Notion on my mind 🤯
TLDR: I find Notion both mind-blowing and… mindblowing.
I went down a big rabbit hole yesterday, the sort of rabbit hole that Pomodoro timers can help me with.
It all started when I came across someone's beautiful blog site. I've recently been refamiliarising myself with Wordpress, and I can't help but feel this safe and solid option feels old and outdated.
This blog I stumbled across was modern, with clean UX, and full of heart. I loved it. It turned out it had been built with a modern Notion-website builders, with his particular product focused on using notion as a blogging CMS.
I'll be honest, the product itself is great. It’s in beta but I had never seen anything like it; there was this dashboard that neatly and intricately links to your notion database.
The founder is a developer based in India working on this full-time, and so a solopreneur I knew I would love to support if I could. I gave it a good shot, I really did, and Bhanu was very helpful in walking me through getting me set up. I get the impression that he's building a neat product he cares about that he wants to last.
I do feel the notion ecosystem is young and has lots of potential. Notion-as-a-website is attracting its own little crowd, with the likes of super.so, simple.ink (I had a brief exchange with Daniel there over the chat, with his brother he’s building out a whole suite of products serving the notion community) and fruitionsuite.com offering ways to help you publish your notion as a site (the latter letting you do so completely free).
And yet, I'm not sure what it is, but I just can't get my brain around notion. Or, rather, notion literally makes my brain go crazy.
I was reading recently about expansive thinking, and I'm recently realising that my brain is one of those creative brains that gets really excited.
Whereas I've seen other creatives use notion effectively (folks like Yihui whose beautiful notion-built blog + site it was that I stumbled across, to Porter's own neat task-organising (+ mind clearing) notion template; in fact, you can find dozens of notion templates out there, on a notion.so itself but also on blogs, gumroad, etc as more folks adapt and tinker and develop use cases (and unique templates) that others can also use, too. It feels like this great big open-source community, and there are already of passionate notion-ites out there.
It's just that for me, personally, I can't seem to find a way to use notion that serves me. I think it's something to do with the never ending possibilities that I find overwhelming. I was intrigued – and amazed – at the idea of using notion as a blog, and “upload” posts as pages on there, ones which could even be scheduled, and be labelled with tags, and so forth.
For me I think there's also the idea of my blog being on this public database, which I might accidentally delete at any time. In theory, you can backup and export your notion database for safety, but it also feels a little to alien to me at this moment in time to upload my posts onto a database.
It would also take me a good few hours to “work notion out”, where time would better be spent on building out a blog that is pretty-enough for me (the more possibilities there are, the more my crazy mind wants to tinker...), and lets me frictionlessly upload posts in the mist conventional way.
In other words, a place a little more familiar, and simply requires pasting text from my editor (Notes app on Ipad for this post), before pasting, formatting and hitting publish on my blog. Being a professional site I'll want to use headlines, meta descriptions etc effectively, but that's pretty much it for me.
And so there goes another step into the world of possibilities that is notion, for Jas.
As for this post, it's being typed out on my iPad, will be emailed to myself, and will then be pasted and uploaded onto my Write.as blog.
Getting the words from my brain to my blog as smoothly as possible.
That seems the way for me to go, whether it’s my personal blog or my professional one.