Best way to track habits in Notion with NFC Tags + Apple Shortcuts

Written by Helguera on


A few days ago I saw on Reddit a post by user aNotioneer in which he showed a way to track your habits in Notion by making use of NFC tags and Apple Shortcuts.

I thought it was an incredible idea so I decided to give it a try. Although aNotioneer already explains the configuration process in his blog, I decided to rewrite it. Also, I have added a very interesting modification that I explain below.

I want to thank aNotioneer for altruistically sharing his creation.


The idea is the following. We want to follow our daily habits and observe their evolution. Imagine for example doing sports, drinking water, reading etc. A database in Notion is the best solution, but every time we complete a habit, having to go to a PC or open the mobile app to change the value can be a bit cumbersome at the end of the day. Especially if they are habits that are completed away from home.

To solve that problem, we will make use of NFC Tags, and by simply bringing our iPhone close to them, the habit will be marked completely or increased by one. Without the need to open any application. This way you can put tags all over the house or even outside to complete the habits in an extremely simple way.

Notion Configuration


In Notion we simply have to create a database that we want to use with the habits we need. Mine is as follows:

The first two columns, Name and Date, are mandatory and must have exactly that name. In addition, the first one has to be of type "Text" and the second one of type "Date". The rest of the columns are habits as such, you can create as many as you want. Their types can only be "Checkbox" or "Number".

The next step is to copy the link to the view by clicking on the three dots at the top right:

From the link we obtain, we must keep the part marked in bold:

For the moment we keep the value, we will need it later.


In order to access the database in Notion from Apple's shortcuts, we need to use its API and therefore an integration in Notion.

I have a specific section dedicated to Notion. You can access it from the left menu or by clicking here to see the article on how to create your own integrations in Notion.

The following settings must be specified at the time of creation:

  • Internal integration
  • Read content
  • Update content
  • Insert content
  • Read comments
  • Insert comments
  • Read user information including email addresses

Apple Shortcuts

The shortcut created by aNotioneer is the one that completes habits. That is, the habit is of the "checkbox" type and has only two positions, completed or not completed. I have taken the liberty to modify it a bit and create a version that increases +1 the value of the habit..

Habit Completed

Download here the shortcut created by aNotioneer (direct link).

Habit +1

As mentioned, I have modified the shortcut to support habits that are completed several times during the day and need to be tracked, such as the number of glasses of water drunk or the number of fruits eaten.

Its operation is very simple, if the type of the column to be incremented by 1 is of type "number", the shortcut will first get the existing value, increment it and update the cell.

Download here my shortcut modified.

Shortcuts Configuration

In both shortcuts you have to make a couple of very simple adjustments so that they can work correctly. Once we have them in our library, we have to open them to see the actions (not execute).

The first change to be made is in the "List" block. We have to add all the columns, or habits, that we have in our database. The name has to be exactly the same as the column in Notion. Note that the habits that are of type "checkbox" you will have to add them in the shortcut of aNotioneer, and those that are of type "number" in my modification.

In my case they are the following:

The next setting to make is in the block called "Dictionary", a little further down. The values "Database ID " and "Internal " must be added. The other parameters do not need to be changed.

  • Database ID: is the value we copied previously, the database identifier.
  • Internal: the token returned by Notion when creating the integration.

And that's it, the shortcuts are already configured. They can be executed manually from the application, we will be asked which habit we want to complete and automatically update the value in Notion.

NFC Tags

In this section we are going to see how to execute the shortcuts automatically when the iPhone detects an NFC tag. To do this we will make use of the automations in iPhone.

The tags I use are the first ones I found on Amazon. If you are interested, here is the link.


For the configuration of the automations I have created a short video in which I show how I create one for the "My Habit " habit.

Every time the iPhone detects the NFC Tag it will run the automation for the "My Habit" habit. As you have seen, you need to create an automation and an NFC tag for each habit you want to monitor.


All set, now it's time to put NFC Tags all over the house to control our habits. If you have any questions, ask me in the comments.

Thanks again to aNotioneer for his great idea and for the initial version of the Shortcut.

I hope you found it useful,

Javier Helguera.