How to Outline a Workflow in Notion
Whether it’s creative, construction, administration, or something else, you’ll often find yourself with repetitive tasks in any work environment. Creating an established workflow will help you and your coworkers get into a rhythm, especially when onboarding someone new.
In this article, we’ll walk you through outlining a workflow in Notion so that you and your team know the status and steps of each task you’re working on.
The Benefits of Outlining a Workflow in Notion
Laying out your workflow in Notion will help your team visualize and remember the steps they need to take when starting or completing a task. It will also help everyone know what stage a particular assignment is at.
For example, if writing blog posts is a recurring task, you can break the creative process into four steps: drafting, editing, images, and uploading. When writers on your team finish a draft, they can mark their part of the task complete on the board and set the person in charge of editing as the assignee.
Even if you’re working alone, this is an excellent way to track your progress because you’ll have a more detailed overview of your workload. It also helps break a bulkier to-do into smaller action items, which can help prevent overwhelm.
Outlining a Workflow in Notion With Statuses
Using a simple table database in Notion will give you a condensed overview of your workflow. You can quickly see which step each task is on, compare it to the due date, and check who’s working on it without having to do much scrolling.
In this example, each column represents a step in the writing process. To get started, decide which steps you want to break your recurring tasks into and create a new page by selecting the option in the bottom-left corner of Notion. Once you’re on your new page, instead of picking a template, bring up the commands using the forward-slash and select Table database – Inline.
The name column will be where you put your task name, and the additional column that appears you can delete. Next, add a new column by selecting the add symbol in the top right corner of the table, and in the property type menu, choose select.
Click into the cell below and type a status you’d like to use, and Notion will give you a prompt to turn it into an option. From there, you can change the color using the three dots beside it.
Create all the statuses you’d like to use following the same instructions and click the column title to bring up the menu and duplicate it until you have one column for each step. Name them accordingly.
Now, as you and your coworkers go, you can use statuses to communicate which step you’re on and how it’s going. So, instead of simply marking the task done, you can show your team you’re working on an item without actually saying so.
The example uses to-do to show no one is working on it yet, in progress to say it’s underway, complete to show it’s done, on hold to let others know it’s paused, and stuck to indicate the assignee needs help.
If your team needs to communicate specifics, they can comment on the task page by clicking its name and opening it up. The empty field below is the ideal place for initial details. The comments field is optimal for asking questions, communicating that you’re handing off the project, or making suggestions.
Having these conversations in Notion will also give everyone access to the information, instead of limiting access in a direct message or getting lost in a group chat.
Even if you’re working alone, using statuses and leaving yourself comments are helpful when you’re picking a task back up.
Outlining a Workflow in Notion With Checklists
If you’re a fan of keeping it simple and prefer just letting others know a task is complete, you can outline your workflow using checklist columns. Doing so is also an excellent way to save space if you need to include a lot of columns in your workflow. However, it’s best to keep them to a minimum if you can.
You add checklist columns the same way you would a select column by clicking the add button in the top-left corner of your table, and all you need to do is name them.
Using these, you’ll still get a quick overview of where you and your team are with tasks, with a slightly less cluttered look of text in the statuses. It’s especially great for teams who may want the priority level to stand out over everything else.
Also, you can still communicate within the comments, of course, but the status of each step is not the focus—just whether it’s complete or not.
Other Items You May Want to Include in Your Notion Workflow
Some other columns you may want to include in your Notion workflow are a link column if your projects are in a drive or online software or a files and media column if you’re handing documents back and forth.
If you find you don’t want a particular property to show up as a column in your database, keep in mind you can hide it from your table, but it will still show up in the properties list when you click into a project.
Adding notes to the page above or below your table will also help you and your coworkers learn and remember the steps in your workflow.
Doing this is especially helpful for onboarding new team members, as they’ll know all the steps, and your instructions will tell them exactly what they need to do when they reach the next one.
Get Into a Rhythm With Notion
By outlining a workflow in Notion, you’re taking the guesswork out of a process and breaking larger projects into smaller, organized milestones. This way, you and your team will have everything all in one place, and no one needs to go searching.
If you’ve yet to check out Notion, its customization and simplicity allow you to manage any project. However, if you’re feeling stuck, you can start with some of its many templates and learn as you go.
Notion is one of the best productivity tools, and it’s rapidly growing. Here are some tricks and tips you can use to get started.
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