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After reading my original post for this application, I realized that I wasn't really showing the usefulness of Notion as an RP tool so I deleted it. Hopefully, this version better explains everything. 🤞 One thing to note that this isn't a step-by-step tutorial but my attempt to showcase some useful features in Notion for RP purposes. However, if anyone is interested in a tutorial, I'd be happy to make one.

What is Notion?

Notion is marketed mostly toward groups and teams that need to collaborate on projects, etc. However, it works just as well for personal use. Wikipedia sums it up rather nicely:
Notion is an application that provides components such as notes, databases, kanban boards, wikis, calendars and reminders. Users can connect these components to create their own systems for knowledge management, note taking, data management, project management, among others. These components and systems can be used individually, or in collaboration with others.
Basically, Notion is touted as an All-In-One tool to assist you in project and task management and acts as a hub for other information you want to keep whether it's for posterity, reference, or whatever you want or need to do with it.

I've found Notion to be a really great tool for organizing things whether it's an inventory of what you have on hand in your kitchen or creating a simple to do list with a checkbox. At the same time, you can up your To Do List game by setting up a database that includes tags for what type of task it is and include reminders, due dates, etc.

Why Use Notion For Role-Play?

You might be asking why you should use Notion for RP purposes. Notion is great for keeping information together and creating a hub, but one of it's best features is databases. You can create a single database and link that database elsewhere in your Notion workspace (if you need to). So, you can take this database titled Character Masterlist... And link to it in another page. In this case, I've created a page specifically for a PSL I'm in and filtered the linked database so that only characters in this PSL are viewed (shown below). Each entry (ie, Character) in the database also has it's own page. If you wanted to, this is where you can develop your character by including...
  • Basic info (ie, Stats)
  • Personality info
  • Any abilities or skills they have (if that info is needed for the line or group you're in)
  • Their history and any additional notes about your character
  • Fun things like embedding a playlist or you could even link another database that is maybe devoted to all your characters aesthetics, things they like, don't like, etc.
While I could easily link to another database for resources, I usually just include the resources that were most often referenced/used in creating the character. I also include any plot discussions and ideas so that I don't have to dig through OOC threads, emails, or Discord DMs to find the info.
All the info, resources, and notes for a single character within the original Character Masterlist database. This can also be accessed when you link the database elsewhere in your Notion workspace.
You can also apply the above concepts to building and using a database for all your threads, too.
Threads Masterlist database. If needed, Rt-click > Open in new tab to enlarge image
Threads Masterlist database linked on a separate page. If needed, Rt-click > Open in new tab to enlarge image
When it comes to databases, you can also create numerous views to organize your information however you want. With the database titled Threads Masterlist I could actually filter it and organize it all from the source rather than how I actually organized the database by linking to it on a group page (above right). Instead, I could create views and filter it to only show the relevant thread information (you could also do the same with the Character Masterlist database, too).
In the most recent update to Notion, you can now link multiple databases into one using different views from the original databases. So, you could — in theory — combine your Character database and Threads database much, much differently than what I did (but, as a personal preference, I like seeing my characters this way and accessing the threads they're involved in at the bottom as shown above right).
Below, however, you can see how the Threads Masterlist database can have multiple views (ie, Layouts) and be filtered to a specific group. In this case I'm just using the Table layout or view because that's my preference when needing to pull info regarding my threads — let me know if you want to see the Gallery, Board, and List layout/views. (The Calendar and Timeline ones for the two specific databases I've been showing as examples aren't really useful [at least to me] but I can show those, too, if anyone wants me to).
The All Threads view. The latest update to Notion also allows you to hide database titles, too. If needed, Rt-click > Open in new tab to enlarge image.
The filtered view of the Threads Masterlist database. If needed, Rt-click > Open in new tab to enlarge image.
When editing a linked database, be very careful when deleting or adding Properties to the database, regardless of where you're editing it. Linked databases are essentially a two way street: If you edit the database where you've linked it, your edits will affect the source and vice versa.
Before concluding this post there are some Cons when using pages, databases, and other features:
  1. Notion, especially if you use it through their website, is not all that good at word processing. It doesn't check for grammar and when using Notion's spellcheck on their website it can take up to 3 Rt-clicks to correct the red underlined word (at least in my experience). Spellcheck using the Notion desktop app is a little better, but overall, Notion isn't a great word processing replacement.
  2. If you include a lot of images or embeds on your page or end up making a lot of entries in your database, it will slow their load times.
  3. On the free plan, you only get 5MB of uploads (I think this is per day?). There is the option of choosing from Unsplash, but they only give you a limited number of images to choose from based on your search words. You can, however, link images from another source (like an image hosting site).
  4. If you do choose to embed a playlist such as Spotify, for example, it will only let you listen to a song within Notion for 30 seconds. Even though you can't listen to the whole playlist within the app, it's a useful feature to know what songs you've got already before clicking on it to move to the Spotify app to either listen to the rest of the playlist or add songs to it.
Notion is an all around great tool to use and I use it for a lot more than just keeping my RP information together and organized. I use it to create hubs for household stuff, finances, To Do Lists/Tasks, etc. I even use Notion to keep track of my work schedule and personal appointments. It's a versatile application and I hope this information has been useful or gotten you interested in Notion. If it has, check them out at Notion.so where you can find out a little more info and download their app for either your desktop, mobile device, or tablet.

If you'd like to try the above databases out, but don't want to go through the hassle of setting them up yourself then feel free to leave a comment and I'll see about getting a template made. However, if you like learning or knowing how to do stuff on your own or at your own pace, Marie Poulin and Thomas Frank Explains have some great Notion videos on their YouTube Channels.