Is it possible to show only a single database item in Notion? By default, Notion allows you to limit a database to only 10 entries. However, you can get Notion to display only one entry by following these steps:
- Create a random number
- Connect a second database
- Roll-up the random number into the second database and pick the largest one
- Roll the largest number back into the first database
- Check which database entry matches the largest number
- Create a filter to only show the entry that matches the largest number
Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, you can check out the video for a walkthrough, continue reading for a step-by-step explanation or simply grab the template from below where everything is set up already.
And if you're looking to learn everything about Notion, check out my complete (and free) Notion Tutorial.
How does the “show single database entry” method work?
We assign a unique number to each database entry. Then, we use a second database to determine the “highest” of these numbers. Next, we check which of our entries matches the highest number. Lastly, we use a simple filter to only display the “highest” number. Now, we can show a single database item in Notion.
By randomly changing the unique number every time, we get a random new entry every time we reload the page.
Set up Notion to display a single database entry
Create a random date in your main database
First, we need a random number. That’s because we need a way to determine a single database entry and the easiest way to do so is by assigning a bunch of numbers and picking the largest (or smallest) one.
Notion doesn't have a random number function build in right now, but you can easily get a random number through a workaround. All you need is to create a formula property and paste the formula from below:
(((((toNumber(substring(replaceAll(id(), "[a-z]", ""), 0, 8)) * 100011979) + 500067713) % 900066731) * (((timestamp(now()) * 800067089) + 800068411) % 800053967)) + 900067309) % 900066571
Now you should see a random number every time you open the page.
Create a second database as a helper
Due to Notion’s limitations, we need a second database for our calculations. Go ahead and create a helper database with only one entry. Then, create a Relation Property and relate all entries from the main database to your helper database.
Determine the largest number
In your helper database, create a roll-up for the Random Number and set it to display only the largest number.
Now you’ve determined the “one” number from the series of random numbers that will be displayed.
Next, we want to get this number back into our main database to check which record fits this number. To do so, create a formula property that simply copies the number.
That’s necessary because Notion won’t let you roll-up a Roll-Up. But with this little trick, we can now create a Roll-Up in the main database and pull this date back.
Check which record matches the largest number
Nearly done. You now have the chosen number back in your main database. All that's left to do is to check which database entry has that number assigned. You can do so by creating a formula property and simply comparing the two values.
Don’t worry if no checkbox is checked at first. Notion sometimes needs a moment to do all the calculations correctly. Simply refresh the page and now one of these boxes should be checked.
Filter for the latest entry
All that’s left to do know is to create a linked view of your main database and set a filter to only show the entry for which the checkbox is checked.
How can you use this single database item in Notion method?
You can use the single database item in Notion method to randomly pick one entry among a large number of items. It works great if you want to create a Random Quote Generator in Notion, pick a movie from your list of things to watch or decide which colleague should get the next round of coffee.
You can also combine this with a Notion Button to refresh whenever you click the button.
Or you could use it to decide with habit you want to track next in Notion.