How I Save 10+ Hrs/Week With Notion AI
How I Save 10+ Hrs/Week With Notion AI

How I Save 10+ Hrs/Week With Notion AI


Read Time: 5 Minutes

Saving 10+ Hrs/Week With Notion AI

In this issue, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about using Notion AI to power your workflows.

Because truthfully, 90% of Notion users are using Notion AI at 5% of its true abilities.

But with the right prompting and setups, you could be saving yourself 10+ hours a week (especially as a solopreneur).

I know, because I did it.

(but more on that at the end...)

Notion AI Isn’t Easy, But It Is Damn Useful

Unfortunately, most people haven’t taken the time to learn the true capabilities of Notion AI.

And I’ll be honest, it took me about 4 weeks to do it myself.

But now that I understand it, I’m able to:

  • Get Notion AI to draft these newsletters
  • Have Notion AI draft my threads
  • Use Notion AI to multiply my content

And much, much more.

So, let’s dive in 🌊

Where Most People Get Stuck 😤

From what I’ve seen, there are 4 main reasons people get stuck and give up with Notion AI:

  1. They don’t know how to write good prompts
  2. They don’t know how to integrate it into their workflows
  3. They don’t know how to reference page blocks or properties
  4. They don’t know how to use Custom AI blocks correctly

So, let’s address each one of these.

And by the time you get to the bottom of this newsletter, you’ll be a pro!

STEP #1 → Understanding Notion AI

There are 3 main ways you can integrate Notion AI into your work (and they’re relatively simple).

  • Notion AI Database Properties
  • Notion AI Custom Blocks
  • Manual Notion AI Prompting

Each comes with its own benefits and quirks.

Notion AI Database Properties

This one is the most complex, but if you can get it to work right, it’s THE MOST useful Notion tool (in my opinion).

Basically, you can create a property in any database that is powered by Notion AI.

There are currently 3 options for this.

  • AI Custom Summary
  • AI Action Item Extractor
  • An AI Custom Autofill

The first 2 are rather self explanatory.

If you put select either of those as your AI property type, they will automatically summarize the database row or extract key points from that row.

But the Autofill….that’s where things get interesting.

See, you can use the Custom Autofill property to write custom prompts that could do all sorts of stuff.

For instance, I’ve written one that will write a Newsletter draft on command based on key data I’ve filled in on that individual page.

Pretty wild right?

I’ve written another one that does the same thing for Threads and Tweets based on a specific template that I’ve populated on that page.

Notion AI Custom Blocks

Custom AI blocks are actually one of the most useful aspects of Notion AI because they can be used in templates.

For example, if you drop an AI block on a page template within a button or database, it will always be there.

Plus, you can pre-write the prompt and it will be the same each time.

All you have to do is click “Generate” and BOOM!

You’ve got a handy-dandy AI personal assistant whenever you create a new page.

I use this to brainstorm title variations based on the title of the page I’m on.

I also use it to edit the output from my Notion Custom Autofill field.

So, basically, I’m having Notion AI write the first draft of my newsletter and then using a Custom Block to edit that output before I even touch it once.

Pretty neat, eh?

Manual Notion AI Prompts

This is the first AI feature that Notion rolled out.

It can be triggered simply by hitting the spacebar in any Notion page.

Or, you can highlight a block or a piece of text and hit “⌘ + J” to open up the prompt box.

This can be incredibly useful for getting a very refined output from the AI.

For instance, I used to get AI to write my newsletter for me by highlighting the full newsletter template I had and then manually prompting it.

The output was usually very solid with this method because I was telling it exactly what I wanted it to work from.

This method is also very useful for summaries, editing, and continuation of writing.

Phew, ok, on to step 2!

STEP #2 → Writing Good Prompts

Writing good prompts for Notion AI is essential if you want good output.

It’s not ChatGPT.

You can’t just correct your prompt and refine your output that way (at least not most of the time).

With Notion AI, your initial prompt has to be as airtight as possible to get it to work.

For example, here is the prompt I have in the editing prompt I mentioned:

Based on the text inside the ‘NEWSLETTER WRITER’ property above, edit the newsletter. Focus on incorporating the ‘VOICE’ and ‘TONE’ indicated in the ‘AI PROMPT’ callout box and edit to ensure that each part of the newsletter is speaking to the ‘TARGET AUDIENCE’ and solving their problem.

You’ll notice a few things here:

  1. I’m referencing SPECIFIC elements on the page using apostrophes
  2. I’m telling it exactly what to look for
  3. I’m telling it exactly what I want it to do

Honestly, this is a pretty tame prompt compared to some of the others I have in my system.

Sometimes you have to create layers and layers of specificity.

But once you dial it in, it’ll work every time.

And that…

That is WORTH It.

A few more notes on prompting:

  • If you’re referencing a specific block or property, write it EXACTLY as it is written on the block and put it in apostrophes
  • Notion AI will read EVERYTHING on the page (especially the custom AI properties) so decluttering your pages will help a lot
  • I’ve learned that you can train the AI by editing it’s output directly inside the property box or the custom AI block. If it’s putting in code or unnecessary info, highlight it and remove it. You’ll notice that it does it less after that.

STEP #3 → Integrate Notion AI Into Your Workflows

The best way to do this is to think about the areas of your work that are:

  • Tedious
  • Ideation heavy
  • Editing heavy
  • Not too complex

Try to replace those first.

Then create custom AI blocks or custom autofill properties to fulfill those needs.

I like to drop the custom blocks in all of my page templates where they’re needed.

You can also drop them inside buttons by choosing the “insert blocks” option.

Finally, if you have databases where you could use custom AI properties, dial in a good prompt through good ole’ trial and error.

Know that you can reference property data AND related property data as well with these custom autofill properties.

It’s tricky to get it right, but if you do it can open up a WHOLE world of possibilities for you because you can reference related database data.

Notion AI Is 100% Worth Learning

It might sound overwhelming.

Especially if you’re used to the easy, conversational prompting that ChatGPT offers.

But I will tell you this:

Taking my time to learn Notion AI was completely worth it.

I’m not joking when I say I went from struggling to write 1 WEEK of content in 4 hours to being able to brainstorm, outline, write, and edit an entire MONTH of content in <9 hours.

Yes, really.

(P.S. if you want to be the first to know when I publish my content system that I use to do this, click here to get on the Insider List 🤫)

I promise if you take the time to dial in your prompts and integrate the AI into your systems, it will save you loads of time in the end.

Weekly Spotlight 🔍


Listen, I’m a BIG fan of learning through osmosis on Twitter.

I love following creators who teach me things while I’m just scrolling on my timeline.

Which is why Rob Lennon (@thatroblennon) is the Creator of the Week.

Rob is my go-to guy for learning about AI prompting.

While his tips aren’t necessarily tailored to Notion AI, I’ve used many of his tricks to dial in my prompts.

Without him, I never would’ve figured out to how to get these systems to work.

If you want to learn more from Rob, go give him a follow here.

That's all for this week.

Stay Nerdy my friend! 🤓

– Madison


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