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How to Create a Database in Notion for Beginners

by Subham Raj
How to Create a Database in Notion for Beginners

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.

notion sign in page on the web

2. Click on the hamburger menu (3 horizontal lines) in the top left corner.

notion menu in web app

3. Select + Add a page.

adding new page in notion on web

4. An untitled page will appear in front of you. Select a type of database from the list. For example, let’s select Table.

creating a table database in notion

5. Click on the + New database, since we’re going to make a new database from scratch.

new database option in notion web app

6. Click on Untitled and give the database a name. We will name it Books to Read.

naming database in notion

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?

add icon, cover, and description to notion database page

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.

adding items to notion database

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.

open database item in notion web app

10. Click on Add a property in the menu that should fly out from the right side of the screen.

add property to notion database item

11. Click on Type and a drop-down menu will appear with a list of properties you can add to your database.

property type in notion database web app

12. Select a type of property. For example, for our book database, let’s choose Select.

notion database property type

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.

rename notion database property

14. Click on Empty right next to the property you just renamed.

Create Database in Notion for Beginners

15. Type an entry for the Property and click on Create. In our case, it will be the name of the author.

Create Database in Notion for Beginners

16. Click on Close Button (two forward arrows) or press the escape button on your keyboard to close the Page.

close button in notion 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.

notion database example

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.

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