How to Plan an Online Course on Notion (Template Inside!)

When creating an online course, it’s important to keep all of your ideas, notes, and tasks in one place. Without a centralized platform, it’s easy for the different elements of the planning process – from brainstorming course names to writing video scripts – to become scattered and overwhelming. 

Notion is an amazing productivity platform that helps you keep all of your course creation materials in one dedicated space. In fact, I used Notion to plan all four of my courses and it completely streamlined the entire process each time. 

Here’s a sneak peek behind the scenes to see how I planned an online course on Notion. If you’re more of a visual learner, you should also check out this video ⬇️

1. Sign Up for Notion 

If you don’t have a Notion account yet, this is going to be your first step. One of the best things about Notion is that the free version has everything you need to plan a course. You may consider upgrading to the paid version later if you want to use Notion to manage client projects and have more than 10 clients. 

One of the easiest ways to start using Notion is to set up a Home Dashboard. I have a FREE Home Dashboard Template you can download. To learn more about Notion basics, read this blog post

2. Identify Your Target Audience

One of the most important decisions you have to make when planning an online course is who your target audience is going to be. Understanding who your course is for allows you to tailor your course materials to meet their specific needs and interests. It also helps you create cohesive marketing later on. 

Notion makes it easy to organize your ideas and notes as simple bullet points. If you need a more advanced system, you can also create a completely custom database. 

3. Write Down Your Key Takeaways

Key takeaways are the essential concepts, skills, and knowledge that you want your students to have after completing your course. For example, for a social media course, the key takeaways may include content creation, advertising, and community building. 

Articulating the key takeaways early on helps you structure your course content in an organized and coherent way. It also makes the process of actually creating your course content much easier because you’ll have these bigger learning objectives top of mind. 

Notion is a great place for figuring out what you want to name your course. Choosing your course name is an important decision to make and it’s helpful to have a dedicated space where you can write down some initial thoughts and keep improving them as your understanding of your course evolves. 

4. Brainstorm Your Course Name Ideas

For example, when I was deciding on a name for my Canva course for creative entrepreneurs, I wrote down different name ideas and kept improving them until I landed on Canva Basics: Launch Your Creative Business. You can also add on Notion AI and use it to brainstorm more names! 

5. Create Your Course Description

A course description is a concise and informative summary of your course’s objective, content, and structure. It explains what is unique about your course and helps your target audience understand whether it’s the right fit for them. 

You can use Notion to write out a course description that makes your target audience curious and enthusiastic about the content. Once you write the first version, keep refining it until it clearly articulates all of the reasons why your ideal clients should purchase your course. 

6. Organize Your Course Creation Process

Creating course content is a big task, so I recommend breaking it down into smaller steps and using a checklist to help you track your progress. Here’s a snapshot of a database I created in Notion to help me keep track of everything I needed to do to create an online course.

I broke down all of my course creation tasks by lessons. For each lesson, I created a checklist with the following progress points: 

  • Script written 
  • Filmed 
  • Edited 
  • Uploaded
  • Cover created 

This system helps you clearly see what needs to be done and tackle course creation with manageable steps. You can also use this Notion database to keep all of your video scripts in one place. If you don’t want to build out this database yourself, I share it in my Course Creation Planner Notion Template

7. Track Miscellaneous Tasks 

When creating your online course, it’s also important to keep track of miscellaneous tasks that move the needle forward. For example, in my Notion database, I have tasks like: 

  • Set up my filming location: props, lightning
  • Brainstorm marketing plan
  • Create a template for the class project 
  • Create class covers
  • Film & create YouTube promotion video

I also set these tasks to automatically populate into a calendar so I can easily see when I have to complete a certain task and plan for it in advance. A great thing about Notion is that you can see your database in different ways, such as a monthly calendar or a table. 

Notion Course Creation Template

I hope you found this dive into how to plan an online course on Notion helpful! Speaking from personal experience, Notion is an incredible way to get more organized and make a big goal like launching a course feel more reachable. 

To help you start using Notion, I created a Course Creation Planner Notion Template that includes all of the steps that I outline in this blog post. Head to my template shop to grab your copy

Hey there!

I'm cheryl, the one behind this blog!

I'm a designer, brand expert, YouTuber, and avid traveler from Vancouver, Canada. 

I quit my fancy corporate 9-5 a couple of years ago, hopped onto a plane and started Made on Sundays along with my new mindful lifestyle in Amsterdam. 

Today I serve thousands of female entrepreneurs around the world, helping them clarify their brand story, design the brand of their dreams, and confidently show up to their soulmate clients.