Peek view templates (Notion)

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As discussed here, peek view is like a build-in view that is included with all database tables, and that is usually the first place for editing or creating records. They are quite weird if you ask me, and it gets even weirder: You can deploy templates for them. And like most things in Notion, it's quite complicated to really get a grip on them. So take a deep breath and suspend your judgement for the next couple of minutes:

My First Template

In Notion, stuff never seems to manifest itself in isolation, but always intertwined with other stuff. Templates are no exception. This chapter gives an introduction to templaters, - or - how you might come across them initially.

This example serves as the context for subsequent template-related chapters:

A test database table. When I hoover over the first column of the first row, an icon appears to open the records in peek view
The same database table record, opened in peek view (at the right). At the bottom it offers the possibility to create a template
I clicked on create a template. Here's the screen. You actually can't change everything, but you can do some interesting things with it, like including subviews (to be discussed elsewhere). The title that you give here, will be the name of the template. The only thing I changed, is to hide the Tags field
The resulting template: MyInlineDatabaseTemplate01. The name of the record is the name of the template (don't worry about that now). The only thing that is different in this template from the default Empty page: Field Tags has been hidden
When I now open the same record in peek view, I have the choice (at the bottom of the screen) to open it with the previously created template, or as an empty page

Set a default template

In the chapter above, a template was created. It would be nice if from now on, every time we open a record using peek view, this same template would be applied

Click on the arrow next to the blue button New at the top-right corner of the database table to get this menu. Here you can set a template as the default template
Notion asks for comfirmation and offers the choice between setting this template as default for all views of this database table, or only for this specific view - This means that the relation between database tables and peek view also involves views - Quite confusing, but probably also very usefull, especially since it's quite limited what you can do with templates. Having the opportunity to have different templates for different views, might come handy. BTW: You can change this at any moment by clicking again on the New button

Create a new template

Once a default template has been assigned to a database table, you loose the link at the bottom of the peek view-screen to create a new template. To create a new template, use again to the blue New button


Note the text at the bottom about changing the formatting through a template. I tried that, and it seems to change the formatting only for this record. Besides, I can't find those templates back in the left sidebar
... » Layout » Open pages in - Indicate whether peek mode should be Sidebar peek, Center peek or Full screen
Through the button New, you can initiate a new record with a template; Set a default template as default; Edit an existing template (that was something I hadn't seen yet and quite missed)


  • The menu item Templates in the left sidebar, seems never relevant to your own templates, but only to templates that you can download.
  • Templates can be edited. I suspect that existing records are not effected by such edits.

Manage the association between a record and an already applied template?

  • Once a template has been associated with a record, it seems that you can't undo this, update or edit the template [1]
  • You can delete templates, but they will be kept for records that already use it
  • You can't see what template a record is using

Retroactively apply a template

Good news: You can retroactively apply templates to objects!

Just empty the body

You can retroactively apply a template to an object, by emptying the 'body' of the object:

This record (a cluster or tag) has been used for a while. I would like to apply a template, so that associated tasks will be shown
I now removed the line of text that was in the body. The default placeholder texts appears... And I can choose a template!
...Until it doesn't anymore - How did that happen? Anyhow, after some opening-closing and Ctrl-Z, the other placeholder text reappeared

Update complete subforms

Another cluster. This time, there is an old linked subform. I would like to replace this with what's in the template
Just click on the dot-menu left of the subform + Deltete and a template can be applied! Really handy for updating subforms

In bulk?

Would it also be possible to retroactively apply a template to a collection of objects? Like - in this case - all clusters? Or all clusters that are still eligble to application of a template (namely: nothing yet written in the 'body' section of the object?)

See also