Do your policies, guidelines, and how-tos live in Notion? Then the Back <> Notion integration is the ideal way to make all this information easily accessible to employees.

Back turns pages in Notion databases of your choice into answers in Back. Easily attach them when responding to requests in Back, or have our bot suggest them automatically.

In this article:

Configuring the connection

Go to the Integrations page in Back and click Connect in the Notion row.

Clicking Connect once more takes you to Notion. Here, Notion asks you to grant the Back integration access to pages in your account.

IMPORTANT: Ticking a box in this step means this Notion page and all its sub-pages are shared with Back. To avoid exposing irrelevant or confidential data to Back and your employees, we strongly advise against selecting any pages (let alone your entire workspace) in this step.

Instead, just leave all boxes unticked and click "Allow access". You can still share individual pages or databases later on (see Sharing your Notion database with Back).

Once connected successfully, the status of the Notion integration is shown as Connected.

Preparing your Notion database

Notion pages you'd like to expose to Back need to be in a database, such as a table, list, or gallery. Back can only access pages that are part of a Notion database – regular pages and sub-pages won't work.

Each page in the database should have:

  • a title, e.g. "Remote work policy" or "How to request time off"

  • page content: this is where the answer/article goes

  • a text property called Summary (it's important to use that exact property name): briefly summarize the page's purpose and content. To make it easy to discover, try to include common synonyms of the page's main topic, e.g. mention "holiday" and "time off" if it's a vacation policy.

Database template: employee handbook

To see what a Back-ready database can look like, check out our employee handbook template for Notion. You can create a duplicate of it in your Notion workspace and add your own policies and guidelines.

The template includes a "Tags" property which is not needed for Back but makes the database easier to browse inside Notion. Add as many properties as you want, as long as the database pages have a title, page content, and a property called Summary.

Making Notion pages visible to employees

To avoid any inconvenience on your employees' end, make sure they can access your Notion pages.

There are two options for that:

  1. All employees are members of your Notion workspace.

  2. The database is public. To enable anybody with the link to access the pages, click Share in the top right-hand corner and enable Share to web. By default, public Notion pages are not indexed by search engines such as Google.

Sharing your Notion database with Back

Once the integration is configured, all you need to do is share a database with Back.

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Open the database in full-page mode or the page that contains the database

  2. Click Share in the top right-hand corner

  3. Select Add people, emails, groups, or integrations

  4. Search for "Back" and select the integration

  5. Click the Invite button

You're all set! To have pages appear in Back immediately, synchronize them as described in the next section.

Synchronizing pages in databases

Back regularly fetches new pages and updates in connected databases automatically.

When first sharing a database with Back or making major changes, go to the Integrations page, click the three dots in the Notion row, and select Synchronize now.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of using databases vs regular pages?

Setting up your knowledge base as a database offers many benefits: you can, for example, enrich your knowledge articles by adding properties (e.g. point of contact, create date, applicable countries) and create different filtered views.

Notion's API also offers more powerful options for integrations that rely on databases.

How should I migrate pages to a database?

With your database open, just drag the sub-pages into the database – either from the sidebar or the page that the sub-page is nested in. You can also select multiple pages at once to speed things up.

Don't worry if you've referenced a page elsewhere. If employees use the old link, Notion automatically forwards users to the new page in the database.

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