How To Use Notion As Localization Project Manager

Is Notion any good for localization project managers? In this video, I'll show you how to use it to schedule your projects. Together, we'll plan two simple projects and create one dashboard.

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Is Notion any good for localization project managers?

Welcome to another episode in this series, where every month we’ll check out a new project management platform and see how viable it is for localization. All online software will be either free or with a free trial, so you can try it on your own.

In this video, I’ll show you how to use Notion to schedule your localization projects. Together, we’ll plan two simple projects and create one dashboard.


Andrej Zito 

How can you use Notion to schedule simple localization projects? In this video, I’m going to show you how to go from this to this. Hi guys, this is Andrej from Localization Academy. Welcome to yet another video where I’m going to try out with new software. This time with Notion and I’m going to show you how you can set it up to schedule and manage your localization projects. We have two projects to schedule. The first one, it’s very simple, it’s just translation, review and delivery. Second one is a little bit more complicated because the project has two different scopes of work for different types of languages. Enough talking, let’s get right into it.

Andrej Zito 

So, this is how you start with a new account. What I’m going to do is I’m going to create a new workspace, which will be project management. We can get it an icon, calendar, maybe. This is our project management space now. Now, first thing, and I’m going to demonstrate this on let’s say, you’re using this for yourself, although there’s a way how you can easily set it up to use it for your whole team, but we’re going to focus on are two simple projects that we’ve been doing so far. First thing that I like to do is, because I’m going to need more space later on to see the whole timeline of my projects, I’m going to enable, I mean toggle on the full width for this page. And this is where we are going to start. So first, we’re going to start with the project A, which is quite simple. Translation, review and delivery. The way I would like to organize this information, of course, you can put all the information for your individual projects, as well as your let’s say, dashboards for all your projects on one page, so we can have it all here. But I think it’s maybe a little bit more better organized, if we have the details of our projects in their individual pages. And, we keep this main project management page as sort of a dashboard. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to create a page, which will represent my first project. So that will be project A. And here, because it looks like we key I’m going to get it to full width again.

Andrej Zito 

Here you can enter some information, you can create tables, or whatever you need. And I think maybe just to demonstrate, we’re going to say that this is German, French, Japanese Korean, you could add more information about this project, whatever you want. So I’m going to go back, and what I’m going to do is I’m going to create. So I’m starting with forward slash, which gives you the blocks that you can use. And what we need is we need the databases. The reason why we need database is because, again, going back to the previous platforms that we used – monday.com and ClickUp – all of your information about the project. So, what are the individual tasks, their status is, who is it assigned to, when is the start date, when is the finish date, all of those pretty much sitting in some database, okay. So we need to store this information in some nice structured way. So that’s why we’re going to create a database within Notion. And this is why I think maybe Notion is so great, compared to the other things, because you can also type in some text, blah, blah, you can also add images here. So it looks like a wiki page but it also has the functionality of the databases. So going back to our building blogs, we’re going to start with the let’s say the master database, which is going to contain all the information from all our projects. And what I wanted to create is I don’t want to create an inline. So inline table or board all these inline databases, it’s just a different way how to represent the data. So table, board, gallery, inline means that it will be inserted right into this page but what we want is the full page. So that will create a new page which will only serve the purpose of the database. So I’m going to create a full page table and here I’m going to call it… here you can see it’s adding, it’s been added here and here I’m going to call it Master Project Tasks, let’s say. And I like to give it an icon or the drop okay.

Andrej Zito 

There a big old drum is now our icon for the database. Now, just like with every database what you first need to do is you need to define the columns that you’re going to be tracking and that information that you need to store. So because in this database, basically every row represents a task on a project, we’re going to rename this first one. So this is the default one, which I think sort of source source, which I think sort of serves as an ID. But it doesn’t have to be unique, but you can’t delete this one. So this will be the task, name of the task. Next one, we’re going to create a project. And right below here, you have the property type. So that’s how it’s called. So each column is a property. And what we’re going to change this to is we’re going to change to Select. So every task belongs only to one project. Okay, so this is the project and here we can configure the options. So we’re going to say that we’re doing project A, right and then later on, we’re going to do project B. And when I’m here in the options, you can also change the color for your projects. So for project A, let’s say it’s a green one, and this one will be… project B will be blue, okay? Okay with this. Alright, so task, and property type is title. We’re just pretty much just the next deal. Okay, so it is a project. Next thing that we need to do is we need the status, of course, and the status for us is same as before, we can only have one status at the same time. So we’re going to pick the Select Property Type. I’m going to try to define this based on our previous experience, we sort of know what we want. So we’re going to start with to do, then we’re going to add our statuses for our sub tasks, which are heads-up sent. Here to do lower case, heads-up sent, then we do heads-up confirmed. Then we do handoff sent. And we do handoff confirmed. And we do one sort of a bigger status, which will be in progress. And then we do final one, which will be done. Now I have the final status, what I want to do is I want to change the colors a little bit, and for some reason my done has disappeared. Okay. So to do I’m going to do the default one light gray heads-up sent. There’s not that many colors here. I’m not sure if there’s a way how you can define your color for status. But so far, I’m just using these colors that are given to us. So for heads-up sent, I’m going to say let’s say we’re started with yellow. Heads-up confirmed will be put it to green. Handoff sent will to orange stick to that one. Handoff confirmed, I’m gonna do green again. And in progress will be let’s say blue. And done will be say the brown one. Okay, so these are our statuses. One thing that I’m thinking about is because we need to somehow

Andrej Zito 

Does this work? This doesn’t work. So because we want to sort of define that some of the statuses are applicable to only the sub tasks. What I’m going to do is I’m going to give it a little bit of a prefix using some of these characters and only use this one. Let’s see if this works. So that’s confirmed. They’re okay. It’s a little bit better. Hey, handoff sent, blank and a final one blank. Okay. So we start from to do, which should be sort of a default option. I’m not sure if you can set it as a default. No, because it’s just the default color. Then these are the, let’s say status for the subtasks and here we have in progress and done. So the main task is technically just to do, in progress, or done. Um, see there’s an option for selecting default No, there is not. Okay, so we have our project status defined. Next we’re going to do is we’re going to assign a task to someone. So for that the property type will be a person. So this is always related to the people in the workspace. For this demonstration, it will be just me. So you can pick a person that has access to this workspace. So it’s just me right now. Okay. And then we need the more more the main important thing for our task, which is the date. And here you can actually, this is what I learned just recently, you can only pick a date property. But within the date, you can also select an end date. So with not just one specific date, but you can also specify the range. So I’m going to name this start, finish. And here on the format date, you have this thing, which is called end date. And if you need you can also include a time so that is another thing that we need. And last thing, this is sort of my best practice for using, from using Notion for my other stuff is that I like to include the automatic property types, which are last edit by and last edit time. So whenever someone comes here and it makes a change, I know who it was that sort of automatically leave a timestamp, okay. You can change these fields. So now that we have defined our table, we don’t have to bother with the, with the sizing because once we, let’s see, reuse this database for the individual projects, I’m going to show that to you in a while, you’ll probably see that the the size doesn’t matter that much. So what I can do is I can squeeze this in a little bit. We want this on one line assigned to the rest, looks pretty much okay. Maybe your projects are small, and we want more space for the task. Okay, this is how, how I would imagine the database to be to be structured right now. Okay. So now that we have this, I’m going to go back to our project management. Here we have our Mesa, Mr. We have our master project tasks database, because it’s sort of a database thing, I don’t want it to be in the view. So I’m going to put a divider here. And I’m going to put it a little bit lower, so it goes away from the view. Okay, here we go back into the project A and this is where we can start planning our project.

Andrej Zito 

And the way we do it is because we won’t store all the information for project A in the master project tasks database. And then we’re also going to store other projects in the main database. And then we can have one unified view because all the information is sitting in the main database. And that way also our tasks, which are planned across different projects have basically the same structure and the same information captured, okay. And the way you do this is again, you’re going to add a block with the forward slash, and what we’re going to do is type of link, and this what this is what we need to create linked database. Okay, so this will give you a list of the databases throughout your workspaces. And we’re going to link it to this one, Master projects, Master project tasks, okay. So I have linked it. So now whenever I do any changes here, let’s say blah, blah. The thing that’s going to happen is it’s also going to make changes in the master project tasks database, right, because it’s still the same thing. Now, what we need to do is, first of all, I’m going to delete everything. So if I’m, if I delete it from here, also deleted from the master database. So we started with a with empty database. And now the important thing is because I only want to be able to add object a tasks here, right? Because that’s how we want to schedule it. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to apply a filter and I’m going to add a filter and I’m going to say that we want to only show the tasks where the project is project A. Okay, now that I have this filter applied, what happens is that when I add a new task, it will automatically select project A, which is exactly what we want. So, because I mentioned this to you before, that the order of the column is absolutely different than what we defined previously. So what I’m going to do first is I’m going to reorganize this a little bit. And what I think we need is I want to have my status first, I have my start to finish my timeline assigned to and these timestamps, maybe I want them to be the last, and I’m moving, moving the project to the end, okay. The reason why I moved the project to the end, while in the master database, I have it as a second column is because here, after I applied the filter, pretty much everything will just belong to project A right, that’s the main idea.

Andrej Zito 

So what I don’t like here is this scroll bar. So we’re going to play with the columns a little bit, we’re going to try to reduce them so that we don’t have to think or check, squeeze it in as maximum as I can start to finish, I think we’ll need to be a little bit longer status is good, I think. And task we can maybe put it like this. I think this is this is good for now. Okay. And now, what we do is we do what we did before, so we just start scheduling, right? So our project starts with translation. Let me quickly open my cheat sheet. Okay, so this project is translation, we have 30,000 adjusted. And we’re going to say that this one is in progress, and start to finish. So this is again, another thing which aids sort of don’t understand that when you set up these fields, the same as with the order of the columns, or properties on the master database, that the linked databases don’t inherit it, so I again need to check that this is, we also want to track the end date here. And so what we’re going to do is we’re going to set the start date on October 4, and this is a little bit annoying. Okay, October 4, and it’s 30,000. So that will be three weeks, so it should be until twenty-second. Okay, and I’m going to set it I had this assigned to me.

Andrej Zito 

Now the problem here is that because we’re sort of working on the database level, so every row has the same, let’s say priority or same level, we cannot add subtasks. Okay, so the way I’m going to add subtasks is the same way, same workaround as I did with the status. So I’m going to prefix subtasks, with these arrows so that I know that these are rows, which sort of represent subtasks problem is that they’re actually not linked to the parent task. But if you’re starting to finish dates, and your tasks are named, in a good way, it means it will still appear as if it was a sub task, it will always follow this one, but we’ll get to that later. So what we want to do is we want to create a tracking for each individual sub task. So German translation, then I add another one, another one, okay, and I’m going to change this quickly. So German, French, Japanese, and Korean. And for the statuses, what we can do is just briefly for German translation, they confirmed the heads-up, French translation. They haven’t done that yet. This one and for Korean we already sent the handoff. Okay, the same way here. The good thing is that here in Notion, you can easily copy all the information so whether it’s the assigned to person, whether it’s the range for your task, the time range, status, everything you can just copy it, I’m just going to copy it here. For the rest and for French, maybe we give this person extra days and here are assigned to I would normally pick the people if I had them added to the workspace, but for now I’m going to leave it as it is. Okay, so this is our translation. Next, we’re going to do view until 31st, Sunday, and then we’re finally going to do the delivery, which will be still to be done. And this one will be since our French isn’t 31st, then we’re going to just do it on November 1. And for this one, I don’t need the end date. Okay. And this is basically our little mini schedule for this one, what I can do is I can also assign the delivery for me, right, because as a project manager, I’m responsible for that. And I can pick, oversee, or review as well. And then I would assign individual sub tasks to the people who are doing the review. Okay, so this is all our information, this is our schedule for the project. And as previously, this is just a very boring table, what I think is a better more visual way for project managers to track where they are, what still needs to be done is Gantt charts. So we need something that is that the visually lays, lays out these tasks on a calendar view. And for that, we’re going to add a new view here. So with databases, it’s all just data stored somewhere, like I mentioned before, you can have different views of the same data. And what we want is the timeline. So I’m going to add a new view to this one. So this adds this drop down here. And I can go back to the table view, which is where we inserted all the things. But now we’re going to play with the timeline view. And this is the beautiful thing. And here you can see that the ordering is a little bit different. So what we need to do here is, first of all, we lost the filter. So I’m going to add the filter again, for the project. And we only want the project A because once we start adding stuff to project B will also appear here. And that’s not what we want, because we’re still within project A. And next thing that I’d want to do is I want to add a sorting. And I’m going to sort this bar A, start to finish sending. And then we add another sorting, which is the task. So if I remove this, you can see that our sub tasks sort of appear on the up.

Andrej Zito 

But when I add a second sorting by the task, the main task will go first because the T appears earlier in the alphabet, then this arrow think so that sort of like pulls everything underneath it. It’s not perfect. But that’s that’s how it is. So right now what we see, here we have a table. And here we have a timeline. So you can still display some information as a table. And some of it on the timeline. I think for our project, we can hide the timeline, because we can see the tasks here. And what you can also do is you can here under properties. So this is all the properties or columns for the table that we’re tracking, right. And here you can reorder they’re already how they’re shown on the timeline. And you can also turn them on. So for example, I can turn on who is it assigned to, so that task is assigned to me. And what I think maybe I would also be interested since we can see when it starts and ends, maybe I also want to see the status. So I can bring the status up a little bit. Okay, so here is where I can see this is my project project A, I know that translation starts on on Monday, the fourth, and this is beautiful because it even highlights the dates on the on the calendar. Here you can see the weekends. And here you can enter. I mean you here you can enable or toggle any information for the properties that you want to display on these sort of cards. Now, of course, because for example, here, the deliveries just one day, it sort of goes outside of the thing, but I think it’s pretty fine. It’s negligible thing. And that is our timeline for project A. Now, going back to our project, in the same way, what we’re going to do is we’re going to create project B, this is our slightly more complex project. This one is again, German, French Japanese, Korean, but we have different scopes. So actually, German, Japanese is scope one and French Korean scope two, but it’s still within the same project. So now that we have this little bit of metadata data or description or information about the project.

Andrej Zito 

Next thing we want to do is we want to do the same thing as we did for project A, and we’re going to link the master database. And here we are. So here you can see, by default, it linked all the rows that are there. But this is all information for project A. So we’re going to start by first of all filtering the project, where project is project B, okay. And this is, as expected, we have no tasks defined for project B, the thing where it gets interesting a little bit is that for project B, we have different scopes of tasks for different languages. And we also have that language independent task called pre processing, which is done for pretty much all of the languages. So in order to echo that what you could do is you could create three technically three linked databases here, one for let’s say, language independent tasks, one for German, Japanese, one for French, and Korean. And then maybe for the project, you would say, I don’t know, it’s project B, German, Japanese, or something like that. But since I would just want to keep it all in one database, what we’re going to do is we’re going to go back to our main database, and you can use this, this link here, and I’m going to add a new property there. And I’m going to add a property which will be again, a drop down, so a select, I’m going to move it up a little bit. Oops. So simply drag and drop. And this will be our language group. Okay, and what we want to define for our language group, is we want to have a language independent option. We want to have a German was Japanese. And then we want to have range was Korean.

Andrej Zito 

Okay, I’m going to leave the course as they are by default. So now that we’ve defined this column, what I can do in project A, and let me go back to the table view, so here we have our language group, we’re going to put it before project A, what we can do is we could… Okay, now my table is super long. Squeeze this in. Okay, there we go. Language group. There we go. So we have language independent, German, Japanese, French, Korean, and I forgot to add one, one, which will be all. So here I’m going to set it as all language group. And now I can go back to project B. And here again, I’m going to have to reorganize the columns a little bit. Where we are, here we are. So we have set up everything. So now we can start putting down the tasks for project B. So we have pre processing, which is then ours. And I think this one we considered to be done. And it was done. Last week, this case, I need to extend it a little bit. And it was a time someone, whatever. So that is the only language independent thing that we did. So for French court, sorry for German, and Japanese, we do translation again. This time, it’s 15k. So here, immediately, we want to select the language group. So German, Japanese, everywhere. That’s our first task. Next one will be review. And then finally we we’ve delivered these two languages. And we just want to make sure that everything is tagged with the proper language group. So that is our first scope for German Japanese. Now after we have this thing, what we’re going to do is we’re going to put in the tasks or the other part of the project B which is friendship Korean. There. So that is our project. So similar to project a, we’re going to add a timeline view and this is what I was telling you about. So it’s basically reversed. So in order for us to get it in the correct spot, and I think also we have project a here if I’m not mistaken. So first of all we’re going to do is we’re going to filter out a project. Project B only.

Andrej Zito 

Okay, so this should be our project. Next thing, what we want to do is want to set up the sorting. So first of all, we want to sort by the language group. Okay, so our language independent first, then our German, Japanese, and then our French and Korean, then we do the same thing which we, which we did previously. So start by finish, and then finally by task. So this should give us this thing. So pre processing, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I’m going to hide the table. And what we can do is we can also display the language group, I think that might be helpful here so that we know for which languages we’re doing these things. And I can maybe also add the assigned to and previously, we also have the status, but it’s going to be quite a lot of data displayed on the timeline. So I’m just going to leave it out for now. And the sub project, okay, so here is the pre processing that we already completed. Here we have translation review, DTP, QA, and so on, so on. And we know that this everything is for German and Japanese. And here we have French Korean, what do we could technically do, because we have more information here, because of the language groups, what we could do is we could show the table and maybe we could move the language group here to the table. And we could then display statuses instead of the language groups on the timeline, something like this.

Andrej Zito 

Okay, it’s up to you how you get it done. Now, now that we have project A and project B, so if I’m, if I want to work on my project A, see where it is I go here, this is my raw data, but I switch to timeline so I know where I am with project a same with Project B, it’s already in the timeline view, I can again change to a table view, if you want, you can also create calendar view. But that’s a little bit too much for me what we always want to do, especially if you’re managing multiple projects at the same time, we want to create one unified view. And now here’s the good thing, because we have it all in one big database. What I’m going to do is I’m going to create a new link here to our master database. And this time, I’m going to leave both projects here displayed. So I’m going to go straight into the timeline view because that to me is the best way to monitor where you are right now, in your project, what needs to be done, you know what needs to be done in a few days next week, and so on. So I’m going to add a timeline view. And because I want it to be the default, I’m actually going to delete the default table view. So we always start with the timeline view. And here, we’re going to utilize the table here in a way that I’m going to display the properties. And this is what shows in our table and what I want to show is the project I put it in the wrong one. So project first, then I can select a task. And I want to remove a task from here. Okay, so this is our sorting. This is our information that we’re displaying here. But now I also need to add the sorting. So first of all we want to sort by project okay project a project B. Then after that we want to integrate the language group. After that we want to sorted by shard and finish. And finally we want to sorted by task. So all the sub tasks fall under the main task. And this is where we are and one final thing is here on the timeline like we did before maybe we want to display who is assigned to and what is the current status. And if you want we can also display the language group. Although now the acts are a little bit conflicting. Maybe I could have the language group displayed on the table and I want the project to be first. There something like this.

Andrej Zito 

Okay, I can even justice information here. Alright. And this is, this is, this is my portfolio of projects and this this is where I can see all the task, they have a problem, of course, because we didn’t define, we cannot define these as sub tasks over task. So I cannot sort of collapse and expand them. But here you can clearly see. So right now it’s Sunday, unfortunately. So nothing is happening by let’s say, we are here on the 11th. So I will see clearly where we are. And what is finishing soon, for example to translation will be finishing soon, these things should have finished already, on Monday, and so on. So this is where you can see all your projects in one timeline view. And I think that’s it. That is the that is a notion that is how I would set it up for projects. I think this database view and set up can of course, work for everyone, for all of your multiple projects. Because if you have multiple people, what you can do is maybe you can create another property, which will be the feel for who is the project manager on those type of projects. So then the project manager would only feel filled their projects. But you if you are a PM team lead or manager, you can see the overview of all the tasks from all the projects of all your people and see what is on time and what is overdue. Another thing which I haven’t shown you yet, and this is again, where I think Notion has the superpower is that each of the rows that we created here, can actually open as its own page. And you can add more things here into the individual tasks, you can add comments, and you can add, I don’t know, more images, but you can also add more databases within the rows of databases. So it gets maybe a little bit more complicated. But this is what I think is the power of Notion. And that is the that is the flexibility that you have, as long as you understand a little bit about databases. So hopefully, this tutorial was useful to you see you in the next one!

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