Notion Review: Start-up Project Management Software

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If you’re looking for an all-in-one productivity tool to streamline your workflow and enhance collaboration, then stick around because this comprehensive Notion software review, we look at the features, usability, and benefits of this popular project management platform. 

Notion has emerged as a game-changer in the productivity space, offering a versatile solution for individuals and teams seeking to organize information, manage projects, and boost efficiency. 

Whether you’re a student, professional, or business owner, this in-depth review will help you determine if Notion is the right tool for your needs. 

What is Notion? 

Notion has emerged as a versatile tool that helps you manage projects and organize information in a way that improves both your personal and professional productivity. 

The platform blends note taking, database building, task management, and more into one sleek package. With a focus on ease of use, customization, and collaboration, Notion aims to be the all-in-one workspace for users ranging from individuals to large teams.

My experience with Notion has highlighted both its strengths and areas where it might not meet everyone’s needs. 

The software presents a clean, user-friendly interface that invites even the most technophobic individuals to dive in. The modular nature of the app lets users start simple and expand their use of the tool’s features as they grow more comfortable, which can be particularly beneficial for managing complex projects or as a central hub for a team’s documentation and workflow.

Why You Need Notion

Keeping track of both personal and professional life demands can be a challenge with all the distractions we face on a daily basis. That’s where Notion comes into play. My experience with Notion over the past couple of years has transformed the way I manage my daily tasks.

Let me break it down into 6 main benefits.

  1. Customization at Its Core: Notion thrives on flexibility. Unlike standard document editors, it allows me to tailor my workspace precisely to my requirements, ensuring a smooth workflow. I’ve perfected a setup that encompasses everything from task management to brainstorming ideas.
  2. Task Management Perfected: Notion’s database feature, equipped with various views such as lists, tables, or calendars, lets me organize tasks in the most insightful way. I have set up a “mission control” dashboard to oversee daily tasks with filters to display just what’s needed for the current day. And for a broader outlook, the calendar view offers a comprehensive picture.

Task TypeDaily ViewBroad View
Personal TasksList view with day filterCalendar view
Work ProjectsKanban boardGallery view
  1. Easy Collaboration: Sharing and collaborating with others is effortlessly smooth. With a single click, I generate a link to my pages for others to view or invite guests to collaborate directly within Notion. As someone who often works in teams, this feature simplifies collaboration tremendously.
  2. Versatile Note-Taking: Locking down a thought or a sudden burst of creativity is simple and efficient in Notion. Ranging from a barebones text block to intricate database views, I’ve personalized Notion for varying note-taking needs. So, whether it’s a structured task or a fleeting idea, there’s a place for it in my workspace.
  3. Rich Educational Resources: Like anything else that’s new, initially I was overwhelmed with the features and how to use Notion, however thanks to various accessible tutorials and a supportive community I overcame the initial learning curve quite easily. Notion also ensures that its own resources are constantly updated, which helps us leverage the platform to its full potential.
  4. Continuous Innovation: Notion’s frequent updates have repeatedly optimized my experience, introducing novel functionalities on a regular basis.

For those looking for a harmonized, and highly adaptable workspace, Notion is worthy of consideration. Whether it’s powering through your daily to-dos, coordinating with peers, or merely jotting down spontaneous thoughts, Notion streamlines these processes in a single, unified space.

Notion page example

Notion’s Key Features

The core of its functionality rests on blocks, which are individual pieces of content such as text, images, bookmarks, and more. I can easily organize these blocks to create customized layouts that suit my needs.

One of the strengths I appreciate is the use of templates. Notion provides a wide array of pre-designed templates, but I also have the flexibility to create my own, saving time on repetitive tasks and maintaining consistency across my notes and projects.

The databases feature is a game-changer. With it, I can create tables, boards, lists, and galleries, all of which can be interconnected. It simplifies the data management in a visually appealing manner, and I can even integrate databases with other features such as calendar and tasks for seamless project management.

Speaking of the calendar, I find Notion’s calendar view to be a clear way to visualize deadlines and events. It’s especially useful as I plan my months, weeks, and days with the ability to link directly back to related tasks or notes.

For tasks management, Notion excels with its ability to create checklists, to-dos, and set reminders. This ensures that I never miss a deadline and always keep track of what needs to be done.

For collaboration, Notion is equipped with powerful sharing and permission features. I can share pages or entire workspaces with colleagues, making it a truly collaborative workspace. Real-time collaboration allows my team and I to be on the same page, literally and figuratively.

Overall, Notion strikes a fantastic balance between deep functionality and intuitive design, which is a combination that helps me stay organized and productive.

Getting Started with Notion

The primary components I work with in Notion are pages and blocks

Pages serve as the foundation, like individual documents or containers, where I can store various types of content. Setting up a new page is as easy as clicking on “+ Add a page” within the app.

Blocks, on the other hand, are the building blocks of Notion’s pages. Each piece of content, whether it’s a paragraph, a to-do list, or an image, is a block. To add a block, I simply type ‘/’ on a new line and select the type of block I want to use.

Common BlocksUse
TextFor regular typing, notes, and content.
To-do listTo create checklists and track tasks.
ImageTo add visual elements to my pages.
TableFor organizing information in a structured way.

I organize my pages hierarchically, nesting them inside each other for a clean and structured information architecture. Notion’s drag-and-drop feature makes this organization process intuitive and efficient.

When I set up my Notion workspace, it is pivotal to prioritize organization. I start by defining the main pages in my workspace. For me, these pages often represent broad categories such as “Projects,” “Notes,” and “Resources.” Underneath these, I create sub-pages to establish a clear hierarchy. For example:

  • Projects
    • Active
      • Project A
      • Project B
    • Archived
      • Project C

This structure helps me maintain an organized top-level view while allowing detailed subdivisions underneath.

Database and Tables

My databases are the backbone of my workspace. Each database is a collection of pages forming a table, where every entry is a page itself. Creating tables within my databases is crucial for sorting and viewing information efficiently. 

I ensure that tables have relevant properties like “Status,” “Deadline,” or “Category,” which help me filter and locate specific data. 

Here’s an example of a simple task management table:

TaskStatusDeadlineCategory
Write blog postIn ProgressApr 5Writing
Update websitePendingApr 10Design
Send invoicesCompletedApr 1Finance

Organizing my databases with tables allows me to streamline workflows and manage my content more effectively.

These are just a few of the main features that I use on a regular basis. Discovering how to use Notion to its full potential is easy thanks to the various guides and video tutorials. For more in-depth explanations, I often turn to their help center or watch instructional content provided within their platform or on their YouTube official channel.

Notion for Project Management

I find that Notion serves as a highly versatile project management tool. It streamlines task assignment and offers a range of views, such as Timeline and Gantt Charts, which are indispensable for clear and efficient workflow management.

Task Assignment

In my experience with Notion, task assignment is straightforward and intuitive. I create tasks within a project by making a new page or a to-do list item. Here’s how I typically organize tasks:

  • To-Do List: Crafting a checklist where each item represents a task.
  • Team Members: Assigning tasks to specific individuals using @mentions.
  • Status Tracking: Earmarking tasks as ‘To-Do’, ‘In Progress’, or ‘Done’ for clear progress tracking.

I’ve also noticed that Notion helps improve collaboration with my team. I’ve observed that when I mention teammates in a task, things get done quicker and better. This is because it allows them to receive notifications ensuring everyone is aware of their responsibilities.

Timeline and Gantt Charts

With regards to timelines, I use Notion’s Timeline view to visualize project schedules. Here’s how I configure it:

TaskStart DateEnd DateAssigned To
Market Research2024-04-102024-04-20John Doe
Product Design2024-05-012024-05-15Jane Smith

Notion’s timeline functionality mimics a Gantt Chart by showing tasks in a linear progression. This lets me view overlapping tasks and better manage project timelines.

Productivity Tools Integration

One of the main powers of Notion, is its ability to integrate with various other productivity tools which essentially makes it a centralized hub for project management.

Here are a few examples of third party tools which I integrate within my Notion platform.

Slack: Based on my experience, Notion’s integration with Slack is instrumental for teams. Notifications from Notion pages and databases can be sent directly to Slack channels or as direct messages, ensuring that team members remain updated without the need to continuously check their Notion workspace.

Email Address: In addition to Slack, Notion integrates with your emails to turn communications into actionable items. By sending an email to a specific Notion-generated address, tasks or notes can be directly added to my pages, which streamlines my workflow.

Google Sheets: Notion allows me to import spreadsheets from Google Sheets directly into my workspace. I use it to import data sets into Notion databases for advanced analysis

These integrations are solutions that reduce manual duplication of efforts across platforms, thus allowing teams to work more cohesively and efficiently.

Notion software review

Collaboration and Sharing

In this Notion review, I wanted to emphasise another important aspect of this SAAS tool that I really came to appreciate; which is its collaboration and sharing capabilities. This is how I break them down:

  • Sharing: Notion makes it simple for me to share entire workspaces or individual pages. I can assign different permission levels, meaning I always control who views or edits content. Collaborating in Notion: Sharing and Permissions Explained has been a helpful guide in understanding and grasping the finer details on the sharing capacity of Notion.
  • Real-time Collaboration: When I’m working with a team in Notion, the updates happen in real-time. This means as soon as a colleague makes an edit, it appears on my screen. It helps with instantaneous feedback and collective work-effort.
  • Comments: I find the comments feature quite intuitive in Notion. I can add comments on any piece of text to give feedback, which sparks constructive dialogues without leaving the platform. This keeps all our discussions centralized.
  • Team Plan: For larger teams, Notion offers a Plus plan that has been designed to facilitate enhanced collaboration. It’s a step above the free tier and includes added features suitable for more robust team requirements.
  • Collaborators: Adding collaborators is just a few clicks away. Whether it’s a colleague or an external partner, I can bring them onto a page with ease. Each collaborator’s contributions are marked, making it easy for me to track changes.

In my experience, the depth of collaboration and sharing in Notion lends to efficient team coordination and project handling, without over-complicating the user experience.

Customization Capabilities

The customization capabilities of Notion are extensive, allowing users like me to tailor the workspace to fit our specific needs. Whether I am streamlining my personal workflow or designing a collaborative environment, I can leverage these features to enhance productivity.

Notion’s Templates

I have found that Notion’s templates provide a strong foundation for various projects. There’s a template for almost every use-case, from task management to databases. 

For instance, when I organize my articles, I can choose a writing-tracker template, which is pre-designed with tables and tags for status updates, making it effortless to jump right into work.

Notion templates page

Blocks and Elements

I can mix and match different elements such as to-do lists, text, images, and embeds to suit my design preferences. This flexibility is exemplified in the ability to drag and drop elements anywhere on a page, enabling me to structure content with precision. 

Blocks can be as simple or as complex as needed, whether it’s a single checkbox or a multifaceted table.

Mobile and Web Applications

I’ve found that the versatility of Notion’s mobile and web applications stand out. These platforms allow me to use Notion on the go, getting the same benefits and features I get from my desktop, in my mobile or tablet. 

Android and iOS

The Notion mobile app caters to both Android and iOS users, ensuring accessibility regardless of device preference. 

For Android, the app requires Android 8 or higher, guaranteeing compatibility with a wide range of smartphones. As mentioned, the interface on mobile devices is designed for on-the-go functionality without compromising the essential features offered by its desktop counterpart. 

The app supports real-time updates, which is crucial for team collaboration and maintaining synchronicity across devices.

Browser Access

Accessing Notion through a web browser provides a comprehensive experience with an interface mirroring that of the desktop application. The web platform is optimal for users who prefer not to download additional software. 

Notion’s real-time updates are evident here as well, as changes made through the browser are instantly reflected on mobile devices. This consistent synchronization across platforms illustrates Notion’s effective cloud-based infrastructure.

Notion for Personal Use

Over time, I got to use Notion for my personal use as much as I use it for business purposes. Not only that. I also taught my 11 year old son and my wife how to use Notion, and now they are hooked on it as much as I am.

This is because Notion is a very versatile tool that caters to various personal productivity needs. Its flexibility in note-taking and task management allows users like me to create an organized repository for all personal and professional information.

Personal Pro Plan

Notion’s Personal Pro Plan offers unlimited pages and blocks which makes it suitable for individuals who need more than what’s available on the free plan. For tasks and projects that require intricate organization, I find this plan valuable due to its file uploads capability and version history, which ensures that no bit of information is ever truly lost.

To-Do Lists and Notes

For keeping track of daily activities and managing projects, Notion’s ability to create To-Do Lists and Notes is unparalleled. I efficiently organize my tasks using checkboxes and reminders, while the nested pages feature helps me create comprehensive notes. 

The drag-and-drop interface facilitates easy restructuring of my thoughts and tasks, thereby streamlining my workflow.

  • Create and manage tasks with to-do lists:
    •  Task One
    •  Task Two
    •  Task Three
  • Note-taking with rich text options:
    • Italicized text for emphasis
    • Bold text for important points
    • Inline code for quick references

I integrate various multimedia elements within my notes, like images and web bookmarks, which enriches the context of my information repository in Notion.

Pricing and Plans

Notion tool pricing categories

Notion offers a variety of plans designed to meet different needs and budgets. 

The Free Plan is particularly attractive for individuals embarking on personal projects or those who wish to test the waters before committing to a paid subscription. This plan allows for unlimited pages and blocks, with some limitations on file uploads and team member invites.

For more robust requirements, Notion’s Plus Plan is priced at $8 per user when billed annually, or a slight premium at $10 per user on a monthly billing cycle. I find this option suitable for small teams seeking more collaboration and organization tools.

Larger organizations might opt for the Business Plan, which is priced at $15 per month, and offers additional features such as Bulk PDF exports, advanced page analytics, and up to 250 invited guests.

Companies seeking the highest level of functionality and customization can inquire about the Enterprise Plan. Details and pricing in this plan will be tailored to the size and needs of the organization, however you can expect additional security, admin controls, and personalized support.

For those not ready to commit, Notion does extend a free trial on the Plus Plan, allowing teams to fully assess the platform’s capabilities.

Below is a comparison of the key features across Notion’s offerings:

FeatureFreePlusBusinessEnterprise
Members1MultiMultiMulti
Pages & BlocksUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
File UploadsLimitedLargeLargerCustomizable
Collaborators5UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Version History7 days30 days30 daysCustomizable
Admin ToolsBasicAdvancedAdvancedAdvanced
SupportStandardPriorityPriorityVIP

For current pricing details and to see if there have been any updates to the plans, I suggest checking Notion’s official pricing page.

Security and Compliance

In my examination of Notion’s security features, I place a significant emphasis on the robust options available, particularly for enterprise clients. Enterprises benefit from Single Sign-On (SSO) which streamlines access and enhances security. This is achieved through integration with notable SAML identity providers.

For securing data, Notion Enterprise has a commendable lineup of compliance certificates and protocols designed to protect information. When I consider these provisions, what stands out is the way Notion integrates these features seamlessly into their platform:

  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):
    • Available to all users.
    • Adds an extra layer of security.
  • Enterprise-Level Options:
    • SSO/SAML: Available for large teams.
    • Advanced Permissions: Control team access with granularity.
  • Compliance:
    • Adherence to international compliance standards.
    • Regular audits to ensure data integrity.
  • Security Settings:
    • Enterprises can customize settings to fit security needs.
    • Data is encrypted both at rest and in transit.

It’s evident that security and compliance are cornerstones of Notion’s service, particularly for enterprise-level users who require sophisticated measures to safeguard their data. 

Notion’s continuous efforts to enhance security is reassurance for me that they commit to protecting my valuable information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions usually asked about Notion to help you understand it better and make an informed decision on whether it’s the right tool for you.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Notion?

I find Notion highly flexible for a range of tasks including note-taking, knowledge management, and project planning. The ability to customize and organize information in a cohesive workspace is its key strength. 

How does Notion benefit students for academic purposes?

For academic use, Notion helps students consolidate notes, manage assignments, and track deadlines in one place. Its template gallery offers many student-centric options for class notes, thesis planning, and more, which helps in staying organized throughout the semester.

How does Notion perform as a tool for personal organization and productivity?

As a personal organization system, Notion is versatile and adapts to various personal productivity methods like Getting Things Done (GTD). The drag-and-drop functionality along with multimedia blocks makes organizing resources intuitive. 

Can Notion be used effectively without payment?

Notion can indeed be used effectively without payment as it offers a generous free plan. This allows for unlimited pages and blocks, inviting guests, and sharing with five other individuals, making it accessible for personal use and small teams.

What are the unique features that set Notion apart from other productivity tools?

Uniquely, Notion combines aspects of databases, task management, wikis, and calendaring. You can create custom layouts and use relational databases to link different types of data. Its all-in-one workspace ethos caters to a breadth of functions that are often spread out over multiple tools.

Conclusion

With its intuitive interface, customizable features, and versatile functionality, Notion proves to be a game-changer for individuals and teams seeking an all-in-one solution. At least, this was definitely the case for me.

From effortless task management and note-taking to seamless team collaboration and project tracking, Notion adapts to various use cases and productivity methods. While the learning curve may be slightly steeper compared to simpler tools, the benefits of mastering Notion far outweigh the initial investment of time. 

Whether you’re a student, professional, or business owner, Notion’s free plan offers ample features to get started, with affordable paid plans for advanced requirements. If you’re looking to simplify your productivity stack and unlock your potential, Notion is definitely worth exploring.

If you’re looking for more software and Apps to help streamline your business, then check out our full list of Productivity Tools reviews.

AUTHOR

I am a branding and naming consultant with 16 years of experience. I believe in building a strong brand name that identifies your visions and that of your business. A brand identity motivates you and your team to achieve success.