A Beginner’s Guide to Notion Terminology

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

At first glance, an entire page within a page concept can make you reel, but this list is here to help guide you through it. Here you can read about some of the top terms in Notion to help set you up for success.

Comment page

First thing first, Page basically your workspace in Notion. Unlike other project management software, you don’t automatically start with a list, table, or board layout.

When you create a new page, you can work in a template or start from scratch and create a custom page. Whatever you fill in it is up to you. It can be anything from creating a project manager to keeping notes organized. In addition, you can use pages to hold and organize other pages, called subpages.

For example, the image below shows Bookmarks is the main page and the categories inside are the 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 helpful to know there are also four-page categories:

  • Personal page– for eyes only; Any pages you create in your personal account are private.
  • Shared pages—When you invite someone to your page, the page will only be shared between you and that person.
  • Public page—If you want to make your Ideas pages visible online, you can publish them as public pages.
  • Workspace pages—If you have a Teams account, you can make workspace pages accessible to specific people or to everyone you work with.


Commands in the mind

Also known as the slash command, command allows you to quickly add formatting and elements to your Comments page as you type in a text editor. All you need to do to access them is click anywhere in your document and hit the slash.

You will now have the option to add basic blocks, inline items, databases, media and embeds. You can scroll through and find the name you want, or keep typing its name to pull it up faster.

This will take you to the next semester, the blocks.

Comment block

While it’s not too obvious at first, you’ll notice Notion aptly names its tools. Block pretty much that; which you can use to build your pages. By default, all blocks are text blocks, and you can add more blocks using the command or clicking the add button to the left of the block.

To help you understand Notion’s capabilities, some examples of blocks are:

  • Title
  • List
  • Tables
  • Picture
  • Video
  • Code
  • Files

So you can not only use them to add elements, but also to format documents. As you work, you can adjust the arrangement of the blocks by dragging and dropping them, and the size by grabbing the edges and sliding.

Blocks gives Notion a high degree of customization and makes it a great tool for recording and organizing notes, project management and just about anything. Databases take it to the next level.

Database in concept

Just put, database is a collection of pages in Notion. Each new item you add becomes its own page, and your database gives you a quick overview of the details within.

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

You can see the data in the table, but you can also see it when you click on the page below Name pillar.

When working with databases, it is helpful to know the difference between inline and full-page databases. The inline database sits between your text and other elements, while the full page is the focus of the entire workspace.

Full-page databases are great for creating a distraction-free workspace. Plus, it keeps your database options menu handy at 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.

Attributes in the annotation database

Nature is what gives the database their context. They work similarly to Columns in ClickUp and Asana if you’ve ever used them.

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

Attributes can be simple text and numeric fields or contact information. Some of the more notable attribute types are:

  • Select — like a drop-down menu with a selection.
  • Multiple options — like tagging with multiple options.
  • Date
  • Files and media
  • Checkbox
  • URL

Basically, you can build any system you want using these, from a simple CRM to a high-level project management board.

Notification database view

Everyone works and learns differently. Thank Notion’s viewyou can easily switch the layout of your database.

  • Table view—Helps you get an overview of all your pages by row and column.
  • Table view—Using a card system, perfect for those who like to manage their work using Kanban techniques.
  • Timeline view—Helps you get a quick overview of your pages for days.
  • Calendar view—Organize your pages into a calendar layout.
  • View list—Is a simple list of your pages.
  • View library—Visual display of your pages using its cover photo.

A great place to find some examples of using views is the Templates library in Notion. You can access it by clicking the option in the bottom left corner of the screen or using Sample link on a blank page.

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

Start with the concept

While it sounds intimidating at first, once you learn how to use Notion, you’ll want to do everything in it. If you’re looking for a place to start, why not map out a project you’re working on or one you plan to tackle soon?

If you don’t know what to look like, get a template or use the tools in Notion to create a layout similar to another piece of software — minus the details you want to omit.

Annotation app logo

How to get started with concepts: 7 essential tips and tricks

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About the author

https://www.makeuseof.com/beginners-guide-notion-terminology/ A Beginner’s Guide to Notion Terminology

Sarah Ridley

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