Intermediate Guide to Notion Databases
Notion is a modular productivity application that allows teams and individuals to have an all in one workspace. One of the ways to use Notion for is to build databases, similar to the ones you can create on Airtable and the newly released Coda.
In this feature, we’re going to be diving into the topic of Notion databases, showcasing how you can use them and get started with mastering your own workflow.
Types of NOTION Databases
There are 5 major types of databases you can create inside Notion:
In order to create any of them, just hit “/”, this opens up the mini-window for creating new blocks, then select the one you prefer.
The List View is a less distracting, simplified page view, it can be used to store your notes and bookmarks or simply your reading list.
The Gallery View is structured as a grid of cards displaying images and contents from your pages. This is a great option if you want to create a mood board, a photo gallery or store your recipes. Another great way to use the Gallery View is to display all the books you’ve read and build this way a database of books.
Tables can be used for pretty much anything, they are like Excel files on steroids.
One of the way we use tables here at Keep Productive is to create our editorial calendar. We also used it in the past to organize and schedule the Tools They Use podcast episodes.
► Related: How to Use Tables in Notion
The Board View is similar to Asana and Trello and it’s based on the Kanban method, a Japanese scheduling system introduced by an industrial engineer at Toyota to improve manufacturing efficiency.
An easy way to use it is to set up, for example, a product roadmap and move the tasks (in this case blocks) through the various stages until they are done. This is also great for blog editorial calendars.
Finally, the Calendar View is a great way to plan trips, editorial calendars, long and short-term projects, etc. At the moment, the only option available is the month at a glance view and each event or element added is an individual block that can be turned into a full page.
The advantages of the Calendar View are a clear indication of time (e.g. due date, launch target) and being able to map out longer time horizons (e.g. next month, quarter).
This video might be helpful for understanding Databases inside of Notion a little easier. Francesco will take you over some of the basic and more complex layouts that work. And when or where a certain scenario database is most suitable in.
It’s important to mention that a single database can have multiple views, for example, a Gallery can be also seen as a List or a Table and vice versa. In order to do that you have to click the drop down menu on the left corner of your database and then “Add a View” in order to create a new one or just select the existing ones.
USING Sorting and filtering
Finally, you can also filter and sort the content of your database.
You can order your blocks by due dates, for example, or topic or title, and so on. Here is a peak at our old editorial calendar sorted by Title.
The Filter menu is great too, it allows you to change view and see only certain blocks filtering them by people, tags, dates, and so on. Here is an example on how I can change the view to see only the articles to write that are assigned to me.
Remember: If you’re using Notion as a team, you will have a database view with a fixed sorting or filtering, which can be a pain if you want to go and change what’s next for you. We’d recommend trying a different view per team member to avoid this, this is something Notion will probably improve in the future.