Do you need help keeping track of your data? Do you constantly jump between different pages and databases to find the necessary information? If so, consider creating a relational database in Notion.
A relational database allows you to connect information from different databases. This makes viewing and analyzing your data more manageable.
In this article, I’ll walk you through creating your own relational database in Notion, from setting up the initial database to linking it to other databases and views. By the end, you’ll have another powerful tool for organizing and managing your data.
Let’s get started!
Understanding Notion And Relational Databases
In Notion, you can create a relational database by linking two or more tables. This allows you to create a more complex database to store and organize large amounts of data.
When you create a relational database in Notion, you create a link between two tables. This link is called a relation. It allows you to view the data from both tables in one place.
For example, let’s say you have two tables in your Notion database: one for your clients and one for your projects. You can create a relation between the two tables to see which clients are associated with which projects.
Notion also allows you to create rollup columns in your tables. A rollup column is a column that summarizes data from another table. For example, you can create a rollup column in your clients’ table that shows the total number of projects associated with each client.
Creating A Database In Notion
Before we dive into creating a relational database in Notion, here’s a quick rehash of setting up your database. If you need more help, check out these two articles – Introduction To Databases or Using Notion Databases.
Selecting Database Type
Once you’ve selected your database type, you can start adding properties. Properties are the columns in your database that store information.
To add a property, click the “+” button next to the “Properties” header.
You can choose from various property types: text, number, select, multi-select, date, person, file, and more.
Adding Pages to the Database
After adding properties, you can start adding pages to your database. Pages are the rows in your database that contain information.
To add a row, click the “+” button to the left of the database. You can customize each page by adding information to your created properties.
Creating A Relational Database In Notion
Ok, now, onto the juicy stuff.
In this section, I’ll cover the steps to create a relational database in Notion, including adding a relation property and establishing relations between databases.
Adding A Relation Property
To create a relational database in Notion, you must have two separate databases. Once your databases have been set up, you can add a relation property to connect the two.
To add a relation property, click on the database to which you want to add it and then click the “+” button (refer to above if you’re unsure).
From there, select “Relation” from the dropdown menu. You can then choose the database you want to link to and give your relation property a name.
Developing Related Databases
Once you have created your relation property, you can establish relations between the two databases.
In the property fields, anything with an arrow is a relational database. This means we are connecting information inside of another database that lives elsewhere. The screenshot example below connects ” Areas ” to “Notes & Ideas.”
Relations can be incredibly useful in a variety of scenarios.
For example, you can use them to link tasks to projects, clients to invoices, or products to orders. By establishing relationships between items in different databases, you can quickly and easily see how they are connected and better understand your data.
Check out my video guide here:
Advanced Techniques For Relational Databases In Notion
Now we’ll cover some of the most powerful techniques for creating and managing relational databases in Notion.
Using Rollups in Notion
The rollup function in Notion is a powerful tool that complements the relation property. With rollups, you can aggregate and display data from related records in a single record.
For example, if you have a database of tasks and a related database of projects, you could use a rollup to display the total number of tasks in each project.
To use rollups in your relational database, you must create a rollup property and select the related database and property you want to roll up. You can then choose from various aggregation functions, such as count, sum, average, and more.
Here are some practical examples of how rollups can be used:
- Displaying the total revenue for a customer based on their related orders.
- Showing the total time spent on a project based on related tasks.
- Calculating the average rating of a product based on related reviews.
To use rollups in your relational database, follow these steps:
- Create a rollup property in your database.
- Select the related database and property you want to roll up.
- Choose an aggregation function and customize the display options.
Breaking Tasks into Sub-Tasks and Dependencies
Breaking tasks into sub-tasks and dependencies is crucial for effective project management. With Notion’s relation properties, you can quickly implement sub-tasks and dependencies in your relational database.
To do this, create a new database for sub-tasks and add a relation property to link them to their parent task manager. You can then use another relation property to link tasks to their dependencies, visually representing the project’s structure.
To implement sub-tasks and dependencies in your relational database, follow these steps:
- Create a new database for sub-tasks.
- Add a relation property to link sub-tasks to their parent task.
- Add another relation property to link tasks to their dependencies.
Using Filters and Sorts
Filters and sorts are essential tools for managing a relational database in Notion.
Filters are used to narrow down the results of a database view based on specific criteria. For example, you can filter a list of tasks to show only those assigned to a particular team member or due on a specific date.
Filters can be applied to any property in your database, including text, date, select, multi-select, and more.
To apply a filter, click on the filter icon in the top right corner of the database view. Then, select the property you want to filter by and choose the criteria you want to apply. You can add multiple filters to refine your results further.
This example will filter Projects only related to this Area and ensure that it’s not an archived project.
On the other hand, Sorts are used to order the results of a database view based on a specific property.
For example, you can sort a list of contacts by last name or a list of to-dos by due date. You can also choose to sort your results in ascending or descending order.
To apply a sort, click on the sort icon in the top right corner of the database view. Then, select the property you want to sort by and choose the order you want to apply. You can add multiple sorts to refine your results further.
This example sorts my task manager by the Due Date and the State that I’ve set it to.
Combining filters and sorts allows you to create powerful custom views of your relational database that help you stay organized and productive.
A simple use case example is to create a view that shows you all high-priority tasks due this week.
With some practice, you can become a master at applying filters and sorts to create custom views that meet your specific needs!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use The Relational Database In Notion For Task Management?
Absolutely, Notion’s relational databases are powerful tools for task management.
They allow you to link related data, such as tasks and their respective projects, which can significantly enhance project organization and tracking.
Can I View My Notion Database In Different Layouts?
Notion offers several views for your databases, including Table, List, Board, Calendar, and Gallery View.
You can switch between these views by clicking the “Views” button in the top right corner of your database. Each view offers a different way to visualize and interact with your data.