What Is Notion?
Notion is an app like no other, and I use it for EVERYTHING. It is basically a ‘second brain’ and I use it for organisation, note-taking, revision, active recall and spaced repetition. I also use it to organise aspects of my personal life and my business, but today I am just going to talk about how I use Notion for studying.
Notion is described as an ‘all-in-one’ workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis and databases, it is extremely user-friendly, with almost limitless possibilities. I’ve been using Notion for around 6 months, and I still don’t know all of the features. I am constantly browsing YouTube to discover how other students and professionals use Notion and their setups, so I thought it was time that I showed you mine, which is basically the same as studycollab: alicia (definitely go check out her YouTube channel).
Notion is one of my favourite productivity apps!
How I Use Notion To Study
The main ways I use Notion to Study is:
- Organise the module information so I have easy access to essential information
- Schedule my spaced repetition
- Track my classes for each module, what type of class they are, and whether I have done the work for it
- Make my active recall questions
- Organise my master to-do list for everything to do with my course
Notion is a big part of the way that I study, if you want to know more about how I study, I have a post about that as well!
I’m going to go into more detail on each point below, so keep on reading!
Before I get into my Notion Dashboard I want to clarify for those who don’t know what active recall or spaced repetition is.
ACTIVE RECALL – actively retrieving information from memory by testing yourself using questions. This retrieval process helps strengthen our brain connections between different concepts and helps us to remember it better.
SPACED REPETITION – an evidence-based learning technique, used in conjunction with active recall, which aims to interrupt the forgetting curve.
My Notion Dashboard
Welcome to my Medicine Dashboard! So this is where I keep the links to my modules as well as the link to my master to-do list. I added the little scientist icon to make it a bit more cute, I still need to add a cover, what do you guys think I should put?
I like having this page to keep all the modules in one place, and is the page I first come to when I open Notion.
When I click on any of the module names I go to that ‘Module Page’, for example this is what the page for Introduction to Medical Sciences looks like.
Objectives, Syllabus and Teaching Methods
At the top I have the module name, and a little icon that represents the topics. I then have an overview of the module hidden in toggles. I like to have these readily accessible but not visible all the time because they’re really long. I find it really useful to have the module objectives as I use these when revising to make sure that I’ve got notes for all of the points. I think one of the hardest parts about the transition from sixth form/college to university is the changing levels of supervision and guidance and I often felt like I didn’t really know how much information I should be getting from my lectures. Referring to the module objectives really helps to point you in the right direction in terms of what you should know on a module level. You can even use it a a tick list before exams to ensure you’ve covered all of the points that your lecturers want you to get out of their teaching.
The syllabus is quite similar to module objectives but I include both in case one specifies that I should know something that the other one doesn’t. In the teaching methods toggle, I have a table of how this module is taught, this shows the different methods of teaching, how much time for each and then roughly how much should be spent on independent study. For example, for this module I have 10 group learning sessions that are 3 hours each, 60 lectures that are 1 hour each etc, and it advises 36 hours of independent study.
Further down I have an in-line calendar to schedule my spaced repetition. I am currently trialling having three repetitions spaced 1, 3 and 7 days after the lecture. So I schedule these after I have written my active recall Q&A’s based on my lecture notes. To do this, I make an entry on the day that I need to review my questions and put which lecture and which repetition it is as the the title.
After the revision schedule I have a table that basically holds all of my course content. It lists all of my teaching for this particular module, I have it organised by week so all the teaching is in order. For each session I put in the title of the lecture/workshop, which topic it covers, what the type of class is. I then have checkboxes to ensure I’ve done any preparatory work, I’ve written notes from the class and I’ve written Q&As based on the lecture notes.
When I click on one of the classes in the table it opens into it’s own class page which is where I put all of my active recall Q&As. I write all the questions on toggles and then put the answers within the toggle. By using the toggle function, the answers are readily accessible but not immediately visible, perfect for this type of revision.
Master To-do List
The last section I have in my medicine dashboard is a master to-do list. This is a running task list of everything that I have to do that’s to do with my course (I have other to-do lists for other aspects of my life). In the table I put the title of the task, what module it relates to, the type of task and when it’s due. I then order the list according to which tasks are due next and have a checkbox for when I’ve completed the task. I use this task list when writing in my daily planner to write out my tasks for that specific day.
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out my other posts on studying below!
Want to become a more productive student? Want to work on your personal development? Want to learn about how to get into medical school?
If you said YES to any of the above, then stick around because you’re in the right place!
Whether you’re a current or aspiring student, I share tips and tricks that are going to help you out.