Thoughts on Notion (1 Viewer)

lexi23

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I'm considering setting up a database on the software "Notion" for note-taking and active recall in Year 11. I was wondering how effective it is for organisation + revision, or if I should just stick to hand-written notes, Microsoft Word and Google Calendar.
 

jimmysmith560

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I believe that you should consider the subjects that your current subject selection comprises in addition to the specific subject(s) for which you are thinking of setting up a database using said software. As you are likely aware, effective note-taking for different subjects may require different forms of note-taking, such as handwritten notes in the case of science subjects where diagrams are common (meaning that, in the case of such subjects, you may wish to stick to handwritten notes irrespective of whether you choose to use "Notion") and digital notes in the case of content-heavy subjects, in which case this method of note-taking would be more efficient and effective.

With that being said, it seems that this software is perceived positively by most people that have used it, primarily due to its apparent flexibility. This could also be a good indicator in terms of your aim to use this software for the purpose of active recall. Regardless of these factors, the fact that you are currently in year 11 is good since you can use the time that you have to develop the best possible study strategy across each of your subjects at no expense (i.e. none of your results in year 11 count towards your HSC results or ATAR), meaning that it probably would not to hurt to give it a try. In the event that you don't find it useful, you can revert to the other apps that you have listed and instead attempt to optimise your study strategy using those.

I hope this helps! 😄
 

airora

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I think, personally, the main benefit of Notion (apart from looking nice) is the organisational aspect you can achieve through databases. I started using it for note-taking in year 11 and generally found it easier to categorise and organise your notes in the database, as opposed to say folders in Google Drive. You can customise different 'views' of your database to sort out your different notes for different subjects and modules (see below), and also express them in different formats like "lists" or "calendars". I'm also finding it useful to keep track of the past papers I've completed and the grades I've received from assessments. It's this ability to sort of look at a bunch of aspects of your school life in an easily accessible way which I find more useful than that of Google Drive. There's also going to be a native Google Calendar integration coming later this year which will also be pretty nice.
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With that being said, I do think that there is some degree of a learning curve initially to familiarise yourself with how databases work, as well as some of the syntax needed to create headings, change font colour, etc. but it's mostly pretty straightforward. I'm also really guilty of spending way too long trying to make my Notion look nice rather than productively studying, sort of creating an illusion that you're studying when you're just fiddling around with how a page looks. Another thing to keep in mind if you're required to submit stuff on Google Classroom is that you can't really control how your page will look when it's been exported as a PDF, so some of the formatting might be off.

In terms of revision, I think that the ability to find your notes quickly (rather than flipping through a bunch of pages in an exercise book) makes it useful. However, the capacity of the 'toggle' functions seems a little overstated - unless you're really disciplined to return to them for spaced repetition, I would recommend continuing to use traditional flashcard apps like Anki.

Overall, I think it's a pretty nice organisational system, not so much for active revision though. You should definitely try it out this year and see whether you like it or not!
 

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