Software, Tools and Workflows
NoCode and AI

Notion for Oil and Gas: Your All-in-One Note-Taking, Data Mgment, and Collaboration Hub

Alan Mourgues
December 10, 2023

About a year ago (in Jan '23), I shared an article on LinkedIn about three apps that changed my life: see post here.

Today, I want to dive deeper into one of these game-changers, Notion, and how it can be adopted to reshape productivity in the Oil and Gas industry.

What exactly is Notion?

It's a multi-functional platform, combining features of note-taking, database organization, collaboration, and knowledge management.

As I wrote back then, transitioning from OneNote and Google Suite to Notion was like upgrading from a moped to a Ferrari. It's not just a tool; it's a comprehensive workspace that has become indispensable in my life. I'm not exaggerating when I say I could not function without it!

Notion's core consists of 'blocks', versatile elements foundational in creating and organizing documents or databases. These blocks offer limitless possibilities for expressing ideas, starting from simple text and images to more complex elements like tables and embedded files.

Notion's standout feature is its unparalleled flexibility, enabling precise customization and structuring of content.

Here's an example: press slash “/” as a shortcut to access the full list of blocks, and select a ‘toggle list’ block to type a title and subtitle.

Notion templates

Notion templates are the lifeblood of the Notion ecosystem.

A Notion template is a combination of pre-designed blocks that form a layout or structure. It serves as a starting point for creating new documents or databases in Notion, providing a foundation that saves time and effort.

Templates can include headings, sections, pre-filled information, interactive elements, and more. Notion templates are highly customizable, allowing users to modify and adapt them to their specific needs. They offer a convenient way to kickstart projects, workflows, or any other type of content creation in Notion.

Let's create a Field Review template to showcase Notion's prowess in organizing information.

Field Review: Outline

Since we are starting from scratch, the initial step is to outline the sections of our template. We should consider the headings and subheadings that a Field Review document would typically include.

To assist us in this process, we can leverage our friend ChaGPT to provide suggestions for a suitable outline. Please click on the following two chat links to view the prompts and responses I received from ChatGPT, which will guide the outline of our template.

Chat 1  

Chat 2

From this point onwards, we will proceed by typing the titles and subtitles for each section on the Notion canvas. We will use a toggle heading 3 font for main section titles, and a regular toggle font for subtitles.

Now let's proceed to typing the G&G section.

You may find me slow in these GIFs that demonstrate how to find the desired blocks and type away, but once you get the hang of it, you develop muscle memory and this process becomes automatic and quick.

Now, let's add a colored background to these sections for cosmetic purposes. In this next GIF, I collapse the heading toggles, drag my mouse to select the lot, and open the block options to navigate to the background color selection.

We proceed with the remaining sections according to our AI-guided outline, while also incorporating our own experience and preferences.

This process continues until we have a finalized skeleton, which is then ready to be filled with field information. We can enhance the appearance of our page by adding a cover image and an icon, which will give it a more visually appealing web feel.

So, the template is almost done. We have our container ready and all that's left is for us to add content.

I'm going to use the Wytch Farm Wikipedia page as an example and leverage ChaGPT to summarize and bring content to the template.

To input text, simply type or paste it in. It's easy and straightforward.

To include a couple of location maps in the Introduction toggle, start by creating a 'Page' block in Notion. Name the page 'Location', add a visually appealing icon for aesthetics, and then drag your images from their respective folders onto the canvas of the newly created page.

With the images on the page, we can click on them and drag their borders to resize them. Additionally, I can drag the second image to place them side by side instead of vertically stacked.

To see how the page looks with the added icon, we can navigate one level up to our main Field review page. However, if we decide that we don't want a separate page and prefer to keep everything in the same place, we can convert the page block into a toggle block within the Introduction toggle.

If you have a video that you want to include in this Introduction section, there are two ways to do it. If it's a video file, you can simply drag and drop it onto the canvas. If you have a YouTube link, you can simply paste it onto the canvas and it will be automatically converted into an embed block.

This allows you to view the video directly on the Notion page. For example, I will use a YouTube video from Watch Farm and embed it within a new 'Field Trip' toggle. I will also demonstrate how to color the text in red font and make it bold.

Next, while still inside the Introduction toggle, I will paste a paragraph from the Wikipedia page that has been summarized by ChatGPT. I will then demonstrate how the built-in Notion AI assistant can convert the block of text into a bulleted list.

If you're not satisfied with the placement of the 'Field Trip' section in the document, you can easily relocate it. Currently, it is within the main Overview section, under the Introduction heading. To move it, simply drag the 'Field Trip' toggle block outside the 'Introduction' toggle and place it just below the 'Field History' toggle.

This will result in the Overview section having three sub-sections. Alternatively, you can choose to place it somewhere else, such as inside the G&G section. The key point is that it's effortless to relocate within the document.

If you prefer to have your main document organized with a series of pages instead of toggles for each section, we can turn the first three main toggles into pages as an example of how both options look.

To select the first three heading toggles, click and drag your mouse to highlight them. Then, choose the option to turn them into pages from the contextual menu. In the following image, I have eliminated the orange background from these page blocks and incorporated an icon onto each page to enhance visual appeal.

Now, I'm going to select the three page blocks by clicking and dragging, and duplicate them. Then, I will revert the three pages back to their toggle form.

Now, I will restore their orange background, remove the added '(1)' on the copies, and place these toggles below a divider block, which is a horizontal line created by typing a dash three times.

Now you can see and visually compare which style you prefer for your document: having each section in a toggle that can be expanded and collapsed, or having each section as a separate page to navigate through.

So... Which template style do you prefer?

Let's create a table in our document. This can be done by pressing slash and selecting the table block, or we can simply paste a table and Notion will recognize it as a table block.

In our example, you can scroll down on the Wytch Farm Wikipedia page and find the table with the oil specifications. Let's copy that under the "Reservoir Fluids" heading and see how the table appears in Notion effortlessly. It's worth noting that the Wikipedia page links are also carried over as links in Notion, which is very convenient!

Notion Databases: Elevate Your Information Management

Notion databases are one of the most powerful features that Notion offers. They allow you to create structured collections of information, enabling you to organize, filter, and view your data in a variety of ways.

Think of databases as virtual spreadsheets, but with added flexibility and functionality. With Notion databases, you can easily store and manage large amounts of data, create custom views, and collaborate seamlessly with your team.

Let's create an example well database.

First, I'll ask ChatGPT to create a table with the following columns: well name, well type, cored (yes/no), and completion type. While a well database could fairly comprehensive, for the purpose of this example, let's keep it simple with just these four columns.

This is the table that ChatGPT created for me:

Now, let's navigate to the "Wells" heading in our Notion template. Underneath it, add a toggle called "Well database" and insert an inline database block instead of a database page. We will name the inserted database "Well database".

We will now proceed to create our columns. The first column will store the well name, so we simply need to rename the header. The second column will indicate the well type, which can be one of three options: vertical, deviated, or horizontal.

When adding columns to a Notion database (referred to as properties in Notion), one must select the property type. This is where the full power of Notion becomes apparent, as there are various property types available, including text, numbers, single and multiple select fields, status, date, files and media, checkboxes, URLs, emails, phone numbers, formulas, and more.

For our well type property, we will select a Select field and add the three options. This means that when filling the table with data, users will be able to choose from these three options in this column.

For the Cored column, we could also add a Select property with options for Yes and No. However, instead, we'll use a checkbox property. The user can simply check the box for those wells that are cored.

Finally, we need to add our Completion column. In order to demonstrate how to link two databases, I will create a new database specifically for this purpose, containing three well completions.

To begin, let's create the new database with the three completion types. We will place it above the Well database we previously created.

Now that we have created the completions database, we can proceed to add the final column to our Well database. This column should be created as a "Relation" property type, and we will link it to the Completions database. This setup allows the user to select an item from the Completions database when filling in this column.

Each item in a Notion database is a page itself. When we click on the well completion database items, the pages expand and we can add content to them. Let's add icons to these pages to enhance their visual appeal when linking to them from other databases.

Okay, now we're ready to start populating our database with the data from the ChatGPT table. So, side-by-side with our Wikipedia table, In our database, we add well names and then select options to fill in the well type, cored, and well completion columns.

Voila! Our database is ready.

Let me show you a few cool tricks you can do with it. First, let's hide the title to save some canvas space and rename the table view to “Master”.

Once you have created a database in Notion, you can create multiple views of that database to display specific sections of it in various places throughout your document. All views are linked to the main database, so information is not duplicated or copied. These are simple linked views of the same database.

At the top right you can see options to sort and filter your database. Let’s use the filter option to filter by well type and create linked views for our horizontal, deviated and vertical wells.

Now, in the same location, you can simply click on the view you want to quickly see a subset of the database with the specific well type you desire. These views are linked, so any changes made to the database in one view will automatically update in all other views. For example, let's add a test well in the Horizontal view and verify that the change is reflected in the Master view.

Additionally, let's add a new deviated well in the Master view and confirm that it appears in the Deviated view. You can also easily drag and relocate wells within each view as needed.

Suppose we want to display a list of the wells that have been cored. Since we have already created the Well database, we can navigate to the Petrophysics section in the template, and under the Core heading, we can insert a linked view to the Well database and filter it by Cored well.

We are not copying or duplicating any data; instead, we are simply linking to the existing database and filtering it to display only the desired information. To accomplish this, we copy a link our Master database, and then select paste as “Linked View" in the destination.

Once our linked view is available, we can filter the database by cored wells and experiment with different layouts to display the information. Let's select the Board layout, which lists the cored wells for each well type.

Follow the same steps as before, but this time, make a copy of the "Well Completions" database. Then, navigate to the DHDs toggle (downhole diagrams) and display the linked view using a gallery layout.

To enhance the visual appeal of our Gallery view, let's add a cover image to each Completion page. For simplicity, we can pull an image from the built-in Unsplash stock photo library within Notion. You can customize this as desired and include your own relevant images for the card you want to create.

After adding all the cover images to our completion pages, go back to the gallery view. Under the layout, select "Page cover" for the “Card preview” option.

Now our gallery view appears as a visually appealing grid. When you click on each card, it takes you to a page that lists all wells belonging to that specific well completion in our linked Well database.

You can also create your own links, anywhere in the document, to any Notion block. For example, let's add a "Go to Wells →" shortcut at the top, which will take us to the "Wells" toggle.

Notice that when the shortcut is clicked, it will take you to the toggle, which is highlighted for you to see.

Do you see how the entire document is gradually taking shape?

Take note of how the seemingly innocuous "Wells" heading contains a wealth of information, including complete databases with wells, images, and more. A vast amount of information is condensed and ready to be expanded upon by the user as needed.

Additionally, observe how effortlessly the Wells toggle can be moved within the template to reorganize the flow of information as desired. It can also be linked to from any other section of the document.

To collaborate with others in Notion, you can easily invite them to the document and assign different levels of access rights.

Notion allows you to specify whether someone has full access to edit and make changes, or if they have view-only access to only read the document. This flexibility in access control ensures that you can collaborate effectively while maintaining control over the document's integrity and privacy.

Once invited and accepted, you can tag individuals within the content. To mention and notify them about specific sections or tasks in the document, use the "@" symbol followed by their username or email address. This helps to keep everyone involved and informed throughout the collaboration process.

You can also share the entire document with anyone by sending them a public link. This allows viewers to navigate the document in a web-like experience, saving them from the hassle of endless back-and-forth emails with attachments, versions, updates, and so on.

A second brain in your pocket.

Notion also provides a mobile app that allows me to access any data or information I need right from my phone, anytime.

This is a significant advantage compared to the struggle of searching for a specific file, which I can never remember, let alone locate among numerous local and network drives. Notion has truly revolutionized the way I organize my life across all areas, including work, business, personal life, and family matters.


Today, I've introduced you to Notion and its foundational blocks, but we have barely scratched the surface here. There are thousands of use cases and templates that you can tailor to your specific needs, across different disciplines and areas.

Whether you are an independent consultant working with multiple clients, managing a team or a portfolio of assets and projects, or needing to organize large data assets in an efficient manner, I assure you that Notion is the solution!

In the subsurface sphere alone, there are various types of databases and documents to consider, such as core and log databases, numerical simulation edit logs, input decks, output consolidation summaries, document controls, dashboards, and databases for different data types, just to name a few. The possibilities are endless!

Get the Notion Template

Here is the link to the Field Review that I have been building throughout this demo. Feel free to explore and interact with it:

Field Review Notion Template

Once you have signed up for Notion (you can get started for free), you can duplicate this template, customize it with your own data, and share it with your colleagues to lead the way!

If you are more of a visual learner, watch me demonstrate Notion in this "Notion for Oil and Gas" introductory webinar, here.

Learn more

Embarking on your Notion journey can indeed be a bit overwhelming at first, given its array of rich features and diverse capabilities. To ease this transition, I’m curating an exclusive short course, complemented by a carefully selected bundle of essential Notion templates. The content of the course and the template designs will be informed by user feedback received in our AI & NoCode for Oil & Gas cohort. There, we’ll gather industry feedback to tailor our products to real-life cases. I’m offering a pre-sale so you can grab a bargain before the course is finalized.

This is a limited-time offer. Get it here.

Until then,


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Alan is a Consulting Petroleum Reservoir Engineer with 20+ years of international industry experience. Alan is the founder of CrowdField, a marketplace that connects Oil & Gas and Energy businesses with a global network of niche talent for task-based freelance solutions. His mission is to help skilled individuals monetize their knowledge as the Energy transition unfolds, by bringing their expertise to the open market and creating digital products to sell in CrowdField's Digital Store.


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