When it comes to crafting your ideal Notion workspace, there’s a fine balance to be struck between ‘aesthetics’ and ‘functionality’. Go too far in either direction, and you risk losing out on the one thing that this tool is really designed to help you achieve: productivity superpowers.
And I do mean in either direction. Dogmatic power users might see ‘pretty pictures’ and elaborate decorations as an inefficient use of space; that is, the aesthetics don’t matter, what matters is how your workspace fits and works together.
For the aesthetically-inclined, it’s easy to go overboard and forget why you’re building this dashboard in the first place—do you really need another tree illustration, or would that visual real estate be better spent on a link to a commonly visited page?
The truth is, these two categories are intricately connected. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be spending a whole lot of time with your Notion setup—it pays to have it look and feel nice.
It also pays to have it designed in a way that is visually clear—which is closer to a UX/UI problem than it an ‘aesthetics’ problem.
Some questions to ponder on ‘visual cleanliness’ in your Notion workspace (then we’ll get into our beautiful list of examples and inspiration):
Just some questions for you to ponder as you browse through, but for now: let’s look at our list of 27 aesthetic Notion templates.
Okay, you knew I had to do that.
Clarity OS is an all-in-one integrated Notion workspace (brought to you by yours truly here at Landmark Labs) with a large number of linked databases, pages, dashboards and tools—instead of detailing all of that here, I’ll just link you to more info here and instead discuss some of my thought processes behind the template.
I wanted Clarity to be comprehensive without being intimidating. One tactic I used to try and achieve that was the lefthand ‘menu’, which appears on every page of the 100+ page system. The menu is broken into 5 main ‘categories’, with links to main dashboard pages within each—you can recreate such menus for yourself by creating a ‘callout’, setting the color to default, then dragging your page links directly in the callout box.
When it comes to visual cleanliness, I relied on ‘dashboards’ for most of the setup. Dashboards simply give an overview of important information for a relevant workspace in one view—you can then click into specific items or pages to get writing, working or thinking.
For example, in the Content Dashboard, you get an overview of current Campaigns, pieces you are currently creating, and a list of objectives that are relevant to your content goals. From there, you can easily click into specific pages to complete writing or planning your content accordingly.
Clarity OS is available in 3 models: Base, Freelance, and Business, and you can get it for 30% off with the code: WELCOME30.
Easlo is known for especially clean and minimal Notion dashboard designs, and the Second Brain template is no exception.
Depending on your own preferences, the minimal style may be a surprise for an ‘aesthetic’ list, but for me the cleanliness of structure, matches with bold and straightforward icons, makes this a very pleasant workspace to view.
You can get Easlo’s second brain template with the link here:
Another stunning and elegant template comes from Reddit community user: notredherring. While this workspace is quite limited in scope, it’s an excellent example of a standalone page format that could be repeated across many use cases.
In this use case, it’s used for tracking ‘Obligations’, ‘Milestones’, and ‘Documents’, plus a simple board view to track tasks and readings. However, this aesthetic design could easily be repurposed for your own particular needs—with a little imagination, of course.
The author has generously made the template available for free duplication here:
Beyond the instantly intriguing title and concept, I love the use of space and consistent colors through this workspace. The large habit tracker in the centre immediately draws the eye (hence, a great place to put your most important repeat tasks and actions!), along with several neat uses of space with the ‘quote’ in the top right corner and an on-theme menu in the lefthand side.
Full points for creativity and concept on this one to the maker, you can get the template for yourself here.
There are two activities that are guaranteed to positively change my state of mind (and that I, nonetheless, don’t do enough of): exercise and reading. And there are few better ways to increase your reading time than to hold yourself accountable—enter Notion book trackers.
This particular tracker is just brilliant. With a quirky, but consistent, black and white aesthetic, it makes full use of illustrations, progress bars, callout separators and even a clock widget to create a truly unique feel.
All of that wrapped up neatly with some clever features like ‘quotes’ and ‘lists’—this one is a true delight for readers everywhere.
You can get the template here.
Populated with well-placed anime illustrations and galleries, this template simply named ‘Den’ is a lovely example of how to make your personal Notion workspace your own.
The workspace itself is well-structured, linking the key databases and making use of various views to make the information as accessible as possible.
Check it out for yourself.
Few Notion template lists would be complete without a mention of Nutt Labs’ Notion mastermind, William Nutt. His Bulletproof Workspace (along with his consistent Notion content and tutorials) are one of the finest examples of how to get the most out of Notion as a productivity tool.
The Bulletproof Workspace is a special one on this list for the thoroughness of structure and design thinking that’s gone into its creation—ironically, the functionality of this workspace is in many ways what allows for it to be so aesthically clean and elegant.
You can learn a whole lot more about the workspace, and follow Nutt Labs for some excellent Notion content, here.
This smart habit tracker from Yudax is a real delight. It lives on the border of ‘self-standing app’ and ‘Notion template’—which is a fine place to be, indeed.
The main goodie of this template is the integrated live charts that are generated as you fill out a native Notion table. The charts themselves are very pleasant to look at—and allow for customizable colors—and the layout of the template is simple, to-the-point and lets the power of the charts speak for themselves.
If you’re looking for a focused habit tracker for 2022, you may need to go no further than this.
This is a live and growing list of standout Notion templates from the community. If you have a recommendation or suggestion for a template to be added (your own or one that you’ve come across), please feel free to message me at firstname.lastname@example.org :)
This template is part of our integrated solo business workspace: Clarity OS.
No more flipping between tabs, repeating entries and losing track of how it all fits together--keep your business in one place with Clarity.