4 Ways To Make Notion Dashboards (And Save 5+ Hours Every Week)

4 Ways To Make Notion Dashboards (And Save 5+ Hours Every Week)


Read Time: 4 Minutes

In this guide, I’m going to show you how to build a simple, automated Notion dashboard that helps you save 5 hours a week.

Using a dashboard in your Notion build cuts down on context switching (the cost that task switching puts on your brain) and shows you everything you need to do for the day in one place.

Building a dashboard into my Notion setup saved me over 5 hours of time every week.

No joke.It also made it much easier for me to follow through on tasks, workouts, and habits.

Unfortunately, most people don’t understand how to make a good dashboard and they either go WAY too simple or WAY too complicated.

Either way, it ends up being more of a problem than a solution.

Dashboards Save You Oodles of Time

Most people spend hours building pages in Notion for every area of their life, only to find that it’s too complicated and they lose track of tasks, goals, and where things are buried.

Dashboards solve this problem in 3 ways:

  • They centralize your information
  • They simplify your to-do list
  • They showcase your current progress

By the end of this guide, you’ll know how to build a killer dashboard that shows you everything you need to see at a glance so you’ll never lose track of valuable info again.

Here’s how in 4 simple steps:

Step #1 - Gather Your Important Information

Before you build anything, you need to know what you should include in your dashboard.

This is like putting together your ingredients before you bake a cake.

Ask yourself:

What do you look at every day?

What kind of task management structure do you need/like?

Do you need a place to quickly capture ideas?

What pages do you access often that would be good to have at your fingertips?

Make a short list of the things that would be good to have on your dashboard and give them a priority ranking of 1 - 3 (1 being most important).

My favorite things to include on a dashboard are:

  • A habit tracker
  • A quick idea capture section
  • A “post-it” note for random to-do’s
  • A “today’s priorities” section
  • My daily workout
  • My goals and their progress

Step #2 - Build Your Layout

Once you know what information you’re including, start building the skeleton of your page.

If you like having columns, build them out with dummy text.

If you want to be able to scroll straight down the page, figure out the order of information and build it out with labeled headings.

Decide on a layout that will allow you to display all of the most important information at the top of the page so it’s the first thing you see when you sit down in the morning.

Here’s a quick example of a dashboard layout I’m currently testing.

(And yes, it’s okay to test something out. If you don’t like it, it’s very easy to change. That’s the beauty of Notion!)

Once you’ve got the rough outline of your dashboard, it’s time to automate and optimize.


Step #3 - Build In Your Automation & Optimize Your Workflow

This is the point where most people go wrong – they focus too much on making the structure nice and making it look nice that they forget they are going to be using this EVERY DAY.

If you fail to automate things, it will get tedious and it will start to waste more time than it saves.

Some of my favorite automations?

Filtered Linked Views

You can create linked views that show you a peek of your to-do list, your workout schedule, your upcoming assignments or any other database you have in Notion.

I do this by creating a single linked database with views for each area of my life that link back to their respective databases.

Then, I use filters and sorts to only display things that I’m currently working on.

You can filter by dates if you’re using due dates, or by fields you’ve created.

For example, you could create a ‘select’ field that has options for each day of the week.

This is especially useful if you’re a student and have a block schedule, or if you have certain tasks you need to do on each day of the week.

I like to create linked views for my current workout (I schedule them out at the beginning of the month) so I can easily access it from my dashboard on my phone and use it in the gym.

I also use it to display any upcoming tasks for the week.

This method is MUCH faster than other dashboards I’ve seen where you have to manually put in your to-do’s and migrate them over or rewrite them each day if they’re not done.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for using a simple to-do list function (I use this for tiny tasks that aren’t worth putting in my task manager database, like cleaning the kitchen or running errands).

But you certainly shouldn’t use that for everything.

Automating some of your workflow will save tons of time in the long run.


Step #4 - Build an “Inbox”

One of the best things I’ve ever done in Notion is build out an “Inbox” function and put a linked database for it on my dashboard.

Not only does this make it easy to capture ideas and notes throughout the day, but it also makes my workflow more mobile friendly.

Here’s an example of how my Inbox works.I built a database page called “Inbox” with a main gallery view.

I only have a few simple properties here – category, date created, and archive checkbox.

I favorite this page so it’s on my sidebar at all times.

Then, I made a linked database view on my dashboard and added a filter so that it only displays a note with the title “New Note”.

This way it doesn’t balloon up and make my dashboard look like a mess.

But anytime I need to capture a thought, I can simply create a new note and put it in my inbox.

When I need to view my inbox in more depth, I click on the page in my favorites bar and glance through my notes.

This one trick has made my dashboard far more useful.

And luckily, it’s very easy to move notes and ideas to other databases.

I make a point to clean out my inbox once per week so no good ideas or important tasks fall through the cracks.


Step #5 - Make a Mega Menu

This is one of my favorite Notion hacks and it’s one of the most slept on Notion tricks of all time:

Make a Menu.

I do this with nearly every page I build because once I tried it, I couldn’t get over how useful it is.

Building a menu at the top (or on the side) of your page makes it much easier to click through pages quickly.

(You can see an example of my favorite mega menu style in the Dashboard image above.)

This saves you time by keeping the most used pages just one click away.

It’s also perfect if you like to keep your Notion sidebar collapsed or like to use Notion on mobile often.

The best part?

You can nest the menu under a toggle so it can be collapsed or expanded at will.

Dashboards are meant to speed up your workflow, but it’s hard to do that if you have to dig through the clunky Notion sidebar to find what you’re looking for everyday.

That’s it for this week.

Stay nerdy my friend! 🤓

- Madison


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