Using Notion to Manage Your Life - Part 6 of 12 - The Goals Database

Introduction

This is the mid-point of the series.  To date, we have created a way to capture information (actionable and non-actionable) and organize them using projects.  This week we will review the final layer of organization, as we learn how to group projects into goals.

What are Goals?

Goals are objectives we would like to accomplish.  Projects we undertake should move us closer to completing these objectives.  Therefore, every project should be assigned a goal.

Continuing the project example of "hosting Thanksgiving dinner" from last week, the associated goal for this project may be to "bring the extended family together at least three times per year".  Other projects, such as hosing birthday parties or starting a family reunion may also fall under this goal.

Topics in Today's Lesson

  1. Creating the Goals Database
  2. Creating a Goals Template
  3. Using the Goals Database and Template

Notion Tutorials

  1. Getting Started with Notion
  2. Creating and Using the Notes Database
  3. Creating Templates for the Notes Database
  4. Creating and Using the Tasks Database
  5. Project Management Using Notion
  6. Goal Setting and Tracking
  7. Daily Tracking and Habits
  8. Weekly and Monthly Reviews
  9. Creating a Contacts Database or CRM
  10. Creating Book/Recipe/etc. Databases
  11. Using the Notion Web Clipper
  12. Bringing it Together with Global Tags

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Lesson 6: Creating the Goals Database

Step 1: In the Shortcuts section of our dashboard, create a new sub-page named "Goals Database".

Step 2: Click on the newly created sub-page, make the page "Full width" and assign an icon.  Select "Table" for the body of the page.

Step 3: Rename the "Name" column to "Goal", delete the "Tags" column, can create the following new columns (and property types).

  • Type (Selection)
  • Status (Selection)
  • Priority (Selection)
  • Term (Selection)
  • Target Completion Date (Date)
  • Projects (Relationship to Projects Database)
  • Project Count (Rollup)
  • Goal Value (Number)
  • Goal Status (Number)
  • Goal Progress (Formula)

Step 4: Set the selection items for the fields we just created.  Assign them custom colors (optional) and customize them to your needs.  It is at this step I like to reduce the column size as well so more data fits on the screen.

Type

  • Personal
  • Work
  • School

Status

  • Underway
  • Not Started
  • Complete

Priority

  • 1st Priority
  • 2nd Priority
  • 3rd Priority
  • 4th Priority
  • 5th Priority

Term

  • Now: 3 Months
  • Short: 3-6 Months
  • Medium: 6-12 Months
  • Long: 1+ Years

Step 5: Click on a cell in the "Project Count" column so we can assign the rollup.  This will allow us to see a visual count of the number of projects assigned to any given goal.

Step 6: To show the progress of the goal, we will assign a Goal Value and a Goal Status.  The goal value will be the denominator, what is the value we want to assign to denote the goal has been reached?  To make things easy, we can assign a value of "100".  However, if your goal is to read 20 books a year, you may want to assign the value here as "20".

The "Goal Status" is where we currently stand regarding the goal progress.  For example, if we used "100" as our Goal Value, we can just enter the percent complete here (i.e. 50 for 50% complete).  In the example of reading 20 books a year, we would enter the number of books read to date.

The "Goal Progress" will take the Goal Value and Goal Status and provide a percentage complete, along with a visual representation of the progress.  We do this by adding the formula below:

format(slice("▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓", 0, floor(prop("Goal Status") / prop("Goal Value") * 10)) + format(slice("░░░░░░░░░░", 0, ceil(10 - prop("Goal Status") / prop("Goal Value") * 10)) + " " + format(round(prop("Goal Status") / prop("Goal Value") * 100)) + (empty(prop("Goal Status")) ? "0%" : "%")))


We now have the goals database created.  Delete the rows that were created during the table setup and next we will create a Goals Page Template.

Lesson 6: Creating a Goals Template

Step 1: As we've done previously with Notes and Projects, create a new template named "New Goals Template".

Step 2: Click "Open as page" in the upper right and make the page "Full width".  From the screen shot below, create the page details.  I used "Shift+Enter" to move the description of each goal to a new line, while keeping the new line in the original block.

Step 3: Create a toggle and within it add a link to the Projects Database.  We will create a filter to only show projects that have been assigned to the goal we are viewing.

We now have the Goals Database created and a Goals Template we an use to track the details of our goals.  Next we will learn how to use them.

Lesson 6: Using the Goals Database and Template

Step 1: While still in the Goal Database page, create a new Goal using the template we just created.

Step 2: Name the Goal "Sample Goal" and fill in the fields as shown below.

Step 3: Go back to the dashboard and open Project XYZ from the previous lesson.  Here, assign the project to the Sample Goal we just created.

Step 4: After selecting the Sample Goal, click on it once again to open up the Goal page.  You will see that the Project Count is now updated to "1".  While here, change the "Goal Status" to 25.  You will see that the Goal Progress automatically updates as well.

End of Lesson 6: Creating and Using the Goals Database

We have reached the mid-point of this series and now have everything we need to manage our daily tasks, take notes, and organize this information within projects and goals.

The remainder of the series will focus on supplementing our dashboard and live management system by incorporating databases for habits, contacts and books.  We will also create a daily tracker and go over Daily and Weekly Reviews.  Finally, we will create a Knowledge Hub to bring everything together in easily identified "tags".

Notion Tutorials

  1. Getting Started with Notion
  2. Creating and Using the Notes Database
  3. Creating Templates for the Notes Database
  4. Creating and Using the Tasks Database
  5. Project Management Using Notion
  6. Goal Setting and Tracking
  7. Daily Tracking and Habits
  8. Weekly and Monthly Reviews
  9. Creating a Contacts Database or CRM
  10. Creating Book/Recipe/etc. Databases
  11. Using the Notion Web Clipper
  12. Bringing it Together with Global Tags

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Lesson 6: Free Notion Template

Here is the link to the template we just created. To add this template to your workspace, click the "Duplicate" link in the upper right of the screen.