Review

Project Management

Notion Review: Ultimate Tool To Organize Your Life? [Tested]

Notion Review: Ultimate Tool To Organize Your Life? [Tested]
Updated:
June 9, 2023
By
Liam Langers

Testing Notion with my team at Big Brain Solution, I found it to be a seriously powerful all-in-one workspace that covers notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.

It does take a little time to master, but it's worth it, given its customizable and flexible nature.

The AI assistant was a pleasant surprise - offering relevant suggestions and speeding up the workflow.

Notion may just be the multifunctional productivity app you've been searching for.

Why not try it? There's a free account option! Whether you're going solo or working with a team, I'd recommend exploring Notion.

Head to their website to kick things off.

As you juggle numerous tools and applications, do you often find yourself dreaming of a more seamless way to manage your team and projects?

If so, you are not alone. Many of us face the challenge of streamlining work processes and unifying disparate tools.

This is why my team at Big Brain Solution and I tested Notion, a platform that promises to address these issues.

What is Notion?

Notion is a collaboration platform designed to merge note-taking, task management, wikis, and databases into a single workspace.

Think of it as a fusion of your most frequently used applications, combined to form a platform that is flexible, customizable, and adaptive to your specific needs.

Whether you lead a small team or a large enterprise, Notion presents itself as the unified solution designed to simplify your work.

In this review, we'll explore Notion's key features and share our personal experiences using the platform. We will also discuss the pricing plans, evaluate their customer support, and compare Notion to its competitors.

To conclude, we will provide some tips to help you get the most out of this tool, if you decide to use it.

By the end of this review, you'll have a clear idea if Notion is the right choice for your team.

Let's begin!

Key features of Notion

Features of Notion: A Detailed View

Notion has been hailed as the "Swiss Army knife of productivity tools," and for good reason.

Below, we'll dissect some of its core features that put it head and shoulders above other apps in its category.

Unified Workspace

At its core, Notion is a unified workspace that streamlines multiple productivity tasks into a single platform.

It includes note-taking, project and task management, as well as wiki creation – all under one roof.

This implies you don't have to switch between different apps to manage your tasks, take notes or search for information. It's all there, right in front of you.

Wiki Capabilities

Notion brings a fresh perspective to the concept of 'wikis'. It allows you to consolidate all your team’s knowledge in one place, making it easy to locate and update.

The wiki can house company home, brand guidelines, and engineering wikis, among others, which is probably why it has become a solution for both startups and Fortune 500 companies.

Docs and Notes

Notion goes beyond traditional document and note-taking capabilities, offering powerful, flexible building blocks.

You can create anything from meeting notes and design systems to project requirements and pitch decks.

Additionally, features like code snippets, toggles, images & videos, table of contents, and math equations further enhance your note-taking experience.

Project Management

Notion has robust project management capabilities, allowing teams to plan, organize, and track their work.

It offers multiple views, such as the timeline view for a bird's eye view of projects, table view to track specific items, and calendar view to plot deadlines.

Plus, it allows for task and sub-task creation, status assignments, database views, and dependency tracking.

All of these features aim to increase your team's efficiency and clarity.

Team Collaboration

With features designed for real-time collaboration, Notion makes it a breeze for team members to work together.

Real-time editing, comments, @mentions, and synced blocks ensure that everyone is on the same page, quite literally.

Powerful Search and Organization

When it comes to locating your files or data, Notion's powerful search comes to the rescue.

Its fine-grained filters let you find data and decisions across teams in seconds.

Notion’s sidebar and drag and drop organization also ensure that your workspace stays tidy, no matter how fast you grow.

Customizable and User-Friendly

One of Notion's biggest draws is its high level of customization.

From picking the perfect emoji and cover image for each page to tailoring workspace to your needs, the options are nearly endless.

The platform is also designed to be user-friendly, making it easy for anyone to contribute and update pages.

Notion AI

Notion's newest feature, Notion AI, is like having an ultra-capable teammate.

This AI assistant can help automate tasks, improve writing, and even brainstorm new ideas, thus significantly boosting your productivity.

Notion benefits for your team based on our experience

How Notion Benefits Your Team (Our Experience)

Now, let's paint a vivid picture of how Notion has transformed our team dynamic, revolutionizing not only our work habits but our work culture as well.

Harmonized Communication

Recall a time where information was lost in the sea of endless emails and messages.

Those critical project updates that disappeared under a pile of other emails? Well, with Notion, those days are history.

We've created a dedicated page for each project where every update, big or small, is recorded.

Everyone knows exactly where to find the information they need, meaning no more digging through endless email chains.

Boosted Efficiency

Imagine a colossal client project with tight deadlines, various teams involved, and tasks flying in every direction.

Pre-Notion, handling such a project felt like an uphill battle. With Notion's project management features, however, it's like we've been handed the perfect toolkit.

Each task is allocated, tracked, and checked off systematically. Deadlines are met, clients are happy, and late nights are significantly reduced.

Seamless Collaboration

There was a time when working on a document meant sending it back and forth, leading to confusion and inefficiency.

Then Notion happened. Collaborating on a proposal, for example, now means that everyone can see and discuss changes made in real-time.

The process became simpler, smoother, and incredibly efficient, leading to winning proposals and happier clients.

Centralized Knowledge Base

The onboarding process can be a daunting task for newcomers.

With Notion, we've created an interactive wiki that serves as a centralized hub for all essential information.

Now, whenever a new team member joins, they have a go-to resource for all their queries. The result is a significantly smoother, less overwhelming onboarding process.

Streamlined Workflow

Notion is like having a personal assistant that keeps everything organized. We've all had moments where we spent an entire day searching for a particular document.

Now, with the search function in Notion, the same task can be completed in seconds. It's a game-changer, saving us valuable time every single day.

Power of AI

The introduction of Notion AI has made our work more efficient.

Its ability to generate summaries, action items, and insights is like having an additional team member whose sole responsibility is to simplify our work.

For instance, during strategy meetings, Notion AI can quickly analyze extensive meeting notes and summarize the key points.

It’s a transformative benefit that adds tremendous value to our work.

Notion Pricing: comparing the plans

Pricing and Plans

We all love a tool that can do wonders for our team, but there's always the million-dollar question (figuratively, of course) – "What's the damage to the wallet?"

Because let's face it, a tool can't be the next superhero if it leaves you digging for gold every month.

With this thought in mind, let's delve into the world of Notion's pricing and plans.

Free Plan

Notion's Free plan is a good starting point for individuals or teams who are just starting to explore the platform.

For individual users, this plan offers unlimited blocks, while for teams it provides a limited block trial.

You get to integrate with other platforms like Slack and GitHub, and you can view a 7-day page history.

Plus Plan

The Plus plan, formerly called the Team plan, comes in at $8 per user per month when billed annually, or $10 when billed monthly.

This level includes everything from the Free plan, with some additions that are beneficial for teams.

The block limit is lifted for teams, unlimited file uploads become available, and the page history is extended to 30 days. It also lets you invite up to 100 guests.

Business Plan

The Business plan is $15 per user per month if billed annually, or $18 if billed monthly. This plan is designed to accommodate growing teams.

It incorporates everything from the Plus plan and introduces new features such as SAML SSO, private team spaces, bulk PDF export, advanced page analytics, a 90-day page history, and an increased guest limit of 250.

Enterprise Plan

The Enterprise plan is for large organizations and comes with a custom quote based on specific needs.

The plan includes everything from the Business tier, along with user provisioning (SCIM), advanced security and controls, audit log, dedicated success manager (for 100+ seats), workspace analytics, unlimited page history, and a customizable guest limit.

Notion AI Add-On

Lastly, the Notion AI add-on is an optional feature which can be added to any paid plan.

It's priced at $8 per member per month if billed annually, or $10 per member per month for monthly billing and Free plans.

This add-on is designed to enhance productivity with features like automatic generation of summaries and action items, improved writing aids, and tools to help with brainstorming new ideas and writing first drafts.

For more detailed information on their pricing and to find the right plan for your needs, you can check their pricing page.

Customer support of Notion

Customer Support and Resources: Our Experience

When using Notion, we found ourselves needing a little help now and then.

Luckily, the platform has some good customer support options that we leaned on to smooth our journey.

Email Support: Quick and Helpful

For more complex questions, we turned to Notion's email support. We were pleasantly surprised by the prompt replies, often within a few hours.

Not only were they quick, but the responses were also informative and clear. It was like having a helping hand when we needed it the most.

Help Center: A Treasure Trove of Knowledge

Beyond email support, we often visited the Help Center. It was packed with articles and guides that came in handy, especially during the initial stages.

We were able to answer many of our questions just by doing a quick search there.

Whether we needed help setting up a project or wanted to understand a specific feature better, the Help Center had it covered.

Webinars and Community: Learning with Peers

One unique feature we enjoyed was the webinars that Notion organizes.

These live sessions not only explained the different features in detail but also gave us a chance to interact with other users.

It was a fun way to learn and share experiences with the broader Notion community.

Notion's API Docs: A Developer's Best Friend

Our developer team loved the API docs that Notion provides.

The documentation was detailed and made it easy to understand how to best integrate Notion with our existing systems.

It was an excellent resource for the tech-savvy amongst us.

Notion pros and cons: a quick overview

Pros and Cons of Notion: Quick Overview

Time to reveal the clear upsides and downsides of my experience with Notion.

Below is a no-frills breakdown of the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Versatility: Notion's flexibility remained its standout quality during my testing. It effortlessly adapted to all our needs, be it plotting project trajectories, managing tasks, or sharing documents.
  • Ease of Use: The simple, intuitive design made it easy for our team to navigate Notion. Even our least tech-savvy team member found it straightforward.
  • Collaboration Features: We were impressed by the collaboration tools offered. Smooth real-time collaboration and effortless sharing made it an excellent choice for team environments.
  • Beautiful Interface: Notion's interface is not just clean and simple; it's visually appealing too. The ability to add emojis and cover images to pages added a fun touch to our workspace.
  • Effective Search: The powerful search feature made it easy to locate data across the platform. It was definitely a time saver in those moments of urgent information retrieval.

Cons

  • Limited Integrations: While Notion does integrate with several popular applications, it could offer more. Some team members missed having their favorite apps readily connected to the workspace.
  • Lack of Advanced Analytics: Even though the platform offers basic page analytics, our team felt the need for more detailed, in-depth analytics. The ability to track user engagement with content would be a major plus.
Alternatives to Notion

Notion Vs. Competitors: Best Alternatives

Navigating through the expansive universe of productivity apps, I've matched Notion against three popular rivals: Monday.com, ClickUp, and GanttPRO.

Each tool boasts unique features and strengths, and the trick is pinpointing when one outshines the other.

Notion Vs. Monday.com

Kicking off with Monday.com, a productivity tool with a solid reputation in the industry. Monday.com is abundant in features, predominantly in the sphere of project and task management. If your primary need is a platform that excels at crafting visual project workflows, Monday.com takes the lead over Notion. It offers a wealth of workflow templates that are intuitive and provide a crystal-clear picture of your project's progression.

Yet, Notion gains the upper hand when it's a matter of marrying project management with note-taking. Unlike Monday.com, Notion acts as a central point for knowledge and documentation, in tandem with project management. Notion lets you form a networked workspace where project boards, to-do lists, and documents all dwell in unison.

Monday.com Review

Notion Vs. ClickUp

ClickUp is another strong contender in the field. Its strength shines through in its wide range of project management features, including Gantt charts, time tracking, and even a mind mapping tool, which can be invaluable for brainstorming sessions. If you're a larger team in need of heavy-duty project management features, ClickUp might take the crown over Notion.

However, when the goal is to shape a clean, visually pleasing workspace, Notion stands above ClickUp. Notion's user-friendly interface, combined with the capability to personalize your workspace with emojis and cover images, allows for a more enjoyable and less complicated user experience.

ClickUp Review

Notion Vs. GanttPRO

GanttPRO is a dedicated Gantt chart software, and it performs exceptionally well in its specialized field. If your work involves heavy use of Gantt charts for project planning and tracking, GanttPRO has an edge over Notion in this specific area.

However, if you're seeking a universal tool that handles a myriad of functions, from note-taking to project management, Notion reigns supreme. Notion's flexibility and versatility extend beyond GanttPRO's domain, offering a comprehensive solution for a wide range of tasks and needs.

GanttPRO Review
Getting started with Notion and some additional tips

Who Should Use Notion?

Notion, with its nimble design and multifaceted nature, is a fantastic choice for anyone craving a digital workspace that can handle a wide array of needs.

This includes individuals and teams alike.

  • Individuals looking to create a knowledge hub, a personalized planner, or a digital portfolio will find Notion's flexible pages and templates invaluable. It's a great place to track goals, compile resources, and more. For the freelancers and the self-learners out there, Notion can become your digital companion.
  • Teams and companies of all sizes can benefit from Notion's collaboration features and shared workspaces. If your team is looking to unite project management, documentation, and internal communication in one place, Notion is a fantastic choice.

Getting Started with Notion

Starting your journey with Notion is a straightforward process.

Here are the steps I followed:

  1. Sign Up: Navigate to the Notion website and click the "Get Started for Free" button. You'll be asked to create an account using your email.
  2. Choose Your Plan: After setting up your account, you'll have the opportunity to choose your plan, ranging from free to enterprise options. You can always upgrade later, so don't sweat about picking the perfect plan right away.
  3. Tour Your Workspace: Notion will present you with a neat, brief tutorial of your workspace. This tour is a godsend for first-timers, as it provides a concise overview of the platform's basics.
  4. Explore the Templates: Notion has an extensive gallery of pre-designed templates. These can help you kickstart your workspace with premade pages for notes, project tracking, and more. You can customize these templates or even create your own from scratch.
  5. Invite Your Team: If you're using Notion in a team setting, you'll want to invite your colleagues to join your workspace. You can do this by navigating to "Settings & Members" and clicking on "Invite".

Additional Tips to Maximize the Potential of Notion

Getting the most out of Notion takes some time and practice, but here are a few tips I've picked up along the way:

  • Embrace the Blocks: Notion's block system is its bread and butter. The more you experiment with and understand how to utilize these blocks, the more flexible and powerful your pages become.
  • Link Pages: One of Notion's coolest features is its ability to link pages together. This can help you create a web of interconnected notes, documents, and projects.
  • Use Synced Blocks: If you find yourself repeating content, the 'Synced Block' feature is a lifesaver. This allows you to edit a block of content in one place and have those changes reflect wherever the block is used.
  • Integrate Other Tools: Don't forget that Notion can connect to many other tools like Slack, Figma, and Jira. This integration will help streamline your work and keep everything in one place.
Our opinion of Notion

Conclusion

So, there it is, my take on Notion after trying it out with my team. I've been down this road before with other apps, and let me tell you, Notion did a great job in really impressing us.

It wasn't always smooth sailing, we had to tackle a few hiccups, adapt to its unique approach, but hey, that's part of the process.

And in the end, the richness of features and the flexibility it offered made it all worth it.

If you're feeling curious or even a tad unsure about Notion, I'd say go for it! Take the leap and try it out.

Set up a free account and play around with it. It's the best way to know if it suits your style or your team's workflow.

And remember, every app has a learning curve, so give it some time.

I am not just spouting off about Notion because it's the latest buzz. At Big Brain Solution, we value tools that actually make a difference, tools that step up and help us work smarter.

And Notion has proven to be one such tool. So why not give it a shot?

Feel like giving Notion a whirl? Visit their website and check it out yourself.

Who knows, it might just be the tool you've been waiting for!

Notion FAQs

Is Notion free to use?

Yes, Notion does offer a free plan, which can be a great starting point if you're just testing the waters.

You get unlimited pages and blocks, but there are some limitations on file uploads and collaboration features.

Does Notion have an offline mode?

Absolutely! This was a lifesaver for me during those dodgy WiFi moments.

You can access and edit your pages offline on the Notion mobile and desktop apps. Once you're back online, it syncs up all the changes.

Can I import data from other tools into Notion?

Yes, you can. We were able to import some of our documents from Google Docs, Trello, Asana, and Evernote, which made the transition a lot smoother.

How secure is my data on Notion?

Notion takes data security seriously.

They use encryption to protect your data, both at rest and in transit. So, rest easy, your data's in safe hands.

Can I use Notion for project management?

You bet! Our team used Notion for project tracking, and it performed admirably.

You can create tasks, set deadlines, and even visualize progress with Kanban boards and other views.

What platforms is Notion available on?

Notion offers apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and a web version.

So, you can stay connected wherever you are.

How customizable is Notion?

Notion offers a high level of customization.

You can add different types of content blocks, adjust the layout, and even change the icon and cover of your pages.

Can I collaborate with my team on Notion?

Yes, Notion shines as a collaboration tool.

It allows real-time collaboration, comments, @mentions, and even an entire section for each team member's notes.

Does Notion support integrations with other apps?

At the moment, Notion has limited integrations.

However, with the API in the works, we're expecting this to change soon.

How does Notion handle notifications?

You can receive notifications for updates, comments, mentions, and more.

You can also customize these in your settings.

Is there a limit to how much content I can have on Notion?

The free plan does have a block limit.

However, once you upgrade to the paid plans, you get unlimited blocks.

Can I share my Notion pages with people who don't use the app?

Yes, you can! You have the option to make any Notion page public and share the link with anyone, even if they don't have a Notion account.