My GTD experiments with Notion!

The game-changing feature in Notion

As a productivity nerd, I’ve been iterating to get at a system that enables work to happen with little or no resistance.

My rules:

  • I not only want to get the work done, I also want to feel happy doing it
  • I not only want the outcome to be A-class, I also want to enjoy the process as well
  • I not only want to complete the project, I want to ‘want to’ complete it

This is exactly why I find dissonance with Hustle & Motivation Twitter. Too much ‘rah! rah!’ and shouting!

Yeah, I like Goggins, Willink, Pressfield, Peterson.

But why make life harder than it already is!

Or, as Jon Jandai says it, ‘Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard?’

Greg McKeown, author of the book, ‘Essentialism’ says his epiphany to write the second book, ‘Effortless’, came up when he realized he wants to practice ‘Essentialism’ not at the expense of sacrificing his mental sanity and physical comfort, but more joyfully and in a way ‘effortlessly’.

I believe that there is a better way of hustling, without resorting to brute force willpower or bare knuckled motivation.

I found revelation, when two guys declared that they were the laziest person that they know on the planet. But otherwise have been insanely effective and inspiring.

  • One is David Allen, the author & creator of the productivity method, ‘Getting Things Done’ (GTD)
  • Other is Shaan Puri, the famous podcaster at ‘My First Million’ podcast

Side Note: Thanks to Khe Hy for (re)introducing me to GTD and how to implement it in Notion.

Interestingly, both David and Shaan take a completely different approach to productivity.

In the past 4 weeks, I’ve built and destroyed (read archived) 3 separate GTD systems on Notion.

Something isn’t working for me! Or I’m being too impatient.

  • He didn’t have any fancy bells and whistles!
  • He didn’t meticulously link this database with that one… and that with another one.
  • He didn’t even live off his to-do list and actually spends 95% of his time on Evernote.

I had a conversation with Ali Vakil, GTD Master Trainer from Calm Achiever, who provided feedback on my set up.

When he later showed his system, I realized how much was missing in it.

For all those nerds out there…

Inspired by Ali, I revamped and cooking up yet another workflow (again). Yeah, that’s me!

I’m quite happy how Notion forces me into a self-contained ecosystem of a particular project. All the relevant tasks, project support materials and references in one place. This naturally gravitates me into a zone of focus, digitally (first) and subsequently mentally.

In fact, I’m writing this newsletter on Notion. And later will upload it on Gumroad newsletter.

Experiment continues…

Originally published at



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Sathya @SathyaHQ

Sathya @SathyaHQ


Work-from-home dad! Writer, Solopreneur. On a journey of personal growth & sustainable living. Subscribe to my newsletter —