As a freelance writer who loves technology, I’m on a never-ending quest to find the best tools that support my business. Since there isn’t a perfect all-in-one tool for freelancers, I use multiple services to achieve my goals. Let me be your canary in the coal mine, testing freelance tools to figure out if they’re right for you. Today, I look at the endlessly customizable Notion and how it makes freelancing easier.
What Does Notion Do?
Notion’s tagline is “One workspace. Every team.” If you’re a little confused about what that means, you’re not alone. The software is a bit hard to comprehend without a clear explanation — at least it was for me, and I consider myself relatively tech-savvy. However, it becomes powerful once you make sense of Notion’s potential.
Notion is part database, part document, part spreadsheet — what makes Notion so confusing is also what makes it so powerful. Notion can be configured to meet the needs of each individual while also providing collaboration tools for teams of people. Ultimately, Notion is a productivity tool. It supports your work in whichever manner you choose.
Still confused? I don’t blame you. Notion is challenging to describe in general terms. Let me try to simplify it by sharing how I use the tool.
How Do I Use Notion?
Notion is my business hub. I use it for client management, project management, and content calendars. It’s the first thing I open at the start of the day and the last thing I close at the end. I use Notion to track due dates, client communication, and whether clients paid me or not.
Notion works by linking various databases and pages together. I have a sheet for my clients that links to individual projects and a calendar with due dates. The dashboard is my Notion homepage and brings everything together, sorting projects by the due date, so I never miss a deadline.
Like this blog post, each project lives in my Notion database linked to the client (in this case, me). This way, I can see which clients provide the most (and highest paying) work, how often I’m publishing, and more.
After evaluating many GTD solutions, I landed on Notion because of its unlimited customization potential. Notion lets you tailor it to your individual needs, and I took full advantage.
Is Notion Right For You?
I think Notion is the perfect freelance tool. Unless you have a team of collaborators (more than five people), Notion’s free plan is all you’ll ever need. Tools like Asana, Trello, and ClickUp also offer free tiers, but they pale in comparison to the customization of Notion.
There is one thing I don’t like about Notion. Like most services these days, data is stored on Notion’s services using their syncing system. I prefer something that syncs through iCloud so data is easily portable. Unfortunately, this isn’t a feature of Notion. So, if data portability and avoiding third-party servers is essential to you, you might want to consider an alternative.
Notion’s endless customization can feel daunting to new users. If you’re unwilling to put in a bit of time and really create a system of your own, Notion might not be worth your time. However, if you can invest time learning the tools, Notion will revolutionize your freelance business.
Are you a Notion user? Let me know how you use the tool to achieve your goals. I’m always looking to up my Notion game.
Not a current user and want some help getting started? I created a Notion template to remove some guesswork from learning the system. Copied directly from my daily Notion database, my freelance writer Notion template can help you stay organized and expand your business.