Build your own Evergreen Workspace or...
Build your own Evergreen Workspace or...
In order to have an effective and productive workflow in both personal and professional use, it is important to maintain a high level of functionality and interconnectivity in everything you do. Combining these two key principles with that of intentionality and having a workspace that allows you to stay aligned with your goals is of the utmost importance to us at Rise Productive.
The Evergreen productivity framework combines popular productivity systems with our own TTP Method in order to maintain both personal and business alignment. With this workspace and methodology, you will be able to achieve the highest level of intentionality with your time.
This framework is influenced by time blocking / tracking combined with a tweaked P.A.R.A system which expands upon “Areas of Responsibility”. This expansion adds on a layer of task and resource prioritization and segmentation that has similarities to August Bradley’s Pillars-Pipelines-Vaults concept, and William Nutt’s Bulletproof methodology.
The foundation of this system’s functionality is based on Notion’s ability to condense information through:
With the power of Notion’s relation property, we can connect master databases to each other and properly filter out what views and data are needed for individuals through various linked database views.
This workspace allows for the individual and team to filter out what is needed for themselves and others by only interacting with linked databases and layers of filtering for what applies to them.
A high-level page, The Earth, is the very foundation that makes up the various databases and views that can be seen throughout the entire workspace.
These databases allow for continuous alignment on what matters most in your life and business by utilizing time blocking and tracking concepts to spend time doing what matters most and review the status of your alignment goals.
The relations these databases use are for filtering purposes only and the pages themselves will only have input to properties, views, and filtering that changes based on the alignment adjustments made by the individual/business.
These are the databases that segment life/businesses and allow for organized structure, actionable tasks, and easily accessible information. These databases relate to one another and are the very foundation of the functionality of this workspace.
Projects: “A series of tasks linked to a goal, with a deadline”
Areas of Responsibility: “A sphere of activity with a standard to be maintained over time”
Resources: “A topic or theme of ongoing interest”
Archive: “Inactive items from the other three categories”
The concept of a “tree” came as an idea inspired by nature’s unique ability to have macro and micro-ecosystems. While this entire workspace is the “forest” that makes up the macro-ecosystem of a person’s life or a business the trees are the different segments of that forest.
Personal Tree Examples:
Business Tree Examples:
A tree is made up of various branches. These branches in Notion are the same as that in real life, they clearly stand alone as sub-sections from the rest of the tree, however, they remain a part of the tree as a whole.
Personal Branch Examples:
Business Branch Examples:
A root is what connects a tree and its various branches to “The Earth” both in the real world and in this Notion workspace. While you may not be able to see on the surface, roots grow and spread out as the tree and its branches do.
In the case of this workspace, the “Roots” database is comprised of various pages that contain functional progress-based databases. Roots may serve specific branches or the entire tree mattering on the needs of the individual or business.
Personal Roots Examples:
Business Roots Examples:
Resources: Information/reference material that is input-based but not progress-related. No dates/timelines that require completion are associated with these databases.
Roots: Databases and pages that are progress-based. These databases have deadlines and are the functioning parts that foster the growth of Trees / Branches.
Projects: The parents of tasks have an overall due date/timeline associated with them. These have a longer/larger scope than a day's or two’s work.
Tasks: The children of projects and are the individual pieces to the completed puzzle of a project. These may also be one-off tasks that need to be completed at a specific time.
Events: Meetings that could be related to a project, status updates, or an ad-hoc conversation that is scheduled at a specific time.
Time Calculations: A database for calculating the difference between the total hours in an individual or workweek versus the commitments and discretionary time for individuals and teams.
Alignment: This database utilizes the time calculations and breaks them down into minutes per week. This database relates to “Trees” and “Branches” in order to give identify what are the highest time values given to different “discretionary” aspects of life.
Alignment Review: A database for weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly reviews. With some basic time tracking/blocking this database will show you whether you are in alignment with your values and goals.
Talk about having a time blocking/time tracking system where you make sure to put time for things like “social” etc.
The task priority system needs to not become something that prevents you from ever relaxing.
Time. Trees. Priority
This refined method pulls from the concepts of GTD, time blocking, and intentional living in order to spend the majority of the time doing things you or a business find the most valuable to their personal or professional goals.
This system should serve as a framework with the understanding that nobody can complete everything on their to-do list all of the time. This is the key to keeping the TTP method as a flexible tool rather than a rigid constraint.
The time a task or event needs to take place. This is the highest level of priority as the one thing that can throw off an entire system is an urgent task or event in life or at the workplace.
The segments of life or business. Sub-sections of Trees are called Branches, and the functioning databases of Trees and Branches are called Roots.
For further explanation on these "Areas of Responsibility" refer back to The Forest Framework section.
Prioritizing trees and branches in order to align with what matters most. This system works well with Notion + Google Calendar time blocking but is tool agnostic.
This workspace comes custom-built with 4 trees and task/project management databases that sort in the priority order that you assign them.
As can be seen with the system “Time” is always the highest priority on the list. The reason for this is the catch-all of “situational” task/project management. A.K.A. things happen so you cannot always be in perfect alignment with the to-do list you set every day.
A Practical Example
You work a 9-5 job and have a goal of exercise every day. Naturally, since your “Work” / “Family” take higher precedence as they are commitments with rather than discretionary time use.
Early mornings are a time when nobody else in the house is awake and it is outside of your working hours so that priority does not apply here.
For that reason, you take your “discretionary time” to schedule morning “Time” for your color-coded “Growth” tree in your Google Calendar to exercise every weekday morning from 6:00-7:00 AM before your kids wake up.
You refer to your “Root” Workout Calendar in Notion in order to see what workout you have during that time block on each specific day.
Monday through Wednesday you go through this without any problems, however, Thursday comes around and your child wakes up at 6:15 AM and interrupts your workout because they are sick. Your child’s needs are time-sensitive so naturally, you take care of them right then and there.
These random events may throw off your priority system with the “time” catch-all, but you can go through the rest of the day and week knowing that the majority of the time you were aligned with your goals.
As referenced earlier, Trees, Branches and Roots are key components in maintaining organization and priority in your digital workspace. The “Forest” page is where priorities are laid out and sorted.
The example Forest priorities here are sorted by the priority number you assign to them, however the secondary sorts by the “Weekly Time Goal”. This comes from the relation to the alignment database.
A good exercise would be to switch the orientation of the sorting to be “Weekly Time Goal” on top of the “Priority No.” and figure out if your view of priority is in line with the time goals set in the Alignment database.
As can be seen in the Notion filtering, the tasks/events and projects sort from a top-down approach where the most important tasks are on top. This sorting is based on the alignment that is set in “The Forest Framework” with the highest priority being time followed by trees, branches, and roots.
The key thing to point out here is the implementation of time blocking into this system and how Notion sorts tasks that don’t have a time of day.
The Evergreen Notion Workspace has a myriad of views that you will be introduced to in the following sections, however, it is important to note its ability to function in various ways.
Option 1: Overall
Option 2: Tree Focused
Databases built out in the template have a “Person” property that can be used to make filtered views so those who see it will only see relevant pages assigned to “Me”.
The Evergreen Notion workspace template has these built into the following views to allow for less digital clutter and pages to be needed.
This is a page view that showcases your tasks/events and projects so you can focus on taking action.
Planning is a key component of any personal or business workflow. The planning view allows you to see recurring tasks, captured tasks/ideas, and a calendar for tasks/events.
A place to input time tracking statistics to see how personal and business goals are aligned with how people are spending their actual time.
Mobile Notion is not known for its functionality, especially on the iPhone. This template comes custom-built with mobile views that improve your workflow on the go.
Easy access to:
While the TTP Method and Evergreen Workspace were built in Notion, this framework is similar to the P.A.R.A Method and GTD in that it requires no specific tool.
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