Create a database

Camille Ricketts
Mar 14 '19 Β· 5 min read Β· 543 views
Notion databases are special for three reasons:
  • They're highly customizable β€” you can add whatever types of data you want!
  • Every item you add is its own Notion page to organize even more information.
  • You can view the same database a number of different ways to get work done.
You'll see what we mean πŸ‘‡Let's start with the basics.

1. Create a new table

  • Add a new page and select Table.
  • The first column is where you enter your database items.
  • Each column in a Notion table corresponds to a property that gives your item context.
  • Define different properties (i.e. date, person, etc.) to add specific context to each item.
  • Click Properties at the top right of your table, and the menu under Property Type to see all of your property choices.
  • Here are just a few examples of properties:
    • Multi-select: Lets you add multiple tags (that you create) to your data.
    • Date: Associates dates with your items, like due dates or event dates.
    • Person: Inserts people on your team, for example who has been assigned a task.
    • Files & Media: Lets you upload files, images, and other media related to your data.
    • Checkbox: Denotes whether something related to a database item has been done.
    • Full guide on properties here β†’
  • Here's how a database with several different types of properties looks:

2. Add data to your table

  • For this example, we'll create a task database.
  • Add some projects you're working on in the Name column.
  • Now add some Tags using the multi-select property. Suggestion: P1, P2 and P3 to indicate priority of the task.
  • Let's edit the column currently labeled File. Click on that heading to edit the property's name and type.
  • Change its name to Due Date. And under Property Type, select Date from the menu.
  • Now when you click on a cell under Due Date, you'll see the date picker. Every property type will bring up a different set of options.
Other examples:
  • File properties will prompt you to upload a file.
  • Person properties will bring up a menu to select people in your workspace.

3. Open a row as a page

  • Every item in a Notion database is also a whole page of its own! You can add any content you want inside, including other databases.
  • In our task database example, this would let you keep all notes and content related to a task neatly bundled inside that task.
  • To open a row as a page, hover over a cell in the first column and click β€’ OPEN. It will look like this:
  • You can add or edit any properties. And you can add any content into the body of the page:

4. Create a view

  • You can create different views of the same data. Put it into a board, a calendar, a list or a gallery β€” depending on your needs. Let's try one.
  • Click + Add a View at the top left of your table.
  • Give your view a name and choose Board from the dropdown.
  • This turns rows from your table into cards on a board, grouped by tag. Clicking on a card still opens it as a page.
  • There are many ways to customize the way your board looks:
    • Hide or edit any column by clicking the β€’β€’β€’ icon to the right of its heading.
    • Add new cards by clicking + at the top of columns, or + New at the bottom.
    • To rearrange columns, drag and drop their headings.
    • Go to Properties at the top right to switch on the properties you want displayed on your cards (or to add new ones).
    • You can also group your cards by a different property by clicking Group By.
  • Learn more about boards here β†’
  • Now let's turn our board into a calendar so you can see when tasks are due.
  • Click on the name of your current view to switch between your views or add a new one.
  • Calendars let you view when things are happening, when projects are due, etc. Cards appear on the dates you choose:

5. Filter your data

  • Filter by property to focus on specific parts of your database.
  • Let's go back to our table view for this.
  • Now, click Filter at the top of your table, then + Add a Filter.
  • Choose the property you want to filter by and the criteria that needs to be met.
    • The middle dropdown will give you different options depending on the property.
    • In this case, let's choose Tags as the property, and say it must contain P2.
  • You'll see your database change in real time based on your filter criteria.
  • You can add as many filters as you want.
  • To turn a filter off, go back to the Filter menu and click the X.
  • You can create views based on various filters:
    • Add a new view and title it.
    • In that view, filter your database however you want.
    • Toggle between views to see your data filtered different ways! ✨
    • Examples: Only see tasks assigned to you, or only P1 tasks, or only tasks tagged in a certain project.

6. Sort your data

  • Sorts let you reorder your database depending on the values in certain properties.
  • Click Sort at the top of your table, then + Add a Sort.
  • Choose the property you want to sort your database by. For example, choose Due Dates and then Ascending. This reorders tasks from closest to furthest due date.
  • Sorts are helpful for quickly ordering your data by priority, date, tags, etc.
  • Similar to filters, you can apply multiple sorts and always turn them off in the same menu.
  • You can also create new views showing different sorts.
Now that you've created a couple different types of pages, let's move on to how to find and arrange them in your workspace!
Read next: Navigate your workspace
Something we didn't cover? Message us in the app by clicking ? at the bottom right on desktop (or in your sidebar on mobile). Or email us at ✌️

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