First Published:  | Last Updated: April 16, 2022

The gist: Here's how I use a daily journaling template in my Notion bullet journal to create a consistent daily journaling habit.

If you subscribe to our YouTube channel, there is a good chance you found it through the episode of Notion Office Hours I did with Marie Poulin and Matt Ragland on how to use Notion for bullet journaling.

In it, I share how my entire Notion bullet journal, all of the different collections and all of the different spreads, are all held together by one daily journaling practice and one daily review template.

And because of how that Notion template for my daily journal is set up, I never need to spend more than a few minutes at a time updating any of the others. It's like a Notion five-minute journal.

So in this video and post, I'm going to walk you through how that Notion journal setup for daily logs works, so you can see what I mean by that and what the process looks like.

Want to set up your own Notion bullet journal?

I made a free Notion bullet journal template for you based on the one I talk about this post! Click below to duplicate your copy.

The Notion Bullet Journal Index

Here's the home page of my Notion review dashboard, which is the equivalent of my digital bullet journal index:

notion bullet journal index

It's where anything that is also (or formally would have been) in my physical bullet journal goes, inside of my overall notion set up.

And here's where you can duplicate a free Notion bullet journal template based on this setup, if you want one like it.

You can see that because I also use a physical bullet journal, I use a lot of bullet journal terms like logs, spreads, and collections.

I've got daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly reflection databases at the top. The stuff below it, in a traditional bullet journal, would be considered collections or trackers.

Now let's go into my daily entries and see what's up with those.

Notion Daily Journal Setup

The different database views of this database that I look at the most are my scorecards and the gallery.

notion daily scorecards

My scorecard database view for the year uses a formula based on different stats and rollups that I'll explain later.

notion photo gallery

The photo gallery database view shows any journal entry that has a photo attached, with that photo attached. 

I normally fill out my daily entry as part of my nighttime journaling session (step 1 of my evening routine), and it's very easy because of the templates that I've created. And once I'm done, I set up the entry for the next day.

My go-to, default journal template is the one called daily dashboard, but I also have two less detailed templates for days that I don't feel like doing a full daily review.

notion journaling templates

Once I apply the database page template, the only things that I need to do manually for "the setup" are:

  • Fill out the page title and date fields, both with the date (I use both so that titles are clear and I can still use the calendar database view).
  • Attach the week from the weekly spread.

Then I'll start filling out my reflection, starting with the habit tracker and health tracker, which are the first two linked databases embedded in the page.

notion daily trackers

I like to keep these things separate instead of combining all the properties into one database so that I can fill them out separately or skip one if I want to.

Morning Routine Section

Next, there's a morning routine section for when I start my daily log earlier in the day. And it's easily hide-able under a toggle for days I don't reference it.

notion morning routine template

I can even choose whether I want to use the checklist template for a shorter, more abbreviated morning routine, or the one for a slower, more leisurely morning routine.

Then I would press the applicable template button to create a checklist and then go about my business.

Interstitial Journaling in Notion

After that section are the linked databases for my health and habit trackers mentioned before. Since they're pretty complex, I will do separate posts on their details instead of going into them in depth now (here's the habit tracker breakdown).

Following that is a brain dump section where I, wouldn't you know it, braindump throughout the day using interstitial journaling techniques.

notion braindump

As thoughts come up throughout the day, I put a timestamp in the bullet point using a TextExpander shortcut and then jot down the note.

Want to set up your own Notion bullet journal?

I made a free Notion template for you based on the one I talk about this post! Click below to duplicate your copy.

Notion Linked Databases

Pretty much everything after the braindumping journaling section is a linked database from the other Notion trackers.

notion linked databases

In addition to the databases already mentioned, I've got a writing word count tracker, a work journal, and a wins progress log.

Notion Evening Review

Finally, in between the linked databases is a checklist for my evening review. This is focused on digital decluttering stuff that I want to do before I go screen free for the rest of the night.

notion evening review

The first step of that is updating stats I'm tracking here in this spread, in my physical bullet journal, and in Exist.io and RescueTime, both of which I talk about in my productivity tools for 2021 roundup.

Then I look at my two Notion inboxes, the two different places that I clip new content to in Notion throughout the day: a regular inbox for random tasks and thought, and a content consumption queue for videos and blog posts I want to check out.

Then the final thing that I do is to plan for the next day by looking over my tasks database for anything due tomorrow, and looking at my calendar.

Other Notion Bullet Journal Collections

If a collection from my overall digital bullet journal index isn't included in this daily review template, it's because I already know that I don't update it enough to warrant it being built into the template I use every day.

But during this daily review section, in addition to filling out this daily journaling template, I will also go into any other dashboards or collections that I have in my Notion dashboard and review them if I feel the need to.

Daily Habit Scorecard

Now, based on all the information that I inputted into those different areas and linked databases, I can scroll to the top and see that report card that I mentioned earlier, all filled out and beautiful.

notion daily scorecard details

It pulls in my sleep score from my health tracker, my productivity score from RescueTime, my word count from my writing tracker, and a habit rating based on the habit tracker.

Then there are also some other fields in here, connected to things like what entertaining or educational content I consumed that day, a highlight, and a photo if I took one.

This all makes the top section an amazing overview of my day.

And it's not only useful in this context, it also then gets pulled into my weekly and monthly spreads as well, through the connection to my weekly spreads.

It makes having a consistent daily, weekly, and monthly review habit so much easier.

Want to set up your own Notion bullet journal?

I made a free Notion template for you based on the one I talk about this post! Click below to duplicate your copy.

Building a Consistent Review Habit

I was always someone that struggled with remembering to just kind of look over things on a regular basis, even though I knew that I felt less stressed when I did.

But this practice really has me consistently looking over important in the areas of my life once a day.

And I love it!

The Notion daily review template in my Notion bullet journal makes it all possible.

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