Notion Formulas can elevate your Notion Workspace to the next level, but even experienced users are often intimidated by them. However, it’s actually really easy to get started with Formulas in Notion. All you need are a few basic concepts and use cases. Here’s everything you ever need to know to start using Notion Formulas.

## Table of contents

- Notion Formulas: Similar but different to their Sheets and Excel Counterpart
- Notion formulas: a reference guide
- Property Types (or Variables)
- The different types of functions
- Common Notion formula use cases (that you can copy!)
- Still missing: The API
- Download these Notion formulas into your Notion workspace

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## Notion Formulas: Similar but different to their Sheets and Excel Counterpart

You’ve taken the plunge. After hearing about the buzzy productivity app called Notion, you migrated from Evernote and are excited for this new chapter in note-taking. You’ve mastered the basics of Notion, have set up a GTD to-do list, and even created a Personal Wiki. And as you sit down to write your first **If Statement**, you expect to see a familiar Excel-like layout and it hits you: Where are the cells? Why don’t these property types align? And why do these formulas look so different?

At first glance, Notion formulas are not as intuitive as their Google Sheets counterparts. In this post we’ll list and explain the formula property type, operators, functions and share common formula examples that you can then use in your own workspaces.

## Notion formulas: a reference guide

When you create a new formula, there are four options to choose from: **Properties, Constants, Operators and Functions.**

**Properties:**These are effectively your “variables.”**Operators:**Simple calculations like arithmetic (add/subtract) and logic (true/false).**Functions:**More complex, pre-defined formulas that resemble what you’re used to seeing in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.**Constants**: Common constants likeor*pi*. (You probably won’t use these often.)*e*

For a preview of the **raw power **formulas can bring to a workflow, check out this video (*queued @ 32:56*) where we effortlessly create a GTD review function:

## Property Types (or Variables)

The first odd thing you’ll notice is that since Notion acts as a database, it doesn’t have variables, you can’t access an individual cell. This makes calculations like financial modeling and local variables (i.e. a variable that applies to just one row) very challenging. In Excel terms, this means that you can only apply formulas to an entire column (a la *copy and paste down*).

In front of each **property**, you’ll see an icon denoting its type (*number, text, date*). This is important because you’ll match this up with **functions** (which have also have these same icons) to ensure that your calculation is *apples-to-apples*. For example, the **dateBetween** function returns a **number **whereas the **dateSubtract** returns a date. **This is a common source of error.**

## The different types of functions

If you’re using Notion as a comprehensive productivity system you’ll probably draw from a similar pool of operators and functions.

**Logic and Conditional Operators:**If, and, equal, or, not**Math:**min, max, abs, round**Date:**dateAdd, dateBetween, dateSubtract, now**String:**concat, format, contains, slice

Adam Listek kindly aggregated all of Notion’s functions into this massive cheat sheet.

## Common Notion formula use cases (that you can copy!)

**Basic Math (Fahrenheit to Celsius)**

A *very* simple example on how to use **Property Types** as variables.

**Basic Logic** **Operators**

Using the **==** operator to compare two numbers and then the **equal()** formula for two texts (or strings).

**Basic If statements**

Using a basic **If statement** to test and show the greater of two numbers.

**Nested If statement**

Here’s a more advanced **nested If statement** to convert a text-based tag (*Monthly)* into a number (30). This forms the basis for a lot of Notion’s task-management capabilities and is a powerful trick to apply across your pages.

**Testing if a date is overdue**

Another common test (using the **=** operator) to see if a task is overdue.

**Creating a review frequency**

This formula is inspired by David Allen’s GTD, combining an **if statement, **the **dateAdd** function and **now()** to test if an action (i.e. calling a friend in your CRM) falls outside the review window.

Another use case would be an automatic review date for documents in your company wiki.

**Combining a number and a string**

If you want descriptive text that uses the output of a formula here’s how to use the **concat** function to display the *number of days* a task has been overdue. It requires you to convert a number into text (a *string*) using the **format** function. The video shows how it can be helpful to “leg into” your formulas as the nesting can make things tricky.

**Visual Progress bars**

These progress bars compare two numbers (say, 1 and 100) and visually show your progress. They’re beyond the scope of this tutorial, but savvy Notioner Ben Smith has an excellent tutorial.

## Still missing: The API

Notion Formulas are powerful in their own right, but a true API integration would be a game changer for formulas. And while there are some Notion integrations, may folks still pick Airtable over Notion when they need heavy duty access to automated workflows.

## Download these Notion formulas into your Notion workspace

The beauty of Notion’s block system is that you can duplicate any of these formulas and tables into your own workspace (or import them from our Template Gallery).

The next stop on our Notion tutorial is a deep-dive into Notion Databases.