How to Create Tables in Notion | Step-by-Step Full Guide (2024)

Tables in Notion can greatly enhance your organization and productivity. Whether you're managing a project, tracking habits, or organizing information, tables offer a structured and customizable way to view and interact with your data. With features such as advanced filtering, sorting, and linking between tables, you can create complex systems tailored to your specific needs. In this article, we'll be covering everything you need to know about tables & databases in Notion, so you can start using this powerful tool to its full potential.

Simple Tables vs Database Tables in Notion

People often get confused by the difference between database tables and a simple table. While they may seem similar, there are key differences between the two.

A simple table in Notion is a basic table where you can input data. It's similar to what you might create in other word processing programs, with rows and columns where you can type in text, add links, or even include checkboxes. You can add as many rows or columns as you need, and it's easy to add or delete them. However, simple tables in Notion are static and don't offer much beyond basic data entry. They don't have features like sorting and filtering, and you can't link data between different simple tables.

On the other hand, database tables in Notion are much more powerful and flexible. They offer all the features of a simple table but with many additional capabilities. For example, you can create different views of your database table, such as a calendar view or a Kanban board view. You can also apply filters, sort data, and create formulas. One of the biggest advantages of database tables is the ability to create relations between tables, allowing you to link data across different tables.

In short, if you need a basic table for simple notes, a simple table in Notion should suffice. But if you need advanced features like sorting, filtering, or the ability to link data across tables, then a database table would be a better choice.

Example of a simple table in Notion

Create Tables Databases in Notion

There are several ways to create a table database in Notion:

  1. Transform an Empty Page into a Table Database: If you're already working on a page that you'd like to convert into a database, go to the three dots at the bottom of the database, and click on 'Table'. This will transform the current page type into a database.
  2. Create an In-Line Board Database with an Empty Page: Begin with an empty Notion page, type '/Table', and then click on 'Table View'. This will create an inline Notion Table database
  3. Using an Existing Board View Database: If you already have an existing table in Notion, you can add tables as a linked view database. All you have to do is type "/linked view of database" and select the correct database that already is in a table view. Any changes you make here will be reflected in the main database.

For more complicated topics such as sub-projects, dependencies, automation, we will deep dive into them in the upcoming articles!

Table View Layout in Notion

The table view layout in Notion is quite flexible and allows you to customize your table for your specific needs. You can easily adjust the size of the columns by dragging the border of the column header left or right. If you want to rearrange the order of the columns, you can drag and drop the column header to the desired location.

To add a new column, click the '+' button on the right side of the table. By doing so, you will create a new property for the table database and you can choose the type of content it will hold, such as text, number, date, or even a checkbox.

In terms of layout, you can access them by clicking on the three dots in the upper-right corner of the table. Here you can enable or disable 'Wrap All Columns', which controls whether the content in the cells of the table is wrapped to multiple lines or cut off. You can also toggle 'Show Vertical Lines' to add or remove vertical dividers between columns.

Another handy feature is the 'Page Preview' option. When enabled, hovering over a cell that links to another page in Notion will show a preview of that page, whether side peek, center peek, or full page. This can be particularly useful for quickly accessing related information without having to navigate away from your table.

Manage Properties in Notion Tables

Add New Properties

You can also go to the three dots over here, go to properties, and click "New Property" to add new properties. You can select from various types such as text, number, date, checkbox, select, multi-select, and more. Once you've chosen the property type and named it, click 'Add' and the new column will appear in your table.

Hide Properties from the main view

If you want to hide a property from the main view, click on it and then go to "Hide in View". Remember, even if the property is hidden, it will still be there when you open the page.

Freeze Columns to easily manage multiple properties

If you have multiple properties lining up, you can click here and freeze up the column to maintain the name on the left-hand side. This is particularly handy when you're dealing with a large number of properties.

Calculations in Notion Tables

One of the most useful features of Notion tables is the ability to calculate your columns. For example, if you have a checkbox property, you can go to the bottom of the row, click "Calculate", and choose "Percent Checked". This is a handy way to keep track of how many things you have checked off.

Group, Filter, Sort & Search Features in Notion Tables

With Notion tables, you can effectively manage and organize your data using Group, Filter, and Sort features. These features enable you to create a highly customized and organized view of your data. They are essential when you have to manage large amounts of data.

  • Grouping in Notion allows you to categorize your data based on a specific property. For instance, you can group tasks based on their status or priority. This makes it easier to see all related entries together and provides a more structured view of your data.
  • Filtering allows you to narrow down your data based on specific criteria. You can filter tasks based on their due date, assigned person, or any other property. This is particularly useful when dealing with large amounts of data, as it allows you to focus only on the entries that meet your specific criteria.
  • Sorting helps you arrange your data in a specific order. You can sort your data in ascending or descending order based on any property. For example, you can sort tasks by due date to see which tasks are upcoming or overdue.
  • Search allows you to find quick information that you're looking for within your table. Simply type your search query, and only the item relevant to the search query will be displayed.

Are you excited to learn more about Notion Tables?

If you are eager to learn more through real-life examples, we strongly recommend you watch our tutorial for a comprehensive, step-by-step video guide below on making the best out of Notion Tables. To learn more, read more in Notion’s Official Guide here.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.