Create custom apps for your business in Notion
Unleashing the Power of Notion: Create Custom Apps for Your Business
In today's digital age, businesses require efficient tools to streamline their operations and improve productivity. Notion is a collaborative platform that offers a unique opportunity to create custom apps tailored specifically to your business needs.
Notion allows users to create almost anything
If you are new to Notion, you should start exploring official templates from within the workspace. For instance, creating projects, tasks, and sprints will help you setup a project and share in minutes — dive into the template gallery but not too much, it’s better to try your way.
If you are an advanced user, you might have you style preferences, and even a set of prebuilt components to drag and drop or click a button to create new Notion system. In both cases, this article is for you as we’ll be explore some Notion use cases to create custom apps for your business, whether you start from scratch or not.
The power of Notion databases
Notion's database feature is one of its most powerful tools, particularly for businesses users who are used to work with other databases or spreadsheet platforms like Excel. In comparison, Notion offers the capability to create and manage a variety of databases views such as tables, boards, lists, and calendars in a few clicks — other features such as intensive calculation are still best suited in spreadsheet tools.
You can use these databases to store and organize all kinds of information, from diffuse to structured information — the result of the system is much attached to your process definition. For instance, a contact database can be useful for any kind of business, but it should resolve a specific business needs; is it employee or customer contacts? This kind of questions should come up when designing or conceptualizing the business processes.
Steps to Build Custom Apps in Notion
Basic hacks to creating custom apps in Notion
It all start with a blank piece of paper or canvas. If you are building something for a bigger team, meet with all the users and brainstorm about the user needs, problems, and desired solution — most likely, you’ll receive a lot of insights so it’s important to talk about the ideas to prioritize them in group.
Secondly, define a use case. Based on the gathered insights, build a frame to define the action plan for specific company context (ie. Business Development or Sales), user needs (ie. Sales tracking), and business outcomes (ie. track the success rate in every stage of the pipeline during 6 months).
Draw a basic relational data model with basic entities, ensuring that all users will have the information they need to get their work done.
Once you have aligned with stakeholders and agreed on the use case to solve, the databases, data types, and basic workflow that should be implemented, we’re ready to move to the screen. In order to speed-up the building phase, I suggest the following hacks:
If you are an Excel or spreadsheet ninja, just create the columns and items you want to migrate and then import it into Notion. Once in Notion, you can start generating engaging views and dive into detail.
If you have a ChatGPT or any other GenAI premium license, work with them to create the database structure with your requirements, feed with your current information, and request to generate a CSV file you can then import into Notion.
Use Cases to Try in Your Organization
Given the flexibility of Notion and almost unlimited possibilities for integrating with other platforms natively or through integrators such as Zapier, you can build almost any custom app for your business. At belowtion, we’ve worked with very detailed use cases like billing generation, but here we want to highlight most common use cases to try at a high-level at your organization.
CRM, business, and sales development
To improve your business development performance in a cost-effective way, explore the Sales templates’ section in the Notion template gallery. If you want to create your own, we suggest starting with the following databases and dashboards:
Contacts, Accounts, Pipeline relational databases — at the beginning a N:N relation can work well in general terms but keep sure it’s aligned with your business context.
Build an Opportunity dashboard based on pipeline data with rollups for accounts and contacts, so the information is centralized — play with the board view with sale’s life-cycle stages and total amount of deals.
Connect the databases with visualization tools like GRID or Airtable to embed graphic dashboard into your Notion workspace.
Integrate with your current CRM tool like Salesforce or Hubspot based on specific logic in platforms like Make or Zapier.
See belowtion CRM Suite to get started in minutes and customize your own.
HR, company, hiring, and more
To improve your people strategy and operations in a collaborative way, explore the HR template’s section in the Notion template gallery. If you want to create your own, we suggest starting with the following databases and dashboards:
Offices and employees will allow you to store all the current people and general working policies in one place in order to ease onboarding activities.
Job offers and candidates helps you store and reuse information while sharing specific pages with the public via web or with specific users via share.
Stay creative and original, it’s all about your company and your culture.
In belowtion HR Suite, we’ve collected the basic structured to get started along with examples for inspiration based on companies like Figma or Linkedin.
In conclusion, use cases are well mapped -and in my opinion well resolved in general- in the Notion template gallery and along the official and non-official Notion community. In most cases, this kind of implementations fail due to a lack of business basis or weak processes, so we strongly suggest to allocate the proper resources and meeting with the right stakeholders to let Notion integrate with your organization to resolve pains and use cases.