Navigating with the sidebar

Brian Park
Nov 16 '17 ยท 7 min read ยท 1470 views
Notion's left-hand sidebar makes it possible to find anything in your workspace.
  • Organize your work on infinite levels โ€” nesting pages inside pages with no limit.
  • Open all the toggles to see where everything is.
  • Collapse them to keep your navigation simple and streamlined.
  • Rearrange it using drag-and-drop ๐Ÿ—
Here's everything you need to know about your sidebar!

Quick tour

Switch workspace, search, notifications & settings

  • Workspace switcher: Click on your current workspace's name to switch between the workspaces you belong to, create a new one, or log out. Here's how that looks:
  • Quick Find: Click to open Notion's search window, where you can either type what you're looking for or jump to a recently visited page. The shortcut cmd/ctrl + p also brings it up. More on search here โ†’
  • All Updates: Click to see all your notifications in one place. This menu combines revisions that were made on pages you follow, new mentions of you across your workspace, and new work assignments. A red notification badge will appear here when you have unread notifications. More on updates here โ†’
  • Settings & Members: Click to open a control panel for editing your account information, workspace settings, payment plan or billing information. More on that here โ†’


  • Any of the pages under Workspace in your sidebar can be seen and shared by the other members of the workspace.
  • Any member on your team can also make changes to this part of your sidebar. When they do, those changes will automatically be made for everyone else.

Nested Pages

  • You can open up each toggle to reveal pages nested inside any page. All pages have the same functionality, even if they're nested as sub-pages.
  • For database pages, you can open the toggle to see all the different views you've created of that database. These are represented with a โ€ข next to them, like under Team Tasks above.

Shared pages

  • Any pages that you've shared with only select individuals will appear under Shared.
  • You'll see this category in your sidebar as soon as you invite someone to join a private page.
  • Other members of your workspace who haven't been invited can't view these pages. This is helpful for one-on-one meeting notes, for instance.
Note: If you're sharing a subpage or a single database entry with someone, it won't appear in your Shared section if the top-level page is private.

Private pages

  • Every user's workspace comes with a Private section for their own pages. Anything you add here can't be seen by the people in your workspace.
  • This is useful for your own tasks or notes, or anything you want to work on individually before sharing with others.
Note: If you drag a page from Workspace into Private in your sidebar, everyone else will lose access.

Templates, import & trash

  • Templates (new addition!) opens our template picker, where you can create a new page using starter content to help you accomplish any one of 50+ jobs.
  • Import lets you add data from a number of other apps into your Notion workspace. We make it easy for you to move content over from Evernote, Trello, Asana, Word, Google Docs, Dropbox Paper, Quip and more. Guide to importing here โ†’
  • Trash contains all the pages you delete. You can drag and drop them in here. You can also click on trash to search, view and restore these pages. More on this here โ†’
    • The trash never auto-deletes your content, so you can use it as an archive! ๐Ÿ—„


  • Favorites is where you can pin pages you need to access quickly to the top of your sidebar. This section will appear when you favorite your first page (click the Favorite button at the top right of any page you're on). More on favoriting here โ†’
  • Helpful for stashing pages relevant to your current projects. You can easily add or remove them as your workflow and priorities change.

Create pages in your sidebar

There are several ways to create new pages using Notion's sidebar:
  • On hover, you should see + signs appear next to Workspace and Private. Click to add a page at the top level of either of those sections.
  • There's also a + New Page button at the bottom of your sidebar.
    • This creates a new page in preview mode, letting you start a new page and then choose where to put it in your workspace (or one of your other workspaces) using a dropdown menu. If you don't choose, it will default to your Private section.
  • Lastly, if you hover over any existing page in your sidebar, you'll see a + appear. Click that to add a page nested inside that page.

Access page options

Once you've created a page, you can access options to Delete, Duplicate, Copy Link to the page, Rename, or Move that page directly from the sidebar.
  • Hover over any page and click the โ€ขโ€ขโ€ข icon that appears (or right click). You'll see the following menu, as well as who last edited the page and when.
  • When you choose Move To, another menu will pop up, letting you choose any other workspace or page you want to move the page into. Use the text box to quickly search and press enter to move the page.

Edit your sidebar

It doesn't take much to move pages around your sidebar. Just drag and drop! ๐Ÿ—
A few things we'll point out:
  • Nest pages by dragging one into another. You'll see the selected page highlight blue.
  • You can also drag pages out of pages they were once nested inside.
  • We'll say it one more time here: If you drag a page from your shared workspace into Private, other folks will lose access. So make sure that's what you want to do.

Resize or hide your sidebar

Your sidebar is elastic โ€” configure it however is most helpful for you.
  • Just click and drag the right edge to resize it.
  • And click the << that appears on hover to collapse your sidebar completely. It'll slide back out when you hover over the left-hand edge of the window.
  • You can reopen it by clicking the โ˜ฐ button at the top left.
  • You can also collapse/hide the Favorites, Workspace, Shared, or Private sections of your sidebar. Just click on those headings to hide or reveal them.

Delete pages

There are two ways to delete pages from your sidebar:
  • Click on the โ€ขโ€ขโ€ข icon that appears when you hover over a page (or right click on it) and select Delete.
  • Drag a page from your workspace into the Trash. This will delete all the sub-pages nested within that page too (including database items).

Add & hide starter templates

When you first sign into Notion, you'll see a collection of templates already in your sidebar next to + icons. These are suggestions that aren't yet part of your workspace.
  • To add them, click the + and they become yours to edit any way you want.
  • To hide them, hover and click Hide.
  • You can always bring templates you hide back by clicking Templates at the bottom of your sidebar.


  • How do I log out of a workspace?
    On desktop, click the workspace switcher at the top left of your window. You'll see the Log Out button at the bottom next to your email address.
    On mobile, tap the โ˜ฐ at the top left, then tap the workspace switcher at the top of that menu. Then, tap Log Out at the bottom.
  • My sidebar doesn't have any sections. How do I turn those on?
    The sidebar sections reflect the sharing settings of your account. If you have more than one person in your workspace, a Workspace section appears in the sidebar for your collaborative work with that person, and the Private section is there for your personal pages, that are only visible to you.
    That said, you can enable these sections manually by clicking Share at the top right of any page, and turning on the Workspace Access toggle.
  • Can I rename the sidebar sections or add my own custom sections?
    Not at the moment, unfortunately ๐Ÿ˜“If your sidebar is feeling cluttered, you can always consolidate some of your pages under more top-level pages.

Related guides

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 โœŒ๏ธ

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