Columns are a powerful feature of Notion that can help you neatly organize your content and make your pages look aesthetic. Notion columns help you divide your content into logical sections, making it easier to navigate and find relevant information fast.
Additionally, when used in tables and databases, columns can serve various other purposes, such as designing calendars, or even building Kanban boards.̧.
Here’s how you can create columns in Notion:
1. Create a new Notion page
You can create columns in existing pages but to start afresh, consider creating a new Notion page. You can then give the page a descriptive name, and enhance its aesthetic appeal by adding an icon and a cover image.
Here’s the Notion page that we would use throughout the remaining article for reference.
2. Write text that should appear in the left column
We will create a two-column structure in this article. Let's start by setting up the left column. To do that, simply start typing in the first line of the page to create a text block. Alternatively, you can type “/” and select any block type that Notion offers like images, bullet text, header text, etc.
Here’s what we came up with:
We have a simple text block that reads “Number of pages published”. In this column structure, we will capture the output metrics of an agency.
3. Drag-Drop an empty block to the right
Let’s create the right column next. To do that, simply drag and drop an empty block to the right of the block that we created in the previous step. Start by clicking and holding the six dot icon as demonstrated in the image shared above, and drag towards the right side of the existing block.
You will know that the new block is in the correct position when you see a blue box, as shown in the image below:
Once you see this indicator, simply release the click to drop the block into place.
4. Repeat the steps for the number of rows you want to create
Once you have successfully added a new column to the right, it's time to expand your setup by adding more rows. To accomplish that, simply repeat step #2 and #3 — Start by filling out the text on the left side, just as we did before, and then add a block to its right and fill it out accordingly.
Here’s what the columns from our example look like:
We have added three rows to track various lead and lag metrics of an agency.
You can add as many rows and columns as you need for your specific use-case. For the purpose of this demonstration, we will stick with three rows.
5. Add column headers
The setup looks a bit incomplete without column headers, doesn’t it? Let’s add that.
Add new blocks - one for each column - above the first row and turn that into a “Header 2” block, as demonstrated in the below image.
You can decide the text that should appear as the header of the columns.
6. Add vertical and horizontal dividers
To enhance the visual separation within the setup, consider adding vertical and horizontal dividers. To add a horizontal divider, type “/divider” and click on the option that appears, as demonstrated in the below image.
Once added, the Notion divider will appear as a horizontal line, as shown in the image below:
You can drag this line between different rows of the setup. This allows you to create clear visual boundaries and separate content sections.
You can also add vertical dividers in Notion by using the “Quote” block. This block comes with a vertical line that can be extended vertically by hitting the “Enter” button as many times as required.
Here’s what Notion columns with a vertical divider looks like:
Method 2 - Using the Column Block
If you prefer a more streamlined approach, you can use the "Columns" block in Notion to create multiple columns at once, eliminating the need for the first three steps in the drag and drop method. Here's how you can use the "Columns" block:
Simply type “/column” in your Notion page as demonstrated in the below image. This will prompt Notion to present you with a list of four options to choose from: 2,3,4, or 5 columns.
For this example, we will use the 2-column block. Once you select the desired number of columns, the block will be added to your page.
Now, you can proceed to fill out the columns with content by adding rows, headers, dividers, and any other elements you need. We replicated the Notion column setup demonstrated in the previous method.
Method 3 - Using Notion AI
The fastest method to create Notion columns is by using Notion AI. A simple prompt can quickly create the column setup for you in no time.
To use this method, simply type “/AI” to initiate an AI block and use this prompt:
“Create a two column setup.”
Notion Columns - Use Cases
You can employ Notion columns in many use cases. Given the flexibility and versatility of this block, people across industries and teams use it extensively. Here are some common use-cases:
1. Project Trackers
While Notion tables and databases work better as a project tracker, you can also use Notion columns for this purpose. You can utilize columns for simple projects that do not require too many properties. Simply align columns next to each other, give each section a header and fill text under them. You can use Notion columns to create and manage content calendars, plan events, etc.
2. Team Dashboards
In our guide to creating a Notion dashboard, we show how you can use columns to make the dashboard look aesthetic, while keeping it detailed. In a Notion dashboard, teams can create columns for different aspects of the project, providing a clear overview and enabling progress monitoring at a glance.
3. Personal Journals
You can use Notion columns not only within a team but also at an individual level. You can make a Notion folder private and store your personal documents like journals. You can organize personal journals chronologically or categorically by using Notion columns. For example, you can have columns representing different areas of life such as work, health, personal growth, and daily reflections.
4. Sales and CRM Management
You can organize potential leads or clients using Notion columns which make them useful as a CRM. Each column can represent a stage in the sales pipeline, making it easy to track interactions, manage follow-ups, and analyze the sales process.
5. Financial Tracking:
You can create columns in Notion for various expense categories (e.g., housing, food, entertainment). This way, you can track expenses in this structured manner.
Benefits of Using Notion Columns
1. Effective Organization
Columns allow you to neatly arrange and categorize your content, providing a structured layout that's easy to navigate. By segmenting information into distinct columns, you can keep related content together, facilitating a clear organizational hierarchy. This also makes content more reader-friendly.
The column block will be super useful if you use Notion for Blogging. It will help you add another dimension - a cool visual element - to your blog posts, in addition to images, videos, and other embedded links. Moreover, Notion columns add to visual clarity, allowing users to focus on one segment of text at a time. You can use columns for data comparison — you can list pros and cons, differences between two products, etc.
2. Adaptability and Flexibility
Notion columns are highly customizable, allowing you to tailor the set up to suit your specific needs. You can adjust the number of columns, their width, and the content within them based on the type of information.
3. Efficient Workflow Management
We have discussed how you can use Notion columns to manage projects. You can use columns to represent different stages of a workflow or project lifecycle. This enables you to track progress, assign tasks, and manage workflow transitions seamlessly within a single view.
4. User-Friendly Interface:
The intuitive interface of Notion columns promotes ease of use. You can use Notion’s drag-and-drop functionality and simple editing features. Notion columns are easy to set up and use, even for new users.
How do you add columns in a Notion table?
To add a column in Notion table, click on the ➕button at the rightmost point of the table, as demonstrated in the image below:
How do I make Notion columns the same size?
You can click and drag the line at the end of the columns to modify its size but it’s hard to get the same width down to the pixel. However, by dragging all columns as left as each allows, you can ensure that each has the same width. The catch here, however, is that the content in each column may need different widths to prevent vertical spillage.
How do I make columns in template button Notion?
The only way to add columns in a Notion template button is by inserting a table within the button and adding more columns to the table. Dragging and dropping the column setup turns columns into rows, so this method does not work.
What to do when I delete a Notion column by mistake?
You can use the Notion undo feature to quickly restore the deleted column. Simply use this keyboard shortcut: CMD/CTRL + Z.
Why do my Notion columns display incorrectly on mobile devices?
While Notion is responsive — automatically realigning content to display on different device screen sizes, sometimes this function does not work too well. To improve mobile readability, consider simplifying column structures or using alternative layouts for mobile-specific views.
Can you create columns within columns in Notion?
Unfortunately, Notion does not allow you to create nested columns as of 2023. You can’t merge cells either.
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