How To Use Formulas In Notion


Nowadays, we often find ourselves facing a multitude of projects and tasks, some of which can be quite intricate and draining. Luckily, Notion has come up with a set of formulas that can assist us in overcoming any challenge, regardless of its level of difficulty.

If you’re interested in learning how to utilize formulas within Notion, you’ve come to the perfect spot. This article will provide you with all the information you need to get started.

Notion: How to Use Formulas

Formulas in Notion may initially seem intimidating, but they are actually designed to be user friendly. Here’s a simple guide on how to use formulas in Notion;

1. Sign in to your Notion account.
2. Open the desired database and add a new property to it.
3. Select the “Formula” option for the property.
4. When you click on the formula, a pop up window will appear.
5. Inside the pop up window, you can choose constants and operators for your formula.
6. Remember that formulas require a database, so make sure you have a page with one.

With these steps, you’ll be able to utilize formulas efficiently within Notion!

What Is Notion Used For?

Notion provides users with a versatile workspace where they can create individual pages for various projects or events they are actively engaged in. These pages can either be shared with others or kept private for personal use. It’s important to note that sharing with other users may require a subscription.

Within each page, you have the option to create databases that cater to your specific data needs and purposes.

  • Timeline
  • Gallery
  • Calendar
  • Table
  • List

You have the flexibility to customize the display of your database according to your specific requirements. This can be easily achieved with just a couple of clicks, without having to begin anew. Additionally, if needed, you also have the option to delete it. Moreover, in case you change your mind and want to recover something that was previously deleted, that is also feasible.

What Are Formulas Used For?

As you may already be aware, Notion allows you to keep track of your tasks and responsibilities by creating pages. In addition, you have the freedom to design your own databases and customize their views according to your preferences.

This might lead you to question; “If I’ve already selected a database, why would I need formulas?” Well, there are three key reasons for integrating formulas into your data;

  • Determine new values. For example, if you have various activities assigned to different team members, you can calculate the individual contributions by comparing their percentage of activities to the total number of activities.
  • Present information in a different format. Instead of just listing the ages of your team members, you can use a formula to calculate their birth years since age is subject to change.
  • Identify connections between values. You may want to investigate whether certain information about a team member implies other related information. For instance, you could check if being married for a team member indicates having children or not. By doing this, you might discover patterns or rules within your data.

As you can observe, utilizing formulas to manipulate your data can lead to conclusions that you might not have reached otherwise.

Elements of a Formula

To create a formula in Notion, you will need the following elements in the specified order;

  • The values you input represent the data you want to work with.
  • Think about what action you want to perform on your data. Do you need to add, subtract or divide?
  • Consider any conditions that may apply exclusively to your formula. For instance, only subtract if the number is greater than five.
  • Now that you understand the components of a formula in Notion, feel free to experiment with different formulas on your data.

Once you have a good understanding of the components that make up a formula in Notion, it’s time to put them to the test with your own data.

Terminology Linked to Formulas

Here are some terms that could be helpful for you to know when working with formulas;

  • Function; This refers to the way your variables are related or how they interact with each other. It determines the outcome based on the inputs you provide.
  • Syntax; This refers to the specific order of elements in your formula, which can impact the resulting output.
  • Argument; These are the inputs or values that you use in your calculations or formulas.
  • String; A string is a group of values connected together within a formula. Typically, they are enclosed in quotation marks.
  • Boolean; This represents an output that can be either true or false, indicating a logical condition.
  • Concatenate; With this function, you can combine or merge two different values into a single value.

Formulas can sometimes be perplexing, but we aim to provide some clarity on the matter.

Different Types of Functions in Notion

You may be wondering, “Okay, so Notion can assist me with formulas, but what specific functions can I use them for?” Well, let’s take a look at the different types of functions that these formulas can handle;

There are different types of functions that serve various purposes in computer programming;

  • Logical functions; These functions are utilized to test specific assumptions, like checking if values are equal, greater than, empty and so on.
  • Numeric functions; These functions enable mathematical calculations such as subtraction, division, finding the square root and more.
  • Textual functions; This category of functions allows for word merging, replacements, character counting and other related tasks.
  • Date functions; These useful functions assist in calculating the time between dates, determining a specific date or returning an end date.

Each type of function serves its own unique purpose and can be employed accordingly in programming tasks.

Differences Between Excel and Notion Formulas

Excel is widely recognized as the most popular tool for working with formulas. However, when comparing Excel to Notion, there are a few notable distinctions to consider;

  • When working with Notion, you’ll notice some key differences compared to Excel. In Excel, you typically refer to individual cells, while in Notion, you can easily reference entire columns. This allows your formulas to apply to all the items within a column in the entire database, which can be quite efficient.
  • Another distinction is how values are connected in formulas. In Excel, you use the “&” symbol to link multiple values together, whereas in Notion, you’ll use the “+” symbol instead.
  • While Notion offers its own advantages, it’s worth noting that when it comes to handling complex calculations, Excel tends to come out on top.
  • Additionally, if you rely heavily on data visualization through graphs such as bar charts or pie charts, it’s important to know that these features are currently not available in Notion. Therefore, if graphing is a crucial aspect of your work, sticking with Excel would be necessary.
  • Lastly, let’s talk about referencing the entirety of a database. In Excel formulas only apply to specific spreadsheets or sheets within a workbook. However, in Notion’s case using formulas applies them across the entire database itself. It could be said that a page within Notion’s database resembles an entire spreadsheet in Excel where different actions can be performed even with identical data.

If you’re unsure about which tool to select, ultimately it boils down to personal preference. While Excel may enjoy greater familiarity, exploring new options can often yield surprising outcomes.

Formulas Do Come in Handy

In Notion, each project has its own page containing databases in different formats. These databases consist of numerous variables that can be manipulated. By using various types of formulas, you can generate new data or establish connections between existing data. Although Excel is widely recognized as the go to tool for this purpose, exploring other options might pleasantly surprise you. So why not give Notion’s formulas a try?

Even if math wasn’t your favorite subject in school, it’s hard to deny the usefulness of formulas. Especially when dealing with a wide range of information, whether it’s numerical, logical, textual or even related to dates. Formulas allow you to analyze this information and draw conclusions and solutions from it. They may even reveal relationships among data that you were previously unaware of.

Have you ever used formulas in Notion? Did you find them challenging? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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