How to Design a Productivity System That Helps You Grow | Learn with Notion | Orphée De Bouard Sarrabezol | Skillshare

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How to Design a Productivity System That Helps You Grow | Learn with Notion

teacher avatar Orphée De Bouard Sarrabezol, Personal development nerd.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Productivity & personal development

    • 3. System's foundations

    • 4. Inbox & collecting information

    • 5. Blocks & storing information

    • 6. Taking actions

    • 7. Illustrative examples

    • 8. Conclusion

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About This Class

Learn how to build an effective productivity system that helps you reach your personal development goals! 

Productivity hacks & tools are ineffective if they are not part of a comprehensive productivity system. In this class, you’ll learn how to design your productivity system to make the most out of your time. This class will teach you a basic & simple system to start with (using Notion, one of the best productivity tools) as well as guidelines to help you adapt it to your needs. This is not about being more productive at the workplace, it’s about freeing up time and knowing what to focus on!

Whether you’re a student or a working professional, everyone can benefit from implementing this simple and ready-to-use system in his or her daily lives. Watch the introduction video to better grasp what this class will be about!


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Meet Your Teacher

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Orphée De Bouard Sarrabezol

Personal development nerd.


Hello, I'm Orphée. I'm a French guy working in venture capital and a bit of a productivity/personal development nerd as well. I like languages, philosophy & the tech world in general. 

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1. Introduction: before any hacks and tools. What we really need is a system hi, and welcome to this class how to design a productively system that helps you grow as you may already grasp its These scores will be both about productively on one side and personal development on the other side. But you will soon discover why these two notions are and how these two notions are bound together. But first, let's just give you a bit of background just for you to understand why I came up with this idea of creating this course. Basically, I've always been interested in productive ITI and personal development related matters, so I would just read a lot of articles. I would I would least all the hacks and tools that I could find. But the thing is, with this topic, there are so many resources online that it's really hard to cut through the noise. So at some point I realized that before any hacks and tools, what we really need is a system a proper system. If you have a solution, it means that you have a program and I didn't know what were my main each use. I was just stacking up all these tools and hacks, whereas I didn't know what I truly needed. So I came up with this system. Aggerated on it tested it. I got some feedback from some of my friends that actually started implementing it, then with that feedback and realized that it could be actually useful for many, many different persons. So that's why I decided to create this course. What will be doing in this course? I'll be driving you through these old systems so that you understand, like foundations of this system, how it works and will also see how you can twist it to make it your own. Because that's the most important thing. It's not a course on notion, no taking out that they will be using in my screen. Castro. You will see that in the next videos. It's definitely not about notion, and actually you can use my system with many, many different tools on its up to you, to adapted to your needs and to twist it as you want. So let's start 2. Productivity & personal development: welcome to these video productive ITI and personal development. I wanted to start with the's video because it's important to make a distinction between productively on one side and personal development on the other side. In these course, we wouldn't be discussing how to be like, more productive on a daily basis, like at the work place how to be more focused on doing a specific task, etcetera. What I would call micro productivity, like using some specific hacks and tools like the promoter row technique, If you've ever heard of that, or like the zero in Bucks method or that kind off tool and hack, so I'll be discussing more macro when I call macro productivity and what I call natural production. It is the thing that makes the link with personal development. And that's the thing that bounds productive ITI and personal development together. So it's definitely more about getting the big picture off where you were headed to, then just stacking up hacks and tools you actually don't have. The need for this system addresses two main issues that I think we most of us share. The 1st 1 is collecting and storing information in a smart inefficient way on a daily basis . You have many, many different interactions with a lot off inputs like this'll movie You've been talked about, um, that you actually want to see or this interesting thought that you had talking with one of your close friends, etcetera, many, many different inputs that you have to keep track off. The second main issue is how to allocates time in an efficient way. So said differently. I think we all. We've all experienced this moments when we actually have free time slot that we want to use in a smart way. Kind off, and you actually end up spending hours and hours on YouTube. And it's happened to me a lot of times, and it still happens to me, actually. But this system is it barrettes collecting and storing information in a smart way and about leveraging Arnold that to take actions and to achieve your goal. So whether you're creating or a young working professional, I think this system could be really, really useful to you. Uh, I'll be explaining you how the system works. What's the idea of the big idea behind? I will also give you some some insights and some advice on how to twist this system to make it yours, because that's the mangle off the course, actually, so let's get started. 3. System's foundations: Hi and welcome to this video systems foundations. In this video, I will explain you how I created the system. What were the main issues I was trying to address? And of course, what's the shape off the system? So as I was telling you, the system was created to address an issue and actually there were two main issues. The 1st 1 was the fact that there was too much information. Nowadays, it's really, really hard to keep up with all that information, and your brain receives so many inputs that it's really, really hard to keep track off what matters to you. For example, on a typical day, you could have like these friend of yours at 10 a.m. Telling you about the movie has just sin and that you actually should go see Or for example, at lunchtime you integrated the media really interesting theory about love with a friend of yours, and you really want to keep track of that. Or at three PM, you actually got an idea gift idea for your girlfriend's next birthday, etcetera, etcetera. So on a typical day, there are so many interactions, it's really, really hard to keep up with everything. So basically the reason why it's really, really hard to remember everything. If you don't have any system in places because human brains are for information processing , not remembering it doesn't mean actually, that's you shoot. Write everything down and you should not try to remember things because I think it's re important also to prevent yourself from having diseases like Parkinson or other mental diseases. So that's not the question here. So you have to be aware that we consume 34 gigabytes of information every day, which is a lot of. Consequently, it's really hard to keep up with everything and to remember everything. That's why we actually need to find a way of outsourcing this task, what I would call a second brain so something you can rely on when it comes to remembering things so that you actually can focus more on processing information and producing outputs when I mean my processing information is actually trying to know what to do with each type of information. The same one issue that the system is trying to address its time allocation. The fact that it's really, really tricky to use once time widely and the reason why it's re Trickett is basically because on a daily basis, were using products that have been designed to be kind of addictive and it's really, really hard to regain control over once attention. The thing is, we all have specific goals we want to achieve and it's pretty obvious. But we need timeto achieve these specific goals and we need to act and because of all these products and because of all that information that our brain receives, its really, really tricky to invest once time in the right activities. So we always complain and there the lack of time preventing us from achieving our goals were always saying like if I had two more hours a week, I would be able to focus on, I don't know creating this at I could have more time to write songs. Yeah, we kind of find excuses. And the funny thing is that when we have time actually on our ends, we don't know where to start. We know that we have some goals to achieve. We know that there are specific things that we want to carry out. We actually don't know where to start and we end up spending hours and hours on YouTube based on the East. Too many issues here is basically the solution. So how the system is built. The first thing to keep in mind is that before creating the system, you have to know what matters to you. And you have to define the blocks you want to invest. Time to the block could be a specific thing you want to learn, like in the field off Cryptocurrency. But the blood can be something really, really simple. For example, work eso you want to focus on your work in your life and that could be a block. Of course, you can also have sub lugs like If you have a block named creating you can actually and compacts many, many things, like the first sub block would be writing songs. The 2nd 1 would be project or started pied years, etcetera, etcetera. So it really depends on the things that matter to you. And it's up to you, of course, would define all that. So as I was already telling you, the system is based on the three main steps. The first step is Barrett collecting information like using a single place when I go a unique in box where you put every single infant that your brain receives and that matters to you on a daily basis. The second step is about storing information. So once in a while, you sword the in box out. It can be once a day. It can be once a week. It doesn't really matter. I really depends on the amount of information that you have well in the in box. So when you sword in books out, you store every piece of information in the corresponding block of your system. So it actually goes out of the in books to be placed in the corresponding block, which means that once in a while, whether it's once a week or once, they, you have to have in black zero, as we call it. The third step of the system is about taking actions. When you have telling on your hands, you actually just have to pick the block you wanna invest time into. And what is really, really cool is that in these block you actually have all the information that you need to take actions because thanks to the process that is in place, you're sure to be up to date, but we will go into the details later. So don't worry if you don't have some everything yet, so this is a way off explaining all that differently. On your left, you have the three main steps, collect, store and take actions, and on your right you have an explanation off the process. So basically the inputs that can actually come from one of your friends or from your own brain like a personal idea. Then you put everything in a unique in bucks that you will have to sort out, and then you will place every single element in the corresponding block while starting out in books. And when you want to take actions when you have time, you'll just have to pick up the block that you want to invest time into. So the system is about linking up information and action. Every time you take actions, you will use the information that you have stored over the week, for example, and it's really core concept of the system. I only know the system can be seen as a productively system. But as I was explaining you in the previous video here, it's about macro productivity. Basically, it's productive ity seen as a subcategory of personal development, because here it's not about being more focused or being more effective at the workplace while carrying out a specific task. It's about implementing a system that helps you collect information, store that information and, in the end, take actions to achieve your goals. So this was a basic presentation of the system. I hope you enjoyed it. And don't worry if you are honest and everything yet because, well, go through every single step off the process in the next videos. 4. Inbox & collecting information: Hi and welcome to these new video how to collect information. This is the first step off the process I've described in the last video collecting information. There is one core concept here, namely the in box, and you will soon understand how to use. That's in the most efficient way. So the in box is a unique place where you put every single input that your brain receives on a daily basis and any important input, basically. So when input that you want to remember, it can be like this movie one of your friends told you about, or it could be this project idea that you've just had. It can potentially be anything. Once you receive the inputs, you have to develop the reflex off putting that into the in box. So here it's about writing down every single input that you want to remember, and you do that with the in books. It actually doesn't matter whether you use like a sheet of paper or just, uh, native note taking app of your phone. You can use pretty much any tool because you don't really need anything special. We just need to be able to make a list off items. It's basically about developing the habit. So, for example, my friend just told me that inception was really great movie, and I haven't seen it yet, so I will use my note taking app here. It's notion, and I will put in my in box go see inception so that I can remember that. And when I sort my inbox out, I will be able to take it from here. There isn't much to be added. It's the simple step off the process, and it's just about writing things down. You just have to have a unique place where you put every single input that your brain receives, and you just have to develop the reflex of doing that. In the next year, we'll see, have the second step of the process works, storing information. 5. Blocks & storing information: hi and welcome to this new video. Have to store information. Storing information is the second step off the process. I've explained to you the first being have to collect information and we've just covered that in the previous video and the third step being had to take actions. You will see that later. Storing information is a court step because if you remember well, the system is about linking up information and actions. And this step is very important because it's about storing information that you've just collected in the in box so that you can use this information later when taking actions. This is how it looks like. You basically have the in box with a list of different items, and after some days or after a week, you will definitely have too many items, and you will have to sort the in books out. Sorting the books out is about placing the items that it has in the Charest minting blocks . You may be wondering what a block is, and the best definition is that blood is something you want to allocate time to. It can be an activity. It can be pretty much everything. So here are a few tips. I think it's important to have a limited number of blocks, like between three and eight blocks so that you don't get lost. Apart from the plugs, you can actually create sub looks so you could have like a generate block like, for example, creating with sub blocks like writing songs started my dears, Etcetera. As I was telling you, a blood can be an activity like playing music or a category. I also think it can be useful to have a Korb look, namely a block that you're going to use on a daily basis. For example, I have a blood called Living where I put old wish list that I have where I put like my diet where I put my goals central. So you will understand that in a few minutes, because I will show you how it looks like. And a standardized structure can also help you a lot while navigating through the different blocks. And obviously these lugs have to be renewed because your interest can change over time, etcetera. So I totally understand that at this point it can be a bit too theoretical for you. So let's show you an example with notions, basically, how my system looks like and you will understand everything that I've just mentioned. So this is my home, and these are the main blocks. The first look is leaving, and neither was telling you. It's like a core block where I put like my personal dashboard, the films that I've seen, the books that I've read my wish list in terms of movies and books, where I put some information regarding my health, some re CPIs, my Jean plan, etcetera, and the objections that I have for the future. The second block is producing, as I was telling you, It's like a generate block, which is why I have, like sub blocks. Producing is about like, creating outputs. So I like writing rap songs. I like had having project ideas, reflections, etcetera and the three others are learning, working and thinking. So as you can see, these are pretty generate blocks, and that's the reason why I have I have a couple of sub looks, so at the top you can see that I have like a tuggle least for the inbox, and we have, like go see inception, which is the example that I took for a to prove previous video. I personally started the inbox out every day or every two days because I have a lot of I gems and I don't like having a name bucks with too many items. So let's sword the books out. I can see that there is one item in my aim bucks, and it's about a movie that I want to go see. So what I do is basically I delete the item because I'm going to place it in the correct spending block, and the corresponding block is wish list. As I was telling you, I think it's really useful to have, like, a core block where you put the important stuff and the things that you encounter on a daily basis. So I will click on Wish List. And as you can see, it's a gallery with yeah, a couple of books that I want to read and also a movie that I want to go see and sorry if, uh, there are a couple of stuff in French, so I would click on New, and I would basically put exception with the name of the producer with the tag movie and yet I would add in the image and stuff, but that's basically the idea of starting the in books out. So let's say on another day I want to sort my inbox out, and there is one item in it which is basically a website about crypto stuff. So what I do is I basically delete the item. I go to the Charest mounting block, namely learning, and I have a sub bloke called, um crypto. So I go to crypto and yeah, I add website here, and that's how I I store all that in the next video will cover the third step of the process, taking actions. 6. Taking actions: so welcome to the third step off the process have been explaining to you over the last videos. I'm namely taking actions. So if you remember well, the first up off the process I've been describing was about collecting information thanks to the inbox, which is a core concept and the second step being storing information thanks to the blocks . If you remember the two reasons where I decided to set up this system, it was basically first because there is just too much information and to keep up with all that information on a daily basis and all the inputs that you receive, it's it's just a nightmare. The second reason was just about advocating time, um, to the things that matter the most to us. So let's put it into perspective. The main goal of taking actions is just to pick up one block you want to allocate time to, and the beauty of it is that things to all the process of collecting and storing information, you should be able to have everything that you need to work on that blow. This is basically my home and if you remember well living, producing, learning, working and thinking are kind of the core blocks. It's just the blocks. I want to allocate time, too. I know the living blood is a bit weird. It's a pretty generous one, but I think it's important to have, like, one core block at the top. Um, just to be able to access information really, really quickly. This is why the sub looks that I have within these block or experiencing, like all the movies that I don't watch older. I don't know all the books that I read the wish list. Pretty self explanatory. So let's say that right now I have a two hour time slots. It's completely free. I won't have any distractions during this time slot, and I just want to allocate my time wisely. So I should have these objectives on these goals already in mind. But it's it's it's kind of nice to have it inappropriate, structured way in your systems. Like for example, um, I want to find Tune my happiness, Terry. So I would go to the corresponding block, uh, namely reflections under producing, I will click on happiness, and I saw it's Everything is in French, but this would be kind of all my latest thoughts regarding heaviness. So if we kind off rewire the process this specific thought, for example, could have bean in my inbox at some at some point and while sorting the inbox out, I've taken this out of the inbox, and I've put that in the corresponding block, namely producing and then in the corresponding sub look, as you've seen our reflections and then another kind of subset look happiness. So this is kind of the giorni off any thought and at the moment when I want to take actions . So namely, right now I want to fine tune my happiness. Three s o. I wanna clarify all that. I just have all the impressed I need to do that. So that's the main point off. The whole process is last example of that would be could be, for example, learning. So I know that I haven't allocated enough time to these block, you know, or the previous weeks, and I'm aware of that, and I really want allocate time to these blocks. So I decided to go to learning, and then it's just it's actually up to you to decide whether you want to work on this sub lock or this one. I mean, the main intent is definitely not to control your life. And to control your free time is just to be able to keep track off your goals and the things you want to achieve. And just to be sure that you allocate enough time to these specific blocks. Um, so let's say I wanted to learn some stuff regarding a R and mashing learning. I will. I would go to this block that would kind of have an overview of the resources again. I don't want to go into details like how notion works and all the possibilities, because you can find many, many, many resources out there that will explain you how no action works. So that's definitely not the goal here. But I would be able to see, like, Okay, next. This is the stage is next. Machine learning is fun. This is Dish article. Let's go check this out. And this is typically something that could have been at some point in my in box, you know, like maybe it's one of my colleagues that's mentioned this article, and I was like, Oh, it seems to be nice. I will put it in my inbox. And then, Ah, day later I would soar the in box out and I would put this article in this subcategory ai and machine learning within the bigger category, Uh, which is learning, So there isn't much more to say. To be honest, it's Ah, it's really simple way off organizing once life, basically, everything will be more concrete in the next video because I'm going to just wrap everything up and I will do a summary off all these three steps on the whole system with concrete examples just to make sure that everything is crystal here. 7. Illustrative examples: The goal of this video is merely to to wrap up off everything that we've seen in the course . I will take three examples of items that you could potentially receive as input on a daily basis. Um, and we will kind of go through the whole three step process. Um, so first, I will collect that information of things to the in books. Second, I will stored that information, namely, putting the item in the corresponding block. And third, I will take actions. Um, I will just leverage on all of these collection and storing, um, to take actions. Basically. So let's say that at lunch time someone mentions Titanic and you realize that you haven't seen it yet. Um, then in the afternoon, you have this interesting conversation with Peter and emerged from that kind of reflection on happiness. And later in the evening, for example, you suddenly realize that you have this amazing started. I'd ears involving flying cars. These are three different items that you could typically receive on a daily basis. So the first step is obviously to write them down in the in box, so you will put them in the in books and you will. That's basically the first step again. If you remember, it's about collecting information that you receive on a daily basis. So you've just collected the information, and now it's time to stored that information. That's the second step of the process we've been describing in these scores. So go see Titanic is related to wish list because that's a movie that you want to go see so you will go wish list. You will create a new card, a new item. You will type Titanic, the name of the director. You will put the tag movie release date blah, blah, blah, and that's basically it. You can add an image if you want. That's that's just fancy here. Um, second item is reflection with Peter unhappiness. It's related to reflections. Under the blood producing you will go to Reflections Happiness. You will add this interesting reflection on happiness with Peter to you already existing folks, and that's pretty much it Third item used to order by dear flying cars. It's again within the producing category, and it's cool project ideas. You will add it to ideas. Start a idea of flame card now that we've collected and stored the information we're done with the 1st 2 steps off the process. As you remember, the third step is about taking actions. So let's say, um, I have some free time and I want to go to the movies. I will go to wish list and I will actually find Titanic. The item. Titanic. Uh, so that's typically taking actions for the second item Should remember it was the reflection on happiness with Peter. Again, let's say I have some free time on a specific day and I'm like, OK, this block. It's been quite some time since I've last allocated some time to this book, So I will go to Reflections and I will go to happiness, and I will actually find the new thought than your happiness related thoughts on. I will create the output that I want. It could be like a dating an article that you've returned on happiness or that kind of stuff. Finally, for the third item, it's remember, it was started by dear involving flying cars. Let's say that I have some free time available, and I realized that I haven't allocated that much time to project I'd years. So I click on project I'd years. I realized that as last idea, I have start up idea involving flying cars, and now I can start working on that started by year, for example. So this is the three step process that has been at the core off this course. Let's give you some advice regarding the set up off all your categories, etcetera. I think it's a good starting point to have a blood called leaving where you actually put all the stuffs you're interacting on a daily basis with, um I think it's important to have that category to gain some time. You could have a personal dashboard where you have your to the least or your monthly budget . Um, you could have, um, experiencing where you store all the movies that you've seen all the books that you have read or wish laced with. Well, you remember what it is? Uh, some info regarding your health, etcetera, etcetera. It could also be a good idea to have objectives here. Um, so what I call objectives just like the things you want to allocate. Um, time to. So in november. I want to find your happiness. Terry. I want to finish my skills share cores. It starts around. And you would label these category with, uh, the name of the blockage refers toe again. It's very important not to have too many categories or blocks. Um, between three and eight Would be, I think a good range. Um, you could have something that is describing an activity. You could have something that is more off. Ah, proper category. It really depends on the things that matter to you the most Basically. 8. Conclusion: This is a reading the final video of the course, and I just wanted to give you some key. Take awaits. This course addresses two main issues. The 1st 1 is how to collect and store information in a smart and efficient way, and the 2nd 1 is about how to allocate once time. Wisely, this is a three step process. The first step is about collecting that information in the in box. The second step is about storing that information in the right blocks, and the 3rd 1 is about leveraging on Aled that to take actions and to help you achieve your goals. So I think it's really key to keep in mind that flexibility has to play an important role in Aled that what I mean is that you have to stay flexible if you don't want to become like control freak or organization or productivity freak. So it's really important toe iteration on your own system. It takes some time. It's really important for you to understand that you control the system and the system that does not control you, so stay flexible. The 2nd 1 is you have to try to write on your system and it will probably change over the years because your luck's will change because you'll find you new ways off setting up a specific block or etcetera as many, many different reasons why you would have to change the way your system is built. And the third and Final one is the hacks and the tools now that you have built for productivity system, uh, it will become pretty obvious which tools and hacks you need and which ones you actually don't need. So that's pretty much it. I just wanted to touch base upon the project that's you'll have to complete in this course really, really easy one. But I think it would be a good start for you before implementing and before sending up the whole system to take some time to reflect on your core looks. If you remember the video addressing that topic, it's really, really key to ensuring that your store, all that information in the right place that you have previously thought about the blocks that you care the most about. So take some time. You'll just have to write them down on Google, Doc. I mean, whatever material you use, it's just about making sure that you take the required amount of time to think about all that. And on a final note, if you guys already use in ocean, there is a super cool website call motion pages that come where you can find a lot of templates and I will probably upload my system template on this website in a couple of weeks or months. I don't know yet, but if you were, if you guys are interested, just let me know and I will do that. I hope you enjoy the course and good luck with creating and implementing this system.