A Beginner’s Guide to Concept Terminology

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Once you get the hang of it, Notion is less complicated than you might think at first. A common hurdle in the learning curve is understanding the pieces that make up the software and the vast capabilities of each.

At first glance, the entire page within a page within a page concept may make your head spin, but this list is here to guide you. Here, you can learn more about some of Notion’s key terminologies to help you succeed.

Theoretical pages

First of all, pages are essentially your workspaces in Notion. Unlike other project management software, you don’t automatically start with a list, board, or table layout.

When creating a new page, you can work in a template or start from scratch and create a custom page. Whatever you fill it in is up to you. This can range from creating project management to keeping tidy notes. Additionally, you can use pages to contain and organize other pages, called subpages.

For example, the image below shows Bookmarks as the main page, and the categories inside are subpages.

You can also quickly locate and rearrange subpages by clicking the drop-down arrow next to the page name in the sidebar. In Notion, it is also useful to know that there are also four-page types:

  • Private Pages-just for your eyes; every page you create in a personal account is private.
  • Shared Pages– when you invite someone to your page, it is shared between you and that person only.
  • Public Pages— if you want to display your Notion pages online, you can publish them as public pages.
  • Workspace pages— if you have a team account, you can make workspace pages available to specific people or everyone you work with.

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Orders in concept

Also called slash commands, orders let you quickly add formatting and elements to Notion pages as you type in the text editor. To access it, just click anywhere in your document and press the forward slash.

You will now have the option to add basic blocks, inline elements, databases, media and integrations. You can either scroll and find the one you want, or keep typing its name to retrieve it faster.

Which brings you to the next term, blocks.

Notional blocks

Although it’s not too obvious at first, you’ll notice that Notion names its tools correctly. Blocks are pretty much that; the elements you can use to create your pages. By default, all blocks are text blocks and you add more using commands or clicking the add button to the left of a block.

To help you understand Notion’s capabilities, here are some sample blocks:

  • Headings
  • Lists
  • the tables
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Coded
  • Files

So you don’t just use them to add elements, but also to format the document. As you work, you can adjust the layout of your blocks by dragging and dropping them and the size by grabbing the sides and dragging.

Blocks give Notion its high level of customization and make it a great tool for taking and organizing notes, project management, and just about anything. Databases are taken to the next level.

Databases in concept

Simply, data base are a collection of pages in Notion. Each new item you add becomes its own page and your database gives you a quick view of the details it contains.

Databases are extremely useful in project management and keeping organized notes. As you can see, the table database below uses properties to quickly display project priority levels, due dates, status, and recipients.

You can display the data in the table, but you can also display it by clicking on the page under the name column.

When working with databases, it is useful to know the difference between online and full-page databases. Online databases sit among your text and other elements, while the full page is at the center of the entire workspace.

A full-page database is great for creating a distraction-free workspace. Plus, it keeps your database options menu handy in the top-right corner. However, you cannot add anything above or below them. If you decide to add elements, you can convert it to inline.

Properties in Notion Databases

Properties are what give databases their context. They work the same way as columns in ClickUp and Asana if you’ve used them before.

Once you add them, they display the information directly in the database. You can also hide properties if you want them to appear only when you click on a page.

Properties can be simple text and number fields or contact information. Some of the more notable property types are:

  • Select—much like a drop-down menu with a single choice.
  • Multi-selection—much like markup with multiple options.
  • Date
  • Files and media
  • Check box
  • URLs

You can basically build any system you want using them, from a simple CRM to a high-level project management consultancy.

Notion Database Views

Everyone works and learns differently. Thanks to Notion’s viewsyou can easily change the layout of your database.

  • Table view—gives you an overview of all your pages in rows and columns.
  • Table view— uses a card system, perfect for those who like to manage their tasks using the Kanban technique.
  • Viewing the timeline– gives you a quick overview of your pages over multiple dates.
  • Calendar display—arranges your pages in a calendar layout.
  • List view— is a simple list of your pages.
  • Gallery view— visually displays your pages using its cover photo.

A great place to find examples of using views is the Model Gallery in Notion. You can access it by clicking on the option in the lower left corner of your screen or by using the Models link on a blank page.

Starting with templates and customizing them is also an optimal way to learn how Notion works, as they give you a good understanding of the software’s capabilities.

Get started with the concept

While it may seem daunting at first, once you learn Notion, you’ll want to do it all. If you’re looking for a starting point, why not map out a project you’re already working on or planning to tackle soon?

If you’re not sure what it should look like, grab a template or use Notion’s tools to create a layout similar to another software’s, without the details you want to leave out.


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