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Notion app tips and hacks, and how to make columns

We dive a little deeper into Notion and show some helpful tips and tricks.
david-gewirtz.jpg

Notion is a very powerful product. We showcased a bunch of example uses in our review. At over 2,200 words, that review was getting pretty long, so we didn't have the space to show off some tips and tricks. In this article, we're going to do just that.

How to make columns

One of my favorite features in Notion is the ability to make columns. This helps you organize information and make it easier to find. Let's say, for example, you have a page with some bookmarks, like this:

column-demo-2022-05-04-04-47-13.jpg

Let's say I wanted to group the Mac-related bookmarks in one column and the Apple Fitness-related bookmarks in another. To do so, just drag from the left of the Notion block you want to move to the right of the block where you want the column to be. 

When you see a blue vertical line, let go of the mouse button:

column-demo-2022-05-04-04-49-46.jpg

If you want to put items under a column, grab it at the left of the object and then move your mouse until you see a line under the column, like this:

column-demo-2022-05-04-04-52-28.jpg

And there you go. Nicely organized.

Also: The 6 best to-do list apps: Get organized

column-demo-2022-05-04-04-53-47.jpg

Give columns headers to make them easier to find

Creating a header is easy. Just click to create a new block and then type /h1. Once you enter your header, you can right-click on the drag area to change its color. I prefer solid backgrounds. If your header isn't where you want it to be, just drag it until you see the blue line where you want it to be and release your mouse button.

column-demo-2022-05-04-04-55-31.jpg

Convert objects using Turn Into

You can easily change up most data types using the Turn Into command. As with all our other tricks, right-click to the left of the object and select Turn Into. You'll see the various types available. I'm going to choose Toggle H2, and I'll show you why in the next tip.

column-demo-2022-05-04-04-55-56.jpg

Use headline toggles to group and hide lots of data

So let's assume I decided to continue to add bookmarks and categories. After a while, the page becomes long, and it's hard to find what you're looking for. But if you turn the headers into toggles and tuck the bookmarks under the header, you can expand and collapse just the area you want to see.

column-demo-2022-05-04-05-01-53.jpg

Create a dumping ground or inbox

To prevent well-organized pages from becoming too cluttered, create a dumping ground page for your incoming bookmarks and notes. You can keep them here until you decide to move them somewhere else. 

Here's mine:

dumpy-mcdumpypants-inbox-2022-05-04-05-04-00.jpg

Use the Favorites area on the sidebar

A quick way to get to key pages is to use the Favorites area on the sidebar. Just click the star at the upper-right of the page, and you'll add it.

column-demo-2022-05-04-05-36-01.jpg

Create a main dashboard page that links to key pages

You can use columns and page links to create a central dashboard page that links to your other important pages. This is another great way to navigate to your information quickly. Notice the use of headers and columns.

davids-dashboard-2022-05-04-05-11-00.jpg

You can keep track of personal information, too

Since I have Notion, I'm using it to track personal information and projects as well. Notice I'm using three columns here, and also notice how well it works. The column capability is one of my favorite features of Notion, and it's a big part of why I like using it.

davids-dashboard-2022-05-04-05-08-53.jpg

If you're not sure what to do, try a Notion template

Notion offers an ever-growing list of pre-built templates, and there's even a small aftermarket of folks selling customized templates. To get started, hit the Templates item at the lower left of your dashboard or visit the Notion Templates page on their site.

notion-picks-notion-template-gallery-2022-05-04-05-05-14.jpg

So there you go. More ways to get more out of Notion. If you have a favorite tip or trick, please share it in the comments below.


You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.

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