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Notion for Freelancers: A Beginner’s Guide

I wrote this as a short writing task for two potential writing gigs (both were for tech verticals). I got both of them, and ended up accepting one of them. I thought I’d share this considering how popular Notion is right now. Personally, I use Bonsai for my freelancing business but I want to try and use Notion for my personal needs.

As a freelancer, you run the whole show. Not only do you have to do the work itself, but you also have to take care of things like accounting, marketing, customer support, sales, and everything else required for a business to run. It can be a struggle to be on top of several things all at once.

Enter Notion: a powerful, versatile tool that anyone, especially freelancers, can use to boost their productivity.

What is Notion?

Notion is an “all-in-one workspace”, designed to be a combination of Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, etc. It has several great features, such as templates (quickly replicate content for multiple uses), multiple views (e.g. a gallery can be viewed as a list or a table and vice versa), and integration with popular apps (including the very handy Zapier).

You can use Notion for pretty much anything, from simple journaling to habit tracking to–you guessed it–running a freelance business.

Why Use Notion?

1. You can pretty much run your freelance business entirely on it.

Need a CRM? Notion’s got it for ya. Need project management? Sure. Need a fully-fledged client portal? Why the hell not.

Everything you need to “write, plan, and organize” your freelance business is on Notion. Everything.

2. There are several ways on how you can go about doing things on it.

In Notion, everything is a block, and just like your favorite LEGO, you use these blocks to build your workspace. So while helpful templates abound on the Internet, you can fully customize Notion for your own unique needs.

3. It helps you save lots of hours and brainpower.

You can use it, as just one example, to send proposals to potential clients. Just make a “Proposal” template that includes your self-introduction, portfolio, and other things a potential client needs to know. While you will, of course, need to customize each proposal, Notion saves you time and effort because you don’t have to make a new proposal every time a potential client comes along.

4. It doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Notion is totally free for personal use. The free plan comes with unlimited pages and blocks, sharing with 5 guests, and syncing across devices.

For features like uploading files of more than 5MB, accessing version history, and using admin tools, you’ll need a paid plan. The Personal Pro ($4/month) and Team ($8/member/month) plans are perfectly affordable for a successful freelancer and well worth the investment.

Why Not Use Notion?

If you don’t want to take time to learn Notion, then it’s probably not a good idea to use it. Notion can be confusing at first, and the learning curve is enough for some users to quit. For most people, though, it’s a rewarding journey.

Ready to Try Notion?

Notion is one of the fastest-growing apps right now, and for many good reasons. If you haven’t yet, consider jumping on the Notion bandwagon and make your freelancing (maybe even your whole) life a whole lot easier.