You may have several notions about Notion.
It’s easy to use. It helps you take notes. You can integrate it with other tools.
But is it the right tool for you?
We’ll find out in this Notion review.
Sure, Notion is a quality knowledge management tool that lets you manage your wiki, meeting notes, and projects in one place.
However, when it comes to complex projects and larger teams, Notion doesn’t have it all.
This note taking app fails to provide advanced task management functionalities that can truly empower collaboration.
And for this very reason, many teams look for apps similar to Notion.
In this article, we’ll give you a comprehensive Notion app review to help you decide if it suits your team’s needs or not. We’ll also give you ten great Notion app alternatives in case you want to say no to Notion.
Let’s get started with our Notion review.
What Is Notion?
Notion is a popular productivity application that aims to unify your company’s work processes.
It’s a common workspace for your team to collaborate, share notes, and manage projects together.
With a clean kanban board interface, Notion simplifies the process of creating, storing, and collaborating over detailed project documents.
5 Key Features of Notion
While the first Notion app was released just a few years ago, it’s already getting noticed in the productivity field. Here’s a detailed look at a few features that help it stand out:
1. Powerful note taking
One of the most important Notion features is its powerful note taking.
You can add a list, plain text, videos, sound, code snippets… it’s up to you.
This makes creating a standalone page or database a breeze.
And with rich text formatting, your team will be able to add comments and craft detailed meeting notes that accurately reflect a project’s requirements.
2. Tasks and projects
While Notion is primarily a wiki tool, you can use it as a project management alternative to assign tasks and create projects for your team.
As each task is stored on a kanban board, you can easily move these tasks around and link processes together.
You can even create folders to categorize your notes further. Users can also enable task notifications to stay informed of any new project developments.
To cut setup time, Notion allows you to create templates for your notes. This makes it easy to replicate pages in your knowledge database and create new pages in seconds.
For example, you can easily create a standardized template for writing a blog post. The next time your content team needs to create a new article, they can use that template to get started.
4. Multiple views
Notion supports a drag-and-drop kanban board interface. While it’s simple and does the job well, tracking tasks in this view can be difficult for some users.
However, Notion also offers you a to-do list view that organizes all your tasks in a handy to-do list. This allows you to take stock of what’s on your plate instantly if you prefer a GTD (Getting Things Done) approach to productivity.
Your Notion workspace can integrate with your current tools to streamline your workflow.
This notation software supports integration with tons of email and website tools like Typeform, Twitter, and Google Drive.
3 Major Drawbacks of Notion
While Notion is a good knowledge base program, it isn’t perfect.
Here are a few issues that hold it back from being the perfect solution for your needs:
1. Can’t compete with dedicated project management tools
Notion wants to market itself as a project management alternative.
However, it lacks a lot of the task management features that you’d expect from one.
Built-in Gantt charts with dependency visualization, Goals and OKRs, and time tracking and estimates are just a few project management staples missing from Notion’s feature list.
2. It’s complicated to work with
Notion’s selling point is its customizability. You can customize your docs on a project-by-project basis to get the best out of them.
However, this openness is also a problem.
This extensive customizability makes onboarding difficult as it can be overwhelming for most novice users. Additionally, as everyone is continuously editing documents, you can’t establish a consistent workflow.
3. Doesn’t integrate with Google Calendar
Even though Notion claims to be a task management tool, it offers little help to manage your Google calendar schedules.
While it does try to please you by letting you embed a calendar in Notion, the calendar is “view-only.” 😵
This means, every time you want to add or edit an event, you’ll have to hop over to your Google Calendar app.
We bet you’re excited to check Notion alternatives.
But before that, let’s also go over some Notion FAQs.
4 Notion FAQs
Here are some commonly asked questions about Notion:
1. When was Notion founded?
Notion Labs Inc, the organization behind the Notion app, was founded in 2016 in San Francisco. However, the first Notion app for Android didn’t release until June 2018.
2. How much is Notion priced at?
The Notion program has a free plan that supports unlimited members and up to 5MB file uploads. The paid plans start at $4/user per month.
3. What tools does Notion replace?
While Notion aims to be an all-in-one project management workspace, it’s more suited as a wiki tool replacement.
You can put Notion to some use as an alternative to your current knowledge base software.
4. Does Notion work offline?
Yes, you can work offline with Notion.
Now that we know where Notion falls behind, it’s time to look for a better project management tool.
Let’s go over some note-worthy Notion alternatives.
10 Great Notion Alternatives for 2021
Here are ten great alternatives to Notion to help solve your note taking and team collaboration needs:
It offers tons of features to help you get the best out of your team and your projects.
Wondering how ClickUp is better than Notion?
Here’s a closer look at some of those features:
A. Comprehensive project management capabilities
Unlike Notion, ClickUp is a dedicated project management and productivity app.
It’s got all the features you’d expect from a top-tier project management software. This makes managing your tasks and projects in ClickUp a piece of cake. 🎂
Here are some of its project management capabilities:
- Custom Task Statuses: name project stages to your preference and track them easily
- Assigned Comments: when you add comments, you can also convert them to tasks and assign them to specific team members
- Gantt Charts: use a timeline for high-level project scheduling
- Dependencies: help your team attempt tasks in the right order
- Priorities: help your team recognize which tasks are more important
- Custom Permissions: allow freelancers and clients into your project space without compromising privacy
- Detailed project descriptions: create a detailed definition of what needs to be done
ClickUp’s Docs is a comprehensive wiki tool for your organization. You can use it to create a detailed database to store important company and project documents.
With ClickUp’s Docs, you can:
- Store document folders alongside each individual project for easy access
- Nest pages within documents to further categorize them and create subsections
- Use rich text formatting options to customize and create detailed documents
- Edit the access rights for sensitive documents to ensure that privacy is maintained
- Make your docs publicly available, if you want
- Let Google index your articles and databases to show up in search results
It’s the perfect replacement for Notion’s databases. The major difference is that ClickUp has tons of project management features to go alongside it.
ClickUp’s Home is your centralized hub for all your tasks, reminders, and notifications. It helps you instantly keep track of what’s on your plate and prepare for future tasks.
As everything assigned to you is neatly stored here, you won’t have to waste time searching for what you have to do.
ClickUp’s Profiles help project managers keep track of what each team member has on their plate. They can view what tasks they’re working on and manage their workload in seconds.
ClickUp’s architecture is adaptable to any organization and its needs whether you’re a solopreneur, a small team, or a large enterprise.
While ClickUp’s free version is extremely feature-rich, its premium subscription comes with tons of additional features to help you surpass your productivity goals.
For just $5/user per month, you’ll have tons of enterprise-level project management functions at your fingertips.
If Notion thrives on note-taking, ClickUp’s Notepad could give it a run for its money.
ClickUp’s Notepad is the perfect place to quickly jot down any thoughts or ideas that come to mind.
Unlike many other note apps that only let you add plain text, notes in ClickUp come with rich text formatting and the ability to add checklists or code snippets.
You’ll have no trouble fleshing out an idea or making a notation in the Notepad before sharing it with your team.
However, that isn’t all.
This note taking software is so much more.
Notion users, please take note! 💁✍️
You can create tasks directly from your meeting notes within this productivity app and create printable notes with the word processor.
With ClickUp’s checklists, your team will have no trouble powering through all the steps involved in a project’s completion.
ClickUp’s checklists support:
- Nesting: each checklist or to-do list item can include multiple sub-items to help you get as detailed as you want
- Drag-and-drop functionality: you can easily move items around and reschedule your list
- Assigning items: you can assign list items to specific team members to ensure they get the job done
- Templates: you can create recurring Checklist Templates that you can instantly add to your projects
G. Multiple views
Different departments in your organization will prefer different kinds of tools.
Your IT team may want a kanban tool, while your marketing team may prefer a list-based tool.
To accommodate this, most companies use different tools for different departments. However, this can make inter-department collaboration a nerve-racking task.
What if there was a single app that could satisfy all your teams?
The project management tool has multiple views to cater to different needs and preferences in your team. Here’s a closer look at each view:
- Task views
ClickUp’s Task views are great for managing your projects effectively.
They’re adaptable to two of the most common project management methodologies:
- A. Board view
We recommend this view for scrum and kanban enthusiasts as its drag-and-drop interface allows you to move tasks around easily.
We recommend this view for GTD (Get Things Done) fans as all your tasks are arranged in a handy to-do list.
We recommend the Box view for project managers as it gives them an overview of what every team member has on their plate.
They can easily take stock of what’s going on as well as to reassign tasks and items quickly.
We recommend the Calendar view to effectively plan, schedule, and manage your projects or resources.
You even have the opportunity to customize how you view your calendar. You can toggle between:
- Day: contains all the tasks for a particular day
- 4-Days: contains all the tasks scheduled over a four-day rolling period
- Week: contains your weekly tasks and activities
- Monthly: contains your monthly schedule for a birds-eye view of what’s coming up
- Work week (mobile app): view Monday to Friday only
- Schedule (mobile app): view a multi-day continuous layout
- Me mode
Want to only focus on tasks that concern you?
The Me mode only shows your projects and tasks assigned to you.
It’s an easy way to stay focused and avoid distractions.
Let’s see what other perks ClickUp offers.
- Custom views with saveable layouts
- Intuitive user interface
- Powerful Comments
- Custom access rights
- Native time monitoring support
- Can work offline
- Powerful Integrations
- ClickUp API
- Powerful ClickUp desktop app for Windows and macOS
- Fully functional mobile app for iOS and Android
- Feature-rich free version
- Good customer support
- Great pricing plans
- No Table view in the mobile app (yet)
Check out ClickUp’s roadmap to see how we’re making progress in enhancing features!
And while you’re at it, dive into the ocean of features that this free Notion alternative has to offer!
ClickUp has a Free Forever plan that offers unlimited projects and people with 100MB of cloud storage space. The paid plans start at $5/user per month.
ClickUp customer ratings
- G2: 4.7/5 (3000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (2000+ reviews)
If you’re looking for apps like Notion, Evernote is a popular note taking app that has been around for years.
Its simplicity and cross-platform syncing capabilities have made it the go-to productivity app for many people.
Want to learn more about Evernote?
Check out our Evernote review and alternatives post.
Evernote key features
- Intuitive user Interface
- Cross-platform syncing capabilities on their mobile and desktop app
- Can share notes to social media
- Rich text editing options
- Speech to text and keyboard support for notes
- Easy to use
- Available on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS
- Offline note making support
- Integrates with a project management tool like Asana
- Limited free version
- Limited use for project or task management
- No unlimited storage, unlike most other wiki tools
A note-taking app with a limit on note-keeping?
Evernote also has a free plan with 60MB worth of uploads a month. The paid plans start at $7.99/user per month.
Evernote customer ratings
- G2: 4.4/5 (1800+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (6500+ reviews)
Not sure if Evernote is a better note taking app than Notion?
Check out our in-depth Notion vs. Evernote comparison.
3. Microsoft OneNote
Microsoft OneNote is Microsoft’s version of a docs collaboration and to-do list app. It allows users to easily create, share, and collaborate on databases.
Let’s see if Microsoft OneNote has more than one good feature that can make it a great alternative to Notion.
And if you’re struggling to separate this note app from a plethora of others, check out these OneNote alternatives.
Microsoft OneNote key features
- Streamlined user experience with an intuitive interface
- Multiple themes for added customizability
- Powerful text editor that can add music and screen clippings
- Flexible note encryption
- Good note organization with folders
Microsoft OneNote pros
- Ease of adding comments to docs
- Integrates seamlessly with any other Microsoft product
- The OneNote notes app has tons of font options
- Simple note sharing via email or URL
Microsoft OneNote limitations
- The mobile app interface can be crammed
- Lacks project or task management capabilities
- The OneNote note-taking software can’t automatically sort notes
Microsoft OneNote pricing
Microsoft OneNote is completely free. You no longer have to purchase a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 to use it.
Microsoft OneNote customer ratings
- G2: 4.5/5 (1600+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (700+ reviews)
4. Google Keep
Google Keep is a simple yet powerful note-taking and to-do list app.
With a user-friendly mobile app, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most downloaded apps today.
But, if you need a more dynamic productivity app, maybe Google Keep isn’t worth keeping.
Google Keep key features
- Simple UI for optimal user experience
- Unlimited and seamless sync across all Google devices
- The Google Keep note-taking software can group notes via labels
- The software supports handwriting notes
Google Keep pros
- Can include and read plain text or code snippets
- This note and list app supports automatic saving
- The software can set location and time-based reminders for notes
- Supports drag and drop organizational functions
Google Keep limitations
- No themes for added customizability
- Poor project management capabilities
- No dedicated Windows, Linux, or Mac desktop app
Google Keep pricing
Google Keep is completely free.
Google Keep customer ratings
- G2: 4.5/5 (1200+ reviews)
- Capterra: N/A
Workflowy is another tool dedicated to simplifying the note-making process.
With robust wiki and to-do list app features, Workflowy is sure to streamline your knowledge building activities.
But can it make your team-work-flowy?
Let’s find out.
Workflowy key features
- Rich text editing options
- Deep nesting capabilities for detailed documents
- A structured interface that’s functional and accessible
- Supports task and project creation
- User experience is quick and efficient
- Quick cross-platform syncing
- Poor functions on a mobile web browser
- Infrequent product updates
- No open-source functionality
Check out some other Workflowy alternatives in this post.
Workflowy uses a freemium model of pricing.
The tool is free to use for up to 250 bullets per month. For additional items, you’ll have to purchase the pro version, which offers unlimited lists and items at $4.99/month.
Workflowy customer ratings
- G2: 4.3/5 (15+ reviews)
- Capterra: N/A
As one of the popular task management tools, nTask has several features that make it an excellent Notion alternative.
With nTask, you can collaborate on projects, set deadlines for teams, and create a project-related knowledge base on a single platform.
However, it doesn’t have a desktop app yet.
nTask key features
- Checklists for task management
- Kanban boards to manage workflows
- Time tracking and timesheet reporting that help boost productivity
- Gantt charts to plan, manage, and visualize projects
- Allows easy collaboration
- Supports risk management
- Allows online meeting management
- Few customization options
- Poor customer support
- No dedicated app for desktop users
nTask offers a free plan with 100MB of storage and unlimited workspace. The paid plans start at $2.99/user per month.
nTask customer ratings
- G2: 4.5/5 (10+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4/5 (10+ reviews)
Monday.com is another task management and productivity app that can help you manage your work better.
With an intuitive, customizable platform, it helps you organize projects, visualize data the way you want, and automate tasks that slow you down.
Let’s see if monday.com can take away those Monday blues!
monday.com key features
- Ready-to-use templates
- Offers integration with other tools like Google Drive, Outlook, Slack
- Allows customizable automations
- It lets you create custom dashboards
- Multiple views for your projects
- Mobile app to manage work on the go
- Gantt charts to visualize project progress
- Can’t assign comments to team members
- Activity logs limited to board and item
- Offers minimal features in its free plan
monday.com has a free plan with unlimited boards and more than 200 templates. Its paid plan starts at $8/user per month.
monday.com customer ratings
- G2: 4.7/5 (2900+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (2300+ reviews)
Wish to know more about this tool? Check out our detailed review of monday.com.
Another excellent Notion alternative is Coda. It’s a comprehensive note taking app that lets you take control of all your project documents from a single software.
Coda is the Yoda of word-processing, spreadsheet, database management, and team collaboration.
A force to reckon with!
Coda key features
- Provides powerful word-processing, spreadsheet, and database functions
- Easily integrates with other apps
- Offers different customizable views
- Has a wide collection of templates
- Has a very user-friendly interface
- Allows automations for mundane tasks
- Offers flexible doc building options
- The free version supports a limited number of pages and tables
- Doesn’t have a dedicated desktop app
- Way more expensive than Notion
This note taking app has a free plan that offers docs with size limits and collaboration. The paid plans start at $10/user per month.
Coda customer ratings
- G2: 4.7/5 (140+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (60+ reviews)
Check out these Coda alternatives if you’re not so sure about this tool.
Asana is a great project management software for teams who want to coordinate work better and make responsibilities clear.
You can break down plans into tasks, define goals, and integrate the app with your favorite productivity tools.
So, is Asana the right tool for you?
Let’s see about that; you might have to do some yoga asanas to bring your peace of mind back after using it.
Asana key features
- Lets you add and assign tasks
- You can define rules to automate routine tasks
- Its timeline view allows you to create Gantt charts in minutes
- The milestones feature helps identify important work and critical points in your project
- Offers 100+ integrations for smoother collaboration
- Provides 50+ templates to set up workflows
- Offers private and comment-only projects to protect sensitive data
- You can’t set multiple assignees for a task
- Asana has a limited free version
- New users can find the user interface confusing due to too many features
This productivity app offers a free plan with unlimited tasks and projects. The paid plans start at $10.99/user per month.
Asana customer ratings
- G2: 4.3/5 (7300+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (9800+ reviews)
Learn why you should choose ClickUp over Asana!
Basecamp is an all-in-one project management and team collaboration software.
It lets you track project progress, manage relevant documents, and communicate effectively with your team.
Can Basecamp help you set a successful project management camp?
Let’s find out.
Basecamp key features
- Offers a dedicated space to share documents, files, and images
- In-built calendar to manage schedules
- To-do lists feature with due dates
- Basecamp’s exclusive hill charts to track work
- Facilitates simplified task management
- Message board keeps conversations organized
- Basecamp allows client access to keep everyone in the loop
- Let’s you forward emails into Basecamp for team discussion
- This tool lacks customization for complex projects
- You can’t set task priorities
- You can’t define custom task statuses as per your project
Not sure about Basecamp? Check out its top alternatives.
Basecamp has a free plan that offers three projects and 1GB of storage space. The paid plan costs $99/month.
Basecamp customer ratings
- G2: 4.1/5 (4700+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.3/5 (10000 reviews)
Time to Take a Note of Notion Alternatives
While Notion is a good note taking app, it’s yet to find its footing.
Notion has tried to be a good task manager, but the app still has a long way to go to become a comprehensive project management software.
A dedicated project management solution like ClickUp is a much preferred choice.
It has all the features, including Docs, that you’ll need for smooth project management and team collaboration.
With powerful apps for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS, ClickUp has everything you need to boost productivity immediately.
Save yourself from experiencing Notion’s limitations; try ClickUp for free because this powerful project management tool has it all!
Questions? Comments? We're here for you 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org!