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Have you tried Notion, the new all-purpose app for productivity, task management, and knowledge management? Its power lies in the ability to merge the functionality of countless apps into a single platform. Plus, its clean and sleek design makes it a delight to use.
But like any growing child, it’s got its share of issues: it’s slow, search is wonky, and it’s hard to navigate on mobile. Here are some shortcuts, tips, and tricks to keep your Notion zippy and productive. And please visit notion.courses, the premier learning destination for all things Notion.
When you’re on desktop, keyboard shortcuts can help you fly through your documents and tables.
Our favorite keyboard shortcuts
enterto open/close a toggle
\\to close “file explorer”
pto open search or jump to a recently viewed page.
2to change workspaces (which you can re-order with the mouse).
/turnat the beginning or end of a block to turn it into a different type of block. You’ll see a list of choices pop up, such as
Our Top Navigation Shortcuts
nto create a new page (desktop apps only).
clickto open a new Notion window.
[to go back a page.
]to go forward a page.
Our Top Editing shortcuts
spaceto create a bulleted list.
to create a to-do checkbox. (There’s no
spaceto create a numbered list.
spaceto create an H1-H3 heading.
spaceto create a toggle list.
spaceto create a quote block.
Navigating Notion’s speed issues
Let’s face it: Notion’s lack of speed (especially on mobile) is a huge deterrent for many users. But we can hack up a few workarounds to maintain our efficacy.
Using pagename prefixes
I use set prefixes to name my frequently access pages and tables. I use ”JJ_table_name” for my master tables:
and ”KK_page_name” for pages that I frequently reference.
That way, when your search begins with those prefixes, it will rule out all the other pages and get you to your desired page asap.
Using “emoji taxonomy
I borrowed this idea from Josh Levy at Presstige.io who employs a consistent emoji set to match a page’s intent. Customize these emojis to your own use cases, just remember that the key is consistency.
Here’s Josh’s taxonomy:
Navigating Tables on Mobile
Tables on mobile are hard. Not only is it a lot of data to navigate, the structure of rows and columns doesn’t lend itself to sequential processing (like a paragraph). One workaround: defining mobile specific views.
Create these views on desktop and focus on the following screen-saving approaches:
- Limit the data to check boxes and tags (if possible)
- Re-size the columns to be as narrow as possible (as it will port-over to mobile)
- Label the view with a ? emoji so that you can find it quickly
Here’s the mobile view that I use to process my reading list:
Next up, you’ll learn the differences between Notion and Evernote.