Find Flow: Combining Templates & Linked Databases In Notion
Find Flow: Combining Templates & Linked Databases In Notion

Find Flow: Combining Templates & Linked Databases In Notion

A while back I wrote about The Magic Of Linked Databases in Notion. Creating multiple views of your databases in your dashboards is such a simple way to view all the information you need without getting out of the flow.

But today I want to talk about how you can really step up your game by adding linked databases into your templates to get and stay in the flow.

My whole philosophy of work come down to one thing... flow. I don't want to be clicking around all over the place from one database to another, from one view to another. I want my work to flow with ease.

This causes me to spend a lot of time thinking about how I work, how the processes work and trying to replicate that as easily as possibly in my Notion workspace.

Flow not only helps you to get work done faster and more efficiently. It helps to drive work forward with momentum. The system disappears and the work is effortless.

When you have to click here, or click there to try and find information or enter information - that gets you out of the flow. That's why I like to have everything on one page.

And one of the things I learned early on in Notion was that you could create templates that have linked databases in them that AUTOMATICALLY filter to the new item you have created.

A classic example of Projects & Tasks

For every project you create, you are going to have to attach some tasks to it. There are probably a couple of ways you can do this.

Firstly, you could go into the project properties and start adding new tasks. You'll have to create each new task, then click in and update any other properties. Pretty inefficient.

Secondly, you could go to your tasks database and start creating tasks and add the project via the properties. A little more efficient, but still annoying to have to choose the project property each time.

OR you could add a linked database to the template and enter the tasks directly into the project with all of the properties auto filled.

How It Works

  1. Create a new template in your project database and call it 'New Project'
  2. Insert your linked tasks database
  3. Create the view that you want (table, card, etc)
  4. Filter your table to only show the related property 'New Project'

Here's a quick video walkthrough if you prefer...

Now, everytime you create a new project with that template, you will have a linked table that you can start to add task entries into and the relation is already populated... like magic.

This is now a flow template. Because it's driving your process. You create a new project and it's so EASY to add tasks, that you simply go ahead and start adding new tasks.

Here's some other neat ways I'm using linked databases in templates:

  • Entering tasks directly into my projects as above.
  • When taking notes on books, podcasts and videos I'm watching I directly link my resonance notes database to the content item, so I can add new notes quickly
  • As I'm thinking inside my Zettelkasten notes I can easily add a new content idea from the note that goes directly into my content database and is marked as idea.
  • Inside my Weekly Agenda Template to filter only the tasks that need to be done that week.

Entering book into my notes database directly in the book entry.
Entering book into my notes database directly in the book entry.
Generating new ideas in my content database directly from the Zettelkasten notes.
Generating new ideas in my content database directly from the Zettelkasten notes.

Using linked databases in this way is going to make your notion workspace way more useable and free flowing.

You'll find flow and momentum.

I hope this was helpful. I'd love to hear about any content ideas you'd like me to cover in future blogs. Follow me on Twitter and let me know.

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