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Notion for Academics: Why We Use Notion To Capture Online Content and Connecting those Resources to Projects

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January 31 · Issue #8 · View online
Notion for Academics
January 31· Issue #8 · View online
Hello,
My name is Russell Michalak & I’m one half of Notion for Academics. My research and business partner, Monica Rysavy, and I are partners in Rysavy & Michalak Consultants (http://www.rysavymichalak.com).
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Why We Use Notion To Capture Online Content and Connecting those Resources to Projects
Have you ever felt you kept sharing resources with your team, but can’t find them later?
Background
In our previous newsletter (https://www.getrevue.co/profile/notion-for-academics/issues/notion-for-academics-using-notion-to-collect-data-302629), we discussed why we collected data for a library marketing campaign in Notion. In this newsletter, we’re sharing with you why we capture online content in Notion and tying that content to projects we created in Notion.
Before we started adding online content to Notion and tying the online content to projects in Notion, we used to put online content in a variety of places for no rhyme or reason. We shared online content with each other via email, text, and Slack Channels. If I found an article about say information literacy (which we both are very interested in) I would either text, email, or add it to the information literacy Slack Channel for Monica to read. This workflow was very tedious for the recipient. One way it was challenging would be when I texted Monica an article I found online about information literacy at 4 pm without any context and say, “please read this”. The system was just sloppy. In the system we created there was no way to keep track of all the content we shared via text, email, and Slack channels. What was really frustrating for us was how often we asked each “do you know where you put that article you sent”? Generally, the content was considered lost especially when it was sent via text. 
When we shared online content with team members via text, email, and Slack channels, it was challenging for us to know how the online content tied to a project. For example, each year we deliver information literacy instruction to students at the College. When I shared online content via text to Monica, it was unclear in the message if the online content item I shared with her had to do with the current year’s information literacy project or if it was something we should try to implement in the future. It was easier just to ignore what was shared sometimes because when the item was received in email, text, or a Slack Channel, we couldn’t add it to a reading list.
Making the Transition from Email, Text, and Slack to Notion
To streamline the sharing of online content and tying it to projects with team members in Notion, we made a project database in Notion that we called “HLLC & OIRT Resources”. It didn’t take long for us to make the transition to Notion since we already used Notion for project management.
To add online content to Notion was simple. Tying the online content we found to a Notion database that linked to projects was what sold us on making the transition from our previous workflow to our new current workflow in Notion.
What we found really neat about our Notion database “HLLC & OIRT Resources” project database was how easy it was for us to design our table in Notion.
What made our Notion table useful for us was the Tag field with a multi-select property type. We created tags in the Tag field for the online content we found. We were able to leverage the tags to create different Gallery views. For example, when we created a Gallery view of “Remote Teaching Resources”. To create a Gallery View of one particular topic like “Remote Teaching Resources” view you add a filter and then modify properties to display the fields you want to see in the Gallery view.
What makes our “HLLC & OIRT Resources” database in Notion truly remarkable is the “Project Link” field with a relation property type. With this field, we can tie the online content we save to our Notion resource database to projects that we are working on.  For example, when the faculty at the College pivoted from face-to-face instruction to online instruction at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our departments worked together to support faculty to learn how to teach online.  For any online content about online learning that we found and planned to share with faculty, we put it into “OIRT & HLLC Resources” database in Notion and tied those resources like “Remote Teaching Resources” to a specific project in Notion like Zoom tips.
Summary
Without our “HLLC & OIRT Resources” database in Notion, Monica and I would still be sending online content to each other via text, email, or in a Slack Channel. Online content would continue to get lost. Notion has helped us keep track of online content and to tie the content we save in Notion to our projects we create in Notion. The Project Link field with a relation property type in the “HLLC & OIRT Resources” database allows us to tie content we found to projects we had already created in Notion. Having the option to create as many different views as we want for the categories of topics we add to our “HLLC & OIRT Resources” database has made Notion valuable so we can easily streamline how we share content with team members. When one of us wants to read content about a certain topic like online instruction we go to the “Remote Teaching Resources” view in Notion to find content that our team saved in the “HLLC & OIRT Resources” database. Otherwise, we would be looking for content that we shared with each other via text, email, or a Slack Channel. The transition to Notion streamlined our workflow.
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Notion Curation
Interesting resources we’ve found online recently related to Notion.
Notion on Twitter: "Right now, our team is focused on big hairy projects: performance, offline, API... But as a small treat for dark mode devotees, we just added fine grained controls for your dark mode preference, both on desktop & mobile! 🌘 You can even mirror your system appearance, like this:… https://t.co/H31nHGmz4x"
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See You in 2 Weeks!
In the meantime you can catch us on Twitter (Monica - https://twitter.com/monicarysavy and Rusty-https://twitter.com/rs_michalak) and on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/monicarysavy/)
Take care,
Rusty Michalak & Monica Rysavy
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