You Don't Have To Choose Between Productivity And Play

Ev Chapman
May 10, 2021

Reddit can be a soul destroying place.

I remember the first time I posted to the Notion Reddit after spending a weekend designing my first ever dashboard. I was so excited. I had designed and built this thing that was beautiful and unique to me. I thought I might find some kindred spirits on Reddit to share with. Instead, I got this comment.

How many productive things could you have been doing instead of playing around making that look pretty?

Welcome to Reddit, baby. Luckily, I did meet many kindred spirits that day and that lone voice was crowded out by my new #notionaesthetic friends. I never did apologise for spending the time playing around with beautiful workspaces and I never will.

As a visual person, I need my surroundings to inspire me. That includes the tools I look at every day on the screen. If they are boring, they won't last the distance. So when I'm designing Notion workspaces they not only have to function well, but they have to look amazing.

Here are some of the ways I spruce up my workspaces:

Use Colour. Colour makes everyone smile. Utilise text colour and backgrounds

Emojis and Covers. Emojis aren't just fun they can help to distinguish pages from each other.

Callouts & Quotes. Don't just stick to paragraphs and headings. Utilise callouts and quotes to make important things stand out.

Columns. Free yourself from the one column format of a word doc!

GIFS. Admit it, Gifs make everything more fun. When you're having fun, you're more productive (theres' probably a study I could cite here... just go and add a gif to workspace).

This is your permission slip to take the night off any 'serious productivity' and go play.

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