Perception databases are heaven-sent. They can calculate numbers for you, create Kanban boards for your to-do list, and break down your data into different views, among other useful things.
However, there will be times when they are too complex for your needs. Let’s say you just want to create a simple grocery list with quantities and don’t like using a database with unnecessary complexities and functionalities. This is where the simple table comes into play. Let’s find out what this perception tool is and how you can use it.
What is a simple table in Perception?
Simple table in concept as its name suggests – it is a table with only basic rows and columns. Unlike its cousin, the database, it doesn’t have a lot of features and functionality up its sleeve. However, it does prove to be a useful tool, especially for those who just want to quickly organize data without having to deal with the advanced features of a Notian database.
How to use a simple table in Perception
In perception, simple tables can be useful for use cases that only deal with fixed data and do not require calculations. These can include a glossary of terms, task assignments, class schedules, pricing grids, pros and cons comparisons, or even just colorful blank tables to aestheticize your notion setup. Essentially, anything that can be represented in tabular form can use a simple table. Here’s how to make one easily.
1. Creating a Simple Table
Inserting a simple table into your concept page is as easy as adding other concept elements. All you have to do is type /table and hit the Enter key. This will create a two-column, three-row table without any formatting on your page.
If you already have the data in a spreadsheet like Google Sheets, all you have to do is copy and paste it into your page. They’ll automatically be formatted into a simple table, and you’re free to edit it however you want.
2. Formatting Headers
When working with tabular data, you’ll often want to emphasize the headings of each column or row. In this way, it becomes easier to separate the raw data into just headings/categories. One way to do this is to bold the text for each heading and then add a background color to the first column or row.
In Simple Tables, you can do both with just three clicks. First, click on any cell on the table. This will open a pop-up box in the top-right corner of the table. Select Options on the pop-up box and choose Header Column or Header Row. Header Column Makes all text in the first column bold and changes the background color to a lighter shade of gray.
The header row, on the other hand, makes the text in the first row bold and adds a lighter shade of gray as the background. If you don’t like the default background color of the headings, you can still change it to your desired color by clicking the six-dot icon at the top or left of the first cell and choosing a color from the drop-down menu.
3. Editing Cells
Cells in a simple table can be labeled only with text, dates, reminders, links to the page, and other people you share the page with. You cannot add checkboxes or formatted numbers, such as percentages or US dollars, to a cell. However, you can format the text like any other text on your concept page.
There’s an option to bold, italicize, underline, strike-through, and convert text to code or equations. You can also change the text color and background and even change the font in Notion. If you want to insert a date, reminder, link to a page, or mention, type @ and choose an option from the drop-down menu.
4. Adding New Rows and Columns
You can add a new row or column to your simple table in two ways. One is by going to the last row or column and clicking on the plus sign with a gray background next to it. If you want to create a new row and column at the same time, go to the last cell of the last column and row and click the small plus sign icon in the lower-right corner outside the cell.
The second is by going to the cell of your choice and clicking on the six-dot icon at the top or left of the row or column. Then, choose Insert Left or Insert Right for columns (Insert Up or Insert Down for Rows). This is a handy method if you need to add a new row or column in the middle of the table rather than at the end.