Notion is an all-in-one personal productivity space that your team can get behind.

Free company knowledge base project manager client management editorial calendar workspace!

In my most recent article on workplace applications, I mentioned that this smedium team productivity space has some serious competition. Let’s take a look at Notion.

Features

A little backstory

I started using Notion about a year ago and instantly fell in love with the interface and ease of use.  It was able to do a couple of things more than Dropbox Paper at the time (feature parity has been achieved since),  but there are still some inherent and exclusive differences that might make this software a better alternative for your team.

Not to assume that you’ve already read the previous article, here are what I’m considering the “standard workspace functions”:

Built-in tasks,
Due dates,
@mentions,
Rich link previews,
Quick linking (+filename), and
Quick Tables

The Dropbox Paper Article

These are the not-so-standard features:

  1. The Sidebar Control Center
    • Navigate any page, or section in the workspace with ease
  2. Private pages in-workspace – these show up in the sidebar.  No need to navigate elsewhere.
  3. Databases. Yup. Just that one word. 
    • Don’t know SQL?  Good! You can view your data in a table, kanban board, or calendar view and manipulate to your heart’s content. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!
    • Database info can even be added inline in a page to mingle with other content types, such as images, or embedded documents.
  4. Windows and Mac apps are available in addition to very nicely done web and mobile applications.
  5. Dark Mode!  This is really not a deal breaker, but it is a nice plus in terms of eye strain.

At this time Notion is very insular outside of embeddable content and in this day and age, no program can be an island. Lack of true integration with popular existing applications could be a deal breaker for sea-change with teams that have existing processes and applications.  Example scenarios that I personally would like to see:

  • The calendar function of the database would make more sense if the date blocks were able to sync with traditional calendars.
  • Two-way syncing with traditional checklist tools like Trello, Asana, Redbooth, or Todoist would give early adopters an inroad towards moving out of those workflows.
  • Pages can be exported as markdown, but since it’s such a great knowledge base and database application, website embedding, or even native CMS integrations would be a game changer ala Enterprise powerhouse Atlassian.

Setup

You need to know two, maybe three very important things to get started.
1. Your Name
2. Your Email
3. Maybe Google?

Once You’re In

Following a very well thought out registration process, Notion has a great starter project for new users that shows off a host of preconfigured templates and will instantly give you ideas to start building.

Pricing

If anything stands out more about Notion at this time, it’s the fact that those folks think differently. This pattern is evident in the pricing structure as well.

The individual modules that make up a Notion document are called blocks. The free plan has a 1000 block limitation. The team at Notion claims that is equivalent to 1/3 of Moby Dick and plenty of room to run. Honestly, I don’t disagree. I’ve been actively using Notion with a few different client teams for over a year and we have not butted up against the limit.

If you do reach the limit, the pricing at the time of this writing, is fairly straight forward from there.

  • Personal Plan:
    • Monthly prices per person
      • $4 Paid Annually |$5 Paid Monthly
  • Team Plan:
    • Monthly prices per person
      • $8 Paid Annually |$10 Paid Monthly
  • Enterprise Plan:
    • Monthly prices per person
      • $16 Paid Annually

All paid plans include:

  • unlimited block storage,
  • unlimited file uploads,
  • more granular sharing permissions,
  • priority support, and
  • version history.

Ideal User

Any company that needs an intuitive knowledge base will find a lot of great use-cases for this program.  Team collaboration will be a dream and many ateam will appreciate the ability to go beyond simple tabular data without having to break out ye-olde Excel spreadsheets.

My Findings

Plans on the roadmap for Zapier integration and an API mean that Notion is about to fix the one high hurdle to major adoption. Notion has come a long way and has some of the most responsive and active developers that I’ve ever met which bodes very well for the long term forecast for this company. It has taken the productivity world by storm and organizationally minded folks can get behind this program.

Give Notion a try today.

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RJ Lewis Digital
Your technology research and development resource. Do you need to improve how your team is doing things?   Get a customized report on tested tools that will improve how you work.   Order My Blueprint

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About RJ

I am a digital consultant. I help small to medium business owners improve their digital presence, processes and workflows.

My laptop is not actually my conjoined twin, even if my kids think so. When I am not working, I am kept busy by my tribe.

 

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