"I no longer pay attention to what others say about the things I do and focus more on myself and my life."
Severin is a template designer and maker of Notion templates. He is also a productivity enthusiast, content creator, and no-code builder.
You can find a template for almost any occasion, from trip planning to habit tracking, on his website.
How many failed projects do you have, and how have they set you up for success? Or what is a failure you are grateful for?
I can't even count. I have several projects that I’ve worked on but failed.
But I've learned more from them than from the projects that have worked out. Projects don't fail just like that... so you have to detect why projects fail and avoid it in the next project.
What is your tech stack and why?
I work from home and therefore do not have a fancy office. I have decided to invest some money in my equipment. I have a HP laptop and 3 external monitors that I connect.
My mother tongue is German but I do almost everything in English because I have a bigger group to talk to.
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
My best investment was taking time to learn Notion. Notion helped me organize my life in a system I had been searching for all my life. As a result of the learning, I have changed many other things in my life for the better.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven builder yet to experience any “success”? What advice should they ignore?
“Do not follow the trend”.
This opinion goes against 98% of people on social media. Following the trend may bring you short-term growth and fame, but it will ruin your success in the long run. It's much better to come up with your own ideas and be the trendsetter. This is true in all areas of life and in all forms and types of business.
What are bad recommendations you hear about building?
The worst tip I heard was: "A good product doesn't need marketing".
I understand the point of "quality sells”, but on second thought, even Google, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung do marketing even if their products are top-notch. There always needs to be some marketing in a business.
What is your process for starting a new project? How do you decide on an idea to pursue?
As soon as I decide to start a new project, I make a mindmap or a short summary about the functions of the product and what it should change or optimize. Then I start to build the basic structure.
Since my templates consist of many databases that are connected to each other, I first build the databases and relate them to each other. Finally I layout the whole system so that it looks aesthetically pleasing and is usable for everyone.
How do you come up with new project ideas?
Since I build templates that help people organize their daily lives better, I get ideas spontaneously or people ask me to make a template about a certain topic. Life can be optimized almost everywhere, so my ideas and possibilities for templates are almost infinite.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
What has changed in my behavior and habits in the last 5 years is that I did my own thing. I no longer pay attention to what others say about the things I do and focus more on myself and my life.