First of all, what is a synced block anyway?
Simply put, it’s a block that looks exactly the same across all pages/workspaces no matter where you edit it.
A better way to explain would be to visualize normal blocks vs. synced blocks. Normal blocks can be copy and pasted, creating duplicate copies that you can edit independently (like twins). But then if you want to update the contents inside of this block, you would have to copy and paste it again, not to mention having to find the actual pages these blocks live in.
The solution: synced blocks. Anything you do to Synced Block in one place will automatically change the other blocks it’s synced to. We’ll explore some use cases for this later on but for now…
How do you do synced blocks?
The good thing about it is you can put multiple blocks inside a single synced block (you can put a text and database block together in one block) so you only need to copy and sync 1 block instead of two
It’s as simple as:
- Typing “/sync”
- copy block link > paste > select “paste and sync”
- you’ll know if it works if: the surrounding block you pasted has a red outline around it when you hover
1. Create website headers and footers
The synced block function of Notion is very similar to what web developers call Global Blocks. And since Notion CAN be used as a website builder, it also makes sense for this feature to be used this way. The Notion Bar has a GIF that shows this in action:
🥳 @NotionHQ synced blocks are here!!— the notion bar: notion tips, templates + vibez🥂 (@thenotionbar) June 9, 2021
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to create a synced footer:
1) Create blank page with the columns
2)Turn that ‘page’ into ‘text’
3) Grab the whole section and turn into a ‘synced block’ 😍#notiontwt pic.twitter.com/rZrpZsn53b
This way, any update to links, text, contact details, or even your logo will be synced. No need for you to copy paste over and over (and over).
2. Design Elements
- design elements (Especially the ones in Katex codes)Notion Landing Page Template
3. Copy and sync from client workspace to your own
Have a project management calendar inside of your client’s workspace? You can sync that with your own to have a bird’s eye view of all the tasks that live in other workspaces. Really handle if you work with multiple clients at the same time.
In this example, I have my own master tasks database (top) with my client’s Tasks and Calendar databases filtered to show only what’s relevant to me. In their workspace, this lives in my personal dashboard that lives inside their space. Think of it like a Notion wormhole of sorts.
4. Inbox syncs to daily journals as “Someday”/Ideas
Have a running “idea dump” page that gets ignored? sync it to your daily journal so you know which ideas to jump into whenever you have some extra time.
I made this video on how to do this and explained it in great detail:
But the general idea is that you have a synced block inside of the new day template so that whenever there’s a new entry, the inbox (aka your idea dump) syncs, making it updated ALL THE TIME.
5. Outsourcing work
When outsourcing work, you can use Notion to create a synced block, so you can sync it from team members space, to your own, to the client’s space automatically without having to give access to the team member on the client’s space.
I can imagine this would be useful for content writing and design, provided that the task can stand independently on its own (versus, say, if I had to build my clients their Notion workspace, it wouldn’t always make sense to isolate things, whereas articles, blogs, captions etc can be made without accessing the client’s Notion workspace)
Flash of inspo using synced blocks in @NotionHQ— Celz Alejandro | Purposeful Productivity (@celzalejandro) July 19, 2021
If you’re outsourcing some work but don’t need to give membership/guest access, you can technically give them a synced block to work on and changes will show up both ways, no?
6. BONUS: Create a synced calendar block so you don’t have to change and set-up the filters every time.
If you’ve been working with linked databases for some time now, you know how annoying it is to duplicate a table only to find out that you need to set-up those filters and database views all over again. The f in filters stands for: FRUSTRATING.
This is where synced blocks come in. Now this depends on your use-case, but August Bradley
7. BONUS (again): Track the number of Notion page duplications with synced blocks
Awesome use case just hot off the press from @bensomething. You can find the workflow explanation of how to use Notion synced blocks to track the number of duplications here.
This might be a very silly idea but you can kinda use synced blocks as a way of tracking how many times your templates have been duplicated. You can use the following steps to set it up. Please test this and let me know if it’s dumb or not okay thanks. https://t.co/TvDMdgHIW1— Ben Smith (@bensomething) October 4, 2021
Obviously, we don’t think it’s dumb at all, Ben!
This would be super handy if you distribute your templates. You’ll have a pretty accurate duplicate count, something that’s previously thought of as impossible.
There you go, 5 (plus 2) use cases for Notion synced blocks you might not have thought of before! So versatile.
How do you usually use synced blocks? Let us know in the comments below!