Pure Truth and Myths About Notion Calculations Today in 2022

Pure Truth And Myths About Notion Calculations Today In 2022 | Antoine Dautry Zsl306Fdck Unsplash

Notion calculation is the capability to do some automatic calculus and expression based on the notion of database items. It is one of the main concerns and questions asked around the globe when people start using or researching Notion.

Why are Notion Calculations Critical?

Because notion calculation, in the end, is one of the ways to provide automation to your notion databases and workflows, and automation means efficiency because you will get your data updated without you needing to worry about that.

And also, let’s be honest, most of the people arriving at the notion maybe you are one of this kind of people come from spreadsheet tools such as Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheet, where calculus, formulas, and expression are the primary way to go and the way to think it.

Can Notion Do Calculations?

Yes, Notion can do some calculations based on the notion of database items. But these notion calculations are pretty bare when writing this article. Still, they are one of the areas of improvement detected and raised by the company, so it is expected that this capability will be expanded shortly with the upcoming new features.

What Notion Calculations can we do?

The calculations that you can do are split into two ways. Let’s comment about each of them:

  • Notion Formulas: The first one are the notion formulas, the ability to create advanced properties inside your Notion Database and are made as derivation and calculation from the other fields in the database. We already had a complete article about this topic that you may want to read when we cover this topic in depth.
  • Notion Aggregated Calculations: This second one is the option that we have in some of the Notion Database Views to do calculations and formulas that apply to all the items we have in a specific database. Not all Notion Database Views have these options, only the following ones: Table and Board.
    On this calculation, you need to select the formula that you need to apply to select it from one of the available ones that are grouped in the categories shown in the list below:
  • Count all
  • Count values:
  • Count unique values
  • Count empty
  • Count not empty
  • Percent empty
  • Percent not empty
  • Sum
  • Average
  • Min
  • Max
  • Range
  • Earliest Date
  • Latest Date
  • Date Range
    Not all the options will be constantly available as the formulas will depend on the field applying them. It is not the same if we use it to a Date Field or apply it to a Number field. In the following table, we classify the formulas that are available for each of the types:
  • Core Notion Calculations: Available for any field
    • Count all
    • Count values:
    • Count unique values
    • Count empty
    • Count not empty
    • Percent empty
    • Percent not empty
  • Numeric Notion Calculations
    • Sum
    • Average
    • Min
    • Max
    • Range
  • Date Notion Calculations
    • Earliest Date
    • Latest Date
    • Date Range

Here you can find a screenshot of the usage and selection of the Notion Calculation in an existing Notion Database:

Notion Calculations : View

Can We Do Excel Formulas in Notion?

As you can see from the previous sections, there is no way today that Notion can do the advanced formulas that you can create in Microsoft Excel. The main reason is that the tool’s scope is quite different because Microsoft Excel is a Spreadsheet tool, and its primary and only focus is the calculations; the notion is a different kind of tool that focuses on different perspectives to try to capture all other aspects of your digital life.

Even said that, you probably can find some time that the lack of capabilities is frustrating to do the job that you want to do, but that probably will be because when you are facing a problem, you are biased toward the previous tools you are using. Probably there will be a different solution to your problem that will be effective enough. At least some workaround in the meantime, the capability of the notion calculations are not extended to cover your specific use-case.