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I've gone through many different homepage layouts in Notion. The only issue I have is that I forget which pages are actually there. I have a lot of different things to juggle, so I wanted a way to simplify my homepage, but also be able to create detailed sub-pages. Unfortunately, there isn't really a way to create buttons in Notion (yet), so I use this method as a little workaround.
This is a simple gallery database. It was fairly easy to create this with a few simple tweaks.
1. Toggle off all of the properties.
To really give this a button effect, you'll want to get rid of the borders around each thumbnail by hiding each property.
[Database ➱ Properties ➱ Toggles]
Go to the database overview, go to properties, and make sure they are all greyed out (properties that are "on" will be blue).
The name is also hidden, but you can use the pictures in order to specify which page is which.
2. Create your cover photos.
Each of the pages has its own customized cover photo.
Since these photos act as a label, I needed to add text overlay. I opted to use Canva (the free version). I found that 1900 x 1000 pixels worked best for both mobile and desktop viewing.
To create a photo with these dimensions, go to the upper right of Canva and click "create a design".
After this, you can simply add text to the white background, upload it as your page cover, and call it a day.
You can also pick out photos that you like and add text over it. Canva has a lot of different photos, icons, and text options, so play around with them until you find something that works for you.
I recommend using around font size 160. You don't want the font to be too large, or else the text will be cut off in the gallery photo.
In order to set the cover photo to show in your gallery, go to properties, card preview, and choose "page cover".
3. Add your pages.
With this database, you could use each of the pages as a directory to related pages. For example, you could link your classes within your "school" page, but maybe not keep notes or assignments in the page as well.
Another option, and the one that I opted for, is to actually have the full, fleshed out pages within this database. I find that this is the most "to the point".
So how can you transport your already existing page into the database?
You can simply drag and drop the page in. It's easiest to do this from the left sidebar.
(Keep in mind that you might have some pages on your "favorites" list on the left sidebar. The favorites list will not allow drag and drop. Go further down to the workspace area to move pages around.)
4. Mess with the different card sizes.
Depending on your brain, using smaller or bigger buttons within your page may work best. I prefer a more centered look with my pages, but you can make the page full-width and have all your buttons lay horizontally. I posted some examples of spacing down below.
I hope that this tutorial helped you find new ways to optimize your Notion layout.