As you dive deeper down the Notion rabbit hole, one common hangup is this issue of charts. How do you take your Notion data (or any data, for that matter) and visualize it as a chart in Notion? Surely just a simple bar chart shouldn't be so hard to create from an existing Notion table or database, right?
... Right? 😅
Well, it turns out that adding charts from Notion was particularly painful right up until midway through 2022--that is, when Notion opened up its API, more and more indie hackers started offering Notion chart integrations. And now, we're in the fortunate position of having a few options (that is, until Notion goes ahead and makes our day by adding native charts!).
In this post, I'll cover the 6 best ways to add charts to your Notion pages. I've been searching for a good solution for this for my own templates for some time--and these are the ones that have served me best.
As you can see, there are a couple of options for both adding charts that use your Notion data (the stuff you put in Notion tables and databases) and for adding charts that use data from other tools like Google Analytics, Stripe and YouTube Analytics.
Let's take a closer look at each.
Notion Charts is one of the simplest ways to quickly add charts from your Notion data. It's a tool that has improved dramatically over the past year and the interface is a real delight to work with now.
You can follow the steps in the Scribe above for getting started with Notion charts. They have a free plan that includes up to 5 charts, then there's a premium plan for just $3.99/month (not too shabby to dramatically increase your Notion's data power ;) ).
GRID is a charting tool that's recently been working to improve its Notion data integration.
Notion themselves seem to be quite bullish on this integration and partnership, and so I think the quality of the integration is likely to improve.
Similar to Notion Charts, you'll just need to link your Notion account to GRID, then select the pages and databases you'd like to be able to use as data sources for GRID charts.
GRID will then pull in all the data and from there you can create a 'GRID doc' and add charts from your Notion data.
To refresh, you'll need to head back to GRID, unfortunately, and hit 'Refresh'--which is where I think Notion Charts has a significant advantage.
Also, one thing that's a bit bothersome about GRID's current integration is that the Notion data is pulled in with columns in alphabetical order... this means that getting the data in the order you need it can be a bit tricky--so, when you're trying to select say the columns '$TOTAL' and 'Date', unless these two columns are right next to each other, it's actually not so simple to create a chart in GRID.
For that reason, I recommend using GRID only for simple and quick Notion charts that you'd like to spin up with just a couple of columns and data properties--when you get into larger databases, it's going to be a bit trickier to create the chart you want.
One workaround hack solution I used for a while was to simply create my charts in Google Sheets, then embed those charts into Notion. So, if I wanted to create a revenue and expenses chart, I would simply do all the work to achieve that in Sheets, then 'Publish' the sheet and embed it my Notion pages.
To sync up the data from Notion tables, though, I needed to rely on another tool like 'Notion2Sheets' or Zapier... and this is always a bit of a barrier to setup.
That said, Sheets does have all the advantages of being a proper spreadsheet software, which makes data processing and formulas quite a bit more powerful than Notion's table features.
You can see an example of a Google Sheets chart embedded in Notion with our '30-Day Cashflow' template.
One data visualization tool that's served me very well is Casual.
Causal is kind of like spreadsheets on steroids--it lets you quickly create powerful forecasts using some mixture of numbers, variables and quick-to-create charts.
I love that sharing and embedding Causal charts inside of Notion pages is incredibly simple (honestly as simple as copy-pasting the chart link inside a Notion page and selecting 'Create embed').
The embeds themselves are also super useful since they are dynamic and act as 'calculators'. This lets you create the base model, then anyone that access the Causal chart can edit the values and play around with the charts as they please.
For an example of a Causal chart in Notion, take a look at this handy Subscription Pricing Model.
Google Data Studio (now Looker) is a really powerful data visualization tool that's free to use (up to 5 reports).
Data Studio lets you connect to all sorts of data sources, like Google Analytics, and then quickly create charts and graphs from that data.
The charts themselves are easy to embed in Notion, and are again interactive. So you can edit filters like date properties and get an interactive view of your data from right within Notion.
We have a few examples of using Google Data Studio (Looker) for embeds inside of Notion, including:
If anything, it's a nice way to bring your data from various sources in Notion--once again adding more strength to the idea of Notion being your truly all-in-one business hub.
Recently, I've also been using Databox in a similar way to Data Studio. The main benefits that I see for Databox is the speed with which you can create and setup charts; the look and feel of charts (they're really quite pretty); and the ability to create databoards with multiple data sources (e.g. Stripe & PayPal combined).
Databox has a free plan that lets you create 3 databoards (honestly, that's been more than enough for me!), and is one of the simplest ways to bring data from external sources into your Notion pages.
Notion2Charts is a newer tool that offers a simple way to turn your Notion databases into insightful charts. It's a great option if you're looking for a solution that specifically uses your Notion data, without the need for integrating with other tools.
To get started, you'll need to connect Notion2Charts to your Notion account and select the database you want to create a chart from. You can then choose from a variety of chart types, including bar charts, line charts, pie charts, and more.
This is a really neat and clean tool that makes it simple to embed beautiful charts right into your Notion pages. Notion2Charts has a free plan that allows you to create one chart to get the hang of it, with paid plans starting from just $3/mo. Give it a try!
While we're all waiting for Notion to bring us those native charts, these 7 methods will hopefully serve your business well. Being able to bring my data visuals into Notion has been a huge plus; simply being able to view and interpret revenue, signups, site visitors, and conversions data all in one place, while I'm planning projects and tasks inside of Notion, makes a big difference to the speed at which you can plan, think and operate.
If you're looking for an all-in-one hub for your business in Notion that makes use of not just charts but linked hubs, systems and dashboards, be sure to check out Landmark OS--literally hundreds of hours went into its creation, and many hundreds more will go into future updates :)