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Notion for Academics: Routines & Weekly Previews

November 1 · Issue #2 · View online
Notion for Academics
My name is Monica Rysavy & I’m one half of Notion for Academics. My research partner, Russell Michalak, and I are partners in Rysavy & Michalak Consultants (
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As part of our goals for 2020 into 2021, our plan is to show up in your inbox twice per month, on Sunday afternoons. We’ll be sharing about our favorite app, Notion (, with an emphasis on intentional academic productivity, including,
  • how to use Notion to effectively apply for CfPs (Calls for Proposals) for writing projects and conferences,
  • how to manage research and other academic projects with Notion, and
  • how to keep track of our busy academic lives (also with Notion!).
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The Comfort of Routines
A Note from Monica
What types of routines do you have in your life these days? Have you found yourself modifying or developing new routines since COVID?
The past several months have been all about developing new routines for us. First, I was establishing my family’s new normal. My husband, Peter, and I both work for the same college and we have been working remotely since the College’s initial physical closedown in March 2020. These new routines included who would exercise when (my gym shut down but thankfully we invested in The Mirror early on) and deciding who would work where (I got the home office and Peter generously took the dining room table).
These new routines also included updating how I plan for each upcoming week. Michael Hyatt refers to this as conducting a “weekly preview” and has a great podcast episode about it here:
Pre-pandemic, I wasn’t much for conducting a weekly preview. Rusty and I heavily plan out our research projects and speaking engagements so that we are typically always working on one milestone or another. However, generally speaking, I didn’t dedicate specific time each week to preview my upcoming week for specific appointments or other day/time-sensitive commitments. I took a quick look in my digital calendars in the evening to see what committed time slots I had for the next day and for a long time that was enough of a “look ahead” for me.
I decided a few months into the pandemic and working remotely that it was time to change this. There had been so much uncertainty in the world, and as a result, in my work (we switched from face-to-face to online teaching nearly overnight and my office led the efforts related to this for the college), that I really longed for the stability of knowing about at least some of my commitments ahead of time, and more than just the day before. So I switched things up, instead of occasionally looking at my upcoming day’s appointments the night before, I set aside time each Sunday afternoon for my weekly preview.
Here’s how it’s working right now:
1. I set aside 20-45 minutes each Sunday afternoon for my Weekly Preview. The amount of time depends on the number of appointments and if there’s any prep work I need to do to be ready for the meetings.
2. I set up my Notion weekly agenda page and daily journal pages (more about this in future YouTube videos. Please subscribe to our channel if you haven’t yet!
3. I review my Outlook and Google calendars and add entries to my Meeting Notes Notion database (team meetings) and my MR-Meetings Notion database (personal & business-related meetings) on the particular day & time when the meeting is scheduled to take place (see screenshot below).
I include these databases as embeds within my daily Notion dashboard and display them as Kanban boards so it makes it super simple to see what I have an when and it’s a quick click to start taking meeting notes when it’s time for the appointment.
Kanban Board view of my Team Meetings for one week
Kanban Board view of my Team Meetings for one week
I also include a few filters that make it easy to add additional meetings throughout the week. This ensures that any appointments I add will be filed in the correct Weekly Agendas database and on the correct day (I update the date in the filter each day) which means the events are also linked to my Daily Journals database on the correct day (see screenshot below). 
Screenshot of filters for my weekly meetings in Notion
Screenshot of filters for my weekly meetings in Notion
4. Finally, I spend a few minutes thinking about each scheduled commitment and then add any related resources to the meeting note within the Meetings or MR-Meetings databases. For example, if the meeting is part of a series of meetings for a committee, then I have a project set up for the committee within my Projects Notion database, and I’ll make sure to link that meeting entry to the specific project. Or, if I’ve collected any resource documents related to the meeting, I’ll make sure to link specific items from my Resources Notion database to the meeting entry.
As I mentioned, this process usually takes a maximum of 45 minutes each Sunday (again, it depends on how many appointments I have for the upcoming week), and it is so worth it because it takes away some stress I was previously feeling about not knowing what was coming up when and I feel like I walk into (or virtually show up into via Zoom!) my meetings feeling more prepared than I did previously.
Are you conducting a weekly preview?
Rusty and I would love to hear about what routines you are using to help you prepare for the week ahead.
Share your feedback by visiting our Newsletter Feedback Form:
Notion Curation
Interesting resources we’ve found online recently related to Notion.
Alex and Books 📚 on Twitter: "I know a lot of people love @NotionHQ so I created a template for readers. I call it "The Reader's Journal" 📔 Use it to: • Keep track of books you've read • Add the key takeaways you've learned • Create a list of actionable advice"
Impatiently waiting for better calendar integration with Notion? Me too! In the meantime, this tip explains how to integrate Google Calendar with Notion.
Quick and easy way to embed a private Google/iCal calendar into Notion : Notion
Felix Wong on Twitter: "How I attracted 20,000+ visitors on a @NotionHQ page in 5 months 🍹 I thought is just another silly idea. Now, this has become a project I like to work on every minute. You know this is a long tread 😜 Let's celebrate #nocode success together 👇👇👇…"
Notion Templates
Speed up your workflow with a professionally designed Notion template that you can modify for your next project.
Notion Academic Portfolio Template
Research & Notes Dashboard Notion Template
Research & Notes Dashboard Notion Template
Need help organizing all your academic articles, book chapters, other research material, and notes for research projects, school assignments, and/or personal interests? Check out our Research & Notes Dashboard Notion template by visiting:
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Notion for Academics
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In the meantime you can catch me, Monica, on Twitter ( and Rusty on Twitter (
Take care,
Monica Rysavy & Rusty Michalak
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