Why Notion Is The Best Productivity Tool For Me + Resources

My thoughts on Notion along with a few resources to help customize your workspace.

My homepage for Camilla’s story: Impulse

I’ve searched high and low for a program to call home for my creative projects that not only does what I need, but looks how I want too. From Evernote to Scrivener to Google Docs, they each had features I really enjoyed, but lacked in others I can’t live without. So stumbling across a recommendation for Notion a few months ago was like the answer to all of my workspace needs.

What I Like About It

  • It’s simple to use and highly intuitive. The block system functions very similar to WordPress’ (where this blog is hosted) so the learning curve was nearly nonexistent.
  • It’s highly customizable, with options to embed playlists, videos, gifs, even widgets that display weather, time, and fun quotes. On top of that, there are cover photos and emojis that can be customized to make each page truly unique.
  • It has a calendar and scheduling feature. Having my content and content calendar all in one place is super convenient.
  • It has both online and offline functionality and syncs across multiple devices. Being able to start something on my PC and pick up later on my iPad is a must and Notion allows me to do so effortlessly.
  • Easy-to-use navigation system in your sidebar at all times.
  • It’s free! Need I say more?

A Few Resources

With all the customization options Notion provides, it would be a shame not to take advantage of them, so here are a few theme and widget resources I found while working on my space:

Themes

Notion custom themes – Google Chrome extension. Only works on the web version, so be mindful of that.

A collection of templates by Ella’s Notion Templates

Aesthetic Notion Templates

25+ Aesthetic Notion Templates

Notion templates on Etsy

Aesthetic and Functional Notion templates by Life & Notion

Student Notion Setup by Sincerely Students

Notion Enhancer – Google Chrome extension. Tons of fixes and improvements for Notion

Widgets

Indify

Apption

WidgetBox

Pomodoro Timer

A Soft Murmur

PixelThoughts

I hope these resources help make your workspace everything you want!

-India


Curious about the story behind the workspace? Check out the home page:

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Simlish Resources

Creating content using Simlish resources is a fun way to add new content to your game or blog posts that blends right in with the Maxis Match aesthetic. Keep reading for links to fonts and templates that you can use in your next project!

Creating content using Simlish resources is a fun way to add new content to your game or blog posts that blends right in with the Maxis Match aesthetic. Keep reading for links to fonts and templates that you can use in your next project! –
Links are located below their respective image.

This post will be updated as I come across new resources so be sure to check back often!

Fonts

Simlish Fonts 1 by ratboysims

American Typewriter by ajaysims

Sci-Fi Simlish by ajaysims

Simlish DecoTek by ajaysims

Simlish Sans by ajaysims

Simlish Lengiza Font by gazifu

Handwritten Simlish by katyjane

Inkwell Calligraphy (Medieval) Simlish by joninmobile

Simlish Deja Vu font by gazifu

Handwritten Simlish Font by Alleliua


For even more Simlish fonts, check out this list by franzillasims.

Templates

Simlish Instagram Overlays by our-dazed-sims

Simlish Communication Templates by blissio

Five News Templates by royaldevilliers

Simlish IG Template by ommsims

Simlish Twitch and YouTube Templates by ratboysims

Simlish Police ID by early-grape

Postcard Overlay by early-grape

Photography Template by potiontart

Camera Overlay by ridgeport

TS4 Text Conversation by floresmortem

Simstagram Template by furasims

Simstagram Template for the Gnomephone by boocreek


And if you enjoy these resources, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next post!


Summer Pop – A Reshade Preset

A simple, bright and colorful preset suitable for gameplay and designed with black/sims of color in mind.

After upgrading to my new PC, I unintentionally started working on a new Reshade preset and came up with this one — a simple, bright and colorful preset suitable for gameplay and designed with black/sims of color in mind. Y’all seemed to really like it when I posted the WIP pictures on Tumblr so I’m sharing it now 😊

If you’re new to Reshade, check out this step-by-step guide that takes you all the way from installation to in game set up.


Unedited Photos (Just Reshade & that’s it!)


Things you should know:

  • This preset was designed with Reshade 4.8.2 but should work with any 4.0 series. The newest version of Reshade can be found here.
  • These photos were shot with the Twinkle Toes lighting mod installed during the Summer season on a clear, warm afternoon.

Installation Info:

  • You need the qUINT MXAO shader (you may have already installed this during your Reshade 4.8 installation. You can check your Shaders folder to see if you’re not sure).
  • You need Full Bloom MultiLut by @pictureamoebae. Check out this tutorial if you’re not sure how to download/install this.
  • Turn off Edge Smoothing (this preset does this for you) so that DOF will work properly.

Toggle Keys:

  • DOF: Caps Lock
  • MXAO: Num Key 4
  • Fake HDR: Num Key 9
  • MultiLut: Num Key 6

* To make the preset gameplay friendly, I recommend toggling off MXAO and DOF.

Troubleshooting:

  • Many users have reported having an issue where the mouse is ultra sensitive after installing Reshade. This doesn’t have anything to do with this preset or this specific version of Reshade but is a glitch caused by a setting in Origin. To fix this, open Origin > Application Settings > Origin In Game then switch off ‘Enable Origin’ in game and your problem should be solved.
  • Let me know if you have any issues and I’ll try to get them resolved for you.

TOU:

  • Don’t re-upload
  • Don’t claim as yours
  • Enjoy!

Oh, and if you use this preset in your posts please let me know @mellindi on Tumblr. I would love to see ❤

Choose your download below:

Reshade 4.8 preset | Reshade 5.2 preset | Gshade preset

Lot used in the photos is: Fruit & Ficus Restaurant by me!
*pool pictured is not included


For all of my other sim shenanigans, catch me at the links below:

Or enter your email address in the box below to stay up-to-date on everything here:

Beginner’s Guide to Reshade in Sims 4

A step-by-step tutorial on installing Reshade, Reshade presets and an overview of the most commonly used shaders.

Note: When following this tutorial, please be sure to read all directions in its entirety. Following the screenshots alone may leave you with issues as there is usually additional info — important info — provided underneath the photos. There also may be updates that are not reflected in the photos but are given in the body of the post.

If you’re here, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about all the amazing things Reshade can do for your photos but since you’re here, you probably feel a little overwhelmed or intimated by the interface and all those settings. I get it though. I put off using Reshade — even installed and uninstalled it three times — for the longest because it seemed like it was too much. I found some great tutorials that showed me how to install but I felt like once I actually got in the game, I was on my own. So with this tutorial, I’m hoping that you’ll walk away with the tools and confidence you need to give Reshade a real shot.


This article is the first entry in a new series I’m working on for storytellers. The next post will be all about taking good photos for storytelling and provide tips for angles, scene set ups, capturing emotions etc… so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!


In this tutorial, we’ll be using Reshade 4.7.0 which you can download here.
It’s also worth noting that Reshade updates often but this tutorial should be relevant for the entire 4.7 series unless some huge changes are implemented. If that does happen, I’ll revisit this article.

Note for Beginners: A few things are discussed in this tutorial that require downloading content from custom content creators so if you’re new to all of this, check out this step-by-step guide first.

For easier reading, jump to the desired section using the links below:

Installing Reshade 4.7.0
Installing Presets
Installing Full Bloom MultiLUT by pictureamoebae
The Interface
Setting Up Toggle & Screenshot Keys
Most Commonly Used Shaders
Uninstalling Reshade


Installing Reshade 4.7.0

Before we get started, you’ll need to turn off Edge Smoothing in the in game graphics settings. Leaving this on will prevent the DOF shader from working properly. If you’re concerned about jagged edges on your sims and objects, don’t worry, Reshade will take care of that.

Now that, that’s done, let’s get started! First, you’ll need to download Reshade. This tutorial uses 4.7.0 but the official site updates the program frequently. If you would like to download 4.7.0 specifically, you can download it (and any of the older versions) here. If you would like to use the newest version, you can find that here.

Once it’s downloaded, run the setup application, Reshade_Setup_4.7.0.exe and select the first box in the Reshade Setup menu: Click here to select a game and manage its Reshade installation.

Click Browse in the pop up box to select your game, TS4_x64, which should be located: (C:/Program Files (x86)/Origin Games/The Sims 4/Game/Bin)


*Pro Tip: If you’re a Windows user, I suggest creating a shortcut or pinning the Bin folder to your Quick Access menu as we use it many times throughout this tutorial.

In the next pop up box, select Direct3D 9.

The next box is where you’ll select all of the shaders/effects you want to install. This part can be a little tricky because what you want will ultimately depend on what preset you plan to use and the shaders used by the creator. If you’re just starting out and not sure exactly what you need, I recommend either installing:

I recommend installing:

  • Standard Effects
  • SweetFX by CeeJay
  • Legacy Standard Effects (so that you can use older presets, ie: those made with Reshade 3.0.8, with the newer version)

OR

  • Standard Effects
  • Any additional effects such as SweetFX by CeeJay but NOT Legacy Standard Effects

Once you have Reshade installed and your preset selected and you find that you’re missing shaders, I recommend installing the Legacy Standard Effects separately.

Once you have everything selected, click Ok.

Depending on your selection, additional boxes will pop open (one after the other) to allow you to select/deselect the effects you want/don’t want. Be sure to select all the effects you want (some may come pre-selected) then click Ok at the bottom of each box once you’re done.

And you’re all done! Time to download some presets and go into game!


Installing Presets

Presets are downloaded just like any other form of custom content, only difference is that the .ini file goes directly into your Bin folder (C:/Program Files (x86)/Origin Games/The Sims 4/Game/Bin) and will be automatically picked up by Reshade the next time you launch the game.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I recommend downloading my Jellybean preset so that you can follow along with the settings once we go in game. This preset uses the MultiLUT shader so follow the directions below for help installing it.

Installing Full Bloom MultiLUT by pictureamoebae

MultiLUT is another shader that allows you to enhance any preset with additional coloring. With MultiLUT, you can literally transform one preset to a number of looks by just selecting a different LUT. Some presets depend on MultiLUT to display a particular look so it’s worth having it installed so you’re already prepared.

The first thing you need to do is download the Full Bloom MultiLUT by pictureamoebae.

Once you click the download button, you’ll be taken to Simfileshare where two MultiLUT files are stored:

The file you want to download is amoebae – Full Bloom 66 MultiLUT.7z.

Once the file is downloaded and unzipped, you’ll have two folders: shaders and textures

Open the shaders folder and move the MultiLUT shader over to your Shaders folder (Bin/reshade-shaders/Shaders).

Next, open the textures folder and move the amoebae_fullbloom66_multilut file over to your Textures folder (Bin/reshade-shaders/Textures) and you’re done!

While you’re in your Bin folder, its a good time to check your Shaders folder for duplicate shaders. One problem people tend to have a lot is duplicate MultiLUT shaders. Having duplicate shaders WILL cause you problems so check the Shaders folder AND any subfolders within the Shaders folder for shaders you may have downloaded to make sure there aren’t any duplicates.

The Interface

Time to load the game! While it’s loading, the screen may go black or pause for a minute or so while the shaders load. In my experience, 4.7.0 loads very quickly and is much more gentle on your system, especially compared to 3.0.8 which I have used in the past.

Once the game is loaded, the Reshade interface will automatically open. To open/close it on your own, you will use the Home key (or Fn + Home if you’re on a laptop). When Reshade is loaded for the first time, you’ll receive the option to follow the built-in tutorial (which you can if you want) but for the purpose of this tutorial, we’re going to skip that and select Skip Tutorial.

Selecting Presets

To select a preset, click the top bar with Default Preset displayed. From the drop down menu, you can select the preset of your choice. In this case, you would select Jellybean.ini.

Once the preset loads, your screen may become blurry from the DOF shader but don’t worry, it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do. I’ll show you how to toggle it off in one second, I just want to take a moment to mention that whenever I’m using a new preset, I always select Active to top which moves all active shaders to the top of the screen so you don’t have to go searching for things you want to toggle off or tweak.


Setting Up Toggle & Screenshot Keys

Now about those toggles I mentioned, to use Reshade effectively, there are a few things I recommend setting up/altering in the beginning to make things more comfortable for you. To get started, select the Settings tab at the top of the menu.

Effect Toggle Key

This allows you to toggle all effects on and off. So say you’re using a pretty intense preset that’s not suitable for gameplay and only want the preset active while you’re taking screenshots. You would simply press whatever key you choose to use (mine is Numpad 8) to toggle the preset on and off as you please.

To set the key, click inside of the box next to Effect Toggle Key and press the key you would like to use. The Click to set key shortcut phrase will change to the key you select.

Screenshot Key

The default key for screenshots is the Print Screen key. To change this, you would follow the same instructions as above. I personally use Numpad 5 for my screenshot key.

Individual Effects Toggle

There may be situations in which you would like some effects on but others off. To do this, you would just need to set a toggle key for each effect in which you would like the ability to toggle on/off.

To get back to the effects panel, you would click the Home tab, right next to the Settings tab at the top of the menu.

If you’re using the Jellybean preset, you’ll notice that some effects already have pre-selected toggle keys (displayed to the right of the effect name) such as MXAO and Cinematic DOF.

To change these keys or set toggle keys for any of the other presets, right-click on the effect’s name > click the box > select your desired key.

Most Commonly Used Shaders

Now that we’ve gotten the technical stuff out the way, let’s talk about shaders. As you can see, there’s a long list of shaders installed. I imagine just looking them is a kind of overwhelming. Once you start trying out different presets though, you’ll notice that most of them use many of the same shaders. These are the ones we’ll go over today.

*Below each shader is a comparison photo featuring an off/on version with that shader enabled only.

*I should probably point out that I am in no way an expert with Reshade. I just know enough to make it do what I want. With that being said, all definitions provided below are super non-technical and my own personal way of describing them in a way that I hope makes sense to everyone else.

**=Shaders that are a little more intense and not recommended for gameplay.

**MXAO – provides the dark shadows and “3D look” of sims and objects

SMAA – smooths out the jagged edges on sims and objects when Edge Smoothing is turned off

DPX – brightens things up

Vibrance – adds additional coloring

Colourfulness – just like Vibrance, adds additional coloring

**Cinematic DOF (or any other DOFs) – blurs the background from the subject

**Ambient Light – adds pretty lighting similar to light leaks

**Bloom and Lens Flares – adds lens flares and additional lighting in some cases

Uninstalling Reshade

Uninstalling is super easy and only requires removing a few files. If this uninstall is temporary so that you can try out another version of Reshade or you need to troubleshoot some issues you’ve been experiencing:

Just navigate back to your Bin folder (C:/Program Files (x86)/Origin Games/The Sims 4/Game/Bin)

Move the following files/folders over to your Desktop, Documents or any other folder of your choice :

  • d3d9.dll file
  • d3d9 file
  • reshade-shaders folder
  • all reshade presets

And that’s it! If you ever choose to reinstall, just drag these files back into your Bin folder and you’re good to go! If you’re completely done with Reshade you can delete these files instead.

Additional Tips/Info:

  • Take photos in tab mode to remove the UI.
  • With most presets, the DOF is mouse driven, meaning that whatever your mouse is on will become the subject and everything will be blurred out.
  • Presets for older versions (3.0.8, 3.41, etc…) will work with 4.7.0 but may look a little different or require some additional tweaking.
  • Playing in Fullscreen mode will require Reshade to reload the shaders each time you toggle between the game and something else like Google so if this is something you usually do, I recommend playing in Windowed Fullscreen mode or Windowed mode.
  • After installation, check your Shaders folder one more time to make sure you don’t have any duplicate shaders. I cannot stress enough that you WILL have issues from presets looking off to game instability so please, please, please double check!

Reshade is highly customizable and provides a great base for editing. The best way to truly learn your way around is to try out different presets and see what they use. Toggle things on/off, change the values and see what happens. The more time you spend with it, the more you’ll understand it and the stronger your skill set will become. In the meantime, I hope you found these tips helpful and that they get you one step closer to making your game more beautiful!


For all of my other sim shenanigans, catch me at the links below:

Or enter your email address in the box below to stay up-to-date on everything here:


Jellybean – A Reshade Preset

A bright and colorful preset for Reshade 4.6.1, inspired by all of the beautiful colors in Sulani and created with black sims and sims of color in mind. Great for gameplay and photography as well.

If you’re new to Reshade, check out this step-by-step guide that takes you all the way from installation to in game set up.


For Reshade 4.6.1

I’ve been playing with this preset for a little while now and figured I’d share it with y’all since I’ve been asked about my reshade/editing a few times.

Things you should know:

  • This preset was designed specifically with black sims and sims of color in mind. It will bring out the richness of their skin tone without washing out or dulling it in any way. Looks even better with light editing, linked below.
  • Very light preset great for gameplay. I just toggle off MXAO and DOF when I’m playing and toggle back on to snap pics.
  • To achieve the look seen in the reshade + editing photos (the cover photo as well) I use the Warm Light, Warmth and Orange Pop actions from the Sunbloom Action Set by @honeycuts (adjusted according to the photo) and the Topaz Clean and Texture Smoothing actions in the Clean and Clear Action Set by @kaleekalo.
  • I use the No Blu lighting mod by @wrixles​ which makes things a little less blue and a little more orange which I personally love.
  • This preset was created with Reshade 4.6.1 so I don’t know how it would work for older versions. Is reported to be working with older versions of Reshade, specifically version 3.0.8.
  • I’m no expert in any way when it comes to reshade but if you run into trouble with this preset, let me know and I’ll try my best to help you.

Installation Info:

Shaders Used: 

  • MXAO
  • SMAA
  • DPX
  • Vibrance
  • Colorfulness
  • Color Matrix
  • MultiLut
  • Cinematic DOF

Toggle Keys:

  • MXAO: Num Key 4
  • DOF: Caps Lock

Troubleshooting:

  • Many users have reported having an issue where the mouse is ultra sensitive after installing Reshade. This doesn’t have anything to do with this preset or this specific version of Reshade but is a glitch caused by a setting in Origin. To fix this, open Origin > Application Settings > Origin In Game then switch off Enable Origin in game and your problem should be solved.

TOU:

  • Don’t reupload
  • Don’t claim as yours
  • Enjoy!

Choose your download below:

Reshade preset | Gshade preset


For all of my other sim shenanigans, catch me at the links below:

Or enter your email address in the box below to stay up-to-date on everything here: