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NovelNest Notion Reading Journal Tutorial

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

Today is the Day That You’ll Organize Your Very Own Virtual Library



I have put together an amazing guide so you can get the absolute BEST out of your Reading Journal.


Reading Journal Guide


1. Reading Journal Overview

  • Easy to Use Interface

  • Organization by genre, author, and reading status

  • Add quotes and reflections about your favorite book

  • Find whatever book you are looking for even years later

  • Add as many or as few details as you want

  • Track your daily, monthly, and yearly progress

  • Set new reading challenges

2. How to set up your Reading Journal?

  • Let’s start by creating your yearly database.



Firstly, go to the ‘Navigation’ sidebar and choose ‘Year at Glance’.


Go to the ‘This Year’ section and click ‘New’. A new year will be created and it will open in ‘Side peek’.


Name this ‘(Year) Review’. In this case, 2023 Review


This will help you track the number of books and total pages read in the year.


Now that you’re done with the first step, give yourself a pat on the back, and let’s continue our journey through the rest of your Reading Journal.


Click on the ‘My Library’ page in the ‘Navigation’ sidebar to return to the main dashboard.


User Tip: ‘Side peek’ is a sliding bar that opens from the right of the screen. ‘Center peek’ is a dialogue box that opens in the center of the screen. Notion allows you to switch between peek modes i.e. ‘Side peek’, ‘Center peek’, and ‘Full page’ by clicking on the peek icon. The Peek icon is situated in the top left of the ‘Side peek’ bar and ‘Center peek’ dialogue box.


3. Using Daily Logs

  • Keep track of your reading progress with ‘Daily Logs’.



After you are done with your reading for the day, click ‘Create New’ in your Daily Logs. This will create a new entry. 


Next to ‘Page Read’, enter the number of pages you have read.


If you want, you can add text next to the ‘@Today’ heading. It’s not required.


Once you’ve added the number of pages read, click ‘Add Yearly Review’ at the bottom and select ‘2023 Review’ (the one we created right at the start).


This will update your progress on the ‘Year at Glance’ page.


User Tip: You can edit your daily entry by clicking the little edit button in your entry. If you want to open the side peak, click the edit button once again or click the main text of the entry.


4. Adding Books to Your Library (My Books)

  • This is the main function of your Reading Journal template.



There are three sections in the ‘My Books’ panel:

  • To Read

  • Reading

  • Read


Click on the section you want to add your book to and click ‘New’ below it or in the top right corner.


The side peak will open allowing you to add the new book details. Don’t get frazzled by the options for book details, you don’t have to put in all of them.


Click on the ‘Empty’ next to the parameter name to enter the details.

Essential Parameters

Only 5 parameters are essential. They are:

  1. Title of the book: Add the book name.

  2. Status: Choose from Wish List, To Read, Reading, or Read.

  3. Genre: There are 15 premade genres to choose from. You can add your own too.

  4. Image of the book: Go down to the ‘Add an Image’ section to add a photo of your book. This will make your library more visual and easy to navigate.

  5. Total Pages: Add the number of pages in your book.


User Tip: How to add a book image from the internet?


Instead of adding your photo of the book, you can find a good-quality image from the internet. Amazon is the best place to find high-quality book images.

  • Right-click to save the image and upload it to your Notion template. You’ll get an option for upload when you click ‘Add an Image’.

  • You can also embed the image. Open the book image on the internet. Right-click and choose ‘Copy image address’. Paste it in the embed section. Your template will fetch the image for you. Ta-da!

Suggested Parameters

If you’d like to go the extra mile, I suggest that you add the following parameters to your book in addition to the essential ones. You can pick and choose the ones you want to do.


  1. Yearly: Select ‘2023 Review’. This will update the ‘This Year’ section in ‘Year at Glance’.

  2. Current Page: For ‘Reading’ status, you can enter the page number you are on.

  3. Rating: Rate the books that you have read. These books will have the ‘Read’ status.

  4. Completed: This allows you to put the completed date for the books with ‘Read’ status. Once you add the finish date, the ‘Read This Year’ section will update automatically. The ‘Read this Year’ section is on the ‘Year at Glance’ page.


User Tip: If you don’t want to do the yearly parameter, you can skip it.


5. Notes, Quotes, and Favorite



Notes: You can add your reflections in bullet form in the ‘Notes’ section next to the book image.


Quotes: At the bottom, you can add your favorite ‘Quotes’ from the book. These quotes will appear on the ‘Quotes’ section on the main page.


Favorite: Tick the check box next to ‘Favorite’ to add the book to your ‘Favorite’ list. This will help you navigate to your favorites at any time. Click the ‘Favorite’ under ‘My Books’ to find the list.


User Tip: You can keep highlighting the quotes that you love in your book while reading, whether physically or digitally. Add them all at once to your Notion app by editing book details. This will make sure that your reading doesn’t get interrupted.


6. Pipeline

  • Browse books according to their status.



Whenever you add your books, all of them will show up under the ‘Pipeline’ section according to the chosen ‘Status’. They will be divided under the following headings:

  • Wish List

  • To Read

  • Reading

  • Read

7. Quotes

  • Your favorite lines from your favorite books.


All the ‘Quotes’ you add to various books will appear here. Click on ‘All Books’ to see the quotes you saved.


8. Genres

  • Browse books by category.



Click any genre name in the ‘Genres’ section. Your booklist from that particular genre will show up.


There are 15 premade genres in your Reading Journal. You can add your own by clicking on ‘New’.


Write the name of the genre in the ‘Untitled’ field.


Click ‘Add icon’. An icon will appear. Click that icon to display the pop-up. This pop-up has emojis and icon options. Choose the icon you like.


9. Books Read This Year

  • Count your way to success.



There is a book counter on the top left of your main page. It is titled ‘Books Read This Year’. Every time you finish a book, click ‘+’. This will add one book to the number of books read this year.


10. Reading Tracker

  • Daily and monthly review of your reading progress.



From the ‘Navigation’ bar, click ‘Reading Tracker’. This page stores all your daily logs. You can navigate them by week and month.


11. Year at Glance

  • Review your yearly reading achievements.



Click ‘Year at Glance’ from the ‘Navigation’ bar on the left. It will take you to your ‘Year at Glance’ page. This page has:

  1. This Year: Number of books and pages read in the current year.

  2. Read This Year: Books completed this year.

  3. This Year Challenges: Reading challenges that you created for the year.

  4. 5 Year Review: Reading review over 5 years.


12. Book Challenges

  • Set reading goals.



Go to the ‘Book Challenges’ page by clicking on ‘Book Challenges’ in the ‘Navigation’ bar.


Click ‘New’ to add a new challenge. You can click ‘New’ under the ‘Challenges’ heading or ‘Years’ heading.


Name the challenge and select its details under the following parameters:

  1. Yearly Review: Select ‘2023 Review’.

  2. Status: Select options from ‘Not Started’, ‘In Progress’, or ‘Completed’.

  3. Goal: Enter the number of books you want to read.

  4. Duration: Click on the date. A calendar will open. Toggle the ‘End Date’ button. Choose your end date.


When you add a new book in ‘My Books’, there is an option to add it to a book challenge. This will automatically update your progress in that challenge. Click on ‘Add Challenge’ and select the challenge that you want to add your book to.


You can also add completed books to challenges. On the ‘Book Challenges’ page, there is a section ‘Book’s Challenge’. Click ‘New’ to add.

13. Quick Shortcuts

  • Perform important functions fast.


There is a ‘Quick Shortcuts’ bar on the left. It is under the ‘Navigation’ bar.


Use it to perform the following actions:

  • New Book

  • New Genre

  • New Series

  • New Challenge


Lastly, If you have any additional questions on how to use the journal, make sure to contact me at novelnestcontact@gmail.com



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