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With Notion’s commenting feature, you can discuss page contents with collaborators or leave reminders for yourself. Somewhat of an afterthought in the early days of Notion, comments are now a core feature, rich in collaborative capability. And they continue evolving quickly, so stay tuned to the newsletter, Twitter and YouTube.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this comprehensive guide:
- When to Comment in Notion
- Where To Comment
- Compose and Format Comments
- Make and Manage Threads
- Manage Commenting Permissions
- Edit, Share and Delete Comments
- The Comments Sidebar
- Comment Notifications
- Customize Comments
When to Comment in Notion
For all of Notion’s functions, it’s no replacement for email, Slack and other communication-specific tools. Comment in Notion only when addressing a specific page or element within a page. In other words, comment on items, and keep general conversations on the platforms built for them.
Here are some ways I commonly use comments:
- In a database of applicants, I provide updates on individual candidates by commenting on their respective pages:
- As we finalize a project plan, my teams exchange comments on individual elements, such as the goal or timeline.
- In a database of expenses, I note within a monthly expense that its price will change the next cycle.
Where To Comment
Within a Notion page, you can add comments at three levels. Because you’re commenting on items, choose your specificity level based on the subject of your comment. Here are your choices:
For comments about the page at-large, you can comment below the page’s title: Hover your cursor over the title and choose
For pages that belong to a database, this comment area is visible by default and displays below the properties, as we saw in the opening example:
When addressing a specific item within a page, you can comment on a block:
- Hover your cursor over the block, click its
⋮⋮menu and choose
- Alternatively, with the full block highlighted (not an inner text segment), you can use the keyboard shortcut
cmd/ctrl + shift + M.
- Some blocks, including
Imageblocks, display a speech bubble when you hover your cursor above them. The bubble includes a comment count, and you can click it to add a comment.
You might suggest modifying a photo, for example:
Block-level comments appear within the page margin, with a speech bubble adjacent to the corresponding block.
Text Segment Comments
Within a block, you can comment on a particular text segment:
- Highlight the segment and choose
Commentfrom the menu that appears.
- You can also use the same keyboard shortcut:
cmd/ctrl + shift + M.
Text-level comments appear within the page margin, and the associated text is highlighted yellow.
You’ll typically comment at this level to recommend rephrasing or question a statement.
Compose and Format Comments
- As you type, highlight text within your comments to reveal the formatting menu, where you can choose among the same styling options as standard
Textblocks. That includes bold, italic, underlined, coloring and highlighting, as well as the creation of hyperlinks and
in-linecode. Of course, you can also use keyboard shortcuts.
- Within a comments text, you can mention pages, people and dates by typing
@or selecting the
@icon within the comment module. As with all
@-mentions, people are notified, pages become links, and dates can be dynamically changed.
- You can also attach files that your comment references, including photos:
- After typing your comment, click the circled arrow icon to submit, or simply hit
Make and Manage Threads
Reply to Comments
You can reply to comments by clicking
Add a comment at the page level or
Reply within block- and text-level modules. This creates a threaded conversation.
As a comment module grows, it folds comments into a
more comments button. The first and last comment of the thread will always display, but if either is particularly long, Notion will abbreviate it with a
To expand the module and view the full thread:
- Click the module in the margin
- Block-level comments — Click the speech bubble adjacent to the corresponding block
- Text-level comments — Click the highlighted text
When a thread has reached a conclusion, any user with
Can edit permission can archive it: Hover over the module and click
Within the Comment Sidebar, you can view and restore resolved comments.
Manage Commenting Permissions
Allow Users to Comment
- Any guest, member or group with
Can commentor higher access to a page can comment.
Can editpermission is required to resolve threads.
Permit Commenting on Public Pages
When you publish a page publically, you have the option to
Allow comments. Doing so adds a
Comment button to the top of the page, which any viewer with a Notion account can click to comment on the page.
Edit, Share and Delete Comments
You can hover over any individual comment to reveal its
- For all users, that menu contains the
Copy linkoption, which you can use to copy and share a link directly to the comment.
- Users with
Can editor higher access have the option to
Delete comment. Unlike resolved threads, deleted comments cannot be restored:
- For your own comments, you’ll also have the option to
The Comments Sidebar
- At the top of each page, a speech bubble icon toggles the Comments Sidebar, where you can manage comments in bulk.
- You can also toggle the Comments Sidebar with the keyboard shortcut
cmd/ctrl + shift + \\.
- When a page contains comments that you’ve yet to engage with, you’ll see a red dot over the icon.
View All Comments
- The Comments Sidebar initially displays all “Open” comments or threads, or those that remain unresolved.
- Comments that you’ve yet to engage display a blue dot at the top-right.
- You can reply to threads directly from the Comments Sidebar, as well as access the
•••menu for any comment.
- Clicking a thread scrolls to that point in the page.
View and Restore Resolved Threads
- At the top of the Comments Sidebar, you can toggle from
- There, you’ll find all single comments and comment threads that have been marked
- Users with
Can editor higher access can restore any comment or thread by clicking
- As with all
@-mentions, mentioning a user in a comment triggers a notification for that user.
- If you follow a page, any comment any comment triggers a notification.
I dive deeper into notifications in Collaborating in Notion, but in short:
- A badge appears at the top-right of your workspace, within the workspace selector.
- Within your sidebar, you’ll see it within
- Depending on your engagement, you may receive mobile or desktop push notifications, or an email digest.
You can reply to comments directly from your
Inbox, or click the comment to visit the page.
- You can customize the way your page facilitates comments in two ways—both configured by choosing
Customize pagewithin the page’s
- For database pages, customizing one page affects all pages.
Here are your options:
Disable Page-Level Comments
Top-level page discussions,
Expanded displays the thread and
Off disables that comment type for the page.
Simplify Block- and Text-Level Comments
Page comments, the comment modules in the margin become small speech bubble icons, which you can click to expand:
If you have any questions as you tinker with comments, I’m all ears @WilliamNutt.