Within a team's workspace, members can customize private pages to serve their independent needs and preferences. Like Notion itself, private pages are endlessly versatile, allowing individual users to organize information, plan initiatives, track progress and much more. This post explores how individuals can create custom views of team information, then leverage those views to support their personal productivity.
To get them started, team leaders and workspace administrators can establish templates, which members can tailor to suit their personal workflows. Following the steps below, you'll develop a personalized homepage template, replicating the custom private page from our model workspace.
Parts of the template are intended for workspaces that follow the Bulletproof methodology, where team information is centralized in master databases. If you're unfamiliar with the Bulletproof approach, you might give that post a gander before proceeding with this one.
As you craft your personalized private pages, tweet any questions to @WilliamNutt, or simply respond to the newsletter.
Some elements of this personalized homepage are suited for workspaces built on the Bulletproof methodology, where team information is centralized in four or more master databases: Areas, Projects, Tasks and Resources. The page contains custom views of those databases, displaying only the items related to the team member's work.
While not required, these features certainly enhance the personalized homepage. Should you choose to forgo them, you can move on to the next section. Otherwise, add a
Person property to your Areas, Projects and Tasks databases:
Personproperty "Team" and populate it with all team members involved with each project. Your Projects database may also contain a
Personproperty for the Project Manager.
Personproperty in the Tasks database, "Responsible," will likely contain just one team member.
If your workspace includes a master Contacts database within the master Resources database:
Relationproperty. For example, each client may be an Area, in which case each contact for that client can be linked to the corresponding Area.
Person properties added to your master databases, you're ready to create the page that will become your personalized homepage template. You'll find it easiest to construct the page around an existing member — yourself or another member of your team. For easy reference, we'll call that person "Carly."
If you've opted against the Bulletproof approach, you can move on to the next section.
Now, you'll add the Areas, Projects and Tasks that are specific to Carly. Start by creating a heading for the Areas and Projects. You might call them "My Areas" and "My Projects." Arrange them into columns, then add a Divider below each.
Linked Databaseand choose your master Areas database.
Personproperty ("User," in our case) includes Carly.
+ Add a View, name it "Internal," and choose to display it as a List.
The custom Projects list is even simpler, as it contains no secondary views.
Linked Database. Choose the master Projects database.
The personalized homepage includes two sets of tasks: the first displays filtered views of the master Tasks database, or "Assigned Tasks." The second is the member's personal task-management system, or "Planner." The member will reference the Assigned Tasks to inform the Planner. Therefore, the Assigned Tasks live within a Toggle so they can be hidden when not in use. Here, we'll create the Assigned Tasks.
Linked Database. Choose the master Tasks database.
Thus, you have three views of the tasks assigned to Carly: a Table, a List and a Calendar. Carly can reference them to inform her personal Planner. When not doing so, she can hide her Assigned Tasks within a toggle.
The Planner is the hub of the personalized homepage. It's where the member aggregates, plans and tracks tasks using various views. Within their planners, members can paste their upcoming Assigned Tasks and add their own independent asks..
The Planner in our template bundles features from various productivity philosophies, including Getting Things Done (GTD), but members can customize their Planners to suit their personal workflows.
Table – Inline. Name it [Carly]'s Planner, and rename the
Titleproperty to "Task."
Selectproperty called "Context," and give it a few of these options, then choose an option for each existing task.
Selectproperty; create it, add the Areas from your master Areas database as options, then choose an option for each existing task.
Selectproperty with these options, ensure they're ordered as listed above, then assign a Scheduled value for each existing task.
Dateproperty will typically reflect the Deadlines of Assigned Tasks; personal tasks are less likely to have Deadlines. As you'll see, this value will be used in a formula.
Numberproperty, the member can enter the estimated number of hours required to complete the task. It will also factor into formula calculations.
Formulaproperty that calculates the number of days remaining until the Deadline. This property is another factor of a later calculation, so you can hide it. Here's the formula:
dateBetween(prop("Deadline"), now(), "days")
Formulaproperty that can also be hidden. Here, we want to reference ~Hrs. and Days Remaining to determine the average daily hours required to complete the task. Here's the formula:
round(prop("~Hrs.") / prop("Days Remaining") * 100) / 100
Formulaproperty we've been preparing. If the Hrs./Day is one or more, the property displays a ? to indicate that the task may warrant priority.
With your properties created, you may want to sort the Table by:
Viewing tasks within a Board grouped by the Scheduled property will allow the member to plan short-term tasks by dragging them among Scheduled categories.
Group Byand choose Scheduled.
Viewing tasks by their Context will allow members to focus on them in the right circumstances.
Group By, choose the Context property.
Viewing tasks grouped by Area will offer another useful perspective.
Group By, choose the Area property.
Along with quick access to relevant Areas and Projects, team members will benefit from common links and resources. These will vary considerably among team members, but you can begin with a few placeholders.
Add a column next to My Projects. Make the heading "Links & Resources," and underline it with a Divider.
If your team maintains a central database of contacts within the master Resources database, you can filter those contacts to display only those relevant to each member. That's why, in the first section, we created
Linked Database. Choose your central contacts database.
Back on the main page, add any other pages that are uniquely useful to the team member. These can be new pages containing unique database views, as with Carly's Contacts, or
Link to Page blocks. Our example includes a link to the Web Design Inspiration page.
Below the pages, you might add a Divider, then include one or more
You might also want to offer a way for team members to track recurring weekly goals.
Table - Inline.
Selectproperty and give it five options — one for each weekday. Make them all the same color, then assign a different one to each of the five placeholder goals.
Checkbox. Name it "Complete," and leave them unchecked.
The Board format will allow members to view their weekly goals by the day of the week with a delightful aesthetic. To schedule them, they can easily drag the cards from one day to another, then check the boxes as they're completed. At the start of each week, they can reset the checkboxes in either the Board or Table view.
+ Add a Viewand choose the Board format.
With your personalized homepage complete, save it in a location that's accessible to all members. Within a Bulletproof workspace, you can create a new item in Resources, perhaps named "Personalized Homepage Template," then drag the page into it.
With the page, include a note that it should be duplicated and dragged into the private section of the member's sidebar. You might also include some general instruction for customizing and utilizing the page's features.
Many productivity philosophies include a variation of an "inbox" for recording notes and action items that emerge throughout the day. Along with the instructions for your personalized homepage, you might encourage members to create another page to serve as their inbox. The Inbox and Mailbox options on Notion Icons make excellent icons for this page.