Building Life Architecture using Notion

28 June 2020

In 2015, when I was still a college student, I created a personal project named Life Architecture. The goal of the project was to manage my life, be better, and be mindful. I started with journaling every day and stored everything in a Microsoft Word document. In addition, I also started to create a goal list and plan, put them all on a Microsoft Excel document.

My Life Architecture still runs nowadays. The stack and format almost change every year. It is not scalable. In 2018, I finished migrating Life Architecture to Google Docs for better syncing across devices. Starting in June 2020, I am trying to use Notion for my Life Architecture stack. I have known Notion in 2018 but since the personal plan was limited to 1000 blocks, I stuck with my Google Docs + Evernote stack.

Why use Notion? to make everything in one place, more manageable and more scalable. What I love from Notion is that we can create relational data, linked many things, create a Kanban board, etc. I plan to make my Life Architecture more actionable hence I can maximize my productivity and focus on my goals on a day-to-day basis. I adopted the PARA system with some customization based on my personal needs. My action list consists of goals, projects, and tasks.

However, I still use Google Sheet to store data ingested from various sources automatically and manually. I experimented with Google Apps Script to parse data automatically from email. You can find out the repo here. So far, I use it to parse and store data such as ride-hailing transactions and stock dividend payment history. I also still do some manual data logging on Google Sheet. Currently, Notion is not capable enough like Google Sheet since I need to do automation, complex calculations, and some chart visualizations from the data.

All in all, my second brain stacks are:

  • Notion → journaling, to-do-list, project management, review docs, note-taking, life dashboard, goals, planning, etc.
  • Google Sheet → data storage
  • Also not forget to mention TapLog for fast data logging
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