absolutely I’ll start real briefly with with my background where You know, I was now I’m gonna date myself, but I was reading about productivity before Google existed So like in the days of like before blogs really mostly like David Allen being the seminal work that they kind of kicked everything off For me and so I always had that through line and I would teach Wall Street analysts how to use task managers during like lunch and learn so it’s been like a narrative It’s a consistent there, even though I was in the hedge fund industry. It’s a consistent narrative thread, so So yes, so like you said kay he I’m the creator of the blog rad reads It’s an email newsletter about how to live more examine life. So Challenging all of our assumptions about work about money about productivity and ultimately who we are and so that gives me you know, a playground a sandbox to experiment with with many different topics and Yeah, I fell in love with notion You know probably about a year ago and it really you know As a former CS major the tables like really gone I’m like, oh, I loved Microsoft Access in the early 90s Like I loved it and then it kind of died on the vine and so to see it come back And to be able and and and Ivan says it it’s like a marriage of engineering and design I think that that’s like a deadly combination right? It’s like a nerd who’s creative It’s like someone who can ride who’s also has visual Skills to put the two together. It’s just such a it just got me so fired up and as a small business owner I’m not kidding. I have no affiliation to notion and I’m in the Attic four to five hours a day I mean my entire life my business my network My my kids Christmas lists like it’s all in notion because it just it makes my life so much easier Yeah, it’s like it’s just having like your brain on paper but on the online vote. It’s amazing, isn’t it? I? Saw you the other day you made like a video on Investment tracking and ocean but that’s crazy. Like you’ve been really like pushing the envelope on the uses, right? I’m definitely I’m definitely definitely trying I do I Think again at its core It’s the power of databases Right, is that that investment? Dashboard was able to take like the companies you cover The math behind them the notes that you take on them and all the files that are related to them Plus your tasks that string together I’m just like in what you used to have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for that software That wasn’t even customized for you And so that is what’s so exciting that like with a it’s not easy as you and I know but it’s not It’s not that hard Yeah and so that like that sweet intersection is what makes what makes notion magical to me and then The sky’s the limit on what you can build 100% and and you mentioned there that you Found it roughly about a year ago I’m just curious like how did you discover it and What sort of what was the driver that got you? Downloading and using actively cuz I’m guessing used a few product of the apps before right? Absolutely So I think I someone first sent it to me when it was first hunted I think like two and a half years ago, or maybe three years ago, and I I didn’t get it I’m like, what is this thing? And you know, I was still you know as heavy Evernote user for six seven eight years But the thing about Evernote is that every time I stepped foot into Evernote like what my stress levels went up I Could I couldn’t find anything I couldn’t link things and it just like, you know it was it was like using a netscape browser in the world of chrome like Yeah, it does the same thing but it does sit and I think intellectually to I was just like I followed the notion venture story and I’m sorry ever no venture story and I just said to myself like this companies I don’t know it might if I not going away, but It’s not reinvesting its to catch up with the time and I was a big air table fan I am a big air table fan. But every time I was the Focus was a little bit too specific for me to be able to use it in my everyday life. I’m not like your guest Chris Yeah, yeah I’m not like Chris where I can’t I can’t do that in there nor. Do I want to But I that there is just like that marriage of like spreadsheets Tables and Word documents plus the thing that really got me, I think people under discuss this on notion Is that it really is like a content management? Software like like WordPress. It’s a lightweight WordPress. And so I saw I kind of saw it all put like fall into place and I was and then I started to play with it and you know It’s just so intuitive once you get over that steep that like little initial hump Then I was just like this is a beautifully you know that the experience was stunning It was beautiful and and it really brought out my best instincts just so pumped for life And we can talk about like it’s not without its its drawbacks and I don’t want to represent that there’s some Significant, but there’s some drawbacks in that we all have to consider as we use it. So I’m a sanguine about those yeah, I mean like like we all support it to be absolutely perfect and it’s sort of heading in that direction and they’re quite I Think like I feel like the team are quite nimble in terms of like their update cycles and like they’re super responsive on Twitter So that’s always good news, right? Absolutely. Yeah, and they listen right know it seems like they listen I think the big test will be you know, 3.0 because There there are some there are a few core things that everyone needs to be You know for it to kind of continue on the trajectory, so I think I think they’ll deliver but yeah I get both time will tell that’s it. I think you’ve probably got a few people watching it going And and like right now like what would you say before we jump into it? What would you say your sort of main? uses of the application are So I would say that Personal knowledge management, so that is like everything. I read the notes that I take the my family’s information my business information my tax information, so So basically it’s like their repository for all of my information. That would be used case one Use case two would be both public and private CMS and so I’ll file pages very quickly on the public side I sometimes use notion instead of using WordPress just because it’s quicker and it’s cleaner And so I’ll do that and then private CMS. I have a coaching business So I will use it as an interplay as a way to interact with with my clients so and then the third would fall into kind of like a mash-up of do but workflow and so I have small like contributors that work on rad raise like interns and Colleagues and so it’s kind of the place. So for example my weekly newsletter I personally don’t even touch my like convertkit I do it all in an ocean and I my colleague takes the last step and Puts it puts it in in convertkit. So that’s why I like spend so much time in the app and then little things like trackers and habit formation and things like that are just like Because I’m once I’m in it in the environment. I use lots of little cues To really kind of get me to where I’d like to be like where my future selves would like to be Well, yeah, I mean taken away like in terms of showing us around because it’d be good yeah so the way I’ll start start us off is I try to use a Minimalist setup where I try not to use too many tables And I try not to use too many pages And if I do I house them within within Databases Oh within I try to not use too many pages and I house them within a central central database so as you see I am a prior guest of yours and mutual friend of ours Tiago forte very very strongly if you think about what my philosophy is It’s it’s an integration of like David Allen’s getting things done and Tiago Forte’s para and so If you see down here, I’m going to scroll down out I have basically one two Three four or five six seven eight seven or eight master tables that dictate a large large trunk of my activity so So ty if you go into tasks It’s just like a giant list of tasks and I’ll show you how its stitched together if you go into CRM it’s just a list of of people that I’ll pull, you know into other places if you go into Library, it’s everything that I grab using Using the notion clipper and so just like tons and tons and tons of so and and again the beauty of having this master table is like my Atomic unit of work is reading right. It’s reading for my my own knowledge It’s reading for my newsletter and it’s reading to like do things to make my business better All the reading can go in one place then I’ll use different tags and so on to customize it so I Would say 80% of my information is in these, you know eight-eight tables and if you see they have the name JJ it’s because the notion search is slow and So I often need to just access my tables my master tables. So if I search control P JJ It will immediately It’s gonna be slow over the over our internet connection, but it easy it immediately pulls up my master tables Which is where 80% of my information lives so it’s like a little workaround just to to get faster speed Search speed so so those are my tables and then once You go in then there’s another key table, which is para and for those of you who aren’t familiar It’s just a folder delineation of projects areas of responsibilities and resources and so if you go in here You can see my live projects know market cohort 3 of the course You know also like I’m going I want to go to Coachella And then I said I’m working on a money series for courts and so each of these will have different notes And so if you go into market cohort 3 which is where I’ve been spending a lot my time You know I tend to do like my file cabinet I might have like I call the lazy to-do list where I’m just kind of like almost like a scratch pad I use toggles a lot And then like some coarse ideas I make a really good part demo. What what does the homework look like again? this is just like a simple little note-taking app but note-taking capabilities But at least I know that I can always find it in my projects What you then in my areas areas. It’s probably the the place that I spend the most amount of time when I’m when I’m in notion because it’s if you follow Thiago’s definition of areas It’s a part of your life where there’s a minimum threshold of a minimum standard that needs to be held but there’s not like a Necessarily a due date. So for example my health or my relationship my relationship with my kids a relationship with my wife Very very important in the Eisenhower framework. It’s the important and not urgent category of your life things that are important that don’t have deadlines And so if you go in here I could pull you into you know, I’ve talked a lot about money Managing money I call, you know family CFO. So again, this is a page within one giant table called para And if you go in here You’ll see let me open it as a page you will see this is I wish notion would hide all these tags on pages, but you go in here and These are the tasks that I’ve called in you cjj tasks from my task list so I can assign a task to an area So linking to tables of my life and then I can pull this This is just a filtered view that just says Grab me all the tasks that are in the family CFO bucket and so it pulls off of one table and then by the way, I should probably There’s no task is not complete that would be the clean way to do it and then a you know It’s a it’s not I guess was emailing with you like my rooms not always the cleanest but if you go in here You know I will have Tables that take care of like my tax deductions with the receipts so that when I can when it’s time to file my taxes it’s very Easy, this is like a really fun part fun thing where I do With my wife we Every month we talk about our monthly expenses and so will we just have like a log of like well We’re our big expenses and I X some of these out just for privacy But so well were some of our big expenses in September 2019 August 20 1920 19 and in this I use you need a budget which is a budgeting app I do a monthly export of my transactions and I just aggregate the spending So that I can quickly see pull down I can quickly get to My total spending for each year and so again power like tables that are nested within Pages that let you look at different things If you go back into para, let’s see some other fun things product, right which is rad reads Which is the website the newsletter and things like that. Once again you go in you see all the tasks that are related to My product inter a Therese again coming from that same master table and You know here product like product inspiration I grab good, you know like it’s a mood board. So to speak or product inspiration. So, you know like I love this Landing page and so I click into it. Here’s here’s a picture of the landing page and this is little bit more static but this is just like a clipper that helps me organize my Information another one like I like how this guy this is a friend of mine he set up This is his pinned tweet and so I know that like I want to have like a good pin tweet with a video and so I know to come back to this tweet and I’ve captured it using the the notion Web Clipper, so again, that would be that’s like my my para setup So when you ask me like the use cases It’s like the the major the it’s like a big chunk of my time Organizing like all of my information and my tasks on a day-to-day basis Then I’ll move to the you know private CMS and public CMS, but that’s okay So So private CMS would be I’m I have a coaching practice And so this was where it totally cracked open so I used to so part of my coaching package is that I write you a detailed book of your life as We go through our coaching together So it’s like it’s part of the package. It’s pricey, but but I didn’t want it to just be like, oh, we have a conversation and then That’s that’s it. Right. I wanted it to be much more like an intensive program. So I used to run this These dashboards using Google sheets embedded into Google Docs But Google Docs is not mobile friendly. It’s hard to navigate. It’s not that clean. It’s not that fun to input Believe it or not. I’m sure you know this embedding a Google sheet into a Google Doc is not as easy as it should be And it’s definitely not a slash command like a notion create link database and so when notion came out I immediately saw an opportunity to move my coaching clients onto this. So this is a representative dashboard of the coaching relationship that I have with with one of my seven clients and so You know simple stuff like we’ll have some big ideas some objectives We have anytime there’s reading that I recommend for the client. I just go in to this To my library and I could just set a few flags and say hey share this article with this client So again, I never have to re-import a story again once it’s in my system shared with a client share it with my newsletter share it with myself to to build my own knowledge And so you’ll see he has this client has his customized library of things that are that he he should read He’s got his customized to-do list again, that was actually very hard to do in Google sheets and then he has Detail this is like the the book of his life And again, this would be Mike more similar to To Google Google Docs, but again, you know we use call-outs We use the formatting it just it makes life so much so much cleaner so much easier, you know We’ll use little call it the format actually makes a big difference the toggles make it didn’t big difference So these are private pages that I share with individual clients and Then there’s No notion as a public CMS. And so like I said it there are times when I rather do something a public website You know accessible to the entire internet via Via notion than via WordPress. So I do a little job board where I just see a lot of jobs you know kind of sitting on top of a pretty big community and So people want jobs people want jobs that other people have recommended that other people. It’s almost like this the VC Scout model There’s just like when you put a bunch of smart people in a room, they’re all seeing interesting opportunities And I’m the central hub to get these and so I just collect these jobs as they come along again I just clip them into the notion clipper and then I might my colleague adds a few tags here so like tech design San Francisco and Boom, you have a website that probably gets 2000 uniques a month. Uh just that takes me Five minutes a week to update seven minutes and I try to do this in WordPress I was doing bulleted lists. So obviously there’s no filtering you can’t do you imagine. I mean, you know WordPress you imagine getting 18 little thumbnails to you know, it’s just impossible. Yeah, you need a developer and so and so I I’m so keen to just launch these websites Really quickly. I’ll show you one other quick one you get a productivity Stack this one doesn’t have a JJ and it rather it’s a Productivity stack and It’s also like massively cheap to do as well, right? In what regards cheap in in the well, it’s not gonna be like, you know You don’t running a the WordPress sort of always say every month, right? Oh, it’s free I mean, it’s the priced of my notion subscription. Yeah month. Yeah So here we even crowdsource and look look at that. Even with the branding right I can stay on brand I mean, I can’t own my URL yet So that’s like slightly annoying but I went to our slack group and I said, what are your favorite, you know to-do list Actually what we were talking about before would you do list calendar apps text expanders? Chrome extensions and I just created put them in a giant table and Then look at this beauty Wow, I Mean you can’t I get chills man like you can’t do this on WordPress Can you and even if you could you can’t update it on WordPress? Well, you have to go in into the code and the bullets and all that. So this whole thing took like two hours to Make and again. It’s it’s actually to be very specific. I’d use this as a lead magnet on rad reads, and it’s Who wouldn’t want to click on like the 47 list of 47? list of you know productivity tools So that is that’s the product that is another way for that I use it as the CMS and then can I show you one more thing? Oh, please do Please do. So the last thing that’s gotten me really excited I’m gonna get a little notion geeky on you now, but I have been playing a lot with building formulas off of the last modified date because as You go. So last modified is one of the few dynamic fields in notion, right? You could have like last modified date as an input, but then you have to type in December 9th you know 2019 is when I last modify this page like the reality is like you’re probably not going to do that that often and So if you look here you see how these tasks have been surfaced as overdue And the reason why they’re overdue is because let’s take get my kids sir. I anomaly their area If you look at the formula The last update this column here which is dynamically generated and if you add the review frequency, so 30 is Less than today. I’m sorry. It’s greater than I’m sorry if it’s less than today It’s it’s overdue and so as so this dynamically refreshes cuz it’s like okay Hey, guess what K? November 3rd was the last time you updated the sir. I anomaly file And you want it monthly one month plus November 3rd is December 3rd. It’s December or whatever 14 through today you’re overdue and so filter it to the top so then I can go in and I can look and you know, did we do learn numbers? We you know, we did do learn numbers. So I’m gonna click that Check out what happened last update today is not the 14th. Soit’s the ninth Last update the 9th and watch It pop out and overview. Yeah So it’s almost like actively trying to keep you ahead of the game. And what are we? Yeah, it’s a little like I like to think of it as James clears Q’s for habit formation It’s kind of you know Like if you want to work out more put your gym put your gym shoes by are your running shoes by the door? Yeah, so as soon as you walk by your door, oh, yeah I wanted to run so here. It’s like the ones on top that checkmark Um, oh, I haven’t looked at my website in a week. So Let me go in and and again there might not be much behind Right. It’s not a necessary and extensive task list But it’s just that you know important not urgent like kid right teaching. My daughter number is like that’s important not urgent, right No one’s gonna come knocking on my door. There’s no rent collector if I forget to do that, right? Yeah And I want to show you one other place where I use this yeah, so if I go into a JJ library, which is like my massive massive reading list, I mean This is like hundreds of articles 209 articles since I started using notion This is where I run my ideas for rad reads and do all my curation and also things that I want to read So if I go in to here? into Reading list What I’ve done here is I’ve combined the two things so I’ve used the last modified date again To let me know if something is outside of a window of modification, right? Yeah So if I haven’t touched it, right? I haven’t touched this article the passion economy the future of work since October 30th Okay, so but I add another wrinkle Because I’m taking all this little metadata about things that I read like the trophy being a simple one The trophy is just if someone it’s the most read article in each issue of Brad reads, so that’s a signal to me That’s like this is a powerful article someone someone like thousands of people Voted up voted this as a great story So then I flag it in my system and what I do, you know These other ones are just like this finger is like you want to read this for your business. This hand up is like looks promising This is the issue that it corresponds to from from Radley It’s like the number issue and then what I do is I’ve given each of these clicks to score So I’m gonna get if it has a trophy it’s worth three If it has the hand up, it’s 0.5 And then I roll the scores up to get a total score up here. Yeah, and So now what do we have? We have an Algorithm heavy air cords an algorithm that has surfaced to the top based off different signals things that are good to read but has also said you haven’t You haven’t touched this article in The past month. Yeah, so what I could do now is like okay. Yeah, that’s right I haven’t touched this article so I could go in and read it I could add a note to it or I could just like snooze it so I have the clicker so I could just click it and Then by clicking it switch checkbox. I’ve modified the page And so you see it popped out of the window and it’ll come back in one month That’s very spa. Yeah, that’s quite yeah. Yeah because you’ve said so is that right? Exactly, but they’re they’re both dynamic because they’re time-based hmm and their enhanced filters because they drive they they basically Rank off of combined metadata. Yeah, so you saw of sort of Could have baby hacked the recurring reminders or lack of Probably yeah, there’s probably a way to do that off of last modified. Yeah with like things occur Yeah, but holiday, yeah I’ll let smarter notion geeks figure that one out because I hey I do still use for recurring tasks I still used OmniFocus. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, because yeah you you know, you need to have that recurring ability Yeah, Jack, and I’m a big recurring test Guy, I probably have like 75 recurring tasks a year. So, yeah, so it’s very employed I Love I love that setup The things I really liked about it We’re like how simple you set up everything on the sidebar and and the fact that not many people have like the library abilities Which like like actually having a dedicated area for the you know their reading list You know bookshelf CRM and I said it you can pull it into the the relevant stuff like power So that’s like really awesome. And and I also I also like how you use there when you’re inside of each pages in power it’s almost like it’s almost like your notebook like a physical notebook the way you were using it because it’s like It’s a little bit scattered, but it’s quite like nice to have that it’s almost like a like it literally looks like a notebook It’s really good. Yeah, and that’s what That’s the cool thing about one of the cool thing about notion is you basically can recreate Evernote’s notebook structure. Yeah So So yeah so that that is I do I do I’m heavily I’m a minimalist like I don’t need I don’t Want to see too much information on at any point in time? Yeah I want to have to take like but I want to know where to go once I get it so between the shortcuts The favorites and by the way, my favorite bar would normally only have I have a rule of like under only five or less on poets It’s only loaded up for it was just for the demo to remind me like which things I wanted to show you Okay, so I’m very much an ocean minimalist. Yeah. Yeah, I like that day because I think people can get carried away with the The expansive nature of it and yeah, I think it’s good to keep it so, you know close to home Yeah, and I think that’s where where I’ve seen a lot of notion setups. That’s where every page becomes an Amalgamation of other pages and and like that that’s where I get starts to get really messy cuz like I’ve seen countless examples Of people that can’t find the page that they’re looking for yeah, because it’s been embedded and nested into like eight levels deep with like archives and and If that if your note-taking system Prevents you from finding the page that you’re looking for. We’ve got a serious problem Yeah, yeah, that’s it. If it’s like Inception that you gave like two world steep it Exactly, but but I think I I don’t think people talk about that enough on notion, but nice You know given the work that I do. I’ve seen a lot of like like black hole No, she’s like yeah, maybe we calling the term like an ocean black hole Like oh, I love it Yeah, I mean that that’s I think that’s a good takeaway for people is just to try not to be involved in the black hole Yes, and all I may offer a tip on that Yes, there’s um, I think it’s navall who set it on on the Joe Rogan podcast he said Don’t give me the book. Give me the podcast. Give me the blogpost don’t give me the blogpost Give me the podcast don’t give me the podcast Give me the tweet which is like you think you have a books worth of ideas But you actually just have one tweets worth and so III have my notion version of that It’s just don’t don’t make it a database and make it a table. Don’t make it a table make it page Don’t make it a nested page No, make it a nested page make it a regular a page with toggle still making a page with tacos Just make it a page. Yeah It’s a be looking K through that exactly Well, okay where can everyone find you after off this podcast podcast They know what you mean. Yeah, they can head over to So that if if they’re interested in the notion course its notion dot courses And the sign up the sign ups there will get you notified for when we launched But it’s also I write a weekly notion newsletter And so so they can get that at notion dot courses the more elaborate You know rad reads Empire is that rad reads dot Co And I would encourage people that is where you’ll capture all the themes. There’s a really eighteen thousand person newsletter With you know money personal finances productivity creativity entrepreneurship That’s like the broader umbrella So notion courses and rad reads dot Co and I’m probably most active on Twitter Where if you tweet at me I will respond with the loom video odd notion. I promise I always I never said no So as well you say please and my twitter is KH e ma IDH, which I’m sure you put up as chair. That’s lovely. Yeah, then there will be available ballet so everything go and enjoy those but Thanks Kay for coming on it was it was really great to have you I enjoyed your insights and we’ll have you on again I’m I’m definitely sure Awesome. Thank you for an Cheska for the incredible work that you do and for For letting me be pouring the steam group of guests That are you and you’re definitely VG say we have to get out again if we could also Thank you. Yeah, see you see see ya

5 thoughts on “Khe’s Notion Tour: Life Dashboard

  1. I enjoyed this. The datbases gave me a lot of ideas.I just got my areas in my dashboard for now with icons as pages (finances, guitar, etc.) but thats ok bit by bit im still tweaking notion and iโ€™ll get to a more interlinked setup.

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