Getting started with Notion: this is what our knowledge base looks like

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Mark Vletter

21 Sep 2022 Clock 5 min

In this second of a three-part series, Voys founder Mark Vletter continues to reflect upon the adoption of Notion as our preferred knowledge and project management tool. Part 1 deals with why we chose Notion as our knowledge base and how we created our culture of knowledge management.

Ready for liftoff

So far so good: you have a knowledge management tool. You would like to sit back, but you can’t really do that, because you have no idea how to organize the knowledge base. Do you use Notion as a knowledge management tool? Then pay attention. I’ll explain exactly how we started Notion at Voys. Who knows, it may help you on your way to optimally set up your knowledge management tool.

Notion is the tool we use as a knowledge base. Notion is easy to use, the pages are open for editing by default and we can just log in with our Google accounts. That is why the tool works well for us and there is a good chance that it will also work for your organization.

This is how we got stuck using Notion

Finding the best tool for your organization: that’s one thing. But making sure everyone uses the tool in the right way is another. That’s why we set up a structure within the organization that ensures that information is and remains available and findable. In this piece I’ll tell you how we did that.

Notion is the best tool for us, but working with it didn’t happen automatically. The need to devise a working method and structure arose when more and more colleagues shared information in Notion. A positive development, because colleagues were using the tool. Precisely because it is so easy to share information, it is also easy to make a mess of it. It was a recipe for chaos.

That chaos meant that colleagues could no longer find information in the knowledge base. And the search function, a downside of Notion, didn’t help either. Because colleagues couldn’t find what they were looking for, they eventually stopped adding information. So the low threshold that appealed to us had the opposite effect.

It was time to set up Notion properly. So that colleagues would really benefit from it. In order to do that, it was important to check what we wanted to achieve by using this tool.

The purpose of Notion as our knowledge base

Our goals when using Notion are:

  • Easily onboard new colleagues and offer them relevant information
  • Making it easy to keep information up to date
  • Making it easy to add information
  • Making it easy to find information
  • Collaborate asynchronously on projects

Developing a system in Notion: how to get started

For us, four elements are important for our knowledge base. We have structured Notion based on these needs.

  • Sharing knowledge
  • Circles and roles, you can see these as team pages
  • Personal pages
  • Databases

Sharing knowledge

Our knowledge base consists of a number of specific topics where colleagues can find in-depth information about the organization, our working methods and our product.

  • Organization: contains general information, history of the company, vision and strategy.
  • Working method: handbook for new and existing colleagues. Everything you need to know about the office, working together, safety and day-to-day operations is described here.
  • Product: all about our product, explaining what we offer what and our roadmap.
  • Design: everything about the design of, for example, the website and marketing communications and our design system.
  • Development: all about writing code.
  • Growth and Marketing: from our PR information to our buyer personas, as well as solutions to website problems.
  • Support: all about advising and supporting our clients.

The beauty of Notion is that you can choose a layout that you think fits well with the type of information. For example, a table fits well with content planning and plain text better with a strategic piece. In addition, you have the option to link to a page that is relevant. This breaks down the hierarchy, from important to unimportant. This creates the right flow when searching and finding information.

Circles and roles

In a traditional organization, you have a team page. We have pages for specific circles and roles. These pages contain information relevant to teams, but mostly on a practical level. The things you need to do your job on a daily basis are here. That makes it the pages where our work really lives.

Does the information turn into knowledge? Then we move it to our knowledge base. That’s a bit of a grey area, so it’s also up to the person who posts and views the information to actively think about this. When in doubt, you can discuss this with each other.

Most pages contain information that loses relevance over time and are linked to a time structure. So you can see exactly which projects were worked on and read notes from meetings and updates.

Personal pages

Personal pages are private spaces of people working in the organization. For some, it contains their ‘manual’, so you as a colleague can better understand what it takes to work well together. For others, it contains things they are working on or thinking about. The owner of the personal page has the choice to set the page to private or make it public, it’s just what that person feels comfortable with.


In our databases you’ll find the same data as used by other organizations. The Notion database is very easy to filter, so that you can quickly access relevant information. Moreover, you can display the database in various ways, for example as a board, calendar or list. This makes it very user-friendly, because there is always a way that fits your way of thinking.

These are our most important databases:

  • Decisions
  • To-do’s
  • Tools
  • Projects
  • Investment proposals

We also have very practical databases, like our content calendar. We know exactly what’s on the schedule, whether it’s a video or blog and who’s doing the task.

Research what your organization needs

Our knowledge base suits us well, but that does not mean that it is the ideal way for you to set up your knowledge base. There are also different needs within your organization. The Finance people have different questions than the Marketing team. That is why every circle with us has its own page that they set up as accessible as possible, but which also works practically for them.

Therefore, also ask for input within the organization. In this way you can create a knowledge base that works for everyone. And remember, it doesn’t have to be right the first time. You can experiment and it can also be a bit chaotic. In this way you will learn exactly what works for your organization. Notion is a user-friendly tool that offers plenty of opportunities for this.

Follow our Notion blog series

Part 1: How to choose the best tool for successful and scalable knowledge management

Part 3: Adding structure to Notion: this is how you make information in your company easy to find

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