Couple of weeks ago my colleague asked me:
Olena, you’re kind of a organizational dork. I’m looking for some tool where I can keep notes for my ppc tasks and use as a small crm for a personal eshop. Can you advice something?
I showed her Notion and she fell in love with it right away and I thought that so many people might miss out on this great solution. So here’s A short story how Notion helped me not to go mad.
Notion is something when you mix Evernote, Trello, Calendar, Google Sheets, Confluence and Asana together. It’s a great option for collaboration on crm, content plan, knowledgebases, with even Slack integration but I will show how I use it for organizing my ppc life.
WHAT’S IN THE ARTICLE:
- How I use it to organize my notes for PPC freelancing
- Using notion for PPC client database
- Why not another option like Asana and such?
- Other use-cases for online marketing specialists
- Features I like and other non-PPC application
- How much is it and how to get it for free?
How I use it to organize my notes for PPC freelancing
I organize basically all my life with Notion so Freelance has it’s own separate “folder”.
First of all from a organization system I need an easy way to manage my to do list with dates, deadlines, labels, filtering and such. Apart from this I don’t want to click between clients’ pages to see what i should do. Everything needs to be in one simple database of entries.
This is how my log of tasks functions:
All the columns are customizable – you can put any names and types. For example the date has a popup calendar that lets you quickly select one.
Same for labels.
Add any kind of columns in different formats that make sense for you. For example if you’re cooperating with someone you can add there who modified entries, who it is assigned to etc.
I find it very useful to use filtering for tasks with deadlines and something that is a high priority – for which i simply use a fire-label emoji 😀
? Did you know you can type emoji’s on desktop anywhere just with WIN + .
Many “blocks” in Notion are intergratable to another page.
So I use filtered views for
- “in plan” to do
- unpaid invoices
embedded on the FREELANCE “homepage”. This is how it looks:
I also added there few shortcuts: toggle for time tracking, invoicing software and tax report service.
The way I use it for to-dos for freelance I apply for tracking tasks for Notino where I work in-house.
Using notion for PPC client database
From a notes system I needed sort of a knowledge base with links for my clients.
While it was one side job for translations and 1-2 ppc clients I could keep everything in my head but as freelance started to take more and more time and clients became so different in their goals, approaches etc. I realized I needed a better “storage” system.
That’s why each client has own “page” and if the cooperation pauses or stops the page can be moved to archive.
Since I don’t want to manually create a page for each new client from scratch, I added a ➕ template for new client page that I later duplicate and adjust for the customer.
I found this view per client very useful because I don’t need to dig through my emails or shared files in the google drive. Moreover, I can write out some most important things like budget caps etc until I don’t accustom myself with client enough to remember it by heart.
Some items I use by just embedding a link, for others I just paste text under the toggle.
Why not another option like Asana and such?
I imagine during the past 8 years I’m in marketing I tried every possible dorky way to organize my time, files, notes, to-dos etc.
While every solution was in a way brilliant it wasn’t working for me. The biggest test for me was if I had to force myself to keep using it. This is the issue I faced for example while trying to log everything in google spreadsheet, basecamp, trello. Evernote and OneNote were the closest to what I needed but they were heavy and slow as hell.
I really adore Asana as a cooperation solution / to-do lists. While I worked in an agency we used Asana and it was great to coordinate tasks across departments for the same client. Though I absolutely missed a knowledgebase for clients. I had to copy paste things from brief in the initial-launch to-do of the campaign. However 2 months later when I need some number I had to dig through google drive to find that brief. Of course in the end it wasn’t even named Brief because people rarely have a perfect naming OCD system… khem khem.
Another aspect – though maybe it won’t be universal – I don’t have a team. I’m on my own.
I mean I have the in-house team in Notino but it is a separate story. In terms of freelance I’m on my own. It’s me cooperating with other agencies and/or directly clients.
What does it mean?
Every company or agency has own task tracking system
So… one agency would use trello, another company would use basecamp, yet another company will simply communicate in emails. My to-do will be scattered across all these channels without any unification.
Ironically, each client would consider their way the best way. And they might not be wrong, it might be the best for them, but in the end my tasks system would be a mess.
And so I kept on going through different software/apps where I would have everything I need, and you know… it wouldn’t have a b2b pricing level for just me.
Other use-cases for online marketing specialists
As any professional working online you might find Notion great for organizing things like:
- leads during new clients search
- sketches and drafts, embed mindmaps
- embed pdf files from another resources
- job hunt, companies you contacted, who contacted you back etc.
- add templates for checklist
- write reports and audits and export easily as pdf or html and send to client
- notes from conference where you easily paste speakers and topics from website and then just add your comments
Honestly the possibilities are unlimited.
Personally I enjoy using Notion as a mini education database. Since I go through sources in english, russian, french and czech, I don’t want to forget about a useful article just because I couldn’t share it on my english-speaking blog. It can look something like this:
Like this I even sometimes save interesting LinkedIn convos because I’m not sure I will remember the exact solution but hey, I’ll fucking find it with labels 😀
Features I like and other non-PPC application
In the end I transferred all my notes to Notion. Both personal and job related. I plan in it my saving accounts, big expenses, write texts for articles and basically keep my shit life organized in every way possible.
INBOX is connected to web clipper that helps me just send to this pages all urls I need to check/read/organize later when I don’t have time.
Tables have TOTAL line that you can configure:
It’s very handy to plan trip, savings and such.
I’m also very happy I don’t need to click a lot and just type “ / ” to select the format of the paragraph just like in wordpress.
The tool overall is very fast, responsive and has a SHITTON of features connected. See here some GIFs from Notion.
Issues I do have with Notion are:
- no one page for all to-dos assigned to you if you use it for cooperation; but it’s requested feature that team is working on
- it’s a bit hard to use it for the first time with views/pages; i found first 15 minutes a bit overwhelming but it was totally worth it.
Also Notion has a dope Youtube channel where they interview other dorks that use Notion and it’s like an organizational porn.
How much is it and how to get it for free?
Overall for extensive personal use it’s 5 USD incl.VAT/month (4 USD when billed annually). But they have a cute reward system that can pay you to use it still for free for a while until you know if it fits you or not.
Also you get 5 USD when you refer someone ➕ they get 10 USD for their account. You can register with my link to have extra 10 bucks to start testing it.
If you reached the end of the article I applaud you, it has 1,662 fucking words and 9,050 fucking characters. Do you have any feedback or tips to improve my system or share your experience with organizational nightmare? Share in comments!