Best Practices "How to NotePlan"
This article is a collection of best practices discovered and shared by other NotePlaners mainly in our Discord community. We will keep extending and updating it as new best practices are shared.
Time-Blocking & Daily Templates
Watch here Stacey's latest workflow using NotePlan with Fantastical to time-block her day.
Watch here how Bart is using a simple daily template and a custom style for time-blocking to stay on top of everything.
Jonathan demonstrates how to use plugins to move around quickly, capture tasks, and assign shortcuts to plugin commands.
- Try to add only tasks to today's note, which you are actually planning to finish today.
- During the day, use today's note to check off your tasks and add anything new that comes your way to get it out of your head.
- At the end of the day or the next day in the morning, transfer tasks from yesterday which you couldn't finish or plan tasks from a project note (regular notes) to the next day's note.
- Transfer important tasks or notes you added during the day to their relevant project notes or lists.
If you get overwhelmed with tasks
- Create a separate list where you can transfer tasks that you kept moving forward but can't possibly finish on that day.
- For this purpose, you can create a new note called "Someday/Maybe" for example which is a "catch-all" bucket or...
- Create weekly or monthly notes where you collect things. Such as "Nov 2021" which you can use to transfer superfluous tasks during the month of November.
- Later review your lists to identify tasks that are still important. Consider the rest as optional and don't stress out about them :)
- Use bullets (- bullet) instead of tasks (* task) to reduce the task and overdue count for things you don't need to do right now.
Scheduling with >today (repeat until completed)
- Use the special >today tag not only on tasks but also on bullets to make it show up in today's note references at the top. It will stay in today's references and update automatically to the next day until you complete it (or until you remove the tag).
Linking and creating notes
- If you make short meeting notes (~15 paragraphs), collect them in the relevant project note and include the date in the heading "@YYYY-MM-DD". Later collapse the headings of irrelevant meeting notes.
- If the meetings are getting longer than ~15 paragraphs, create dedicated notes in a subfolder and add a link in the relevant project note ([[Meeting XYZ]]) to collect them.
- If you opt for using dedicated notes per meeting, link relevant meetings together using [[Meeting XYZ]], so you can navigate forward (clicking on the link) and backward (clicking on the entry in the references area at the top of the note) between your meetings.
- Before the meeting: Create a meeting note and add your talking points (agenda) using tasks.
- During the meeting: Go through your agenda and check off each talking point once you are done talking, then take notes below your agenda. Mark important points with **bold** or create tasks if you have action points.
- After the meeting: Go to a daily note (like the next day or someday where you have time in general) and create a task to review your new meeting note by linking to it. When you review it, reorganize the information and create action points as tasks.