Notion’s New Databases are Here!

Blog Post

Apr 1, 2022

Notion’s New Databases are Here!

Here are the 7 things you need to know about Notion’s biggest update for 2022.

Notion’s new databases are here! Before we get into some of the most exciting features, why are databases such a critical piece to how Notion works?

Workspaces, Pages, Databases, and Blocks

Every piece of content housed in Notion falls into one (or more) of these categories. The term

Blocks are anything from text, lists, toggles, images, and many other categories.

Databases are like spreadsheets that can be configured in a variety of ways beyond the table view.

Pages contain combinations of blocks and databases.

Workspaces work like an operating system for a creator, team, or entire company. Pages contain a combination of blocks and databases.

Why Are Databases So Important to Notion’s Growth?

As the Notion community continues to explode, organizations have been pushing the app’s capabilities to the limit, highlighting important questions and potential features. The March 2022 update has been many months in the making, directly aiming to streamline how teams use, edit, and view database information.

Let’s get into the changes, and how they could apply to your workspace.

01 | Tabs!

There’s a few pieces to this update, and they’re all awesome. First, the tabs replace a dropdown menu that previously housed all your database views, so it essentially saves a click. More importantly, for dashboards where you need to quickly move back and forth between multiple views, tabs make this far easier.

We haven’t even gotten to the good part yet…

You can now have views of DIFFERENT databases!

This is huge for a few reasons. You no longer have to have an endless page of dashboards or toggled sections with individual databases. If we think of project management for example, quickly toggling between a Project timeline view and a Tasks list allows users to seamlessly jump between databases, while taking up less space on the page.

02 | Change Database Layout (without losing filters)

Previously, if you wanted to create a new database view after setting up custom filters and/or sorts, you had no option but to do it from scratch. This was often an anxiety-inducing process; what if I start with the wrong view and have to do it all over?

With this update, layouts function more as views to toggle between rather than separate entities. One thing to note: if you change from a board view, then back to board view, you may lose some sorting that was set up previously. There are a few use cases where the feature breaks, but it’s a welcome change to databases.

03 | Hide the Database Title

I’ve personally been waiting so long for this one. Clicking on the menu next to the database name allows you to either View the database, Rename it, or Hide.

This is a great option, especially if you leverage Notion’s Table of Contents feature (displaying an outline of the page), or if you simply prefer a clean page with as little information as possible. Let’s be honest, in most cases, you already know what data you’re looking at, based on the page you’re on.

04 | Filter & Sort Updates

There are a few pieces to this update. First, if you click on Filter or Sort, you get a new row of information. This makes it far easier to quickly toggle on or off any filters, as well as see what filters are currently active.

The other part is a huge win for teams and companies. Previously, users could not change the view of a database without changing the view for everyone else. This has caused many headaches, when say, junior employees (or people new to Notion) make changes to a database, not knowing these changes are happening for everyone. This was not necessarily their fault, as it was unclear how changes in your view effect the team.

Now, once you make a change, a Save for Everyone button pops up, clarifying the decision to update for everyone, whereas not saving simply changes the database view for you alone.

06 | Copy Database Views

This subtle update allows you to copy a link to a particular view, and paste it anywhere in your workspace. Previously, you have to Duplicate a view, which felt like a slow, clunky experience. This update is the precursor to the real update we’ve been waiting for — synced databases (more on that below).

07 | New Settings Menu

This update is largely a re-organization of the settings menu, accounting for some of the features that were just added. The main thing to note here; settings are segmented by category, so if you don’t see a particular setting, it’s likely just nested inside a category. Things like Properties, Filter, Sort, and Group look almost identical to before.

Video Walkthrough

Prefer to watch a video walkthrough? See the updates in action in the video below!

What do these changes mean to your workflow?

For teams and larger organizations, the ability to surface multiple databases in one view is huge. The changes in this latest update largely focus on streamlining the interface, while adding some powerful new features.

If you’re the ‘In-House Notion Guru,’ here are some specific questions to ask in your organization:

  1. Where are there redundant database views or that can be consolidated into one view?

  2. Where can we reorder database views by priority, so tabs are organized by level of importance?

  3. Where can we update view names to be clearer, now that they’re visible on the page?

Features to Look for in the Future

Notion is continuing to work on improvements to databases, and there are a few exciting updates in the pipeline. The big update to look out for will be Synced Databases. This will allow you to create a view — including filters, sorts, and groupings — and sync across multiple pages. This essentially replaces the current workflow (duplicating a database whenever you need it in a new page) with something much more intuitive — the ability to sync how databases are presented throughout your workspace. Very much looking forward to this one.

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Manifest Labs LLC

© 2023

Manifest Labs LLC

© 2023

Manifest Labs LLC

© 2023