Building a Robust Navigation System in Notion

Notion’s potential for organization is undeniable.

But as content increases, finding your way around your workspace can become confusing.

Fear not, fellow Notion enthusiasts!

Today, we’re going to unveil powerful strategies to create a user-friendly navigation system.

Let’s get started and transform your workspace into a haven of efficiency!

1. The Top Navigation Bar: A Personalized Command Center

For those familiar with my Notion templates, you know how much I love navigation bars.

They’re often used in my designs, helping long pages and mobile users who don’t like too much scrolling.

Let’s make a custom top navigation bar using two useful tools: toggle lists and callout blocks.

Building Your Navigation Hub

(1) Create the Toggle List

Begin by adding a toggle list with a grey background. Name it “Navigation” for clarity.

(2) Three Columns for Organization: 

Within the toggle list, create three distinct columns to organize your navigation elements:

  • Table of Contents: In the first column, create a callout block labeled “Table of Contents.” Embed a Table of Contents block within it. This allows users to jump directly to specific sections on the current page.
  • Template Treasure Trove: In the second column, create a callout block labeled “Pages.” Here, mention all your essential template pages, providing a centralized location for quick access.
  • Database Destinations: The final column is dedicated to your source databases. Create a callout block labeled “Databases” and them all here.

P.S. There’s also a simpler way to create a top navigation…

You can do this using text and hyperlinks.

2. The Sidebar Menu: Streamlining Access

Creating a sidebar menu in Notion helps you easily reach your top pages and sections.

This boosts your work speed and saves time by giving quick access to key content.

Make 2 (or 3 if you prefer) columns on your Notion page. Choose either the left or right column as your sidebar.

Besides mentioning pages in the sidebar menu directly, there are 2 methods to show your sidebar menu in a visually pleasing way:

(1) Page Links & Dividers

Add page links to your sidebar menu and separate these links with divider lines for enhanced visual clarity.

(2) Callout Block Menu Magic

For a more visually appealing navigation system, utilize callout blocks. You can either put all your links into the callout block, or use multiple callout blocks to represent each category.

3. Database Power: Linking Your Way Through Information

Notion’s databases hold the key to seamless navigation within structured content. 

Here’s a clever trick:

Next Stop, Please!

Utilize database properties to establish a “Next Page” or “Previous Page” functionality.

You can do this in 2 ways:

  • Add a relation property to your database, allowing you to link each page to the next or previous one in the sequence.
  • Use the text property to type the link text and add a link to it; or simply use @ to mention pages.

This establishes a clear flow within your database, guiding users effortlessly through your content.

Bonus Tip: Explore Templates for Inspiration

The Notion community is a treasure trove of pre-built templates with diverse menus and navigation systems.

Explore options that resonate with your workflow and customize them to fit your specific needs.

These templates can be a fantastic starting point, saving you valuable setup time.

By implementing these techniques, you’ll transform your Notion workspace into a streamlined and efficient hub.

Remember, the ideal navigation system is the one that empowers YOU.

So experiment, combine methods, and discover what keeps you moving smoothly within your Notion universe!

Hi, I’m Miyavi from Small Wins. I build systems to help you work smarter and live a better life.

Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you:

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This is a powerful duo of Notion templates designed to supercharge your business operations. Use them to streamline customer relationships, manage sales, and organize your content like never before.

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