We all have things we want to get done. Having a task management system that you can completely customize to fit your needs and the way you work is the ideal task management solution. Notion provides you the ability to build your own task management system based on how you work. This tutorial will teach you how to get started.
The steps that we will take to building a task management system in Notion are the following:
- Creating a Central Task List Database
- Creating Individual Project/Areas of Interest Pages
- Creating Linked Databases to the Central Database on each project page
- Creating filters for each project on the linked databases to only view tasks for that particular project
- Creating Global linked databases for various filter options like:
- Today View
- This Week
- Tasks associated with a tool like computer or location like office or in town
The goal of this tutorial is to demonstrate what you can do in Notion to create a task management system that is built to function effectively in your workflow. While this tutorial will provide you a template of what I use, I highly recommend you experiment and tweak it to suit your needs.
Before we get started with the tutorial, if you are looking to learn more about apps like Notion, Todoist, Evernote, Google Docs, or just how to be more productive (like Thomas Frank’s Productivity Course), you should really check out SkillShare. Skillshare is an online learning platform with courses on pretty much anything you want to learn. To learn more about Skillshare and its vast library of courses and get TWO FREE MONTHS of UNLIMITED CLASSES, click the link below:
If you are just starting out with Notion and aren’t sure where to get started, you really need to check out my comprehensive beginner’s guide to Notion. It goes through all things you need to know to get started the right way. Enclosed below is the link to the guide:
Looking for some information on the power of Notion? Check out our article containing tips to help you become a power user of Notion at the link below:
Let’s get started with the tutorial 😀.
Creating a Central Task List
The core of any Notion-based task management system is a task database. This is the place where all of your tasks actually live and are stored. The idea is to have one central task database with a bunch of customized views of that central database. This provides a great deal of flexibility and customizability to your task management system.
To create your central task database in Notion, do the following:
Open Notion to the page where you want your task database to exist
Type “/table” and select “Table – Inline” from the pop-up menu as shown above.
A table will appear on your Notion page. Give you table a title by hovering your mouse over the table and clicking on the title text as shown in the above screenshot. Type in your title and press Enter.
Modify your table to contain the information you want to track in task management system. For this tutorial, I used the following attributes and property types:
|Date Created||Created Time|
|Estimated time to|
|Actual Time to|
|Reference Documentation||Files & media|
You can feel free to add or remove attributes to fit your needs. If the table above is confusing to you or if you are just getting started using tables and databases in Notion, check out my guide to using tables in Notion at the link below:
Create a Main Landing Page
I recommend created a main page where all of the pages of your task management solution are subpages like the example in the screenshot above. Note this is definitely not required but makes it more organized in my opinion.
Create Project Pages
Next, create some project pages that represent an organized collection of related tasks. In this tutorial, I created three project pages:
- Upgrade CRM System
- Learning to Code
- Kitchen Renovation
The images above are the sample project pages I created for this tutorial. These images serve as examples of what is possible. If you are having trouble with creating pages, check out my guide on how to create and manage pages in Notion at the link below:
Create a Linked Database for Your Projects
The next step is to create linked databases on each of your project pages. Linked databases are not really databases. Rather they are a view of an existing database, in this case our central task database. In this section, we are going to setup a linked database on one of our project pages that we will setup to only show tasks that are for that project.
To create a linked database in Notion, do the following:
Open your project page. Click where you want your linked database to appear. Type “/linked” and select “Create linked database” as shown in the screenshot above.
A pop-up list will appear of all your databases. Select your central task database from the menu.
A linked database to your central task database should appear. It will contain all your tasks for all of your projects. The next step we need to take is to filter out all the tasks that are not related to this project.
If you are having trouble grasping linked databases, check out my step-by-step guide to using linked databases in Notion at the link below:
If you prefer a video, check out my YouTube video on linked databases in Notion below:
Creating Filters for Linked Database
Next we need to create a filter that will filter out all tasks that are not for the project. To setup the filter, do the following:
Hover your mouse over the table and click on the ellipsis (…).
A drop-down menu will appear. Click “Filter“.
The filter pop-up will appear. Click on the “+ Add a filter” button.
Click the “+ Add a filter” button.
Configure your filter to sort based on your project as shown above.
If you have a column where you are tracking the status of the project and want to filter out all the completed tasks, click the “+ Add a filter” button.
Select the “And” condition and set up the filter to not show completed items as shown in the screenshot above.
You should now only see tasks that are for this project. You can add tasks to this linked database and it will automatically be added to your central task database.
Repeat these steps for each of your other projects. Now, let’s set up some cross-project linked databases that might be helpful.
Let’s create a Today view to see all the tasks that are due today. It is really easy to do and will probably be the most used view you will have. Click on the page where you want your Today view to appear. Type “/linked” and select “Create linked database” from the menu. A linked database of your central task database should appear.
Hover over your table and click the ellipsis (…) button.
Select “Filter” from the menu.
The filter criteria menu will appear. Configure your filter based on the screenshot above.
Your Today view will now only show you tasks that are due today.
Task management is a key part of being productive. Notion can be a great resource for getting things done by allowing you to create your own task management system.
I hope this tutorial was helpful to you. Good luck!
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