Published in For Teams

How to create a vision board and manifest your dreams

By Alyssa Zacharias


6 min read

Visions are inherently illuminating. They offer the mind's-eye a fresh perspective, incorporating new information into one’s everyday thoughts.

It’s no wonder people tack up motivational phrases like “If you can think it, you can do it” in offices, and businesses across industries leverage techniques like vision boards. 

And vision boards aren’t restricted to professional goals. Engaged couples create them to brainstorm picture-perfect weddings, and students make them to decide how to decorate college dorms. You, too, can learn how to create a vision board to understand and accomplish your goals.

What’s a vision board? 

A vision board, or manifest board, is a digital or physical collage of images representing a goal. A person planning a vacation might populate their vision board with pictures of white sand beaches, turquoise water, and piña coladas. And a business owner launching a restaurant could collect images of interior design inspiration or meal-plating ideas.

How do vision boards work? 

Vision boards won’t make dreams come true, but they can help you chase your goals. These collages let you work out what you want and serve as a constant reminder of that dream.

One of the primary purposes of vision boards is to generate a positive-thinking loop. Positive thinking has several benefits, like stress reduction and better physical and psychological well-being. And when daydreaming about what to include on your vision board, you’re filled with positive thoughts, like doing yoga on a beach or receiving a promotion. After creating this board, you see a constant reminder of these lovely things you hope to achieve. And once you accomplish the goals you’ve set on your board, you can return to it to remind yourself of your capabilities.

The benefits of creating a vision board

At the very least, making a vision board is a fun free-time activity that allows you to dream big and try on different versions of the future. Vision boards also:

  • Solidify ideas — consider the house-building example. Upon selecting images, you might start out with dozens of designs you like that don’t necessarily mesh. Making the board helps you rule out options to define what you want.

  • Encourage you to manifest — no, saying you want something won’t make it appear. But voicing ideas and desires helps you determine your goals and move toward them. A vision board allows you to state that you want a new home, an island vacation, or your own business. 

  • Increase proactivity — most people will experience a loss of control in life at some point. But you’re often actually in charge, and a vision board helps you recognize that. When you state your intentions and create a clear image of what you want, you can take proactive steps toward the goal and avoid situations that could throw you off course or waste your time. 

Do vision boards work?

Vision boards work, but only if you do, too. After pinpointing a goal, you must take active steps toward it. You have to save for that vacation, home, or new business to make the dream a reality. And while it’s inspiring to dream big, if you set an unrealistic goal, you might feel discouraged when you’re not living the “board life” in the time frame you’d hoped. 

Vision boards work best when you consider all potential opportunities, decide on ones that excite you, and feel you have the energy, willpower, and financial resources to build your dream.

How to make a vision board in 4 simple steps

Grab your scissors and a glue stick, or open your design app of choice — it’s time to create a vision board. There are no rules, so let yourself explore, using the following four steps to organize your process.

1. Start with a theme 

Every vision board should have a theme. While it may be tempting to think broadly, you might feel overwhelmed by a board with too many random ideas. Choose a finite and specific objective and use the process of making the board to gain clarity. If you have several ideas for boards, make one for each goal. 

2. Collect images

If you plan to create a physical board, clip images from magazines or print them from the internet. And if you’re making a digital board, use Pinterest to gather pictures or search stock photo libraries.

In this step, think broadly and openly, collecting images that feel right. If you’re creating a collage around your dream vacation, save that image of someone doing yoga on the beach, even if you’ve never tried it. Your pull toward that image may cue you into something new you wish to try. 

3. Make your collage 

Arrange your board in a way you think looks good. This is an intuitive act, so there’s no right way to do it. Shift your cut-outs or digital images until you’re pleased with the layout, adding motivational and informative text if you want. 

4. Keep the vision board close 

While making a vision board grounds your thinking, it’s only the first step in reaching your objective. As you take action toward your goal, like saving money, revisit your board and let it motivate you. Display it on your desk, as a computer screen background (if digital), or on your refrigerator. 

Don’t worry about finding a forever home for the board. If you want to move it to the bedroom or hang it next to the bathroom mirror later, feel free to do so.

Vision boards for work

Consider working with your team to create vision boards regarding specific projects or broader company objectives. Say your company is developing a new workout app. Gather the team and work together to collect images representing how the product should look or make clients feel. And if collecting images doesn’t work for your team, create a vision board or chart with words and phrases.

Turn your dream into reality with Notion 

Create a vision board, from start to finish, with Notion. Our vision board dashboard walks first-time users through signing up for Notion, creating a page, and exploring their goals. Then dreamers can share this vision with friends, family, and coworkers — in just a few clicks. 

Notion also has a template gallery filled with resources for actioning your dreams. Use our project timeline guide to plot a route to your goal and our to-do list tutorial to outline action items that’ll make your objective possible.

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