Is Notion the right tool for you?
We’ll try and answer that question in this article.
We’ll give you a comprehensive Notion review to help you decide if it suits your team’s needs or not. We’ll also give you five great Notion alternatives in case it isn’t a perfect fit for your requirements.
This Article Contains:
(click on a link to jump to a specific section)
- A Notion Review featuring:
- 5 Great Notion Alternatives (includes features, pros, cons and customer ratings)
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, it simplifies the process of creating, storing and collaborating over detailed project documents.
Key Features Of Notion
While the first Notion app released just a year ago, it’s already started to get 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 a 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.
With rich text formatting, your team will be able to add comments and craft detailed notes that accurately reflect a project’s requirements.
2. Tasks and Projects
While Notion is primarily a wiki tool, you can use it 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 further categorize your notes. Users can also enable task notifications to stay informed of any new project developments.
To cut setup time, the Notion program allows you to create templates for your notes. This makes it easy to replicate pages in your database and create new pages in seconds.
For example, you can easily create a standardized template for writing all your blog posts. The next time your content team needs to create a new article, they can use that template to get started.
4. Multiple Views
Notion’s main view is 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 instantly take stock of what’s on your plate if you prefer a GTD approach to productivity.
Your Notion workspace can integrate with tons of current tools to streamline your workflow. It supports integration with tons of email and website tools like Typeform, the Google Calendar app, and Google Drive.
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.
In-built Gantt charts, assigned comments, reminders and customizable project statuses 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. Not Scalable
Notion is a tool that’s primarily built for individuals and small teams. It’s not an effective collaboration solution for larger companies; unless they solely want to use it as a knowledge base.
Large teams can’t score big with Notion’s limited collaborative capabilities and are better suited to a dedicated project management tool instead.
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 multiple pricing plans to suit different needs. There are free and premium subscription options:
- Free plan: Supports unlimited members and 1000GB of storage.
- Personal ($4/month): For solo users with unlimited storage and file uploads.
- Team ($8/month per user): Supports unlimited members, unlimited storage and unlimited file uploads.
- Enterprise ($20/month per user): This pricing plan is aimed at enterprise teams with additional features.
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 use it as an alternative to your current knowledge base software.
4. Does Notion Work Offline?
Yes. You can work offline with Notion.
5 Great Notion Alternatives
Here are five great Notion alternatives to help solve your note-taking and team collaboration needs:
ClickUp is the world’s best free project management software. It’s used by Google, Airbnb, and Nike and is an extremely highly rated project management tool on software review sites.
ClickUp offers you tons of features to help you get the best out of your team and your projects. Here’s a closer look at some of those features:
Why ClickUp Is Better Than Notion
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 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:
(Click on a link for a more detailed description of each feature)
- Add Project Statuses – to make it easy to name project stages in any way you like and track them easily.
- Add Assigned Comments – When you add comments you can also convert them to tasks and assign them to specific team members.
- Gantt Charts – for high-level project scheduling.
- Set Dependencies – to help your team attempt tasks in the right order.
- Set Priorities – to help your team recognize which tasks are more important.
- Set Custom Permissions – to allow freelancers and clients into your project space without compromising on privacy.
- Detailed Project Descriptions – to create a detailed definition of what needs to be done.
B) ClickUp Docs
ClickUp 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 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 Inbox 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 your 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 feature helps 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 your organization and its needs. Whether you’re a solopreneur, a small business or a large enterprise, ClickUp can adapt to your business needs.
While ClickUp’s free version is extremely feature-rich, its premium subscription, aimed at teams, comes with tons of additional features to help you surpass your productivity goals. For just a little money ($5/month per user), you’ll have tons of enterprise-level project management functions at your fingertips.
E) Notepad App
ClickUp’s online Notepad is the perfect place to quickly jot down any thoughts or ideas that come to mind.
Unlike most other note apps that only let you add plain text, ClickUp’s notes come with rich text formatting and the ability to add checklists and 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. You can directly create tasks from your 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 can instantly be added to your projects.
G) Multiple Views
Different departments in your organization will prefer different kinds of tools.
Your tech teams may want a Kanban tool while your marketing team may prefer a list based tool. To combat this, most companies use different tools for different departments. However, this can make inter-department collaboration difficult.
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:
1. Required Task Views
ClickUp’s required 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/Kanban enthusiasts as its drag and drop interface allows you to easily move tasks around.
B) List View
We recommend this view for GTD (getting-things-done) fans as all your tasks are arranged in a handy to-do list.
2. Box View
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 and reassign tasks and items quickly.
We recommend the calendar view to effectively plan, schedule and manage your projects and 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.
4. Me Mode
Want to only focus on tasks that concern you?
The Me View only shows your projects and tasks assigned to you. It’s an easy way to stay focused and avoid distractions.
- Custom Views with saveable layouts.
- Custom Statuses
- Intuitive user interface.
- Powerful comments.
- ClickUp Docs.
- Custom Access Rights.
- Native Time monitoring support.
- Can work offline.
- Powerful Integrations.
- ClickUp API.
- Powerful desktop app for Windows and MacOS.
- A fully-functional mobile app for iOS and Android.
- Feature-rich free version.
- Good customer support.
- Great pricing plans.
- No native language translations.
- No internal chat.
ClickUp has three pricing options.
- Free – Unlimited projects and people with 100Mb of cloud storage space.
- Unlimited ($5/month per team member) – Unlimited projects and people with an unlimited number of integrations and advanced reporting.
- Business ($19/month per team member) – Unlimited projects and people with two-factor authentication and Google SSO.
G2Crowd – 4.7/5 (850+ reviews)
Capterra – 4.5/5 (1300+ reviews)
Evernote is an extremely popular note-taking app that has been around for ages. It’s simplicity and cross-platform syncing capabilities have made it the go-to productivity app for tons of people.
- 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.
- The Evernote notes app is incredibly easy to use.
- Available On Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS.
- Offline note-making support.
- Supports integration with project management tools like Asana.
- Features on the free version of the product are very limited. To make the most of this tool, you’ll have to go for the premium subscription.
- Limited use for project or task management.
- No unlimited storage – unlike most other wiki tools.
Evernote has three pricing plans:
- Free – With 60Mb worth of uploads a month + sync across two devices.
- Premium ($7.99/month) – With 10GB worth of uploads a month + syncs on unlimited devices.
- Business ($14.99/month per user – min 2 users) – With 20GB worth of uploads a month + unlimited collaboration spaces.
G2Crowd – 4.4/5 (1400+ reviews)
Capterra – 4.5/5 (6000+ reviews)
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.
- 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.
- Your team can easily add 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.
- The mobile app interface can be crammed.
- The OneNote note-taking software cannot automatically sort notes.
- Lacks project or task management capabilities.
Microsoft OneNote is completely free. You no longer have to purchase a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 to use it.
G2Crowd – 4.5/5 (1200+ reviews)
Capterra – 4.5/5 (6000+ reviews)
4. Google Keep
Google Keep is a simple, yet powerful note-taking and to-do list app. With a powerful mobile app, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most downloaded apps today.
- 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.
- Can include and read plain text and 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.
- No themes for added customizability.
- Difficult to collaborate with team members on this notes app.
- Poor project management capabilities.
- No dedicated Windows, Linux or Mac desktop app.
Google Keep is completely free.
G2Crowd – 4.5/5 (750+ reviews)
Capterra – N/A
Workflowy is another tool dedicated to simplifying the note-making process. With powerful wiki and to-do list app features, Workflowy is sure to streamline your knowledge-building activities and help your team work better.
- Rich text editing options.
- Deep nesting capabilities for detailed documents.
- Structured interface that’s functional and accessible.
- Supports task and project creation.
- User experience is quick and efficient.
- Quick cross-platform syncing.
- Software cannot add images to a note entry.
- Poor functions on a mobile web browser.
- Infrequent product updates.
- No open-source functionality.
Workflowy uses a freemium model of pricing.
The tool is free to use for up to 100 items per month.
For additional items, you’ll have to purchase the pro version that’s priced at $50/month that offers you unlimited lists and items.
G2Crowd – 4.2/5 (18 reviews)
Capterra – N/A
While Notion is a good wiki tool, it’s not a comprehensive project management software. Using a dedicated project management solution that also has powerful docs, like ClickUp, is a much smarter choice.
It’s got all the features you need to seamlessly manage your project activities and collaborate with your team. With powerful apps for Windows Android, Mac and iOS, it has everything you need to boost productivity immediately.
Why not sign up for the free plan today and experience it yourself?
Zack is a Client Success Champion at ClickUp, where he supports teams around the world to be more productive. When he’s not helping clients solve the worlds problems he is watching movies and hanging out with friends and family. If you are lucky you might also catch him DJing at your local nightclub.