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Achieve Your Goals: OKRs in Notion

This guide details the development of this OKR template, which you can use for reference or duplicate within your own workspace.

Notion's unique combination of features form a powerful platform for managing your goals. Not only can you organize your active goals; you can also maintain accountability and reference lessons learned from past goals.

This guide explores goal management in Notion through Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), a widely employed framework popularized by Google.

Here's what you'll learn:

A snapshot of OKRs.

Create your master databases.

As implemented by The Bulletproof Workspace, William's foremost recommendation for organizing a Notion workspace is centralizing information in master databases, then creating "gateways" for accessing that information. Your OKR configuration honors that principle with master databases that relate to each other in useful ways.

Create your Quarters database.

Notion Quarters Database

For summarizing projects, tasks and other initiatives by time periods, it's helpful to maintain master databases of years, quarters, months and even days. Your OKRs will use the Quarters database.

Create your Objectives database.

Notion Objectives Database

Create your Key Results database.

Notion Key Results Database

As Key Results are measurable actions that indicate progress, they have a "Target Value" and "Current Value." With those values, a "Progress" property calculates a percentage.

Add preliminary OKRs.

Sample OKRs

To see the remaining features come to life and identify any missteps, add some initial OKRs — two or more. Needless to say, add your Objectives and Key Results to their respective databases; you'll link them momentarily.

You can create your own OKRs or reference other useful examples. Reflections will come later, but for each Key Result, be sure to add a Target Value and Current Value — and confirm Progress calculates properly.

Relate your databases.

With your three master databases in place, you're ready to link them for sophisticated perspectives and insights. (Learn more about Relations and Rollups in The Power of Relations and Rollups.)

Relate Quarters to Objectives.

Notion Relate Quarters to Objectives

Relate Objectives to Key Results.

Notion Relate Objectives to Key Results

Configure your Rollups.

Rollups allow you to retrieve information from related items. Learn more about Rollups.

Calculate progress by Objective.

Notion Rollup Progress by Objective

For each Objective, a Rollup property will calculate the average progress among its Key Results.

Calculate progress by Quarter.

Notion Progress by Quarter

Similarly, a Rollup property will calculate the average progress among the Objectives for each Quarter.

Create visual progress bars.

Notion OKR Progress Bar

Rather than a standalone percentage, you can visually represent your progress within your Objectives and Quarters databases. Within each:

"Roll up" your "Active" indicator.

Notion Rollup Active Indicator

For filtering purposes, you'll want to indicate whether each Objective falls within the current Quarter. To do so, you can "roll up" the Active value from the associated Quarter:

Optionally "roll up" dates for sorting.

Notion Rollup Time Span

If you'd like to sort your Objectives and Key Results chronologically, you can also "roll up" the Time Span property from the Quarters database:

Populate inner pages.
Make them templates.

Filter Objectives within Quarters.

Notion Objectives within Quarters

When opening your Quarters as pages, you'd like to see the associated Objectives. To do so, you can display the Objectives as a Linked Database, filtered to show only those within the respective quarter.

Rather than creating a Linked Database within each new Quarter, you can create a template:

Thereafter, each Quarter created with the New Quarter template will only display the Key Results related to it.

Filter Key Results within Objectives.

Notion Key Results within Objectives

Similarly, you want each Objective to display its associated Key Results.

Thereafter, each Objective created with the New Quarter template will only display the Objectives related to it.

Create "gateways" to your OKRs.

You'll infrequently access your OKRs from this page of master databases. Instead, you'll place Linked Databases in helpful locations. As with the internal contents of your Quarters, Objectives display nicely as Galleries (with their Progress Bars), and they're easy to edit as Tables.

Placements will depend on the structure of your workspace, but here are a few ideas:

Compose quarterly reflections.

To get the most from your OKRs, you'll want to evaluate your performance at the end of each quarter. What led to high achievement rates? What caused low ones? Make succinct notes in the Reflections property of each Objective.

In the Reflections property for the Quarter, note your most useful takeaways. Thereafter, you can regularly review your lessons learned to bolster future performance.

Consider creating a "Reflections" page containing a Linked Database that displays all Areas and Objectives within tables.

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