Notion Tour with Ali Abdaal (+ Free Template for Students)


Hello everyone and welcome back to the keep productive YouTube channel today we have Ali here Ali is a fantastic youtuber anywhere dives into everything from student life all the way to His workers of junior doctors, so maybe you can dive bit warranty want your channel cover. Yeah. So hey guys, my name is Ali I’m a junior doctor. I work in Cambridge where I was a student and I’ve been making videos for about two years a little bit about how to be a more productive more efficient student with evidence-based study tips but also Vlogs and things about life as a medical student and now life as a doctor and on the side I do tech reviews of things Like, you know iPads and Mac books and iPhones and stuff. So, you know a Little bit of everything but with a theme of productivity running through yours, I guess Yeah, and you recently discovered notion, right? Yes, and I saw your videos about notion if you search for notion on the Internet you to see your stuff is amazing but we’ll be diving into Ali’s notion account today and We’re also going to be over on his channel. So do make sure to subscribe to him because Fantastic content right there. Thank you, and we’re going to be diving into productivity apps on his channel So for students if you follow the key productive channel, and you want a police go there because you’ll find it We’re gonna dive into the notion count now. So here it is in front of us and what we’re gonna do is sort of Ask Ali plenty of questions about how he uses it So whoa, obviously you’ve found notion sort of discovered it maybe a couple of months. Yeah well month ago I think I’ve been using it for about a month Fantastic properly in inactive you said so what’s your sort of primary use for it then? How would you say use it? Um, so that’s something that I haven’t fully worked out yet I use it for most of my note-taking needs now I use the iPad pro with notability for handwritten notes and I tend to use that for things like Taking notes and lectures but also for planning out rough sketches for videos They’re just like the ability to be able to annotate things by hand. Yeah, but then everything else I pretty much do on notion So I use it to plan out my videos I use it for my own sort of medical exam preparation I also use it for keeping track of things that I’ve just covered on the internet or podcasts that I’ve listened to or book reviews so I’m kind of trying to pull all the content from my life into notion as like a Second brain almost I don’t yeah. Yeah Yeah, yeah Do you ever use like use OneNote during university? Right? I used OneNote a bit during University. I used Evernote before that I’ve tried it I used bear for awhile I’ve tried so many different apps and I’m hoping that I’ll find one. Hopefully notion that will become the second brain the base So you use it you mentioned for the the medicine side of stuff So maybe take us through that first short some this is my medicine bit Homepage still needs a bit of working on but there’s what I want to show you So the MRCP is the membership for the Royal College of Physicians So that’s a postgraduate medical exam that you have to take if you want to be a you know If you want to progress in your career as a doctor, then you become a member of the Royal College of Physicians Which is cool, but this is quite hot exam. It’s like your medical school finals, but taken up a notch and I have said and I’ve started using notion to keep track of my studies in that so this is the let’s Let’s take a look at clinical dermatology in oncology this is one that I’ve Started to expand upon so created March 11th 2019. That was exactly a month ago So I pretty much have been using this for a month And actually that’s good point, um on that note I’ll ah I really like the the table feature of notion because then I can sort out these different categories These different subjects by the number of questions that turn up in the exam So then obviously I know that I want to be prioritizing clinical sciences in endocrinology over something like ophthalmology That only has four questions compared to 15 and 25. So let’s look at clinical hematology and oncology open it as a page and The cool thing about notion is the toggle the toggle thing. I don’t what’s called what’s called the toggles? Yeah Yeah, the toggle cool cool. Yeah and And this is just so good because I’ve never seen such a good toggle feature on any other note-taking app So what I’ve done is I’ve split up the whole of hematology into three categories red cells platelets and white cells And within that I have tried to split up the subject into further categories So for example hemolysis means breakdown of blood cells macro City big sales microcytic Miscellaneous and within each of those. I have their own subcategories. So for example, if we look at hereditary spherocytosis, This is one that I filled in the other day Well, I’ve done ever create another toggle and I’ve got a list of questions. So what is it? What’s the inheritance? You know, is it like autosomal dominant or recessive? Help pissed off. Would you be got it. This is just like my Your way of realizing my way of revising game my way of thinking that okay, if I actually had this condition hereditary spherocytosis Would it make a big difference to my life? Presentation is in how would a patient present with it? Diagnosed it? How would you diagnose it? And how would you manage it? And I’m able to have these questions as the first thing I see when I click on hereditary spherocytosis And then if I want to find the answers I use another toggle box and that is where I have the notes for it. And I think this is revolutionary because Previously and I think what almost everyone does when the students is that we make notes on topics whereas this method of writing questions for ourselves first and only then allowing ourselves to see the notes that forces us to use active recall which is the most efficient study technique imaginable and I’ve made a video in my channel if you don’t Have a plug. Yeah. Yeah, I talked about I fully talk about the evidence behind active recall in depth, but essentially, you know it’s been proven in like hundreds of studies across psychology done on students that Simply rereading notes and summarizing content from from a textbook It doesn’t actually help whereas retrieving information from your own brain doesn’t know Yeah, so the idea is that for all of these over time? I’ll expand this notion notebook so that any disease that I want to go to I will be able to click on it and See and be able to test myself do I really know the answer to these questions? And if not, then I’ll be able to read up about it Yeah, and another nice thing is I think there’s a thing over here where you can like a color code so let’s say green mine color in green if I knew the answer red if I don’t know the answer and I’m hoping that this will be a nice Yeah, and my studies and in one of the questions now I have you will yeah obviously like this took a bit of time to set up and and like You know notion takes a bit of time to understand as a concept in itself Do you think they’re like, how long would it have taken you to create a page like this? obviously adding all the content but the sort of The mind behind all of the toggle. Yeah, so I think like after after watching a few of your videos that was when I had had the idea to actually use this for for studying cuz I I think you think you did a video with Thomas Frank where he was showing his method for using ocean and I just thought oh wow, this would apply really nicely to kind of Medicine stuff. Yeah, so didn’t actually take that long I think once you get the hang of it It becomes very easy to just create a new toggle And then you go the keyboard shortcut slow, you know, for example Like the tabbing thing and how tabbing creates a new toggle in it and stuff like that that you pick up quite quickly Yeah it I don’t even know many of the shortcuts thing. Yeah beating me Yeah, I need to learn it Yeah But you also met you also to me earlier the so Ali’s very much of a self-development individual He tries to improve himself on a routine basis, which is good And you you take notes on like podcasts you’ve listened to things like that And you started making like almost like a notebook Calendar yes then maybe yeah take us through that. This is my resonance calendar so it’s like a really pretentious name for a thing things that resonate with me and again like the nice thing about notion is that You can view it as a list. You can view it as a calendar You can view it as a table so what I do is that if I ever come across something that Resonates with me then I use the iPhone share feature or the mat or you know, though No, not even open ocean clipper or to put it in the ocean And then I take I I just write write a few things from there So for example on the 23rd of March, I was clearly being very unproductive creatively But I watched a lot of content and for example, Sean Blanc’s iPad blogging workflow the sweet set up So I shared this to notion just so I have it have it for later And I commented good length and detail in breaking down the nerdy details. I should do more of this so When I read this particular article, I thought oh, wow. This is a really great breakdown of how he uses the iPad Maybe I could do an article like this. So I thought I’d share it to my residence calendar There was this wide combinator podcast interview with mkbhd one of my favorite youtubers And this is where I took some notes about productionvalue striving for the highest surely good thing Does that mean I should get the a 7-3 which is now the camera that we’re filming this on. So I think This is is nice. Because now when I consume call, I do it with the intention of okay what I’m actually learning from this Yeah, and have I got an excuse to put it into my that’s it. Yeah a notion thing I think just just having the app This is one of those cases where when an app is nicely made it encourages you to do good things Yeah, for example day one of journaling up encourages people to journal because it’s just such a nice app. Yeah I know she encourages me to think about what I learned from the content that I consume. So yeah, it’s perfect I mean, that’s actually give me a lot of good ideas for myself because So I have a like a new area a calendar that’s called inspiration. No, but I just haven’t found a use for it So this actually might be like just be able to take inspiration and ideas So actually I’m probably gonna steal Ally’s idea of it And take it out and use just go into that use different The database views to toggle between them depending on how you feel. Yeah, exactly and and so for example this this was the Tim Ferriss podcast episode with Neil Gaiman that I really enjoyed so I shared that using Over cost for my iPhone. I was listening to this in the car So I just stopped by the side of the road and decided to decided to do this And then I wrote a few notes about it. But also another nice thing about notion is the the tags feature So I’ve tagged it as email favorite Which means I’ve mentioned this in one of my weekly newsletters where I talk about my favorite things from that week but also is monthly favorite because I’ve mentioned it in one of my monthly favorite videos and It’s just a good way of keeping track of of stuff So for example, you know I’ve tagged things with podcast if it’s a podcast so that if I’m looking to recommend a podcast instead of thinking about Oh What was that pop? Yeah, because I guess we both listen to so many Yeah, I just kind of have a quick flick through this and be like, ah that Farnam Street podcast wouldn’t evolve was really good Yeah, I’ll give you a link. That’s it. Yeah, it’s been well handy. It’s okay Oh everything you need in one place Yeah, very neat. And you also standard to use it as well for video management in terms of the YouTube sign, uh, that’s right. So I don’t in terms of this like Kanban board. Yeah, that’s that’s a word Yeah, where’s that come from? I think it was a 80s technique at Japanese 80s technique that they used in a factory I can move stuff across and then they adapted it to the Kanban. Muhaha. That’s why yeah So I’ve got you know if I ever have an idea for a video I’ll put it in here and I’ll put I’ll put sort of a date where Aspirationally I would want to publish the video where as which is where the calendar comes in as well. So That was this video. I can first it came from memorizing essays. I intended to make how to spend an Apple pencil video Oh, yeah, I saw you do that earlier. I was like Jesus that’s impressive. So let’s actually move that across over there And yeah, you should make it stupid. Yeah, I’ll make it at some point, but So then if I’ve planned a video or put it in there actually You know what printing to tip students we plant that notion for students You just drag them across the statuses and it helps nice to keep a good idea The way you’re sort of going with it do you do you ever add like obviously you’ve added there like the text central and You’ve added like a sort of script inside the card Yeah, and that helps you just a generally plan the structure of the video, right? Yeah, absolutely so like there was it that that when we were doing earlier on my channel productivity app So just kind of handing a quick structure. Sometimes I do write out a bit like a proper script yeah, actually if I if it’s like a like a Keynote video almost where I’ve put in so much effort into a single video. I will often write out a script Especially if it’s a video where I’m talking about the evidence behind things. I kind of remember that other top of my head So yeah. Yeah, it’s just pretty solid all around for planning planning videos I love it, and maybe we talk about a few the ways that students could potentially use something like this How would you see like? Maybe a first year that wanted to actually just start using notion as a way to organize How do you give them any introduction tips? I Think the tips I would give is that just to kind of watch how a few other people use notion So I think your channels but it’s perfect to that and then that’ll hopefully give you some ideas One thing I really would recommend is this thing of if you’re making notes you write questions for yourself Hmm so that it forces you to use active recall You can also use notion as a sort of calendar you can use it as a to-do list You can use it as a planner you can use the time Toby. There’s so many different uses for it and I think it can potentially get a bit overwhelming but just kind of seeing how other people using it and Starting small like starting with one thing. Maybe just using it for your notes And you can you know, drag-and-drop your lecture handouts like I’ve done with this particular PDF Starting smaller than over time. You won’t be like, oh, this is another use for notion and then it kind of expands Yeah, I like that and anything is as well as like I think like you very soon to me you want to start with like a skeleton of something then to actually add the flesh later to it because Like you can go crazy with notion like adding all the icons covers all the details But you know once you’ve got the general structure Then you can add all the good stuff after I think And I think that’s a really good tactic for students as well Like even with this even though I only studied hematology that day I still you know put in all of the different subjects So I have an a you know bird’s-eye overview of what this exam is about and also with any hematology I’ve created my bird’s eye view Before I’ve gone deep in to certain things It’s very easy to get bogged down in the details But I think what notion does nicely is that encourages you to have a bird’s-eye view of your your subject So that’s why I recommend for students Aspirin Thank You Ali for coming on today, but you can go and find his YouTube channel description below I just to mention as well. We’ve also been doing another one so if you’re a student looking for productivity advice and tips we do we talk about That directed directly That’s it So feel free to go and follow Ali and also I need a little sort of student hub that you can duplicate It’s got a simple planner coursework and lecture notes ability. So duplicate it into a notion Give it a bit of a play around design it to your own needs and give that a try but of course Will will be doing some more features on it that soon So, thanks very much guys, make sure have a great week Thank You Ali for coming on Thank you for having me and subscribe to a spoke and hit the like button as well. Thanks guys

64 thoughts on “Notion Tour with Ali Abdaal (+ Free Template for Students)

  • 🏫 Want to learn Notion from scratch? Try the course: http://bit.ly/2HWFE98
    24 lessons, 25 bonus videos, 48hr email support & updated monthly

  • Holy shit, talk about expanded universes, i love Ali, never expected him to be here as well, but it makes total sense!

  • Toggle…🤔…🤓

    You guys are a boon for med students! Awesomies! ❤

    Francesco,
    Please do a video on Margin Note 3 too. Would love to know your views about the future of the app & if any alternatives to it exist! And another collab with Ropsie from Paperless Student😊

    PS: Evernote is still converting Handwritten text to Images (HUGE PAIN). *facepalm

  • Why not make each of those questions a toggle rather than a numbered list with the answer revealed by the toggle? Or does that mess with the recall method?

  • Awesome!! Thanks for having Ali here this channel! XD
    Let me start using the Notion app soon. It looks like amazing.

  • Thanks for having me on Francesco 🙂 Here’s a link to the video we did over on my channel about productivity apps for students https://youtu.be/94emc6eqllE enjoy!!

  • Ali, you also use the handwriting notes on your ipad AND anki. How do you keep all this organized without doing everything 3 times? Especially because you told us that note taking / summarizing isn't efficient 😉

  • Does anyone use the Android app of Notion? How do you like it? Thinking about switching to Android soon from iOS and Notion is something I use a lot.

  • Question: Can you convert your note(s) to a pdf for distribution or how would you share your notes with Non Notion user?

  • Still, Notion will never ever get me until they provide the offline option, a true one like Evernote. The latter seems really outdated nowadays, specially with Notion pushing it really hard. The "no structure" structure of Notion is a steep learning curve but I do see the advantages and all the creative freedom it gives. I have 11 GB of data (since 2008) in Evernote and I would've never considered using it if there wasn't for the offline mode. i don't trust the Cloud 🙂

  • Following both from a while now. Good to see them together. Kept this video to watch later, surely enjoyed it.

  • I really loved the resonance calendar too. I tend to consume a lot of content; podcasts, youtube videos, blog posts, etc. and I find a lot of value in them, but I've never bothered to take notes because I didn't know of a good system to contain them all in. This looks like a very good and easy system to implement.

  • Hey Ali,I am a fan of your videos.Really great application of textbook concepts in real life.But after downloading notion in my ipad,I am having difficulty using it as it is not really easy to understand.Please can you make a video about how you input and use the table and toggling functions?

  • Notion is not easy to figure out. I had already deleted the app because I really wanted to keep my study organized in there, but I hadn't found a way, but now thanks to you and Ali I am back on it. Thanks!

  • Can you post a template of the syllabus > study page workflow. I'm brand new to this thanks to your videos and looking to use this for law school starting in August

  • This app is revolutionary. It’s resembles the power of OneNote editor and the organizational features of Evernote. I’m personally a heavy Evernote user since 2010, but this blowed my mind.
    I’ll still need to evaluate my use scenarios of my system in Evernote in comparison to Notion along with its pricing. It will be somehow long migration process. But hope it will be worth.

  • Francesco, mi spieghi come fai ad avere questo meraviglioso accento britannico? 😂 Sembri quasi madre-lingua, è impressionante!

  • Has anyone faced this that their notion items full of lots of text notes gone missing? And can't find in trash or anywhere at all? Can't find in search and cant find within other items or notes too? I lost years of my work. Opened Notion, it was there, I dragged it to different block and that's it, it disappeared in front of my eyes. First i thought i did something wrong and deleted it, but its not in trash either. Searched it and can't find either. Searched text I remembered and still can't find either. Anyone faced same? I think I'm better off to where I was, OneNote because the worst nightmare just got realized for me. Reached out to them, let's see.

  • Notion seems nice but i'll stick with onenote for now since it's free. You can also do the toggle feature in one note as well. If you have an outline, just double clicking the arrow next to it, will create was is essentially half this video

  • regarding the mindblowing resonance calendar, im just curious if its a good idea to take in that much info while being a student like myself. also wondering how his brain can hold so much info, idk how ima keep up

  • Have you ever try emacs? There is a mode called org-mode very similar to the toggle you mentioned at https://youtu.be/VOJPtvCfvxk?t=311.

  • Is the value for the "number of questions" user inputted or automatically tabulated based on the use of the '?' character? Great video! Thanks for creating it!

  • I use Notion for creative writing, the toggle option is so useful for me to jot down writing notes/outlines/etc but without them interfering with the word count. Great video! There's so many uses to Notion.

  • Question for Ali's Resonance calendar. How did He share stuff directly to the mentioned date? Can't seem to get how to do it. I have a Calendar page too and now when i share something from the share menu to my calendar page, it goes to the page but not the date. Can anyone help me out with the same?

  • Hi guys, anyone having issues with Notion when content volume becomes bigger? I imported about 500 Evernote notes into Notion but it didn't feel snappy at all after that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *