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Optimize Your Workspace for the Notion API

I approach every Notion workspace with a core tenet. In its simplest terms:

Use databases, not pages.

Among the myriad benefits of this strategy, it positions your workspace to integrate seamlessly with other services, facilitated by Notion's new API.

Below, I expand on this principle, then explore how it serves the API.

The Bulletproof Principle

Why use it?

As the foundation of The Bulletproof Workspace, my core tenet—databases over pages—is known as the "Bulletproof Principle." Aside from supporting the API, it:

I cover many of these benefits in my explanation of Notion's Relation and Rollup properties.

What is it?

You can remember the Bulletproof Principle with the acronym CMD+ACT ("Command and Act"):

Centralize in master databases.

Access from contextual templates.

I detail the approach in my walkthrough of The Bulletproof Workspace, but here's the gist:

An example implementation.

Here's a microcosm of a workspace built on The Bulletproof Principle for the company Loggerhead Labs:

Database items can then become their own contextual dashboards, filtering other databases to display only related items:

These contextual views are automatically created using database templates with self-referencing filters.

Common Contextual Views

These are among the most common contextual views of master databases, facilitated by relations and automated with templates:

Relationship Management (CRM)
Project Management
Notion Project
Goal-Tracking (OKRs)
Knowledge Management (Wiki)
Expense Tracking

Apply the Bulletproof Principle to the API.

Notion API

What's the Notion API?

Rolling out incrementally, the API allows Notion to interact with other services, including:

Here are a few examples of what you can do with those integrations:

Who creates these integrations?

The services create official integrations.

A growing number of services use Notion's API to create official integrations. You can choose those services directly within Notion. Conversely, you can choose Notion within those services.

Users create custom integrations.

Additionally, users can use tools like Zapier to create custom integrations. (I'll be posting to Zapier's blog throughout the rollout of the API.) These services will allow you to connect Notion to other apps, then define "triggers" and "actions." In other words, "if this, then that." For example:

The constant: Databases.

Every example above uses a Notion database. More specifically, it references or updates properties of a database. For example:

That's how the API works most often and most seamlessly; it links properties from your Notion databases to values in other services.

By upholding the Bulletproof Principle, and thus using databases for all content, you'll prepare your workspace to leverage every integration. Those capabilities will expand over time, but your commitment to the framework will ensure your ability to implement each new opportunity.

Common Master Databases

As you apply the Bulletproof Principle to your own workspaces, consider the below master databases. To learn more about the way they coexist under the Bulletproof Principle, explore The Bulletproof Workspace.

All Workspaces

Questions? Ask @WilliamNutt.

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