This article could be more technical. It should show how I moved to Notion, why I left OneNote, and some Side Applications.
How it started.
I have been using OneNote for around 10 Years, and I was happy initially in the last few years. I just missed a few Features, which made it hard to control notes, projects, and everything around me.
I also haven’t seen much progress regarding new features, so I always looked for something else.
By the end of 2021, Microsoft announced LOOP. It looked great, but there was no final Release Date for it, and I just read some Articles to get more information about LOOP. Then I stumbled upon a Comment that LOOP is just a „Copy“ of Notion.
„What is Notion? “
I had never heard about Notion before, so I looked at it and was impressed from the beginning. By the End of 2021, it was also the time where I figured out to intense my effort at „au2mator“ and I started using Notion for my Projects instead of OneNote.
So, I had a use case to dive into Notion and to learn how this Platform works and if it is what I was looking for, for such a long time. (Sounds romantic J )
In December 2021, after 2 Months of using Notion for some Projects, I already loved it. The primary usage I was looking for is a central Place for my Projects, whether private, business, or Customer related—a single Task List for everything (GTD). And after 2 Months, I figured out that Notion could do this for me.
Databases, Tables, Lists, Blocks, and much more made me happy.
So I decided to make the cut and move to Notion. OneNote and Microsoft ToDo are down for the Count, and a technical KO will arrive soon.
I am also a big Fan of GTD (Getting Things Done), so I created one Database which will contain ToDo’s, Projects, and Epics (i changed this after half a year, but let us see)
ToDo = Minor Steps/Tasks of a Project
Project= a summary of more than 1 ToDo and Room for Description and More
Epic = an overview of Projects and room for Description and more
During the Christmas Holidays in 2021, I did the Migration. I cleaned my OneNote and Microsoft ToDo. Built a new or updated structure and put everything in my Notion Tables.
I was happy and relaxed again, knowing everything that I needed to do, was stored and planned (GTD J )
OneNote was still in my business-live, as my employment was still active, and here I had to use OneNote. But everything else was in Notion, and it was excellent.
First 6 Months
I worked with Notion and learned a lot in that time. I made some adjustments to my GTD Database and started using Icons and some Header Images to make my Projects stand out from other Pages.
By the middle of 2022, my Employment was ending, and I was entirely focused on my own business. Of course, this brought me to the point of how I want to structure my Company and everything related to it. Of course, it will be in Notion.
In the last 6 Months, I figured out my Idea to have one Database for ToDo, Projects, and Epics could have been better. So I split the Database into three different ones and migrated everything.
I also decided to have a separate Space for all Customer related stuff, Projects, Tasks, CRM, License Info, and so on.
So I did a massive reorganization of my Notion Environment after I used it for around 6 Months. Working with something new and using it for a while is foreseeable that you will change something.
As I have learned a lot about Notion, I did a reorg and some training to learn a bit more.
Last half a year
Notion evolved rapidly in my daily business, and now everything I need for my private or business Live is in there.
So besides my GTD and Customer Space for Projects, I needed to add some more functions, with all the advantages, to link them to existing stuff.
Something to document my Time, Track Customer Licenses, Send Project Reports, plan Budget and Finance, and many more.
Of course, there is an API in Notion to write and read data from/to Notion, which brings me to my integrations.
One of the first Integrations was to sync my Customer Data from my CRM to Notion. I use Pipedrive as CRM, which also provides an API.
All integrations are done with PowerShell and Azure Automation, so there is one Runbook to Sync my Organizations and Contacts to a Notion Database. Right now, I still use Pipedrive as my main Product to store Contact Details, but there are already some ideas to bring CRM to Notion. I wonder if this will happen.
The next Idea was to do my Invoicing automatically from Notion, as I already track my Projects and my Time in Notion, and everything related to my Contacts synced from Pipedrive. So I enter my Customer Details in Notion and Sync that to SevDesk, which I use for Invoicing. Next, each month, the Invoices based on the tracked time are created in SevDesk and sent to the Customer. Everything is done with the API and Azure Automation.
Gladly I have many Customers renewing their Maintenance over and over again, but the administrative Part is very time-consuming, so the following Process to automate was found. I made the Solution at my License Database to enhance the Maintenance for 1,2, or 3 years, and my Azure Automation Runbook is doing the following.
- Create a new License File
- Uploads to Customer Space
- Update the License Information in the Customer Space
- Is sending a mail to Main and Additional Contacts with the new License Info
- And is sending the Invoice to the Customers Invoice Address
Also, I am using the License Database to send a reminder to my Customers and Partner when a License expires soon.
Everything is done with PowerShell and Azure Automation.
There are many more Automation, and I can continue nearly endlessly. I want to talk about my Experience in using Notion and how I do automation at my Company,
As I try to convince my Customer to increase their automation, I want to show that I live „Automation“ and not only talk about it.
Michael Seidl aka Techguy
PS: I still work with many Microsoft Products, and this will not change.