Timelines

In this Article

For anyone who needs to visualize their projects plotted chronologically - whether it's hours, years, or anything in between - Notion's timeline is a type of database that keeps you on task and on track ⏳


Create a timeline

There are several ways to add timeline view to Notion:

Full-page timeline

  • Create a new page in your workspace.

  • Click on Timeline in the grayscale menu provided.

  • If you want to create a full-page timeline inside another page:

    • On a new line, type /timeline full and select Timeline - Full page.

    • Now when you go back to your original page, you'll see this timeline nested inside it.

Inline timeline

You can add an in-line timeline to a page that contains many different types of content.

  • On a new line, type /timeline, then hit enter.

Note: Expand in-line databases to full-page by clicking  at the top right. Hover over the top of your database to see its option menus. Click ••• to see the PropertiesFilter, and Sort options.

Add timeline view to a database

Add a timeline to an existing database to view its data in that format. More on views here →

  • Click + Add a view or the name of the current view at the top left of your database.

  • Select Timeline from the dropdown menu, and give it a name in the text box.

  • Click Create and your brand new timeline view will pop up.

  • You can still toggle back to other views using that same left dropdown.

Note: Timelines only work if you have at least one date property in your database containing a range of dates. Otherwise nothing will be plotted.

Projects: pages in timeline view

Open a project as a page

Every row in a timeline is its own Notion page where you can add more content.

  • Click on any project plotted on your timeline. The page will open in preview mode.

  • If you're showing table rows in your timeline, hover over any row and click ⤢ OPEN.

  • From preview mode, click ⤢ Open as Page at the top left to make it full-page.

  • You'll see all your properties organized at the top.

    • Click on the property name to edit it or its type.

    • Click in the property field to edit its content.

    • Reorder properties by hovering and using the ⋮⋮ to drag and drop them up or down.

  • You can also add a new property to your timeline by clicking + Add a Property.

  • Under properties, there's space for comments that will be attributed to you. You can @-mention people or pages here, too.

  • The body of the page can be edited just like any other Notion page. Add whatever content blocks you want, including in-line databases.

Customize page

When you open any project page, you have the ability to change how it looks in a few ways that go beyond typography and text size.

  • Click ••• at the top right of any open project page, then Customize page.

  • You'll see a menu to edit the appearance of Backlinks and Comments, as well as Properties.

    • For backlinks, choose to show them expanded in the body of your page or in a popover.

    • For comments, choose to show them expanded or off in the page body.

    • For properties, rearrange them using the ⋮⋮ icon, and choose whether to always show them, always hide them, or only show them when in use.

Note: Backlinks show you what other pages this page is linked to across your workspace. Learn more about backlinks here →

Add projects

A timeline is a list of projects displayed based on dates. There are several ways to add a new project to your timeline:

When not showing table

  • Click the blue New button at the top right. This creates a new project in a new row and immediately opens it as a page.

  • Click the + New button at the bottom left of your timeline to add a new project right there.

  • Hover over any empty row in your timeline and you'll see a phantom project show up on hover. Click to drop it in the right place and adjust the project's length to fit your needs.

When showing table

  • Click + New at the bottom left of your table.

  • Click the + that appears on hover next to any row. This creates a new row below it.

  • You can create projects in this table without assigning them dates.

    • When you want to assign dates, either change the date property inside the page, or hover over the timeline. You'll see a phantom project with the name you've created in the table row. You can click to place it wherever you want and adjust accordingly.

Project options

When showing table in your timeline, click the ⋮⋮ icon that appears on hover to the left of each row (or, if you're not showing table, right click on any project plotted on your timeline) to bring up this menu of options:

  • Delete: Deletes the row from your timeline.

  • Duplicate: Creates an exact copy of the row below it.

  • Copy link: Copies an anchor link to that specific row to your clipboard.

  • Rename: Lets you rename the page in your row without opening it.

  • Move to: Lets you move the row to another workspace or page (where it will show up as a sub-page).

  • Edit Property: Brings up a menu with all your timeline's properties. Click the one you want and then click the new value for it.

Tip: You can apply these actions to multiple database pages at once. Just select all the pages you want to modify. Then, right click or use the shortcut cmd/ctrl + / to edit properties in bulk!

Customize your timeline

Edit your timeline so it does the job you need it to do. There are several ways to change the appearance of your timeline and the projects you plot on it however is most helpful to you.

Timeline menus

At the top right of your full-page timeline, you'll see several options:

  • Properties (More on properties here →)

  • By [Date Property]- Lets you choose which date property you want to plot

  • Filter (More on this →)

  • Sort (More on this →)

  • Search ()

  • And ••• - which, in full-page mode, contains:

    • Copy link to view - Copies a link to this exact view of your database to your clipboard for pasting.

    • Templates - Allows you to add or edit database templates for this particular database.

    • Timeline by - Let's you choose a different date property or range of dates to plot if you have multiple date properties in your timeline

  • In in-line timelines, the ••• menu also contains:

    • Delete - Deletes the entire timeline.

    • Duplicate - Duplicates the entire timeline.

    • Open as page - Expands your in-line timeline to full-page.

    • Merge with CSV - So you can upload a CSV file to display data on this timeline.

    • Export - So you can export this timeline as a PDF, HTML, or Markdown file.

    • Move to - Lets you move this timeline to another page or workspace.

Note: For full-page databases in timeline view, these additional options can be found in the ••• menu at the very top right hand corner of the Notion page.

Adjust timeframe

You can view your projects on any time scale, from hours all the way up to years.

  • On the right side of your timeline, to the left of < Today >, you'll see a dropdown menu with a unit of time. Click that to see your options:

    • Hours

    • Days

    • Weeks

    • Bi-weeks

    • Months

    • Quarters

    • Years

  • Click to choose and your timeline will automatically adjust to show your current projects rendered on the new time scale.

Adjust project length

  • Hover over the left or right edge of any project. Your cursor will indicate that you can drag and drop each edge to make it as long or short as you want it to be.

    • You'll see date indicators appear to guide you.

Note: You'll see small arrows appear on each row of your timeline to indicate that a project has occurred before or after your current view, or included scope before or after. You can click on these arrows to jump right to the project.

Come back to today

At any time, you can jump to the current day on your timeline. Just click < Today > on the right side underneath the top level menu.

Show or hide table

In Notion, you can show a table to the left of your timeline so you can always see a full list of your projects no matter when they are scheduled. They show up as a locked column so they are always visible even as you scroll through time.

You can also display other properties of your projects in this table so they are immediately visible as well. Like project owners, or which team is tagged.

When you first add a timeline, you won't see the table. Here's how to add it:

  • The easiest way is to click the >> icon at the top left. This will expand the table.

  • Click Properties at the top right of your timeline.

  • At the top of the menu that appears, toggle on Show table.

  • You'll see all the properties in your timeline appear in two sections in this menu. This allows you to show/hide some properties in your table and other properties on the projects themselves as plotted in your timeline. More on this below.

To hide table in any timeline:

  • Click the << icon at the top left.

  • Or click Properties at the top right and toggle off Show table.

Limit projects displayed

Depending on how many projects you have in a timeline, and what you're using the timeline for, you may want to only see 10 project pages at a time, or many more. To set your preference:

  • Click Properties at the top right of your timeline.

  • Click the dropdown for Show on first load and choose how many project pages to display from a menu of 10, 25, 50, 100 or all pages.

Edit properties

In timelines, there are a few ways to display properties.

  • Click Properties at the top right of the timeline, then + Add a property.

  • Give your property a name and select the type of property from the Property Type menu.

     

  • When not showing table, click on any project and edit properties at the top of the page that opens.

  • When showing table, click the name of any property column to change its name, type or order. You can also use this menu to hide, duplicate or delete it.

Show or hide properties

Timelines give you a few ways to display properties at a glance so you can see information about your projects right away.

  • Click Properties at the top right of your timeline.

  • You will see all your properties in this menu displayed next to a toggle. To show properties directly on your project cards in your timeline, toggle them on. To hide them, toggle them off.

  • When showing a table in your timeline, you'll also have the option to display properties as frozen columns to the left. You can toggle these on and off in the Properties menu, too, but only if you have Show table switched on.

  • You can also hide properties displayed in this table portion of your timeline by clicking on your column headers and choosing Hide from the menu.

  • Lastly, when you open a project as a page, you can click the ⋮⋮ icon next to any property listed at the top to see options for hiding it.

    • Choose to always show or hide the property, or hide when it's empty.

    • To edit this for all your properties at once, choose Customize page from this same menu.

       

Rearrange columns & rows

Switch how projects and properties are ordered in your timeline with drag-and-drop:

  • When not showing table, click and hold any project page plotted on your timeline, then drag it up or down.

    • When showing table, hover over any row, then click and hold the ⋮⋮ icon on the left to drag it up or down

  • You can also re-order columns when showing table. Click and hold their headings to drag them left or right (like below).

    • Resize columns by hovering over their edges, and dragging right or left.

Plot different dates (Timeline by)

If you have multiple date properties in your database, you can plot your projects on your timeline using any of them. And it's easy to switch between them.

For example, you might have one date property for project work and another for the time needed to prep launch. To show the one that you want:

  • Click ••• at the top right of your timeline and click Timeline by.

  • Choose which date property you want your timeline to show.

  • You can choose to have start and end dates as separate properties that dictate how your projects or plotted. You can turn that on in this menu.

  • Or you can have the date range you want to plot exist in the same date property.

Calculations

When showing a table, you can run calculations that will show you information about the data contained in each column at the bottom of your timeline.

Hover below the last row in your table, then click the word Calculate that appears under any column you want to learn more about:

  • You'll see a dropdown menu containing these calculation options:

    • Count all: Gives you the total number of rows in the column.

    • Count empty: Counts the number of rows that do not have a value in the column.

    • Count not empty: Counts the number of rows where the column is filled. 

    • Count values: Counts the number of property values contained in the column. 

    • Count unique values: Counts the number of unique property values contained in the column, omitting duplicates. 

    • Percent empty: Gives you the percentage of rows that do not have the chosen property filled in. 

    • Percent not empty: Gives you the percentage of cards that do have the property filled in. 

    • Earliest date: If you have time-related properties in your table like Last edited or Created time, you can choose to show when the oldest row was edited or created.

    • Latest date: Shows when the newest row was last edited or created.

    • Date range: Shows you the time gap between the oldest and newest edit or creation time.

  • If you have a Number property in your table, you unlock several other calculation options:

    • Sum: Shows the sum of the numbers in the column.

    • Average: Shows the average of the numbers in the column.

    • Median: Shows the median of the numbers in the column.

    • Min: Shows the lowest number in the column.

    • Max: Shows the highest number in the column.

    • Range: Subtracts the lowest number from the highest.

Database view features

Filter your timeline

View only the projects that fit certain criteria, depending on what you need.

  • Click Filter at the top right of your timeline. (In the ••• menu if in-line.)

  • Choose which property you want to filter by from the dropdown.

  • Choose the condition you want to use, i.e. ContainsDoes not Contain, etc.

  • Define the value of the property you want to see, i.e. a specific tag or date.

  • You can add multiple filters at once this way too!

  • Remove filters by clicking the ••• icon next to them in the Filter menu and choosing Remove.

Tip: If you find yourself recreating and deleting the same filters over and over again, consider creating a new database view for that filter. That way, you can switch back and forth without having to recreate the filter each time.

Sort your timeline

When you sort your data by any property in Ascending or Descending order, all the data from that row will travel together automatically.

  • Click Sort at the top right of your timeline.

  • Choose the property you want to sort by and then choose Ascending or Descending. You'll see your timeline rearrange in real-time.

  • You can add multiple sorts to a timeline, with sorting criteria taking precedence based on their order in the list. (You can use the ⋮⋮ to drag and drop them up or down.)

  • Remove sorts by clicking the ••• icon next to them in the Filter menu and choosing Remove.

Search your timeline

You can search for specific content in your timeline.

  • Click Search at the top right and type the word(s) you're looking for in page titles or properties.

  • You'll see your timeline change in real-time to only show the rows that fit that criteria.

You can copy an anchor link to any specific view of your timeline so you can share it elsewhere.

  • Click the ••• icon at the top right of your timeline.

  • Click Copy link and the URL will copy to your clipboard so you can paste it.

Templates: Here are some use cases for tables from our team and the Notion community:


FAQs

Is there a way to add conditional formatting? Like change the color of projects plotted on my timeline or background color of cells in the table?

Not yet, unfortunately. It's a popular feature request though, so definitely on our radar! For the time being, you can use Select and Multi-select properties to add a pop of color to your timeline 🎨

Why can't I delete the Name property when showing table in my timeline?

Timelines are essentially databases, and databases are essentially lists of items. That's what goes in the Name property. All the other data points contained are attributes of these items, like due dates, owners, tags and more. You can't remove the Name property because that's the core information contained. You can, however, rename that property to align with whatever you are working on.

Is there a way to skip the modal view, and always Open as Page by default?

Not right now, apologies!

Does Notion have simple (non-database) tables?

Not at the moment — it's a popular feature request though and on our to-do list.

For the time being, you can click and drag text blocks to create columns, more on that here.

How can I tell which pages in my database contain comments?

If you add a comment in the discussion section of a timeline project page, or anywhere in the body of the page, you'll see a word bubble appear in that row of the table portion of your timeline with the number of comments it contains. If you hide the table, you cannot see whether projects contain comments at a glance.

How can I turn a full-page database into an in-line database?

To turn a full-page database into an in-line database, you can just drag the database into another page in the sidebar, which will turn it into a sub-page.

Then click the ••• button at the right of the title of the subpage, and go to Turn Into Inline in the dropdown menu to turn it into an in-line database.

To turn it back into a full-page database, you can click and drag the in-line database back into your sidebar.

Still have more questions? Send us a message

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