How to Use Tables in Notion

How to Use Tables in Notion

With modular productivity applications like Notion, Airtable and Coda, the need for tables is evolving. Notion offers a way to create and manage tables all within their applications including mobile.

There’s two ways to create tables inside of Notion.

The first is in-line creation. This allows Notion users to build tables into their existing pages. This is helpful for those looking to embed a reference or create an element without compromising on having other elements like Notion Kanban boards or calendars within.  

This is how you can create an in-line table and how you can use it in every day practice. We’ll also show case how you can add to tables inside of this article.

Too advanced?! Check out the Beginner’s Guide to Notion, if you haven’t yet checked it out!  

Creating an inline table in Notion  

Create a Table inside of Notion.png
  1. Start by hitting “/”, this opens up the mini-window for creating new blocks

  2. Select “Table: inline”

  3. Create a title for the new table view

  4. Create columns, rows and set-up this to your needs

Creating a full page table in Notion  

Full Page Notion Table.png

The alternative to creating an in-line Notion table is the classic full page view.

This is good if you aren’t looking to add more than just a table. Inside of this view, you cannot add any more elements, apart from new rows and columns to the table naturally.

The full page view is popular with spreadsheet users who have one goal of creating a table-orientated page, with no outside elements.  

To create this:

  1. Start by hitting “/”, this opens up the mini-window for creating new blocks

  2. Select “Table: Full Page” – you can use the search to speed up finding this 

  3. Create a title for the new table view

Adding new blocks/rows

Your full page or inline table works as any other element works inside of Notion, however you can create many tools within this to go deeper. If you’re feeling this a bit too much, feel free to learn more about how Evernote compares to Notion here.

Let’s take the upcoming blog schedule we have running here on the blog. 

Image 2018-09-18 at 12.07.52 am.png

For this, we’ve created very simple but interactive columns.  

The main columns are:

  • Title

  • Topic

  • Assigned To

  • Due Date

  • Post Date

  • Done

Creating any column is simple. You can pick from a range of multimedia from text, number, to formula and even dates and people to make this more efficient to use as a table. So for each element we used different types as you can see below:  

Screen Shot 2018-09-18 at 00.09.32.png

Once you’re happy with the Notion columns, great! Next step is to create your row. Adding new rows will help you to add a new entry very similar to Google Sheets or even Microsoft Excel. Adding those interactive columns earlier will add some context to your table without the need to go into the row.  

Creating new rows comes with many benefits that don’t end there. You can enter any new row and create it as a page. The page is not invasive so it won’t turn the row into a bulkier page or card, only as a selectable asset in the row.

Once you create a page row, you can now add any additional information to it from the “Open” view. This essentially works as a new page, you can add links, elements, blocks and even new tables, calendars, sub-headers, images etc. It’s like breadcrumb. You can add as much as you like to this giving you a flexible workspace to add more detail to new table rows without the need to add any more additional columns.

From this view, you can even share, favourite, export as MDK or PDF and see updates, if you work with a team. Here’s a worked example.  

Notion in card view.png

How can I use tables in Notion?

 Now you’ve added new blocks and created your first few tables.  

Understanding how you can apply tables inside of Notion to all of your projects and activities might be helpful. The nature of the flexibility allows you to apply to a lot of things that warrant the creation of a Google Sheet or Excel document. 

 Here’s a few examples:

  • Milestones/Goals

  • On-boarding Checklist

  • Blog/Video/Podcast Schedule

  • Editorial Schedule

  • Workout Schedule

  • Sales CRM worksheet

  • Upcoming assignments

There are so many different situations you can apply the use of tables. But what issues will you face when using them to be aware of?!

What limitations do tables hold?

Remember all of the Notion tables can be converted into another view without damaging the table’s content. So for example, you could transfer the demonstrated list of “upcoming articles” into a Board or Calendar view without too much visual complication. Here’s how this would look:

Tables can look messy if added as a block, they aren’t as full-span as they could be within the in-line view. For example, I’ve found that creating in-line tables cuts off a lot of the view when crunched into a smaller space. This could be a bug.  

Airtable is one of the more attractive ways to manage new tables that uses integrations to help you connect with other popular productivity tools a little further. The application is similar one that makes team management a little easier through the form of created interactive tables.

Don’t worry, if you’re a PRO or expert Notion user, we’re planning an advanced Notion tables feature very, very soon! Do sign-up to the newsletter to get the most up-to-date videos and resources from Keep Productive.

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