How Notion Compares to Other Popular Tools
For this demonstration, we’ve shortlisted Evernote, Trello and Todoist as the applications we’ll put head to head against Notion. We will simply compare how Notion challenges it, with some wins and losses to consider.
Remember Notion is aiming to be an all-in-one workspace, and the other resources mentioned are specialist resources. Todoist, for example, is a perfect list manager, with Notion replicating some basic features of task management, this is only to compare the snapshot of Notion to these tools to see if they compare.
Let’s highlight the following tools:
Starting with the elephant in the room.
Evernote vs Notion
Let’s start with the oldest, it’s only fair.
Evernote has been the world’s most popular note-taker for 10 years now. With Notion in 2019 aiming to take a chunk out of the Evernote platform. Notion looks the most focused on becoming an Evernote replacement this year. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at what makes this comparison in more detail.
A win - Evernote Clipper: One thing to kick things off is the Evernote Web Clipper for Chrome. The Evernote Web Clipper wins. Compared to Notion’s newly released Web Clipper, it doesn’t have much of a fight. You are limited to adding links and storing them in a database in Notion’s Web Clipper, whilst in Evernote’s Clipper you can snap up text, PDFs and much more - also adding tags, reminders and getting a share link ASAP. Early days for the Notion Web Clipper, but Evernote’s clipper redeems top spot!
A loss - Clunky Designs: The lack of platform consistency means Evernote’s Mac, iOS, Android and Windows versions all look different and still a little outdated. Compared this to Notion’s minimalist approach, Notion takes home the win. Evernote have stated they are focusing on getting things all consistent in 2019 - so we should see a streamlined Evernote coming this year, with no feature changes.
A win - Deep Function: Evernote takes home the bacon (sorry PETA) with their attention to detail on features. They’ve been the leader in note-taking for a fair while and you can see that with scanning OCR, hand-writing searching, advanced notebook searching, exporting abilities, merging notes, sorting abilities. There’s no doubt that Evernote still takes home the trophy with this, with Notion lacking behind with some basic functionality.
A loss - Inventing Future: Back in 2014/15, Evernote took their foot off the gas, and focused on building their business proposition, which for many personal users was a loss. The loyalty began to fall and many Evernote users felt sad that their use wasn’t as recognised. It’s fair to say Evernote has not been inventing the future ever since 2014, apps like Notion, Coda and Airtable have leapfrogged them in concepts making Evernote more vulnerable to being a legacy tool, like Steve Dotto puts it, in the space it once dominated.
Trello vs Notion
Next up, the one Trello to rule them all!
This project management solution has been a favourite amongst start-ups looking to use the popular Kanban methodology to get things done. With over 10m users worldwide, Trello has build itself as a house hold name, in many cases helping people to decorate their house and even plan major projects from parties to launches.
Here’s where Trello wins and loses:
A win - For Everyone: The one thing I see with Trello is its mass appeal. Trello is one of the most widely used tools, with very little explanation needed. Trello can be used by all types of teams, professionals and even in casual use, it reminds me to the versatility of Evernote in the beginning, with start-ups using it to plan their goals and retired individuals planning home decor redesigns, the abilities are literally endless and it’s so easy to get on with.
A loss - Too Fixed: It’s hard to point flaws in Trello, but one of the cracks that might appear in the future is Trello’s lack of alternative views. Trello is designed and focused on Kanban, and they do this well. But in the future, the space is open up to optional views, designs and even more. Will Trello fall behind due to their fixed state of Kanban? Too early to say but this fixed view could be Trello’s downfall.
A win - Free Resource: Trello is one of the most free tools out there, yes, you do have limits with the power-up additions, but there are no limits to how much you can post and use inside of Trello - leaving it to be potentially free ongoing if you don’t use those business tools, or have no need for customised backgrounds or stickers.
Todoist vs Notion
And finally, the king of to-do list apps, Todoist is here!
This is probably the least likely comparison, Notion doesn’t market itself at all as a task management tool, but does have some features that resemble Todoist and potentially will continue to add them.
Let’s explore this comparison to Notion
A win - List Management: The one thing to note is that Todoist is an amazing list manager and it doesn’t try to be anything else. When it comes to comparing it against Notion, I’m so hesitant. Whilst you can create lists and build to-do lists in Notion, it doesn’t come close. Todoist continues to invest in making task management easy to get started with and I think people considering it against Notion for a task manager shouldn’t jump the gun, just yet.
A loss - Static Views: One of the biggest losses is that Todoist lacks the viewing options of Notion. In Notion, you can change your database to view gallery, list, table and board view, even calendar view - here’s our Notion database guide - but with Todoist, you have list view and that’s all. Todoist have announced that Boards are coming 2019, with a focus on giving you more layout options too, this will spice things up with long-time Todoist users looking to view their upcoming tasks with more intent.
A win - Context: Notion has reminders, it has the ability to add tags inside tables, but it doesn’t have something GTD prides itself on, and that’s context. Context helps people to add labels, associations and even create filters with a task and it makes Todoist so wonderful when looking to get more from the application. With this lacking in Notion, it’s not worth considering.
From looking at all three of these softwares in comparison to Notion, I’d recommend people do their research into what features are the most suitable and whether Notion meets those needs. Whilst Notion can be used as a Trello, Todoist and Evernote replacement, it isn’t going to fulfil all the needs you and with these applications.
From my own opinions, it replaces Trello - due to the board nature and databases - but not fully Evernote and Todoist right now. To fully replace Evernote it does need a little more focus on note-taking, and with Todoist it needs a LOT more.
Let’s see what 2019 brings, let us know if you have any Notion-related questions, take the Beginner’s course and do check out our long list of Notion videos on YouTube too. Our email: francesco (at) keepproductive (dot com).