Another way of living

How Notion came to us?

Little story...

I need a bold engineer!

I am a bald engineer!


How we resolve this?
Oh! Here is something...
A bald engineer?

.  .  .

Bold, bald...
Tomayto, tomahto - potayto, potahto,
who cares?

A tough beginning...

  • First non-Spanish job
  • No Pepe (the brain behind CoreIntegrity)
  • No documentation
  • We released Goliat in 6 months
    • A regular person tooks 6 months to start being productive...
  • No hardware to develop
    • Imagine delivering an Orcaflex program without Orcaflex
  • ...

The tough part...

This is how we work:

  • We use Office365
  • We have OneDrive grouped in folders
  • We have SharePoint too
  • There's a Ben shared folder too... Wait I'll ask to Ben to share with you
  • ...

Ok Jean, understood

(I don't remember anything, I will understand while I work with my mates)

The tough part...

Mates, could you explain me how you use Office365?

  • We don't get along with it
  • We have most things in our computer
  • We don't remember where we put things at OneDrive
  • ...

OK... (it looks i'm not the only lost with this)
How do you organized your tasks?

Oh! I have a Jira shared with Elena

But I don't know how to use properly

Notion, a new hope

Mates do you mind if I put something to organize ourselves?

Does that imply more job for us?

Not at all, I'll do everything

Count on us

Carlos I need to pay license for a software

Ok, but don't tell anybody where you find the money...

My lips are sealed

What da heck is Notion?

This is Notion

  • It is just a program which let you build new tools
  • How?
  • You have a blank pages that you can fill with blocks
  • A block is the minimal unit of content:
    • Heading 1, 2, 3....
    • Lists (ordered or unordered)...
    • Images, videos, codes, equations...
    • Another page
    • Databases
  • Databases are just a way of group pages with different views

Each month, Notion (the company) releases new things:

  • More blocks
  • New views fot databases
  • Integrations with different sw
  • Features all were missing

Imagination is the limit

Our setup

A few notes before that

Tools shape mindset

When we talk about documents, we think in physical pages, not digital

When we talk about to organize them, we think in cabinets with drawers (typically folders with subfolders)

A few notes before that

We are doing Digital documents

  • Probably we wouldn't never print it
    • Why are we limited by the shape of a physical page?
  • Digital field brings you to enrich your docs
    • To embed interactive things, like videos, webpages, programs
  • It is highly sure that documentation could be consumed by smartphones, not only PCs
    • It should be responsive
  • Etc...

Design principles



  1. People over processes
    • I make a proposal regarding a previous User Research
    • It is a WIP, not a dogmatic organization
  2. Radical Transparency
    • Everything inside Notion is public for members
    • We document thinking about the people who come after. No to knowledge silos
  3. We own it, we love it
    • If my proposol doesn't fit you, you can create your own

A FEW OF MY OWN (Human-Centered design)

  1. Single source of truth
    • 1 context just in 1 place
  2. Click depth (from SEO and UX)
    • No more a bunch of subfolders
  3. Explicit better than implicit (from Zen of Python)
    • You are documenting for your mates, not for you and Notion don't charge us for letters
  4. Less is more (from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe)
    • All in one place + explicit doesn't implied you overwhelmed the user
    • We'll use mechanism to hide and show things
  5. Done is better than perfect (from Sheryl Sandberg)
    • Don't be scared to do things in Notion, everything has a solution, except for death
    • Put in Notion even if it doesn't follow the principles, somebody will fix it

"I came here to see Notion, not to listen to your bald head talk"

Points to consider

  • This was possible because I am an eclectic person.
  • I dedicate a large part of my time to training in things that not only involve development.
  • Also being proactive helps a lot.


This was possible because:

  • My mates are assertive and they are willing to hear me if I propose something.
  • Bosses (like Carlos) trust + support me when I appear saying "I need money to test something".
  • We have freedom of movement to test things, not just deliver value
  • And maybe the bullshit points before have a part of truth too

Thank you

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