With Notion’s May release came Notion Projects. Despite Notion’s heavy promotion, many users remain unsure about what it, exactly, it is.
Is it new functionality? Is it a template? Is it a methodology? In fact, it’s somewhat of a combination.
Let’s explore the key components of Notion Projects, along with some essential recommendations for enhancing the system. In the template Notion Projects—Enhanced by Notion VIP, you’ll find those enhancements preconfigured and ready to streamline your project management.
Relationproperties, projects and tasks form a parent-child relationship. When you include sprints, they too function as parents of tasks.
Unqiue IDproperty type and AI autofill for
From preset views in the Projects database, you can view projects:
Rollup displays the percentage of the project’s related tasks marked “Done.” In my enhanced version, I call it “Progress.”.
Relation properties. Is Blocking is used for to display dependencies in the timeline view.
With the Projects database template, when you open a project, its inner page contains:
I mentioned the new
Unique ID property type that debuted with Notion Projects. When you configure the property, you specify a prefix, such as “TAS” for tasks. For each item in the database, the
Unique ID property is populated with the prefix, followed by a unique integer. The integer increments by one as items are created. If an item is deleted, its integer is never reused.
When working with databases, and especially relational databases, it’s important for each record to have a unique identifier. Before the
Unique ID property type, we could generate a unique ID with the
id() function within a
Formula property. With their shorter length and customizable prefixes, the new IDs are much prettier.
The are reciprocal
Relation properties that allow you to divide a task into smaller tasks. Within table and list views, you can enable sub-items. Items containing sub-items then become toggles containing their sub-items. In this case, tasks would display their sub-tasks.
I’m surprised to find this configuration absent from the preset views of Tasks. My enhanced version adds them.
The Summary property utilizes the AI autofill feature capability released alongside Notion Projects.
This special property type remains limited to Notion Projects but will likely make its way to the broader Notion ecosystem of building blocks. It allows software teams to link tasks to pull requests in GitHub, then automate updates when changes occur.
Within Agile project management, sprints group tasks into phases. That allows you to plan iteratively and focus on a subset of tasks as you conduct your project. Within Notion Projects, a sprint can include tasks from multiple projects.
If you choose to include sprints when choosing your Notion Projects template, Notion will add a Sprints database, along with a unique page called “Sprint board.”
The Sprints database displays all sprints (unfiltered) within an ungrouped table and timeline.
As sprints are classifications, or “groups,” for tasks, they connect through this
Relation enables the
Rollup properties Total tasks and Completed tasks to perform their calculations.
The page template for sprints displays its tasks as a page section and within linked database views.
The template also includes a “Planning notes” toggle heading with sample bullets to facilitate a planning conversation.
"Sprint board” is a unique page with features unseen elsewhere in Notion. Within the three views below, it displays immediately relevant tasks. I’d find the experience more streamlined if these views were part of the Tasks database rather than a separate page.
This board view displays tasks for the sprint with a status of “Current.” The tasks are grouped (columned) by status and sub-grouped (toggled) by project.
Quite notably, the view includes a unique “Complete sprint” button at the top-right. Clicking the button allows you to specify the next sprint and its date range. If the current sprint contains any uncompleted tasks, you can move them to the next sprint or the backlog (no assigned sprint).
This table groups tasks by the current sprint, the next sprint, or “Backlog” (no assigned sprint).
This table displays only those tasks without an assigned sprint.
The template Notion Projects—Enhanced by Notion VIP includes my recommended adjustments to the Notion Projects system.
Here are a few I’ve already mentioned:
Here are three more:
My recommendations above concern the Notion Projects system in isolation, but the most important modification is connecting it to your broader ecosystem of master databases. That gets back to my #1 principle for using Notion: structure all information in related master databases, then access it through contextual views. If you’ve yet to read that guide, make it your next stop.
And for the Tasks database specifically, my Notion VIP Tasks framework adds a handful of useful features. That includes: