Notion Buttons: The Ultimate Guide (+12 must-know use cases)

Written by: Matthias Frank
Last edited: April 13, 2024
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Video Transcript

Buttons for Notion are finally here! Yes, you heard it right – buttons for Notion have just been released today and they might be one of the most powerful updates Notion has ever done. Here’s exactly what they do and 12 super powerful examples of what you can do with them.

How to create a Notion Button

So first, how do you get buttons for Notion and what do they actually do? To create a Notion button, simply go on your page, type “/button”, and there you have it – the new button feature. Once you click on it, you will already see the biggest innovation: you can now assign icons to buttons (just kidding, but it looks nice). So you can click on “here”, get your icon, and then name it. So, our new Notion button. And then below, you can see when a button is clicked, you can add steps. And by default, we already have, on this first update, five different blocks to add. We can insert blocks; that’s the old template button feature, it’s still here but it’s a bit better. Then, you can add pages to a database, you can edit pages in a database.

Wait, so this looks fairly similar to database templates, right? Well, nearly. With the Notion database template, what you can do is you can preset the properties that should be filled when you create a new page in a database, and you can also set the content of the page with button blocks or the Notion buttons. You can create a new page and fill the properties when you do so. So far, they are the same, but you can’t immediately add something to the page bottom. But, on the other hand, you can use buttons to later edit pages in a database. So that’s again something that your database template can’t do. You can show a confirmation pop-up and you can open a page. And of course, you’re not limited to just one action, so you could say first add a page, and then like add another step and open that page. So you can stack them on top, you have like unlimited numbers of actions in here, and they all will execute as soon as you click this button.

You can check out my Notion Database Tutorial to learn more about Databases.

Use Notion Buttons to add routine tasks

So, that covers the “what”. Now let’s move on to the fun part and look at some awesome use cases. First, use Notion buttons to create routine tasks. All you need is a button and a task database. And you see what happens now if I click on this, I will automatically add a whole range of tasks: meditate, make really good tea, clean desk, and every time I click it again, it adds a fresh set of data. So, this is great if you have, like, a specific routine set of tasks that you either do every day or on specific days. You could also use this to add them whenever you go on vacation, you know, add vacation tasks if application, perhaps all these things that have a set number of things to do. So, super simple. Let’s click on the edit button. All you want to do is, when the button is clicked, you want to use the “add page to” action, and then pick the database where that entry should be added, and then add as many as you want. Now, to make this a bit easier, remember that you can click on the three dots and click on “duplicate”. So that way, you don’t have to, like, go through plus plus all the time. And you can also move to order if you wanted to, like, it will always do them in chronological order, but yeah, for this simple one, just click on the button and you get this fresh set of routine tasks.

Use Notion Buttons for Quick Capture

Second use notion buttons for quick capture, quick capture is super useful if you are somewhere else in your workspace and you just need to quickly add something to a different database. So far, really the main way to do that would have been by creating a link to view to that database and then setting up an impossible filter so that nothing ever shows, right? And you can even hide this to make it even more clean and minimal. And then you get this, uh, yeah, a fake button to quickly capture a new task. But now we have actual buttons to do a drop bar, so if I click on quick capture here, you’ll see that it will add something and it will add open what I’ve added in the site so I can immediately edit it. So I can say okay, like this task I need to do later, okay? And then I can just close it and I can go on about what I was doing to do. So, again, super simple. You want to make sure that when the button is clicked, you add a page to whatever place you want to capture something in, right? In this case, I captured to docs buttons. You can put in a name if you want, but you most likely will fill out the name. And when you do so, you can also set other properties. You can edit all properties in this database, which is pretty cool. So, for example, if you wanted to set a specific date, you could do so. If you wanted to apply specific tags, you can do so as well. But one thing is very important, make sure that you end the button with an open new page because otherwise, it will just create it, and you don’t have any way to edit it, right? And for quick capture, you want to put in the name. The cool thing is, when you add this open new page, so it’s like this step right, open page, you get now access to the page that you just created. So you could also like add a different page, but of course, you want to open the one that you just added. So, again, super cool. And another neat little trick is, as you can see, it automatically fills today’s date. This is another place where we have access to Dynamic variables, which is super, super cool. And you can, of course, pick a static date, but what would be the point here? So, yeah, another really simple but very powerful use case.

Use Notion Buttons for Default Tasks in Projects

Third use notion buttons for default tasks in projects. Now, this is probably one of the most exciting use cases, and it solves a huge, huge problem with Notion. I actually have a different workaround for the same problem up here. Basically, when you use templates in your databases, the problem is that you can’t tell Notion to create also entries in other places, and that is very relevant, for example, if you have projects, and projects have always, like, a similar set of tasks, right? Let’s say you have a project where you film, like, to create a YouTube video, and it will always go through the same 10 steps. Now, ideally, you want to create a new project and then be able to automatically also create the corresponding tasks. Now, so far, there were only workarounds to achieve that, some more complicated than others, but now we have a native way in Notion to do so, and all you need to do is add to your project template, so to your database template, a button. So, let’s see what happens if I click on default tasks.

I have a new project created, and as you can see, I have this button to add my default tasks. And as soon as I click it, I will get the fresh set of three tasks. You see, it automatically connects to this project. It is automatically populated here. They are also in this Mega table here, and it’s only three here, but you can go as crazy as you want. And to do so again, just click the edit button. And in this case, let’s open this full screen. You want to make sure that first you add a page for into your in the correct database. In the other one, name it and then for set up the project. Right, and here you have again access to Dynamic variable. If you say that if you want to edit, a relation like this project is, you can see that you have access to this page. So you could, of course, connect it to an existing one, but you can add it to this page. So this works the same way as a self-referential filters Works, which is amazing because it means you can add a button to the page and will always add the tasks to the page where the button is clicked. And then again, of course, you can add as many tasks, and you could set other properties right. If you have people that you want to assign them automatically to, you could do so. So you can say, “Okay, this task should be always assigned to me,” and you could say, “Okay,” and I want this do date here. This is not Dynamic yet, so for that, you would need, like, a few more work ones, but you could set something there for today, let’s say, whenever you kick this off. So again, really, really powerful.

Use Notion Buttons to Add Default Page Content

Another use case for the new notion buttons is to create recurring content in your pages. Well, to be fair, that one was possible also with the old blocks, but it’s still a great use case. So I had to mention it here. This works pretty much the same as before with a few quality of life upgrades. So if I click the new meeting notes, you’ll see I get automatically below it my entries, and I can click it several times, and I get them several times. And to set us up, just like go for insert blocks, and then you can, this is a nice new feature, say either below button or above button, and then you can get this feed in here. You can like have all the normal edits right. So if I type slash, you get access to everything. So you could build full pages in here and add them with and you click. And of course, you can do this as part of a bigger process, but already like this really, really useful.

Use Notion Buttons to collaborate across teams

Five use notion blocks to collaborate better within teams. If you work in a bigger company and you use notion across several teams, then this can be super useful if you want to enable teams to add stuff to another team’s database, right? So for example, you could create a report a bug button, and as soon as you click it, it will create a new entry in the bug report database of the tech team. Or if, for example, you have a Content team, you could use the same process to add a new content request whenever some other department decides, “Okay, we need some marketing help.” And setup is again super simple. You just want to make sure that you add a page to whatever database the other team uses, and then want to again make sure that you open this page so that the team can edit it and potentially add a few more properties that accounts will depend on your specific workflows.

Use Notion Buttons to enforce a specific process

Sixth, use Notion blocks to bulletproof your workspace. If you work with others, cross-team actions can become a bit cumbersome if other people don’t follow the exact protocol. Luckily, Notion has built-in guardrails. You can see what I mean if I click here, “Report or Back,” “Oh, before reporting it back, have you tried turning it on and off again?” Well, sometimes it’s a really good reminder to tell people that they should do something else first. So if I click on “No,” nothing will happen. You see, the button was canceled. On the backend, again, super simple, you do the same goes through the same process, but before you continue with other actions, you show a confirmation page and you ask, “Before reporting it back, have you tried turning it on and off again?” And you can, of course, have any other problem. You could say, “Okay, when you do this, please make sure to fill out on the next page like these properties or like also do XYZ.” So it’s a really good way to enforce processes and procedures on a team. Now, before we move on, one word of warning. In particular, the added pages in a database action unlocks nearly unlimited power. And you know what they say, with great power comes great responsibility. It’s super easy to mess up your whole database with something like this if you are not careful with setting the right filters. That being said, it can also be really, really powerful. So let’s proceed with caution but have a look at what you can do.

Use Notion Buttons to archive all tasks

Seven. Use Notion buttons to automatically archive all tasks. You might know the situation. You’ve set a due date for a task. It has gone by, and it’s now been forever since you should have done a task. And actually, you don’t even need to do it anymore, but it’s still somewhere in your Notion workspace. So wouldn’t it be great if you could quickly tidy up everything? Well, now you can adjust with a click of a button. All my old tasks, even though they’re not started, will disappear. So I click on here, and boom, they’re gone. Now, what happens on the back end? Very, very simple. We just say now that we want to edit tasks. And when we do that, we get like this option to say, like, which pages do you want to edit? And again, here’s where you need to be really, really careful, because if you don’t set a filter correctly, you might destroy pretty much everything. But so just be careful when you set us up. So here, I say, okay, everything that due date is before today. So everything that I didn’t get done, even though I said I get it done, and I want to push it to done. Now, this might be a bit aggressive, so you could also say, right, like everything that is before one month ago, really, really old tasks. But you get the gist. This one will automatically archive everything.

Use Notion Buttons to reassign all tasks

Eight, use Notion buttons to reassign tasks. If you need to take over tasks from a teammate who’s going on vacation or you simply have some capacity and want to assign some new tasks to yourself, just click a button and all open tasks will be assigned to you. On the back end, you want to filter for certain conditions. For example, you could connect the task to the person and then roll back up if the person is in the office or on vacation. If they are on vacation, you could say, “Okay, everyone have all the tasks from the people that are on vacation on the marketing team. I have to step up now, I have to do them all. Every task from person XYZ, I have to do them,” and then assign them to the person. Here, we have access to a dynamic variable so instead of saying, “Okay, always assign them to a specific person,” we can say whoever clicks the button first has to do all the work.

Use Notion Buttons to add timestamps for finished tasks

Use Notion buttons to add timestamps upon completion. If you have a task that is done, you often want to know when it was done. You either need to fill in the date manually or you need to use the last edited date and hope that after the task is done, no one actually touches it again because otherwise, that gets messed up. But now you can use a button to quickly assign timestamps. In this case, if completed on is empty, just click the button and now completed on has today’s date. We edit pages and filter for all the pages where the completed date is empty but the status is done, and then we pass in today’s date. Of course, you still need to press this button once a day regularly, so if you want to make this more bulletproof, you would use an automation outside of Notion, but it’s still nice to have a way directly in Notion to get this done.

Use Notion Buttons for Async Collaboration

Use Notion buttons for async collaboration. Notion was already great for asynchronous teams, but it has just gotten a little bit better. If you want to make sure that people actually read the stuff that you send them, you can now enforce that with a button. In a new memo, you have a button that says, “Reviewed by me,” and as soon as you click it, you will be added to the reviewed person. This is a dynamic button, so whoever clicks it will get assigned. If you open this full screen, you see that we have here the “Reviewed by me” one and it says when button is clicked, edit this page. When we are inside a page that lives inside a database, we can just select that page and then we can say, “Okay, whoever clicks this button is supposed to be added to the review column.” You can also have replace, that’s the one that we used for the task, but in this case, I want to add myself because in case there are several people who have to review it, I want to record every single one of them.

Use Notion Buttons to build an Upvote System

Use Notion blocks for upvotes. With pretty much the same functionality as in the previous use case, we can build a different functionality and upvote system. You might have seen these before, like these upvote columns that count how many people are in there. With the buttons, they’ve just gotten a bit better. You see “new survey,” I can just click on “upvote,” and it will automatically add me here and I have now the number of upvotes, so I could sort by that. It’s a quick and easy way to make decisions within a team. Set up exactly the same, edit this page, and add the person who clicked the button.

Use Notion Buttons to move Due Dates

Use Notion buttons to move all tasks from today to tomorrow. Due dates come and go, and with Notion’s newly released week view, it’s also really nice to see what exactly you need to do in any given day. But it can be a pain in the ass if you have to move the due dates around, right? If you missed something yesterday, now how do you make sure that it appears on your plate again? Well, super simple, now you can use this Start My Day formula. And you see all of these should have been done yesterday, but I just clicked this button, and now the date has been updated to today. How does it work? Well, we look for all pages where the due date is before today and the status is not done yet, and then we set the due date to today. Now, unfortunately, right now, the only two things that we have here are now and today, so we can’t set things to yesterday or to tomorrow, or put in a formula even that would be even cooler, right? If you could say, “Okay, remind me again in five days.” So right now, you need to be a bit experimental and need to structure in a way that it works. But I’m sure Notion will continue to update these buttons and add more functionality.

There you have it, 12 amazing use cases for the new Notion buttons. Let me know down below in the comments which ones you’re going to implement first and which ones I missed. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel so that you’re always the first to know whenever Notion releases a new cool update.

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