This documentation presumes that editors know how to add/create basic content—that is, how to start a Notion page and use the various content blocks. What this page intends to do is explain the RMM Notion backend—the [editor] dashboard view or teamspace, and clarify how to create and display content groupings.
The majority of RMM site content lives inside databases: News + Events, Teams, Centers, etc.; and each database has a taxonomy or a set of custom properties. A small subset of content can be considered standalone pages; that is, they are not part of a database collection and they are not a content type. For example: the Partners page and the Achievements page are one-off or singular pages.
The home page consists of two section types: database views (Action + Events, Our Centers, and Our Work), and in-page content (Mission, Donate, and Contact).
Each database view uses a filter and/or sorting pattern of its parent database’s taxonomy, or the view displays the parent database as is. For example:
The “Summer Overnight Leadership Camp” subsection is a filtered gallery view of Database: News + Events and has three filtering rules—to only show events that:
- are “Live”
- have the category of “Summer Overnight Camp” and
- have a “FrontPage” status of “Yes”
The “Our Centers” section has no filter or sorting scheme, and is displaying its parent database content as is.
The public-facing site navigation (at the top of the live page) is NOT controlled in Notion. If an item in the nav bar (e.g., the “Donate” button) needs to be removed or have its text updated this is not possible in Notion because the functionality or ability to do so is outside of the platform. Exactly where is unknown and yet to be determined.
The “NAVIGATION BAR” section in the Notion dashboard is simply an index page (a table of content) of links of the sections listed in the nav bar. It serves no technical purpose.
The “PAGES” section in the Notion dashboard is similar to the NAVIGATION BAR. It’s an index listing or collection of pages but that are not listed in the nav bar. Simply, it’s a way to organize other [singular] pages in one place.
Databases control most of the site’s content and how content is displayed on the frontend. The RMM databases are collections of content type (news, staff listings, etc.) with customizable properties that can be used to create labels, categories, and more; then filtered and/or sorted into specific groupings or views.
See also Notion's Intro to databases
Before Creating Content
There are three factors to consider:
- Determine what category of content is to be created
- A one-off page (e.g., an FAQs page — it’s not a news item or an article; it’s its own entity)
- A content type that is created repeatedly (e.g., a new staff member page, a news or event article, a job listing, etc.) and is displayed as part of a group/collection/archive
- Note: Technically, every piece of content is a singular item or a one-off—an item with its own page (and url link); but some items are of the same content type
- A one-off page can be created from anywhere, but ideally not in a database
- A content type should be created in a database where it can then be tagged, labelled or categorized for future grouping
- New content can be created inside its respective database using the “New” button or the “floating” plus (+) icon.
- A one-off page is displayed as is
- Grouped content from databases can be displayed with views
- The three views used predominantly on the site’s frontend are the Gallery, List and Board views.
- The Table view is used mainly on the backend and for visual content management
Creating Database Views - A Scenario
To create database views, follow these three steps:
- Decide on the grouping of content to be displayed
- Decide on the type of view (List, Gallery, or Board)
- Create the view [type] of the page; apply the filter/sort
RMM has been chosen to partner with the Clinton Global Initiative! Over the next year, RMM will publish monthly news articles about activities related to this partnership.
The board and editorial teams want to create a section on the front page that will highlight selected articles about the partnership.
Creating a New Homepage Section, News Type and News Archive
Step 1 - Decide on the grouping of content to be displayed
- Since these articles are news/event related, we should create them in the Database: News+Events
- We want to be able to group them as a collection, so we edit the Category property and add a new option: “CGI”
- Any news or event article created about the initiative will be labeled with the new option, thus creating the grouping we’ll use
- We also want to display 3 CGI articles on the home page; for these selected articles we mark their FrontPage status as “Yes”
Step 2 - Decide on the type of view
- On the home page, we want to display the selected articles as a gallery after “The Latest from RMM” section
- Below “The Latest from RMM” section, create a new gallery view block (”forward-slash”, then “v”)
Step 3a - Create the view of the page and apply the filter/sort
- Select a database source: Database: News + Events, which should generate the Live Stories - Gallery View on the page
- Since the parent database has only one gallery view, by default this will be autogenerated in the new block
- Open the filter tab and create rules to display: Live, CGI articles with a FrontPage status of Yes.
- We now have a gallery of 3 CGI articles
- Note: You can drag and move the articles into any order
Step 3b - We have 3 CGI articles on the front page, but perhaps we have (or plan to have) 12 CGI articles overall; let’s create a landing page for the rest of the collection and link to it from the front page section
- Start a new page in PAGES index
- Create a new views block — it can be another gallery view (or a board view, etc.)
- Select Database: News + Events again as the database source
- Since this new page will hold all the CGI articles, we only need two filter rules in this new gallery view: Live and CGI
- We now have a landing page of all CGI articles that we can share or link to from the homepage
That’s it! We’ve created a new content type grouping, a new section on the homepage and a new landing page all from one database. We can use any of the above steps to create unique combinations/groupings of content and display them as galleries or lists or boards.
When to Create a New Database
Start a new database when creating a completely new content type; for example, podcasts, testimonials, etc.
Create custom properties that will be used to tag or categorize items in the database. Then create views with the [similar] steps outlined in the example scenario.