Notion Database Template for Comedians

Overview

In this article I will teach you how to use Notion for pipelining your comedy material.

Intended Audience

  • You should understand basic joke-writing. You should already know how to take a raw idea and turn it into a joke with a clear premise, setup and punchline. This article will not teach you how to write a joke.
  • You should have a capturing process. You should already have a habit of recording incoming thoughts, notes, observations, ideas, jokes. As an example, you should have a journal, notepad, google docs file, where you collect these nuggets as they come to you.
  • You should be performing standup comedy multiple times a week. This is the only way to get actual feedback on your jokes. There's no point in having a pipeline if you don't have the means to test out whether things are working or not.

What do I do if I am a beginner?

Read John Roy's Free Online Comedy Class. Once you have started performing for atleast a month at open mics and start running into the problem of having to organize, pipeline and test your jokes, then you will be ready for this article.

Goals

  • Learn How to use the Wasif's Joke Database Template
  • Provide a simple process for processing new notes, thoughts, jokes, ideas into your system.
  • Help you organize your material
  • Help you index your material
  • Facilitate creativity by helping you make unexpected connections

Duplicate the Joke Database to your Notion Workspace

Go to this Notion Template for Joke Database and duplicate it.

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1 - Enter jokes into your system

At this point you should have a list of material that you've written and tried in front of a crowd.

Enter jokes in the database

  • Click on + New
  • Write your jokes
  • Press Enter

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Notion Database - Views

Notion databases provide you with the ability to visualize the same data in multiple ways.

The default view is Incoming which acts as the inbox for all your incoming material.

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Organize by Type

Navigate to Organize by Type

Click on the Incoming button to list the other available view.

Go to Organize by Type

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Entry Types

To facilitate organization the entries are provided as a Kanban Board View.

You can drag & drop entries to organize them.

Taxonomies

Jokes can be thought of as following a complete thought following a specific setup-punchline format. They're designed to elicit a laugh.

Examples of this could include jokes, one liners, and tags etc.

Nuggets can be any thing that you've jotted down that you find relevant but is not a complete thought / joke on its own.

Examples of this could include premises, puns, and funny thoughts, observations, wordplay etc.

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Categories Entries by Type

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Organize by Status

How to Pipeline Jokes

The goal is to take all the jokes that you've written and pipelining them by moving them through your BacklogTry → ``

For you to be able to do this you will have to perform jokes at least 3-6 times in front of an audience

Taxonomies

Drawer is a place where you can put jokes

  • Not Tried - These are jokes you've not tried in front of a live audience but nevertheless consider don't find it promising.
  • Tried - These are jokes you've tried multiple times on stage but they fail to get a reaction and you want to move them into the back-burner for now.

Backlog is where jokes will go if you find them promising and would like to try them on stage eventually.

Try is the list of jokes that you are currently trying and testing at open mics.

is for jokes that are getting a good crowd response consistently and you want to move in to your material.

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Organize by Bit

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The existing jokes are categorized as Orphan by default. You can move them into Standalone if they're individual jokes told independently.

If a theme emerges around topics, then its better to chunk them into a theme, or a bit.

How to Add a New Category

Click on Add a group and add in a name. I also update the color to gray to indicate that this is a new bit and is not finalized.

As the bit progresses I change the color to yellow, green, and purple to indicate the different stages of completion. They correspond to the rating system highlighted below so you can look at that section for more detail.

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Organize by Rating

How I Determine Joke Rating

I perform the jokes for a crowd. You need a live audience to test your material.

I always record my material and review it later. Don't rely on your memory. Record the room. Review the video later and pay attention to the reactions.

I always start my standup set with 6-8 jokes that consistently work and land a good reaction. These jokes are meant to serve as the benchmark to compare the new jokes to.

This way, if there's a bad day, and your 6-8 strong jokes are not getting a reaction, you will be able to grade your new jokes on that relative scale.

Taxonomies

A - Great Joke. Consistently gets an excellent reaction across audiences. Gets a huge laughter, or applause.

B - Decent Joke. Consistently gets a good reaction across audiences. Gets an audible laughter.

C - Needs Work. Either gets an unreliable laugh or is a punchline, premise, tag. Gets a laugh sometimes, but inconsistently.

D - Doing Poorly. Few laughs, light laughs, or inconsistent response across audiences.

E - No Response. If a joke consistently fails to get a reaction then it either needs to be fixed structurally or you should move it to the drawer. It might be funny someday when you have more skills to problem-solve why this is not working.

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Advanced - Editing Properties on Other Views

You can also edit Status, Rating, Bit and all other properties directly in the view you are in as opposed to going to a different view to do so.

Right-Click the entry you wish to edit.

Click on Edit Property

Select the property

Select the value

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