My 2023 planner in Notion combines elements from the best planners so you can be more productive in life despite low energy.
My current 2023 planner calendar and life organizer is all in Notion, a very powerful digital database and information storage tool. My Notion 2023 planner contains:
- my life planner,
- my energy tracker,
- my content planner and management system
- my second brain,
- my journaling
- my values, mission statement and goal setting
- my project management, and
- my memory keeper
and I know it can do even more. I need everything in one place or I won’t remember where stuff is or I won’t be able to find it when I need it.
So my life planner and organizer for 2023 is all in Notion…here’s how it happened and why…
Best Planners to organize and be more productive in life
My 2023 planner in Notion setup is based on the productivity books i’ve read and the planners I’ve reviewed and successfully used in the past to be most productive despite having little energy, chronic pain, brain fog and struggling with motivation because of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
As you can see from this list, this is also why I can’t stick with just one planner, there are so many valuable components in each of these planners that have become the core of my system and I can’t do without any of them.
Thankfully, because Notion is flexible and digital, I can create what I need and am able to incorporate everything into one solution for my 2023 planner.
Here’s what my main dashboard page looks like. Each colored section has a drop down caret next to it and opens up to reveal the pages inside. I love the way it looks because it’s clean and minimalist but opens up to reveal all my ideas, tasks and important content inside. Let’s take a peek inside…
1. Franklin Covey Planner to Start with My Values and Stay Motivated
In 2021, I used the goal planning inserts and Franklin Planner free training to identify my core values and rewrote my goals based on my values. I found this process pivotal to keep me motivated and want to achieve them. Reframing my goals statements to include my values, such as:
- “declutter and clean the house” turns into “Declutter and maintain our home so it’s the fun playspace and peaceful sanctuary we dream of”, and
- “sticking to a budget” turns into “Make our money work for us so that we can achieve the life we want”
- “make $X from my blog biz” turns into “Make $x from my blog so I can contribute to our financial goals”
How My Core Values Look in my 2023 Planner in Notion
2. Makse Life for my Life Vision
I’ve used the Powersheets for years, but this year I wanted to try out the MakseLife goal setting system for their more objective and extensive work in life areas. I like the MakseLife’s prompts for the compass assessment that help you determine your satisfaction score in each of 8 life areas and their intentions journaling. This section also includes my vision board which you’ll see a little later.
3. The 12 Week Year to Break My Goals Down to Stay Focused
Truth be told, last year, I struggled with annual goals. I don’t know if it’s my brain fog from Rheumatoid Arthritis, or if i have undiagnosed ADHD but I STRUGGLE to stay consistent or focused on one thing all year.
I love the thrill and fresh start energy from new goals, new years, new months, and even new days (yes, even Mondays!). But if i have to do the same thing over and over, I get bored and give up before finishing.
That’s why this year my word of the year is “FINISH”! I am most effective with shorter term goals and working on a specific project until it’s done. Also the sense of urgency with a faster deadline means I have less or no time to procrastinate on my goal.
I feel like the 12 week year provides a good framework so I can:
- identify the tasks I need to complete to work towards my goal
- hold myself accountably by finding a tribe to report to
- focus on the TASKS i need to do to achieve the goal. I can control completing the tasks (i cannot control whether that specific goal # is achieved per se but I will still see the progress)
- scoring and keeping stats on how many of the tasks I completed to work towards each goal – this helps me objectively see how I’m working towards my goals, and
- that the 13th week is dedicated to a review of what worked/what didn’t so I can adjust and plan better for the next 12 week goals. This is my fave – a whole week to plan, rest and recharge for the next 12 week year!
How My Life Vision and 12 Week Year Goals Looks in my 2023 Planner in Notion
My 12 Week Year Goals are broken down into smaller projects. I love that I can put little progress rings under each project overview to see how close it is to completion. Some projects are ongoing (like sticking to our financial routine and cooking simple meals at home) but others have a definite end (like finishing taxes!).
4. Getting Things Done Waiting For List
In Getting Things Done, David Allen gives us different lists to use to organize our info. There are 4 main lists to his Getting Things Done (GTD) system, he suggests:
- projects (any action that takes more than 2 steps),
- a next actions list (which i call my Master Task List),
- a waiting for list, and
- a someday/maybe list (i include those in my Master Task List too).
I use the GTD system components in my own way but I do love the waiting for list. Those open tasks or things we are waiting for to finish. Since my word of the year is FINISH, it’s my goal to stay on top of these tasks I either did not get done when I wanted or I’m waiting for someone else to do or an order or response to come in.
How my Finish/Waiting For List Looks in my 2023 Planner in Notion
As you can see each one is associated with it’s relevant goal and project if applicable so I know those are priority. this is real life folks, actual tasks i need to do.
5. Google Calendar for Agenda Appointments
Currently, Google calendar tracks all our appointments so my whole family can see it. I use this free google calendar viewer to see a snapshot of my Google calendar in Notion. I don’t pay for the integration at this time so it only works one way. I can see what I’ve added to my Google calendar, but I cannot add/edit those appointments from Notion. That’s ok, I like to see the agenda view so I can see exactly who has what going on where.
How my Calendar Looks in my 2023 Planner in Notion
I’ve blocked out the actual event names for the sake of privacy, but here’s what this week’s agenda looks like
6. This Week’s Plan and Ideal Week
This is where I have another view of the Master Task List, this time showing the tasks that need to get done each day this week, the status of the task and how much energy I think it will take for me to complete it. I’ll talk more about energy budgeting in my daily plan section.
This section also includes the weekly accountability meeting tasks I need to do for the 12 week year and my ideal week.
How I Plan My Week in 2023 Notion Planner
When I’m entering tasks in my master task list, I enter the deadline. Each week i can filter my Master Task List for the current week. If something doesn’t get done, I can drag it to another day or open the task and clear the date. It makes it super easy to manage my tasks and ever growing to do list so I don’t get too overwhelmed.
7. My Daily Journal in Notion
My daily journal really includes my morning journal, tasks, routines, energy budgeting and daily review. It’s where i live each day so i can stay focused on what I need to do that day. I also do a review daily because I won’t remember my wins, what worked, what didn’t , lessons learned and gratitude at the end of the week.
Budgeting My Energy
in February, I created a paper energy tracker to help me be productive in life because my body and energy struggle to keep up with all the things. I was pretty diligent about time tracking for years because it really helped me boost my productivity.
But lately I’ve felt that some tasks might take 30 minutes (for ex, a walk) but it drains me of energy faster on some days than others. Or some days, the clock says I spent an hour on the budget, but when I get up it feel like I’ve been working on it all day and i have no capacity for anything else.
So I can’t base my productivity on time spent, I have to factor in how much energy it takes. I still use 30 minute energy blocks but if a task feels like it drained me more than it usually then I adjust how much energy it took me. Once my energy is spent for the day it’s gone and I can’t push myself any further.
I’ve included an energy budget column in my master task list and I know how many energy blocks I can use each day because I’ve done lots of work to understand my chronic illness. I’ll go more in depth on energy budgeting and how to plan effectively in a separate post cause it’s quite a process to write out but super simple to implement.
As I mentioned above, I like to do my review daily so I don’t lose track of anything. This section has another view of my reviews databases. I like that you can filter, sort and group data in Notion so you can see just what you need. These are the elements of my reviews and each are on a separate tab:
- what worked
- what didn’t work
- lessons learned
- how can i make it easier
- gratitude, and
- happy memories
9. Building a Second Brain to Document All the Other Stuff You Need or Want to Remember to Achieve
I read Building a Second Brain in 2022 and it was my favorite nonfiction of the year. It goes in detail on why you need a “second brain” to remember and organize all the info coming at you so your future self can find it when and where it best serves you.
I see my “second brain” as my free personal assistance that knows all the answers when I ask. Can’t we all use a personal assistant like that?
Really everything I’ve mentioned so far is part of my second brain. But there are a few more sections in the PARA Method. We’ve looked at projects already, so now there is the Areas of Responsibility, Resources for Info we are interested in or want to find later and the Archive for info we need to keep for reference but we’re done with for now. This section includes a lot of random things like book notes and wish lists but also important home maintenance documents and emails from home reno contractors. Thankfully, Notion has an excellent search feature so I can find anything I need when I need it!
I’ve also included my routine checklists in these screenshots because they are essentially my ideal week and month written out. I love a good checklist and I am ok with not checking off every box every week but it’s nice to see it all laid out.
Well that my 2023 planner calendar in Notion and a glimpse at how I’m able to be productive in life with Rheumatoid Arthritis and low energy and brain fog. Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis has taught me a lot about myself and I’ve learned to adjust my expectations, goals and energy so I can make the best use of my time and still achieve what we want. I hope this 2023 Notion planner tour gave you some helpful resources to add to your planning system and gave you a glimpse at how powerful a tool like Notion can be to serve as an all in one digital planner.
Leave me a comment if you’d like to see a video walkthrough of my 2023 notion planner or have any questions!