A Deep Dive into Thomas Franks Notion Workspaces

Thomas Frank is one of the most popular Notion Youtubers, here's a deep dive into how Thomas uses Notion and ideas on how you can implement those ideas into your own Notion workspace.
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Tutorial overview

I. Introduction

  • Introduce the video topic, which is an exclusive look at Thomas Frank's Notion account.
  • Mention that in this video, we will learn how the top YouTuber and host of College Info Geek, Thomas Frank, organizes his work all within Notion and stays productive during the day.

II. Overview of Notion

  • Provide a brief overview of what Notion is, and its main features.
  • Explain how Notion can be used for a variety of purposes such as note-taking, project management, and task tracking.

III. Setting up Notion for Productivity

  • Show how to set up Notion for maximum productivity, including creating a personalized workspace and organizing tasks and projects.
  • Demonstrate how to use templates, calendars, and other tools within Notion to stay organized and on top of tasks.

IV. Using Notion for Specific Tasks

  • Show how Thomas Frank uses Notion for specific tasks, such as content creation, email management, and research.
  • Explain how to customize Notion to suit specific needs and workflows.

V. Tips and Tricks for Using Notion

  • Provide tips and tricks for using Notion more effectively and efficiently, such as using keyboard shortcuts, creating custom views, and integrating Notion with other apps and tools.

VI. Conclusion

  • Summarize the main points of the video and encourage viewers to start using Notion to boost their productivity.
  • Provide a call-to-action for viewers to subscribe to the channel for more productivity tips and tricks.


Hello everyone and welcome back to another video today. I am joined by a very special guest. For those who don't know, Thomas Frank is a Youtuber. He's an entrepreneur. He's also the creator of College Info Geek, which is a popular YouTube channel and website that helps students to optimize their college life. Everything from finance to optimizing their productivity. I've been a follower of Thomas for a while and I remember watching him during my college years and thoroughly enjoying his videos.

We are bringing Thomas in today to talk a lot about notion. I was very nervous for this video because I've my Thomas for a fair a while now. But near the end of video a lot of karma because I I studied get to know all about him. So it's amazing to have him on today. He's going to dive into an exclusive look and how he used notion to create content and also monitor content with a small team. It's a quite an exciting explanation of how you can use notion and what I specifically took away from it.

Is that the way that he uses pages and templates? So he uses quite a robust process that he's adopted for creating new videos and being able to go a bit deeper than just that and having that as a workspace. So today's video, we're diving into how Thomas Frank uses notion and thank you so much to Thomas for coming here on the channel. It's an absolute honor to have him but without further ado. Let's dive in.

Welcome, Thomas. So good to have you. Yeah, great to be on the show. How's it going man? Yeah, very good. Where are you? Where are you based right now? I am in Denver, Colorado. Degrees Fahrenheit, snowing. Roads are terrible right now? Snowing, it's snowing already. It is. Yeah, I'm actually really happy about this. Yeah, you're in a snowboarder and last year we just did not get a ski season or the it being called a ski season. So it's the fact that the vengeance for this. Yeah, I will take some slick roads, cement. Oh, I've never I never would think it's like November and snowing. Yes. It's done day. Yeah, I would I'll have to go I need to go to the US so I I'll have to visit them for sure. Yeah.

Well Thomas maybe a little bit of an introduction to yourself for those who don't know who you are already. Yeah. So hi. I'm Thomas. I am a Productivity nerd I guess much like yourself I think and the past eight years have been running a website called college.com to help students of all ages really do better at school. Become more prepared in their careers all kinds of stuff like that. The college branding is very much a relic of being in college when I started it. And then I've got a YouTube channel just under my name Thomas, right? That's Steven more generally Lipsyte so we talked about activity habits, excelling as a person in all areas help things like that. And then I've got that podcast as well. Podcasts where every Monday, we cover a topic that we think students will be interested in. Yeah, I love I love the podcast. I I must say I need discovered it about six months ago properly. But since then I've been binging it's safe. It's really good fun. Okay. I let I've left as of a year ago. Yeah, yeah, it's it covers like pretty much everything in anything I like the finances. Yeah, there is a really good podcast. But everyone should definitely definitely go now. Thank you.

We're gonna talk about notion today because that's quite an exciting topic right now.

So maybe start with a few questions to you?

I wanted to ask first off, where and how did you find notion when you obviously discovered it. When was that?

That's a very good question. I think I found notion on product program. I can't remember where else I would have learned about it. So, I ain't got bounded on product program. I know it's been less than a year since I started using it. The earliest video that I worked on it was in June of this year. So possibly just this summer.

And when you got started with it, did you know it's like a lot of people sort of head towards it or were you around? I don't really know. I remember telling people about it and I'm all saying what's that? So flexible, it's got everything.

Yeah, and it's funny like the more I don't know I went so hard into it I was obsessively building pages and hubs for my content over a few days or a week. I feel like I'm one of notions biggest fan, but also one of their most annoying customers. I bet I think it's like Inception like he's just go layer by layer by exactly. Yeah, I love it.

In terms of when you like do you recommend it to any of the students or like college people that follow the channel? It just it's tough. I recommend everyone to try it out.

Hmm, I don't recommend it as my top note-taking system yet. I still recommend Evernote for that purpose though. Evernote still bugs me because all bugs but I feel that Evernote still offers the best combination of features and biggest reason for that is there's just some weird quirks and how notion handles actually writing notes.

Yeah, I know a need so actually I don't do my writing again. No shouldn't I still do. Go yeah, a big notion is close like two or three court weeks away from being like a note-taking system that I can use.

Yeah, I agree with you there, I don't think it's like a note-taker per se. Yeah, I think it's just a way that notes are captured and organized it's just like not it's a good different layout. It doesn't give you that almost like email inbox like structure. We have your your notebooks and then you have an eighth modified by default ordering of nodes within you can construct this I guess databases but it just feels a little longing compared evident.

Yeah, definitely definitely and in terms of when you're really setting up your account. It would be great to have a look inside of that and maybe you can give us a talk screen able to see ya lovely background. Nice search like forest background to Reddit.

So notion for quite a few things but this is the main thing we use it for which YouTube video project management and what I've done is created a table of projects. It's got a few views here. So for people who are not familiar with notions database tools, you can much like err table create different views for the same database. So I could do a calendar you would actually see what videos are coming out. I can do my default view and see things on form but we typically is used table view here and I can put when we're going to publish it, what sponsor is when I was published and edited either in my editor Tony eight? Down here. I keep some ideas.

The reason for putting ideas in a template project is to have a lot of economic news and anything else that may be of use. One really cool feature of the template is the ability to make templates. This allows for instances of the template to be created, such as the big video project template.

In this template, there are title ideas, keywords, sponsor permissions, and an editing checklist. This allows for the editor to go through and make sure everything is done correctly before publishing the video. Additionally, there is a publishing checklist to ensure everything has been done before publishing.

There are also links to helpful resources such as a stock music place and a headline analyzer. The crown jewel of this template is the b-roll area. The editor can upload a draft of the video to a website called Frame.io and add comments at specific time stamps. This allows for ideas for animations or clips to be added to the video.

The process of editing videos is made more effective and efficient by batching similar tasks together. This is important for online image gathering, filming, and skit building. There are two stages in the process, gathering and actual editing. During gathering, tasks are sorted by tags, and during editing, tasks are sorted by time stamp.

The bones of the template and the table of all the videos that I did, but the process of learning, you know how to use frame IO to export the CSB back to the queue tries at first. I was just manually entering the OIG into that ocean table and there were no timestamps.

But the original idea I think like my original sort of like brain blast for one of yous notion was realizing that I can switch between table and Kanban use as a mobile, so if I tagged by b-roll, I switch to a Kanban view and create lists based on tag. And I would do that. But this is where there's like one little Indian Ocean and the annoyance is, so we have like at the checkbox you saw the checkboxes. Yeah. If you switch to Kanban you you cannot just check the checkbox, you have to tap the card and open it as a modal and then tap the checkbox and I was like guys, this basically makes it really annoying to check things off at combativeness. I on the tap twice on a page especially in mobile, it's very annoying so back, you guys are just like you can see the checkbox, I don't know why you can't just like it. Yes. It's annoying.

So then we'll wait a minute Sorbet subtag tableview, which means like honestly do all of this in Google sheets as well. Yeah, exception being that Notion and air table and I think there's one other database as a spreadsheet sort of service out there. Every row is its own page or its own object with an ocean meaning if I have details I want to share with my editor like oh here's where you can get this footage or here's exactly what I want. Go for it. It's easy. I do. And in own definitely Google sheets, I would have to make like weird. Yeah, that's pretty and that sort of leads me to my my question my final question is, in terms of like a wish list that you would have a notion, what would it be in the next? Let's say six months for you to really go deeper with the service.

I don't know how I wouldn't look at this but the ability to assign things to okay, and I think you have to sit down like really think hard about a design this book right now, there's not like a way to login the notion you can see who's mentioned you but you can't see like this is what I got it so you sauna I think they just released this feature and I haven't lived with it but like the ability to to like relational tables. So if I had kind of tried to figure out as best I can but it would be nice if I could make a table that was able to reference date of you know be like their rows and things like that. So maybe I have a list of video ideas. I actually you know reference that from my my set project table because right now I have many ideas that I have to recreate a new template basically. Yeah.

And then some general writing police. So for instance the block system makes writing very flexible but it also makes it very annoying to examples and any other note-taking app. If you have a bullet list and you put your cursor at the beginning of a line that it already has texted and you hit enter.