A Notion Dashboard can be an amazing one-stop-shop for your daily organization and productivity needs. With endless ways to begin building, however, it can also be intimidating to get started. Notion is a powerful no-code tool with many articles and videos to tell you how to start, which can lead to procrastination and decision paralysis. Once you find what works for you, though, a Notion Dashboard is a game-changer. Instead of hopping from to-do list app to your read-it-later app to your project management app to your notes app, you can handle all of those things in Notion. Notion can eliminate fractured information, minimize time spent switching between apps and help you actually use all of the information you capture. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to build the perfect Notion dashboard together with various examples of great Notion dashboards for your inspiration.
Table of contents for Notion Dashboard Guide
What is a Notion Dashboard?
A Notion Dashboard is a central hub for multiple functions and areas in your workspace. It may have things like a to-do list, a project list, a quick notes function, a habit tracker and a digital library. It’s designed to give you quick access to your most important information and the pages you use most. Designing a Notion Dashboard tailored to your needs will streamline and improve your Notion workflows.
No-code tools like Notion are powerful because they allow you to build your own custom “apps.” You choose what you want to see and how you want to see it, depending on what you need your Notion Dashboard to do. If you want to use it to become more productive at work, maybe you have a to-do list and project status list front and center. If you want to better retain the information you consume, maybe you have a digital library with a notes page near the top. While it takes a little time to set up, rather than forcing you into a pre-packaged software, Notion provides you the tools to make your own bespoke program.
Here’s a first example of a minimal Notion Dashboard, taken from our Life Operating System. Everything from the Quick Links section over the database views to the dividers and colors is completely customisable, editable and modular.
How to Create a Notion Dashboard
Now that we know what a Notion Dashboard is, let’s dive into how to create one and make your Notion workflows effortless (without creating just another Shiny New Toy).
Step 1: Use-Case First
Like other no-code tools, Notion can be anything. Notion Dashboards are no exception. Step 1 in building your custom Dashboard is to clearly identify what you want it to be. Here are a few example topics to help get your creativity flowing.
- Self-Improvement: If you’re looking to strengthen an area of your life, a Notion Dashboard can organize your efforts. You can make a list of books to read with a column for status, a column for notes and a column for where you heard about the book. You can insert a habit tracker to stick to your workout routine, or have a not-to-do list to track how you’re doing in your effort to kick your social media habit.
- Business: Maybe you have a new marketing plan to implement or a new product you want to explore. Put a calendar with important dates, a list of milestones to hit and links to the other departments needed and you can be more confident that your plan is on track. For more details, check out our Ultimate Notion For Business Guide.
- Personal Finance: Use a Dashboard to track your income and expenses, even getting as granular as tracking various subscriptions. As a bonus, manually entering your expenses can help you become more mindful about your spending: “Do I really want to enter this Snickers bar as an expense in my Notion Dashboard?”
- School and University: When in school, there’s a ton to juggle: classes, sports, extracurriculars and a social life. A Notion Dashboard with due dates and do dates, class reading lists and a way to track and share group projects can help reduce school-related anxiety.
- Travel: Travel seems to come with endless tasks: packing lists, boarding passes, tickets, confirmation numbers, applications and documents. It can all be overwhelming if you don’t keep track. You can set up a Notion Dashboard (and share with your travel companions) to ensure you have everything you need in one place. Nobody likes the feeling of searching through email to try to find a train ticket or hotel reservation.
- Side Hustle: If you’re one of the millions who has a side hustle in addition to a full-time job, you can use a Notion Dashboard to make sure you’re making progress on those important but not urgent initiatives. A well-planned Notion Dashboard will help make the most of the time you’re able to spend on your side hustle.
- Hobbies: From collecting trading cards to sports to gardening, hobbies are a source of joy and satisfaction. But they can also be complex. Using a Notion Dashboard, maybe accented with motivating pictures from your hobby, can help keep track of everything. Whether you need a schedule to water your growing collection of houseplants or a central place to plan a golf trip with friends, Notion’s flexibility adapts to keep your focus on what brings you joy.
Here’s an example of a Notion Dashboard used for Personal Productivity. It showcases your guiding values at the top, provides a list of all your projects on the left side navigation bar and has a task manager in the centre of the dashboard. This Notion dashboard is inspired by the strategies taught in the most unique productivity course on the internet, Supercharge Your Productivity.
Step 2: Identify Your Workflow
Once you know what part of your life your Notion Dashboard will cover, the next step is to figure out exactly how it’s supposed to help you. What do you do about this area, what workflow may make sense and how can Notion support that workflow?
Notion’s biggest strength is its complete flexibility — you design your Dashboard from scratch the way that works best for you. But this is also a weakness. Many other apps have out-of-the-box workflows designed by UI engineers. You are required to work around the app’s built-in workflows. In Notion, it’s up to you how to design your workflow.
Two crucial points to consider when designing your Notion Dashboard: 1) having a clear picture of what you need on the Dashboard and 2) knowing what doing looks like. Without answering these to guide you, you’re less likely to have an effective Dashboard and more likely to spend time on meta-work.
It’s tempting to skip this step and go straight to building your Notion Dashboard, but this step is critical. Notion is like Legos in that you can build anything, but would you want to start mashing Legos together without an idea of what you want to build? You need to open Notion with a well thought out plan (e.g., instructions or an idea of what you want to build). Otherwise, your Notion Dashboard may end up inefficient at best, or unusable at worst.
Remind yourself of the things that will really move the needle when building a Notion Dashboard with the help of our favourite decision making & prioritizations method, the $10k Framework:
- $10 Work: Changing colors and adding icons. This work is fun, feels productive and is nice to look at, but doesn’t make a difference.
- $100 Work: Learning keyboard shortcuts to work faster. Work like this is helpful and can make you a little more ninja-like navigating around Notion, but it still doesn’t help you effectively organize a meaningful part of your life.
- $1,000 Work: Building the Notion Dashboard. This is doing the work you have to do.
- $10K Work: Defining your workflow. Taking the time to think about your workflow and how you can best build your Dashboard offers leverage that is the defining feature of $10K work.
One important note: there’s a direct relationship between the importance of the Dashboard and the amount of time to spend thinking about your workflow. For example, if you’re looking to track your gardening hobby to make sure you plant, water and prune plants at the right time, don’t overcomplicate it. If, however, you’re planning to run a business with a Notion Dashboard, you will want to spend more time thinking through the workflows.
Lastly, one more tip to identify the right workflow for your Notion Dashboard. Notion’s great flexibility means that you can simply port frameworks and methods from other systems and re-create them in Notion. All your folders are organised using PARA? Time to create a PARA Setup in Notion. Your productivity system of choice is GTD? Our Notion GTD Template is one of our favourite Notion Use Cases (in fact, Notion is one of the best GTD Apps out there).
Step 3: Don’t Stop at One
One mistake many people make is to only have one Dashboard, trying to make it do too much and cluttering it with too much information. A more effective approach is to create multiple simpler Dashboards where needed, then have one “Start Here” landing page that links to the other Dashboards.
For example, let’s say you have multiple work initiatives and personal areas. Rather than try to fit everything on one Dashboard, maybe have one landing page with links to each. Depending on the complexity, you can even create one work landing page and one personal landing page, with links and key information on each.
The main point is, as you think about the topics and areas for which you want Dashboards, don’t feel boxed in by feeling like you have to fit everything on one Dashboard. Multiple Dashboards are often an easier and more effective approach.
What to Put on a Notion Dashboard
Now that you’ve done the important work of deciding what area of your life you want a Notion Dashboard for and why you want it (of course you put in the work of thinking through your workflows), it’s time for the fun part. It’s time for the how of building out your Dashboard.
- Static Content on Notion Dashboards: Static content are the things that never change. This could be links to your most used websites or connections to other pages in Notion. It could also be checklists for routines to start or end your day, such as a shutdown ritual. If you always need the same information or to go to the same places, static content is the most useful to use. If you use a Jar of Awesome (which we highly recommend), then you could link it on your daily Notion dashboard too.
- Dynamic Content on Notion Dashboards: When you need information that changes depending on recency or date, you need dynamic content. You can use databases and filtered views to pull in information that is constantly updated for things like last-used files or dates (birthdays, tasks with due and do dates and meetings).
- Quick Capture: There are times when a new task or idea pops into your head, but you don’t want to break your flow by addressing it now. In a Notion Dashboard, you can set up a quick capture capability to get the idea down to save for later. For example, say you want to quickly capture tasks. Create a new database separate from your Dashboard, then set up a linked view to that database on your Dashboard. If you set up the linked view with an impossible filter (e.g., the time the task created is after today), Notion will add the task to the underlying database but it will not show on your Dashboard. That way, you always have a clean and tidy dashboard and can still add new thoughts without having to click through 10 different pages first.
- Inboxes: GTD creator David Allen famously said, “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” The next step beyond quick capture is to use inboxes to organize database entries that still need to be processed. Part of the Clarify and Organize steps in GTD, you can use separate inboxes for things like tasks, reviews, notes and a digital library. To create an inbox, simply add a database (we’ll soon discuss using toggles if you’ll have multiple inboxes and want to keep your page clean), add the fields meaningful to you then begin organizing your items.
- Synced Blocks: Have you ever had to click back to other pages in order to find info you frequently need? Whether you want to see your guiding values, a motivating quote or just the same often-used links, synced blocks are a powerful Notion feature that you may want to include in your Dashboard. You can create a synced block by looking under Advanced Blocks (or simply typing “/synced block”). Once the synced block is created, you can embed any other Notion block. You can then copy and paste the synced block into other pages, and any updates to that block are automatically synced on every other instance of that block.
How to Design a Notion Dashboard
The entire professions of UX and UI design exist in part to make apps and websites more beautiful and user-friendly. You can do the same to Notion Dashboards: spending a little time making them prettier can make them more pleasing to use.
But be careful here. It is too easy to spend hours picking the “right” colors and playing with your Dashboard’s layout and design. Much like spending time thinking about your workflows, keep in mind the purpose of your Notion Dashboard. There’s nothing wrong with spending hours looking through Pinterest and Reddit to hunt for the perfect Notion Dashboard Color Scheme. That is, if you do so consciously, because you enjoy it and not because you lost track of what actually matters. Also, keep in mind that if you plan to run a business for several people with your Notion Dashboard, it makes sense to go for a more minimal layout.
Here are a few design elements to consider to make your Notion Dashboard more aesthetically pleasing and easier to work with.
- Headers: One easy way to separate out the sections of your Dashboard (or any Notion page) is to use headers. There are a few built-in header options in Notion, including three sizes and three toggle sizes. To enter a heading, type in “/heading”, click the one you like and type in your content.
- Dividers: Notion’s version of a line break, dividers visually separate blocks on your Notion Dashboard. Type in “/divider” and a line automatically generates.
- Columns: Sometimes you want to see text side-by-side, or maybe you want to compare and contrast two different items. Like other word processing software, Notion has the ability to show up to five columns. Type in “/columns” and select how many columns of blocks you need.
- Callouts: If you want to highlight or emphasize a particular portion of text, a callout is a great choice. Type in “/callout” and it will become its own separate box. You can enter your own text and change the default emoji to make your callout even more personal and recognizable.
- Toggles: If your Notion Dashboard has multiple blocks stacked up, and you don’t need to see it all at one glance, toggles are helpful to visually declutter. You can use toggles for headings and regular text, too. You can add any block under the toggle, and all will be hidden when you collapse the toggle.
- Page-Level Templates: If you find yourself creating the same page over and over, you can create page-level templates to save loads of time. For example, you can track book notes in a simple way. Rather than set up a database with filterable views, dates and other more complex capabilities, you can create a book notes template page and add a new page for each book. To create the template, create a new page, title it “Book Notes Template” and add fields you’d like to see, such as author, date finished, rating and any notes you may have. Then create a new page titled something like “Book Notes”. Type in “/template button” and the menu below pops up. Change the button name to “Add New Book”, delete the to-do block and drag in your Book Notes Template. Now, every time you click “Add New Book”, it will automatically add a new Book Notes Template page on your Book Notes page.
- Image Embeds: A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s especially true in Notion, given its flexibility with images. Not only can you upload your own images or embed them with a link, but you can also embed other media like web bookmarks, audio and video. Type in “/media” and you can see all the options available. One cool option when you enter an image is to use Unsplash, which has a million free hi-res stock photos. Once you click or type “/image”, you can click on the Unsplash tab and search for photos.
- Cover Images: Extending Notion’s customizability is the ability to add cover images to your pages. Like embedded images, you can upload photos, embed them using a URL, use Notion’s built-in gallery or search in Unsplash. To add a cover image, hover in the blank space at the top of a page, click on “Add Cover” and select how you want to add a photo. To change a cover image, hover over the existing image, click “Change Cover” and select your new image from there.
Regardless of how you choose to customize your Notion Dashboard, remember why you’re creating your Dashboard: to become more productive and efficient in a meaningful area of your life (or simply to have fun organising your hobby).
Notion Dashboard Inspiration List
Now that you know the in’s and out’s of how to create your perfect Notion Dashboard, it’s time for some inspiration. Scroll through out collection of awe-inspiring and innovative Notion dashboards that feature clean layouts, beautiful designs and smart implementations. Whether your goal is to build a new home for personal productivity or the ultimate garden dashboard, you’ll find a wide range of ideas to help you visualize your dream Notion Dashboard.
The Life Operating System by RadReads
- Who is it for? Ambitious Professionals
- What is it about? Integrated Life Operating System
- Who is the creator? The RadReads Team itself
- Why does this dashboard work? It’s a simple and minimal layout that prioritises usability over design elements. On just one Notion page, it manages to help the user run their entire life in Notion, starting from a Task Manager over a personal CRM & Note taking system all the way to a daily meal plan. It features a Quick Link navigation section at the top and then pulls in your most important and actionable information from all sub-pages and aggregates them into one easy to use dashboard.
One of the most painful problems faced by ambitious professionals is feeling overwhelmed by the constant need to manage multiple aspects of their personal and professional life, all while trying to stay productive and achieve their goals. It’s easy to find yourself drowning in busy work, not knowing what tasks to prioritize, all while using too many different apps and tools to try to stay organized. Truly a fight against windmills. It’s a vicious cycle where disorganization and confusion leads to more stress and frustration which in turn makes it harder to get things done.
We designed the LifeOS dashboard specifically to address this problem. It is a comprehensive system that integrates all aspects of your personal, professional, and creative life into one centralized home base. This means no more spinning your wheels trying out endless new productivity apps, or feeling like you’re always playing catch up. With LifeOS, you’ll have everything you need in one place, so you can focus on what’s important and make the most out of your time. It’s simple, easy to use, and customizable, and that provide you a peace of mind.
Your Study Planner in Notion by Matthias Frank
- Who is it for? Students
- What is it about? Organising your academic life
- Who is the creator? Matthias Frank, Notion Ambassador
- Why does this dashboard work? This is Notion dashboard is designed to be a central hub for everything related to your studies. It’s a good example of the “Don’t stop at one” rule. Instead of adding everything to one page and potentially cluttering it up, the template is actually a collection of dashboards that link to each other. The dashboard uses a three column layout to have one navigation bar on the left for quick access to classes and a second one on the right with quick links to various sections.
This Personal Home by u/larilalie
- Who is it for? Anyone looking for an aesthetic Notion Dashboard
- What is it about? Creating a beautiful space for your schedule & interests
- Who is the creator? u/larilalie
- Why does this dashboard work? This Notion Dashboard is a great example for the endless opportunities to express your preferred style in Notion. It uses a three column equal split and features an image in the middle tone in tone with grey and brown highlights around the headings. When building your own aesthetic Notion Dashboard, make sure to also look for images and artwork that match with one of the eight different colors in Notion so that you can match Notion’s design elements with your embeds.
No template available but you can find the original reddit post here.
A Personal Power Page by Ben Borowski
- Who is it for? Journaling & Tracking Fans who love to have a good plan (and the corresponding dashboard)
- What is it about? Create visibility for the metrics, projects & rituals that matter
- Who is the creator? Ben Borowski, Certified Notion Consultant
- Why does this dashboard work? Ben is a true Notion Master and it shows on this dashboard. He uses a synced block in the left column to pull in information from other Notion Pages. That way, planning can happen outside the dashboard, but the results are still present. On the right, he uses an advanced Notion trick by embedding a gallery view that displays his habit tracker and daily focus for an interesting and useful Notion Dashboard Design Element.
No template available but you can check out Ben’s Youtube channel here.
The Horizons System by Marie Poulin
- Who is it for? Anyone who wants to combine a powerful Notion workspace with beautiful design
- What is it about? Keep track of everything that matters in your life
- Who is the creator? Marie Poulin, Certified Notion Consultant
- Why does this dashboard work? This Notion Dashboard puts Notion most powerful feature front and centre: databases. In the beginning, databases might just look like complex tables, but in this example, you see how you can combine the Gallery View, filters, checkbox properties and rollups to create a dynamically updating smart journal that makes sure you’re always aligned with your intentions.
No template available but Marie shares a lot more Notion Templates on her website.
A Bold Daily Agenda by Red Gregory
- Who is it for? Anyone looking for a minimalistic Daily Planner Dashboard that super easy to use
- What is it about? Replicating the experience of filling in an A3 sized paper planner
- Who is the creator? Red Gregory, Notion Ambassador
- Why does this dashboard work? A Notion Dashboard doesn’t have to be complicated to be great. This minimal layout simply replicates what already works great on paper. Subtle design elements, like a consistent use of dividers plus some well-placed color accents really pull the page together and create a cohesive dashboard experience.
A Team Comms Dashboard by Pitch
- Who is it for? Teams that want to create a one-stop-shop for all their relevant information
- What is it about? Bringing all resources, tools, plans and people together for better collaboration
- Who is the creator? The Comms Team at Pitch
- Why does this dashboard work? This Dashboard is a great example of how teams can use Notion as their central hub. It uses a combination of linked databases to pull in information dynamically (like the current team members and OKRs) and page mentions to help everyone quickly find what they’re looking for. Creating several columns and adding a heading with a background color really helps to organise everything. That way, the dashboard doesn’t look cluttered even though it contains a ton of information.
No template available but you can learn more about Pitch, the collaborative presentation software for modern teams, here.