One of the most common 'aha' moments for new Notion users is seeing that it can be used to craft your very own project and task management systems.
You go look up the tutorials on 'Databases', 'Relations' and how to whip up a Progress Bar, and voila! You have your very own project management system in Notion.
It's an exciting moment, because for those non-coders among us, it might just be the very first time you feel the power of 'telling the computer to do something' and effectively writing your own little customized app. Making Notion a gateway drug, of sorts, to the larger world of no-code and, perhaps, app-building in general.
But hold on, hold on--if you're here reading this, you're probably not really looking to build your own Notion project management system. You just want a template that works--and maybe one that you can start with, and inspire your own custom setup later.
You're in luck.
Notion Project Management Template
I've built a few of these now, and I have to say this latest version is a significant upgrade. It includes:
- Projects database;
- Tasks database;
- Archives; and
- Focused Project Views.
Now that's a pretty short list. But that's precisely why I love it so much :)
Notion Project Management Should Be Simple
The problem with most project management systems isn't 'power'--it's follow-through. And simplicity is one of the best ways to ensure your system gets used time and time again.
In this template, there's a simple sequence that lets the system stay light and relevant:
- Add a new project;
- Add related tasks;
- Create a Project View;
- Drag tasks into the Project View timeline;
- Archive tasks when they're done;
- Archive projects when they're done;
The simplest way to follow along with those steps will be to check out the short video tutorial above--I literally go step by step through each of these stages and it'll probably make more sense than typing it up :)
How do you track project progress in Notion?
Progress bars used to be an advanced formula hack, limited to only the most powerful of Notion power users... or anyone who copied one of their generously shared formulas :)
But with the introduction of Notion's native progress bars, that side of the equation is already taken care of.
What remains is setting up the conditions for what that progress bar will say...
Progress bars are of course included in the template linked, but just in case you were looking for a way to create your own:
- Create a relational property in your Projects database called 'Tasks';
- Link that property to your 'Tasks' database (hit 'Show' and give it a name);
- Now, create a Rollup property in that same Projects database;
- You can name this 'Progress';
- Set the relation to 'Tasks', the property to your 'Done' or 'Archive' checkbox, and the Calculate to 'Percent checked';
- Head back to one of your project views and ensure the 'Progress' property is showing in the view, then test it out by checking a few tasks as done!
Duplicate the full Notion project management template to your workspace to get started. Then, once you get the hang of things, feel free to improvise, iterate and add more complexity to the system with:
- KPIs; and
- A property to assign tasks to individuals on your team :)