Use Notion To Manage Your 3 Blog Buckets

Three Buckets?

Since the time I began the Intentional Blog course by Jeff Goins, I have been looking for a simple and sustainable way to work within the “3-Bucket System.” The 3-Bucket System is a simple but brilliant way to channel blog ideas into blog posts. Here's how it works: You take all of your ideas, really just titles or thoughts, and place them into the first “bucket” – consider these the seed of a blog post or a book chapter–anything you see that you think you might want to write about.

Once you have a bunch of ideas, you can begin developing them. This happens in blog bucket #2. This is where your ideas take shape. For me, I begin mind-mapping thoughts, assertions, and subheadings. I begin to knock out a few paragraphs to fill in the ideas. It's not polished prose yet, but there are sentences that flow together to connect the ideas.

Finally, once you've roughed in your piece, you move it to bucket #3 for the editing process. For most authors, the actual act of writing is much different from the way we find ideas and develop them. That's why I like Jeff's 3-Bucket System. It allows me to engage different parts of my brain when needed. For bucket 1, my brain is organizing and evolving the ideas-it's a mechanical process and feels like a left-brained to me. For bucket 2 I'm engaged in prose and written dialogue. This feels like right-brained activity. But for bucket 3 I'm back to my left brain again, checking for typos, duplicate phrases, passive voice—that kind of thing.

What's special about Notion?

Notion is an information organizing tool and frankly, the interface is beautiful. It's also very functional. I have tried so many different tools to keep the 3-Bucket System working, including yellow pads, a spiral notebook, Google Keep, Apple Notes, and Evernote. Visually and practically, none was up to the task.

I would list my ideas in Apple Notes or dig through a pile of papers and then I fleshed them out in Scrivener, Pages, or Google Docs. Eventually I ported them over to WordPress for final layout and publishing. I was working with 3 disparate applications and wishing I could have everything in one place.

Screenshot of my Blog Buckets

Notion solves this issue gracefully. Now I can see all my projects in one space, gauge the progress, and I can even write, edit, and revise in Notion. That's all three buckets and I haven't left the application. Not only that, but the tools for writing include a full suite of markdown tags, linking, images, and much more.

When I'm done, I can export markdown or simple select all of the content and the paste it into WordPress. The subheadings and text treatment persist so there's no need to go back and add H2 tags or italicize or underline things.

But wait, there's more…

While Notion is great for the 3-Bucket System, it does a TON of other things too. You can use it to store notes, of course, but you can also create spreadsheets and databases. You can coordinate tasks and projects. You can use Notion to create a Knowledgebase, and it's all shareable with your team at a low cost. It beats Evernote hands-down, which even the staunchest of past Evernote supporters agree (i.e. Michael Hyatt and others). 

A Quick View of Notion & The Blog Buckets

Note: If you're interested in taking Notion for a test drive you can get a $10 credit by signing up here. Full disclosure, I also get $5 credit if you do. Try it out today!