Admittedly, I’m a big sucker for productivity apps and try to keep an open mind about new apps that emerge for the possibility that there’s a better way – no matter how high the switching cost.
It’s a dangerous philosophy to have because a high switching cost can be vastly unproductive when you actually try to make the switch.
Notion, a relatively fresh productivity tool that hit the scene not long ago, had me at “No,” and I said yes.
So, what is Notion?
As if “the swiss-army knife of productivity apps” hasn’t been over blown, I actually think Notion is one of the few apps that deserve such a description. The best way I can describe it is a mix between Evernote + Trello + Airtable + Google Docs + Wiki all in one, but done in a very elegant, slick, and streamlined manner.
And why is Notion so good that I decided to make the switch for myself?
Well, the problem is that there are just too many productivity apps to begin with. I’d venture to guess that there are at least 1,000 different apps out there to help you with any of the following:
- Time management
Ask any techie and I’m sure they can rattle off at least 15 different productivity app names. Here’s my crack at it, excluding the ones above and anything from Microsoft or Google just to flex a bit:
- Remember The Milk
Usually when you try to combine the best features of the top apps into a SaaS based jambalaya, it’s nothing but a recipe for disaster.
Notion is an exciting exception to the rule though. The team behind the app had a vision and while the road to this point hasn’t been smooth, they executed extremely well.
The problem with my productivity set-up was that I had to use too many apps and it felt scattered, when I needed it to be cohesive.
Why fire up different apps for different things when you can fire up the same app for different things. There’s tremendous value in not having to switch to a different UI, trust another company with your data, and seeing everything from your tasks, notes, documentation, and lists all in the same spot.
Notion is both powerful and flexible at the same time, and its command line driven experience makes it lightning fast to capture or create anything from a page, list, numbered list, kanban, calendar, table, gallery, and much, much more. Their dedication to speed is clear:
Let’s not forget about the large collection of templates to kickstart your roadmap, content calendar, application tracker, reading list, new hire onboarding, travel planner, mood board, design system, and meeting notes just to name a few. Template categories include:
- Human Resources
- Product Management
I’ve heard people say that Notion is an Evernote killer. There’s no doubt about that, but that actually may even be an understatement. Its $800M valuation got a lot of media pundits butt hurt and the haterade stirring, but make no mistake, from one productivity nut to another, Notion is going to be at the throats of so many other productivity apps.
If you haven’t given it a try yet, you owe it to yourself. I spent a weekend really giving it a shot to set up a core structure to manage my family, house, personal projects, travel and finances and it feels damn good. It can seem like a daunting task to set everything up, but just focus on the core structure that you want for yourself and then just build on it as you go.
If you don’t know where to start, check out this great piece on how to set up a second brain with Notion.