Notion allows users to make pages, databases, shareable and collaborative web pages, and much more. One of the most useful features of Notion is Database. A database can be used for storing various types of data and can be easily exported into PDF, HTML, Markdown, and CSV on demand. Here’s how you can create a database in Notion for those who are just beginning.
Steps to Create a Database in Notion
Before we begin with creating a database in Notion, allow me to explain Notion’s approach to the database. In Notion, a table is also a database and so are a timeline, calendar, and board. Notion calls them views. You can create different types of database views that allow you to manipulate data in new and interesting ways. This further helps you draw more meaningful conclusions. In fact, you can view the same database in different views too. Finally, every entry or item that you enter in the database has its own page.
The Notion team explains database views in great detail in their intro video. But first, learn how to make a database in Notion so you know the basic steps, the layout, and how to use the app.
We will create a simple database of books in Notion so we can sort books by name, author, and niche.
1. Open Notion in your browser and sign in to your account using your email id or Google/Apple account.
2. Click on the hamburger menu (3 horizontal lines) in the top left corner.
3. Select + Add a page.
4. An untitled page will appear in front of you. Select a type of database from the list. For example, let’s select Table.
5. Click on the + New database, since we’re going to make a new database from scratch.
6. Click on Untitled and give the database a name. We will name it Books to Read.
7. Click on Add icon / Add cover / Add description to give it a name and customize it as per needs. Maybe a book cover or author photo?
8. Click on a cell in the Name column and type the name of the item you want in your database and then press Enter. These can be the names of books under the Name column.
9. Click on the Open button next to a book name which will appear when you move your cursor to the right side of the cell.
10. Click on Add a property in the menu that should fly out from the right side of the screen.
11. Click on Type and a drop-down menu will appear with a list of properties you can add to your database.
12. Select a type of property. For example, for our book database, let’s choose Select.
13. Rename the property and press the escape button on your keyboard. We will name this property as Author so we can use the Select property (step 12) and sort books by author name.
14. Click on Empty right next to the property you just renamed.
15. Type an entry for the Property and click on Create. In our case, it will be the name of the author.
16. Click on Close Button (two forward arrows) or press the escape button on your keyboard to close the Page.
Similarly, you can add more columns to your database like Tags as seen in the screenshot below. Tags can be used to sort books by category or niche. Now finish entering your data inside the database and voila! A beautiful database is ready for your use.
Again, Notion has shared a video of a much more complex database with many variables for your perusal. It is built to track tasks assigned to different team members and to track progress made.
Customize Notion Database Further
I hope this helped you create your first Notion database. Notion also allows users to copy someone else’s database templates with a single click. We have a list of some of the best free Notion templates for you.