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This is for World Building as part of new creative projects.

Is it possible to create a template (e.g. New Creative Project) that, while part of a larger database (i.e. Projects), contains within itself a series of related databases (e.g. character, locations, politics & culture) specific to just that project?

I already have a “New Project Template” — it’s a page with a few of the property fields visible and then a few text blocks for Notes, a Roadmap, etc. It's linked to a few other databases that are part of my larger system (e.g. Goals, Action Items, etc.) and has a linked view to one of them (Action Items, aka my task list).

But I'd like a different template for my creative/writing projects that can be used as a workspace to keep track of world building. I don't intend to write my novels or screenplays within Notion (I have specialized programs for that like Scrivener and Screenwriter) but I can see the vast potential for Notion in brainstorming and keeping track of complex world building and laying it out in a fun, inspirational way.

(I've seen some good templates online and even purchased one, but they all seem to work within themselves. It's not easy to see how to incorporate them in the project and action item flow I already use.)

So, borrowing bits and pieces from things I've seen, I intend to build my own template. But I'm not sure what I'd like to do is possible:

I’d like a New Creative Project template that starts off the same as my regular New Project Template (with a few properties, overall notes, etc.) and then I'd like to have an entire section for World Building for that project. The World Building section would contain a series of related databases: characters, locations, politics & society, flora & fauna, geography, etc. distinct to that project preferably.

Is that even possible? Can the relationships between databases I build for the template be preserved and easily popped into each new project's "start-up" page? Or would the relationships break and need to be recreated for each new creative project?

Note: I would like each new creative project to have its own standalone World Building database for that "world," rather than one master World Building database filtered for each project. But I don't want to have to start from scratch each time in building them.

Thanks for any help! I'm not completely new to Notion, but I'm a bit mystified at this.

1 Answer


polle Points79930

It is possible.

You have to relate all the Notion databases and in your template add the views from the other databases you need and filter them for "New Creative Project".

That is a self reference that will show only "characters, locations, politics & society, flora & fauna, geography, etc" for that new creative project.

Hope that helps.


RovingWriter commented

Thanks, Polle! Very helpful and much appreciated.

So my steps would be:

1) Create my World Building databases (one for characters, one for locations, one for politics, etc.)
2) Create the relationships between them (e.g. the Characters DB will have a field for associated locations and vice versa)
3) Build a New Creative Project template within my Projects Database
4) In that template, add a linked view of each of those World Building databases with a self-reference filter for "New Creative Project."

One last clarification: will I need a "Projects" property in each of those separate World Building databases? (The ones I've seen online don't have that as they're not part of a larger system. But I'll need that property for the filter to connect to, right?)

Thanks again!


polle commented

That is correct and yes, as all the databases will be associated with projects, you need that to filter them.


RovingWriter commented


I'm adding a Projects field to my Characters database right now.

I choose "Relation" under Type, then select the Projects database to link to, and then I'm presented with a slider to "Show on Projects" or not. I'm not 100% clear what that means.


polle commented

That means that you will see it as well in the projects database.

Characters: Add Projects as relation and see it as a column.
Do you you want to see Characters in Projects as well?

So leave it on. :)


RovingWriter commented

Perfect! That's what I was hoping it was... an appearance issue (seeing Characters in Projects) as opposed to a sync issue I wasn't understanding.

Thanks for all your help! I'm excited to build this and have it for all my writing projects.


polle commented

Glad to help!

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