level up your notion databases with relations & rollups

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Relations and rollup properties in Notion seem so unapproachable at first, but I feel a little bit embarrassed that I didn't even go near them for this long.

I felt my brain tingling when I learned to use these.


Trust me, whatever it is that you are lacking in your database, you can probably find a way to fix it through relations and rollups.


If you would like a way to check items off of a list in one database, then see progress towards a specific goal or project in another database, this method is perfect for you.

For me, I wanted a way to automatically see the progression towards a certain goal without needing to manually input numbers each time I check off a task.

I also wanted to have a database where I could check off my smaller, bite-sized tasks that were separate from my *ultimate* goals list.


So let me give you an example of how I am using R&R (relations & rollups).


This is my goals database. I break my goals up (I recommend using quarterly or monthly goals) and they live in here.

Take note of the numbers on the right side.


This is my tasks database. Any tasks that are meant to move me closer to my big goals live in here.

Anytime I check off a task, it will automatically add to the number next to the corresponding goal in the goals database.


The distant relatives of databases are finally being reunited. Let me explain how this works.

1. Have two databases you want to connect.


You can use database(s) that you already have, or create new databases.

In both databases, have at least one page that you would like to relate.


2. Go into one of the databases and create a relation property.


Choose the database that you want to relate.

It doesn't matter which database you decide to create the relation property, it will automatically add the relation property to the other database.


3. Relate the corresponding pages from one database to another.

The relation property will allow you to pick and choose which pages from the other database will be attached to each page.

You can attach multiple pages to a page within your database!

So as you can see above, the goal is to apply to 5 internships. I attached each sub-step related to that goal.


4. Create the rollup property.

The rollup creates the ability to see the status of your related pages. In my case, the status is how many are checked.

You want to add the rollup to the database where you want to track your goals or tasks.

For me, I added the rollup property to my big goals database.


Once you have added the rollup property, this window will pop up.


At the top, select the relation property that you just created.

Under property, choose the property that you would like to keep track of.

(I chose the checkbox property for mine. Make sure that your property of choice has been added to the database!)

Lastly, choose your method of calculation. For goal or progress tracking, I find that "checked" or "percentage checked" is the best choice.


5. Make sure your rollup property is toggled on.

Whichever database you are tracking your goals on, make sure that you have the rollup property toggled on!



That's the basics of using relations and rollups. There are probably many more uses for them which I will be exploring in the near future!

In the meantime, make sure that you check out my other posts.