πŸ‘‰ TL;DR: This notion template is especially tailored for researchers and PhD students who can use it to manage their daily research routine and work related tasks.

<aside> 🌟 BACKGROUND: Notion is a fantastic tool that provides a blank canvas that is completely customizable for different use cases. However, the plethora of notion templates available for students are more suited to high-school or graduate studies. With more focus on planning and managing assignments, classes and course schedules they are rather unusable for postgrads and researchers. Research requires research work, task and time management in tandem with day to day activities such as supervisor/research group meetings and documentation such as reports, grants etc.

I am a PhD student and an avid task and time management geek. I like to optimize my routine and try to create a fluid plan that allows me to balance work, life and other activities. I found Notion around a year back and even though the power of Notion was quite clear, the lack of a starting template particularly for research workflow was rather disappointing. Back in Sep '19 when notion went free for students, I decided to finally take the dive and design a template suited for my work flow. Now after multiple iterations and revisions and several months of daily usage, I want to share my template for fellow researchers and PhD students and hope that this template will be a good starting point to manage their work.

To plan the workflow, I was definitely inspired by Tiago Forte's brilliant article on "How to Build a Second Brain" and the C.O.D.E and PARA methods. I would highly recommend anyone who is looking to manage and organize their work flow to read up on the two brilliant methods. The CODE method (Collect, Organize, Distill and Express) particularly resembles the modern research work flow whereas The PARA method is a sub-set in the Organize category. Together, these two concepts form the basis of this template and my daily workflow.

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Template in action

This is my current Layout...

My current layout

My current layout

<aside> πŸ’‘ TEMPLATE LAYOUT: The template is based on Two main pages containing six broad areas (variant of PARA method) and four databases.

3️⃣ πŸ“ƒ Paper Database The bibliography database exported from any PDF organizer

4️⃣ 🌐 Weblinks Notion Web clipper database for online research bookmarks

Note: The current template is around 400 blocks, so anyone with a free account can duplicate and test the template. Also, the template is fully editable and customizable so you can tailor it to your needs and language etc.

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<aside> πŸ’‘ WORKFLOW:

  1. Enter all work meetings, research tasks, deadlines and all personal tasks in the 🎯 Targets & Planning Database. Calendar view will visualize all the activities during the month. ****2. Be sure to tag each task accordingly, and it will show up in the relevant linked view in the πŸŽ“ HOMEPAGE .
  2. Maintain a bibliography in the Paper Database (I exported my database from Qiqqa, but it will work fine with Mendley, Endnote, Zoetero etc. ). Add target dates to read on in the 'Date read' property, and it will show up on the main home page under tasks. I am currently targeting the "One paper a day" approach especially during the Corona Virus lockdown situation to make the most of the time.
  3. Each topic I work on is a sub-page in the Literature Review page. So each topic can have its own data organized for later use especially during article writing.
  4. All links from Notion web clipper automatically populate under the Weblinks database.

My current layout is in the image on the right. As you can see, for me this one page is where most of the overview happens.

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<aside> βš™ ToDo's:

References:

  1. *How to build a second brain
  2. #GamificationProject*

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EDIT 2022: Adding papers to Notion automatically using Zotero !

Highly recommend you check out the Notion integration with Zotero plugin.. its really awesome and solves managing the manual addition of Bibliography !! Huge shoutout to the author of the plugin! Link: https://github.com/dvanoni/notero

<aside> ⚠️ NOTE: After duplicating the template; please remove the existing links from the Shortcuts (Home) bar and update them with links to your own databases.

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πŸ‘†After duplicating the template, delete all the the above blocks and start using the templateπŸ‘†


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TASKS

AREAS

RESOURCES

ARCHIVE

CALENDER


Literature Review β†’

Paper Database & Bibliography

Weblinks

Targets & Planning