Notion is powerful, but I still got problems

2023-03-08 English


Notion Note-taking Bookkeeping

I finally came across my favorite multi-device note-taking software. It's so easy to use for blog drafts and bookkeeping.

What is Notion

Notion is an application that integrates note-taking, knowledge base, data tables, kanban, calendar, and other capabilities into one. It supports both personal use and cross-platform collaboration with others.

You can create pages in your workspace and nest infinite sub-pages, just like folders and subfolders on your computer, to create a systematic archiving system.

The smallest unit of Notion's archive is a Page, which has different properties and main content. A series of Pages can be integrated into a Database.

Each record in the database is a Page, and the different properties of the Page are displayed as different fields on the database. Expand the Page to enter the main content of the page.

Each Page can be nested with another Page or Database. You can create different databases, set different views for the database, and freely set the displayed fields to obtain information at different levels.

Currently, Notion has web, desktop, and mobile versions, but the UI languages are only English, Japanese, and Korean. The default UI language for the iOS version is Japanese and cannot be changed. If I didn't happen to know Japanese, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to use it.

The free personal version has no limit on the number of pages, but when uploading attachments, there is a limit of 5Mb per file. If exceeded, it will prompt you to upgrade your plan. However, if you compress the attachment again, you can upload it as long as it is less than 5Mb.

If you have an educational email, you can also enjoy a free upgrade to the Education Plus package, which eliminates the 5Mb limit.

My Notion notes

Currently, I use Notion to write personal diaries, blog drafts, lyric books, vocabulary books, and record daily expenses.

Notion's editor can recognize Markdown syntax, input Markdown code, and display the result directly. When copying content from a Notion page, it will be restored to Markdown code, which makes me very happy. Because my blog articles need to be written in Markdown, I have been looking for a good web-based editor before, and now I finally found it.

Later, I found that others use Notion for bookkeeping. I even referenced other people's versions and designed a bookkeeping template myself, which can automatically summarize the cash flow into different views.

I have also used some bookkeeping software before, and even returned to Excel, but the software or Excel has their own shortcomings, such as inability to view on multiple devices, inability to block transfers between accounts when summarizing records, and no multi-level views when summarizing, etc.

When I was creating this template, I considered all these issues and solved them all.

If you are interested, you can fill out the contact form here, and I will send you the template link. You can import it into your own Notion account by clicking Duplicate and use it.

Problems encountered

Suppose the field name is Currency and the field value is USD. If you set Currency to display the field, only USD will be displayed. Reason: As the question states. Solution:

  1. Add a text field Currency2, and fill in the field value with USD. If there are a small number of rows, you can manually fill them in, and if there are a large number of rows, it is recommended to use a Formula field to automatically output characters. Add Currency and Currency2 as display fields in Board View or Gallery View and drag Currency2 in front of Currency.

The display effect is two lines

  1. Add a Formula field Currency2, and fill in the formula content with "Currency: "+prop("Currency"). Add Currency2 as a display field in Board View or Gallery View and set Currency to not be displayed.

The display effect is one line

Currency: USD

Cannot drag groups in Board View and cannot modify the background color of groups

Reason: If the field type of the grouping is not Select or Multi Select, the group cannot be dragged and the background color of the group cannot be modified.

Solution: Change the field type to Select or Multi Select.

Rollup cannot reference fields of type Select or Multi Select

Reason: As the question states.


  1. Add a Formula auxiliary field in the current table, set the condition to output the desired value. If the current table cannot meet the conditions, refer to the second solution.
  2. Add a Formula auxiliary field in the associated table, which is directly equal to the value of Select or Multi Select. Use Rollup to reference the auxiliary field in the current table.

Rollup cannot indirectly reference fields of type Rollup (the third table)

Reason: As the question states. Solution: Add a Formula auxiliary field in the associated table, which is directly equal to the value of the Rollup field. Return to the current table and use Rollup to summarize the results of the relevant auxiliary fields.

Rollup cannot calculate the values referenced back from the associated table according to conditions

Reason: As the question states.

Solution: Add a Formula auxiliary field in the associated table, calculate the result based on the condition, and add several auxiliary fields if one field is not enough. Return to the current table and use Rollup to summarize the results of the auxiliary fields.


As an All-in-one application, Notion is really powerful. Although the early learning cost is relatively high, once you learn it, you can build your own knowledge system, manage schedules, and record everything you want to record.

End of the article~

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