College students’ saving grace for productivity


As a full-time college student, I’m often left overwhelmed with the various assignments, projects, quizzes and club meetings on my plate. So, in an attempt to stay on top of my numerous obligations, I often resort to writing my tasks in my notes app, or on random pieces of paper or neon Post-It notes; both of which usually end up as sad little paper-lumps at the bottom of my bag.

After many years of trial and error, and numerous neglected paper planners, I finally found the productivity godsend that is Notion. An app that would make any overwhelmed and overworked college student never want to look at a paper planner, or their notes app ever again.

 Notion is a productivity note-taking service that offers a wide variety of organizational tools to help its users organize information, tasks, goals, projects and ideas. It provides a wide range of features to ensure that its users have extensive access to better organize themselves and their work.

The main draw of Notion is the sheer amount of freedom a user has to customize their board to suit any of their personal, professional or academic productivity needs. Notion prides itself on the fact that it can mold around any user or team’s organizational needs; whether it’s organizing a major project, coordinating a trip itinerary or formulating a meal plan for the week. The possibilities of what Notion can do for you and your lifestyle are endless.

Notion offers various page presets, filters, categories, subcategories, groups and several other customizable organization functions. Allowing the user to sort information, tasks and various sets of data to best support each and every one of their productivity needs. It’s even accessible across your various devices; such as your computer, tablet or phone.

When first creating your page, you’re met with the same basic commands you’ll use for every board; some being custom tools to help organize your board, as well as other sorting and grouping functions. You can sort your task lists by class, priority, type or even by due date. As much as I make Notion sound like a stressed-out college student’s holy grail, the board customization/setup process was a bit convoluted and confusing for me at first; especially since I was accustomed to preset to-do list apps and planners.

Coming from a user that only uses the service for to-do lists and the occasional vision board, I stick to largely vanilla presets and board functions. The process of practically delving into the motherboard of each page feels too daunting; almost as if I have to be a grade-A programmer to get my productivity pages set up the way that I want.

However, the learning curve for each person is different, some may be able to navigate the confusing set up process with more ease than my not-so tech savvy self ever could. But unless you’re naturally gifted at picking up beginner-level programming, Notion’s customization process may seem a little daunting to you too. Despite the various hiccups I faced setting up my boards and pages on Notion, I would recommend it to anybody looking to stay on top of their tasks and projects more efficiently. 

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