I've recently started an Areas of Focus database, which I keep on my notion home dashboard as a way to keep all the areas I'm thinking about front of mind. This morning I upped the game by creating a dashboard that brings in all the information in my databases related to that area.... and it's changed the game.
I've gone crazy for dashboards in notion lately. I think when you first start using Notion, you start off with pages and databases and then as you learn more and adapt more, you eventually start to work with linked databases and it really just changes the game. Suddenly you're pulling in information from all these places, rather than clicking into individual databases. It's efficiency at the highest level.
I now have dashboards for my home screen, weekly agenda, daily journal, marketing, 6 week cycle planning finances... and probably more to come.
If you're not using dashboards, now is the time to start thinking about it.
The Areas Of Focus Dashboard
I only recently added the Areas of Focus database into my notion workspace as a way to see some high level topics that I'm thinking, reading and writing about. I try not to have about more than 5 areas on the go at one time. At the moment some of those areas are: Health, Systems Thinking, Sustainability, & Mindfulness. Up until this morning they were just displayed in a gallery on my home screen. Looking lovely - but not really useful except that I see them everyday, so they are front of mind.
That was until this morning, when I decided to connect the areas up to some other databases and pull in a whole lot of information from other databases related to those ares.
For instance, I'm reading a book called SYSTEMology. Which relates to Systems Thinking. So I linked my library database inside the Systems Thinking Area and I can now see all the books I'm reading about this area.
Then I linked in articles & podcasts... all of which are in the same database called 'The Library.' But being able to see them in different views on the same dashboard means they are in my field of view. Rather than just dumping the database in and creating views. I very rarely click to see a different view... EVER.
I categorise these three things, book, podcasts, articles as 'INPUTS' - everything that I'm consuming about a topic.
Next I added a section for 'OUTPUTS.' Because I don't just want to be consuming content on a subject, without doing something constructive with it. I've added in here, a link to my resonance journal entries, my Zettelkasten notes and any articles or videos I'm producing on the subject.
I don't believe in just consuming information for the sake of consumption and getting more and more knowledge. You have to be doing something with that knowledge. For me, a lot of the time it's writing, but it could also be a project or task that I want to work on - which I haven't added to the dashboard yet, but most probably will in the future.
Now rather than just a nice looking picture on my home screen, I can click into each area and see useful information as I build my knowledge out in these areas. I can see how much I am consuming, compared to how much I am outputting. I can see whether the area really matters to me, or if it's just a nice idea, but I'm not really invested in it.
It also give me a filter into what I should be reading and consuming. If something is really important to me, then I want to be consuming information about it, thinking about it, and outputting related to it.
I hope this quick walk through has been helpful in showing you not only the power of dashboards in Notion, but also the power of going all in on your areas of focus and using them as a filter to what you consume and output everyday.
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