GTD Dashboard to display mutlible views

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hey folks. First post here. I was watching a video on YouTube about creating a GTD System. It was using a similar product called Notions. Its seems to be very much the same except for one thing I cant figure out. At one point he creates a “Dashboard” that contains multiple embedded and filtered views across the database. I can set up individual views this way but haven’t been able to figure out a way to create the Dashboard. Am I missing something? Is this even possible?

Here is a link to the video: Advanced GTD Dashboard in Notion - YouTube

Thanks in advance for any guidance!!

4 Replies 4

Welcome to the community, @Glenn_Davis! :grinning_face_with_big_eyes:

Yup, that’s pretty much what it is. Notion (which I just started using recently) lets you embed Notion components—pages or databases—within other pages and control how those embeds are presented. It’s a pretty slick system.

With Airtable, the only way to embed a table/view anywhere is in a webpage, or as a standalone shared view. In either case, you’re left with a read-only look at a given Airtable view. However, if a read-only view is sufficient, you could create a view that shows a filtered collection of records, then add that view to a dashboard in the Apps sidebar using the Embed app, effectively embedding Airtable inside of Airtable. I do this with simple form views in a few places, but it would also work with any other sharable view. Still, it’s read-only, and that doesn’t sound like what you want.

Another option is to create a custom Airtable app that takes the data from specific tables/views in your base and presents it in a custom way, including editing capabilities if desired. As a simple example, my planning base contains a view that shows my tasks for the next seven days, grouped by day. It’s really helpful for seeing how full (or empty) my schedule is on specific days if I need to move tasks around. However, switching back and forth to and from that view was getting cumbersome, so I wrote a custom app yesterday that just gives me the basic info that I need:

Screen Shot 2021-02-15 at 9.25.41 PM

The data dynamically updates as I assign tasks to specific days. This is a read-only app, but it could have been built to let me interact with certain data points if that’s what I wanted. The thing to be aware of here, though, is that app design isn’t for everyone. It can be done, but it will require a serious investment of time to learn to build even simple apps.

There are also third-party tools that can let you create a more pleasing front end to Airtable’s data, but there are price tags tied to most of those. Not sure if it’s worth the cost for a personal planning system.

There may be more options that I can’t think of at the moment, but these are the ones that jump to mind right away.

@Justin_Barrett What is your opinion on Notion, and how does it compare to Airtable?

@ScottWorld My primary reason for checking out Notion was to find an alternative to Evernote, which has been getting kind flaky lately. Notion’s editor just trounces Evernote’s without thinking, and the UI is so much cleaner. That said, I’ll probably still use Evernote for long-term note storage and Notion for more day-to-day use.

Anyway, I really like Notion, but it’s not going to replace Airtable, at least not for me. I choose Notion’s database features over building something in Airtable when I want to store detailed notes for each record. For example, I’ve made a simple database in Notion to help me organize all the steps in producing a course about Airtable’s formula system. If I only wanted to track basic info, I could have done the same thing in Airtable, but in this case, I’m also writing a script for each section of the course, and I like that each record in a Notion database can also be a full note where I can write the script for that section. True, I could use a rich text field in Airtable, but for me that isn’t designed for composing or viewing lengthy documents. Again, Notion’s editor is incredibly well designed, and the nesting capabilities in Notion are pretty powerful. Any note can be/contain a database (or, more accurately, a table with multiple views), and each database record can have its own note, which can also contain another database, and so on. You can link between databases, write formulas, etc. It’s a pretty robust system.

As much as I like Notion, there’s a very clear line (in my mind, anyway) that separates Notion and Airtable, and I really don’t see Notion growing to the point where it will effectively compete against Airtable. For example, I don’t see Notion adding custom scripting or app-building features. Notion really is focused on notes, whereas Airtable is focused on the database end of things. Notion just happens to have a pretty nice database system as one of its features.

This is fantastic information, @Justin_Barrett! Thank you so much for sharing all of your thoughts on this with me! :slightly_smiling_face: