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.
What You’ll Learn
- Prepare Your Team Information
- Create the Page with a Placeholder Icon and Cover
- Create Personal Views of Team Information
- Add a Personal Planner
- Create the Planner Database
- Add Your Properties
- Sort Your Default View
- Create a Scheduling Board
- Create a Context Board
- Create an Area Board
- Customize Links & Resources
Prepare Your Team Information
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:
- For the Areas database, name the property “Users,” then populate it with all team members who might engage with each Area. For some Areas, such as Healthcare, that will include your full team.
- Within the Projects database, name the
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:
- Where applicable, be sure each contact is linked to an Area via a
Relationproperty. For example, each client may be an Area, in which case each contact for that client can be linked to the corresponding Area.
- Then, add a Rollup property that will auto-populate with the team for the associated Area:
- For the Relation, choose the Area property.
- For the property, choose Users.
- Leave Show Original for Calculate.
Create the Page with a Placeholder Icon and Cover
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.”
- Start by creating a new top-level page. Title it with Carly’s full name.
- Personal homepages work well with the individual’s headshot as the page icon. With a design tool like Figma, you can make the headshot a circle for an even nicer aesthetic. Whether square or circle, add Carly’s headshot as the icon of your new page.
- You can also use Figma to create a standard format for the page cover. Team members can customize their page covers, but a consistent, polished placeholder will uphold a sense of professionalism for your workspace. If you prefer to avoid a custom design, Notion’s readily available gradients work nicely.
Create Personal Views of Team Information
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.
Create Views of Areas
- Below your columns (you’ll need the full page width), add a
Linked Databaseand choose your master Areas database.
- Filter the database to show only the Areas where your
Personproperty (“User,” in our case) includes Carly.
- Our demo workspace includes two Types of Areas: Internal and Clients. Our personalized homepage includes a unique view for each of those Types. Thus, you can add a second filter to include only the Areas where the Type is Client.
- Then, you can create a second view for the Internal Areas. Choose
+ Add a View, name it “Internal,” and choose to display it as a List.
- Filter the Internal view to show only the Areas where Users includes Carly and the Type is Internal. You may also choose to sort your Areas by their name.
- You want your Clients view to display in the List format as well, so change it to a List and, while you’re at it, rename it “Clients.”
- Finally, drag your Areas list beneath the My Areas heading so that it becomes part of the column.
Create a Custom Projects List
The custom Projects list is even simpler, as it contains no secondary views.
- Below the columns, add another
Linked Database. Choose the master Projects database.
- Filter it to display only the Projects where the Team includes Carly.
- You may also want to sort by the project’s Start (
- To display the Projects as a List, you’ll need to create a temporary second view, then convert the default view to a list. You can then delete the temporary second view.
- Drag your Projects list beneath the Projects heading so that it becomes part of the second column.
Create Views of Assigned Tasks
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.
- Above your Areas and Projects columns, add two Dividers. Between them, add a Toggle with the title “Assigned Tasks.” You might make that text bold.
- In the body of the Toggle, add a
Linked Database. Choose the master Tasks database.
- Filter it to show only the tasks where Carly is “Responsible.”
- You may also want to sort by Deadline.
- Create two more views with the same filters and sorting: a List and a Calendar. Name each view according to its format type.
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.
Add a Personal Planner
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.
Create the Planner Database
- At the very top of your page, immediately below the title, create a new
Table – Inline. Name it [Carly]’s Planner, and rename the
Titleproperty to “Task.”
- Reference the Assigned Tasks to populate a handful of upcoming tasks. Then, add a few independent tasks, such as scheduling a call or running an errand.
Add Your Properties
- Add a Context property. Drawing from GTD, assigning a Context to each task allows members to view their tasks based on where they’ll be completed. For example, they’ll see which tasks are completed at their desks, which are completed during staff and client meetings, and which are completed while commuting. Create a
Selectproperty called “Context,” and give it a few of these options, then choose an option for each existing task.
- Add an Area property. This will allow members to view their tasks by Area. Within the Planner, Areas can include those from the master Areas database, as well as any others that may be specific to the team member. This is another
Selectproperty; create it, add the Areas from your master Areas database as options, then choose an option for each existing task.
- Add a “Scheduled” property. When viewed as a Board, the Scheduled property allows the member to plan upcoming tasks by dragging and dropping them among a few options: Today, Tomorrow and Soon. Longer-term tasks can be dragged into the Later or Someday options, and tasks with unmet dependencies will fall within the Waiting category. Create another
Selectproperty with these options, ensure they’re ordered as listed above, then assign a Scheduled value for each existing task.
- Add a “Deadline” property. This
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.
- Add an “~Hrs.” property. Within this
Numberproperty, the member can enter the estimated number of hours required to complete the task. It will also factor into formula calculations.
- Add a “Days Remaining” property. Create a
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")
- Add an “Hrs./Day” property. This is another
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
- Add an “Attn.” property. This is the
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.
Sort Your Default View
With your properties created, you may want to sort the Table by:
Create a Scheduling Board
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.
- Create a new view. Choose the Board format and name it “Scheduling Board.”
- Within the Board’s
Group Byand choose Scheduled.
Create a Context Board
Viewing tasks by their Context will allow members to focus on them in the right circumstances.
- Duplicate the Scheduling Board view. Rename the copy “Context Board.”
Group By, choose the Context property.
- Consider sorting by Deadline.
Create an Area Board
Viewing tasks grouped by Area will offer another useful perspective.
- Duplicate the Context view. Rename the copy “Area Board.”
Group By, choose the Area property.
- Because you sorted the Context Board by deadline, your Area Board is already sorted the same way.
Customize Links & Resources
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.
Create a Links & Resources Column
Add a column next to My Projects. Make the heading “Links & Resources,” and underline it with a Divider.
Add the Links & Resources
Add a Custom Contact List
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
- Below the Links & Resources heading, create a new page named “[Carly]’s Contacts.”
- Open the page. Consider giving it an icon.
- In the page’s body, create a
Linked Database. Choose your central contacts database.
- Hide any unneeded properties.
- Filter the Table to show only the contacts for which the Rollup property you created in the first step includes Carly.
- You might add an OR condition to display members of your team as well. In the case of a business, they’ll all have the same Company, which you can use as your filter.
Add Additional Pages
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.
Add Web Bookmarks
Below the pages, you might add a Divider, then include one or more
Build a Weekly Goal Tracker
You might also want to offer a way for team members to track recurring weekly goals.
Create the Database
- Between Assigned Tasks and the three columns, add a new
Table - Inline.
- Name it “Weekly Goals,” and rename the
- Add five placeholder goals. Create your own, copy ours or use the “Goal 1,” “Goal 2” format.
- Change one of the default properties to a
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.
- Change the other default property to a
Checkbox. Name it “Complete,” and leave them unchecked.
Make it a Board
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.
- The goals will be automatically grouped by Day, but make sure they’re properly ordered.
- Also make sure the Complete property is displayed on the cards.
- You can then rename the default view, the Table, to “Table.” In the view list, you might drag Board above Table to display it by default when the page is loaded.
Make it a Template
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.
Encourage an “Inbox”
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.