April 13, 2022

Create the go-to database for your startup’s processes, strategy and information with Notion

LevelUp Ventures
LevelUp Ventures

How would you share all the company’s (background) information with the whole team? What about when onboarding new team members? Planning hours of meetings to tell the company’s vision, mission, and history can get very time-consuming and energy-draining for both sides. 

But what if you could plan a compact presentation with a  warm welcome, personal introductions and a short story about the vision, mission and history? And then ask your new team members to open it up and read a more in-depth story about the history of the company. Which you can adjust at any given time! What if we told you such a tool already exists… Notion! 

Source: Notion

What is Notion you may ask… 

Simply put, Notion is an all-in-one workspace. It’s often used as a project management tool and note-taking tool focused on easing collaboration and enabling productivity and efficiency. How? Imagine Google Docs, Dropbox and Trello/Asana made a baby. 

Do you need to build an explanation of the steps in the recruiting process for your hiring manager? Notion can do it. Want to create a task list for yourself and the hiring manager? Notion can do that too. And have all the notes from your interviews in one place? You guessed it… Notion can do it!

How you can use Notion 

What we have described so far is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how Notion can add value to your team and enable better collaboration. Think of creating documents, databases, public websites, knowledge bases, and project management systems and create visually pleasing notes. 

The way it works is based on an empty page divided into blocks. You can fill these blocks with text, images, quotes, tables, cards, etc. Eventually, you can beautifully format it into pages and subpages, so readers can easily access and read it.

Notion block exampleSource: Notion

Here are some cases where Notion can add value: 

1. Keep your distributed team on the same page

Let’s take the following scenario: a new colleague has joined your company, working remotely, and would like to book holidays. But doesn’t know how to and the HR person is off. What happens next? Your new colleague starts slacking everyone to try and find what the process is, receiving a lot of unclear answers because nobody knows for sure. Does it sound familiar? 

Well, that’s where Notion comes in. You can store all of your company’s internal information like values, mission, vision, the team as well as internal processes. These can be organised under one main page titled “Employee Handbook” or  “HR” which can include multiple subpages describing each individual process. The best part? You can edit and add more information at any time, so the content stays up-to-date and all the questions from your team are answered. 

Here’s a sneak peek into our own “Employee Handbook” and how it is organised:Notion of LevelUp

2. Build workflows and manage tasks 

Probably your tech team is balancing a lot of tools; from tracking issues in Airtable or Jira to following meeting notes from their daily standups in Notes, it can get distracting and messy when you don’t have everything in one place. 

Notion can help you store the roadmap of your project and keep track of your tasks and timeline. You can create a Kanban board with the stages of your project (e.g. in progress, completed, blocked, etc.), add tasks and tag them based on their type (e.g. bugs, tasks, goals, etc.). Also, you can create documentation for easier collaboration. From code guidelines to design assets and useful commands, having everything in one place will eliminate miscommunication. 

Here’s an example from Notion on how to create this Roadmap:

Source: Notion

3. Create informative webpages 

What if we told you that you can create your own beautiful website in Notion and share it with the whole world? You don’t believe us… then check out HenQ’s website. Yes, you can also do this in Notion. 

4. Organise your own notes 

We have been talking about Notion used within the company, but the app can also be used individually, for taking personal notes. You can organise these notes based on the subject and even tag them with the appropriate purpose (e.g. meetings, learnings, grocery list). The greatest part of Notion is how visually beautiful these notes can be.  You can add emojis for each page, signalling the subject or add cover pages describing the purpose of the page.

NotionSource: Notion 

Notion for Startups: is it worth it?  

Simply put, yes. It makes sure information is always on-demand, it avoids numerous and repeating questions and it activates new (and existing) team members to actively look up the information they need. 

We know… it seems that we have fallen in love with Notion, but like any relationship, it’s not perfect. The app does have its limitations which are worth mentioning:   

  • Transferring information between accounts is tricky: if you create a page in Notion in your personal account, but you would like to add that page in the Company’s handbook, you cannot simply duplicate it and add it. There are some tips you can use, but it can be time-consuming 
  • Setting it up and making it look pretty can be time-consuming: like any other process, building your company Notion page will take some time and effort. Internally, we have a designated Notion employee, who is responsible for updating the general pages and making sure everything is structured. 
  • It can be overwhelming at first: when you first start using Notion, it can be a bit much. With all the templates, formats and pages, it can get distracting and confusing how to use Notion efficiently. But it’s a learning process. And luckily they have a lot of resources to help you figure it all out.

    Overall, in our humble opinion, Notion is a great tool. It allows you to easily collaborate with your team, whether remote or in-person; all your information, processes and documentation can be stored in one place, allowing everyone in your team to be aligned. 

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