This One Tool Generates me 10x New Writing Ideas Every Day ⚡️
The Notion template I built to power my daily writing and create 10x new ideas from every essay.
I love to use Notion templates to power my workflows.
Building my workflows and processes into the templates creates an effortless environment where I can finish tasks with ease as I flow through the process and have everything I need at my fingertips.
When I first started my content hub I built out a very simple writing template. A place to brain dump ideas, write the final article, and a checklist for publishing.
But as I went through ship30 over the last 30 days I began to learn so much more than just writing. I learned how to craft headlines and tweets, how to analyse data, and how to create an endless pool of ideas for new content.
Instead of keeping all of that information somewhere separate where I’d never use it again, I began to incorporate it into my template, so what I was learning was also part of the process of my writing. The act of what I was doing wasn’t disconnected from the learning.
I thought it might be interesting to share how my template has evolved and the workflow I use to now write each day.
Everything starts with an idea. So, my template also starts with a brain dump section. Whenever an idea hits me, where I am, I force myself to not just write down a headline, but to do a quick brain dump of everything I’m thinking about the topic. Sometimes it’s a few lines, other times it’s a few paragraphs.
Forcing myself to do the brain dump at the time of the idea means that when it comes to choosing an idea to focus on, I have some already formed thoughts to work with, rather than staring at a blank page.
After I’ve done an initial brain dump and I’m ready to start writing, I use the research section to search for any existing notes in my Zettelkasten that relate to my idea. I embed the database directly into the template, so I’m not jumping around to different pages. I simply open the toggle, do a quick search and find any notes that are relevant.
Because I take the time to write fully complete notes in my Zettelkasten, it means that I can literally just copy and paste these into my brain dump area and they are pretty much good to go. They add an extra depth to the ideas that I’ve brain dumped.
This has by far been one of the best additions. Before this, I didn’t really utilise my already written notes in the process. I was a write, publish, done kinda girl. Now I can use what I’m thinking and learning about in my writing because it’s right there ready to go.
CRAFT THE ESSAY
When I’m ready to write my final essay I take my brain dump and my Zettelkasten notes and I start to craft the final essay content. Because I’ve already done most of the heavy lifting, this usually doesn’t take me very long. At most 30 minutes. At the very least, 10 minutes.
Rather than sitting down to a blank screen every day, I literally sit down to 100 ideas already pre-written and all I have to do is assemble them.
And if I’m not feeling a certain essay, I just move onto another one and follow my interests around until I have one written.
COUNT THE WORDS
I am one of those people who LOVE the constraint of 250–300 word atomic essays. I resisted at first because it’s harder to write 250 words than it is to write 1000 words. But I’ve actually come to love the constraint.
But my first draft is rarely 250 words. Previously I would jump into another tab, search for word counter and paste my text in. Now, I have embedded the word counter directly into the Notion template, so I simply copy it from one side of the template to another.
Then it’s time to publish. I took all the proven headline formulas from one of the office hours and put them in a checklist toggle. So rather than going back to my notes to find what headline might work, I just open the toggle and they are all there.
Next, I’ll look at tweet formats. Blake wrote an amazing thread, which I embedded into my template that I can check out for inspiration.
These two additions alone have doubled the media opens of my essays. Without having them in the template they probably would have gone to the graveyard of all good ideas I learn in courses.
Once I’ve created a headline and tweet, I head to my publishing checklist. It’s simple, but it links out to all the relevant places I need:
- Open atomicessays.com and format essay
- Open twitter.com/new and post essay
- Open blog and create a new post.
I like having the links there cause I can just click and get to them straight away.
Once a week I’ll take some time to review the previous week’s content. I check my analytics, what resonated with people, what didn’t. Why did this one work? What can I learn?
I jot down a few bullet points of learnings for the future.
Then I use the endless Idea Generator model to create 10 more content ideas around the same topic. I embed my content database directly into the template to make it super easy. And I use my brain dump rule to write a few lines about each idea.
Those ideas then show up in the ideas section of my Content Hub because I have linked the database in the template. This brings the cycle full circle and guarantees that I’ll literally never run out of ideas again. I’m 10xing every piece of content.
But I don’t stop there. I’ve written some pretty great essays and I don’t want them to be lost in a sea of other content. I wrote an essay about all the ways I want to repurpose my essays so people can consume them in all different ways.
So, I added a section in my template where I can add different ideas to repurpose the content. Tweets, visuals, audio, videos. I embed my content template again and just start entering new ideas for repurposed content.
This means I’m amplifying my content 10x times and in different mediums and ways.
Phew, we made it! It’s definitely a beast, but it’s evolved over time with the way that I work. The workflow is easy, as a flow-through each task. Everything that I need is right there and all I have to do is follow the steps
Here’s the full image of the template
I really hope you enjoyed this walkthrough of my atomic essay template. I’d love to hear from you on Twitter if you use something similar or have any other ideas.
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Originally published on evchapman.com