Yes, you heard it right, Notion are on the war path against the major productivity applications with reminders. But do they make the cut?
I’ve been getting a lot of software based queries about Notion recently, and I’m creating as many Notion-based features as I can in order to cover the upcoming queries and relevance of the application.
There’s two core questions with Notion, they are:
How can I use Notion in everyday practice?
Can Notion become my to-do list, note-taker and calendar?
Let’s begin with the first.
Notion first and foremost doesn’t market itself as anything specific.
It’s premise is "the all-in-one workspace" but never really shouts that it can be used as one thing, but many elements of your routine use.
This makes it super tricky to pinpoint. We know there are two core situations you can use Notion in, work and personal.
Work could be with your team and with colleagues whilst personal could be for organising your side-projects or even your family activities, it’s up to you! For everyday activities, Notion can work as your planning platform for your projects or even your scribble pad for meetings.
It’s up to you and always hard to frame, it’s very much dependent on how each user navigates their everyday activities. Using Notion in everyday use depends on what issues you want to solve or even centralise.
For me, for example, I wanted a hub for project management that was more flexible than Trello but allowed me to plot a host of views, aside from solely kanban. This allows me to plan the following on a daily basis:
I can see how confused people get when they start using Notion, but my recommendation is really to sit down with yourself and truly ask yourself what you would solve with Notion and it’s features.
Maybe for some it’s their team’s on boarding hub or for others even an event calendar for their family with all the recent vacation plans prepared here? Or maybe even a side-project for a photographer, pinning together all his photos ready to put to print in a new gallery, the results for each workspace are limitless, making Notion very exciting!
The motto for Notion runs: "Write, plan, collaborate, and get organized. Notion is all you need — in one tool"
For potential users this screams, "let’s replace my to-do list, note-taker, calendar app ASAP" — but in reality it’s not all that just yet.
With the addition of reminders, of course, Notion takes a step forward in the right direction with this, but it still has a long way to go!
The new Reminders by Notion explained:
Reminders does add this layer of to-do list like function allowing Notion to actually communication with the end user reminding them about a certain activity or item within their list, but there are still some fundamental flaws until this becomes everyone’s to-do list applications, note-takers and calendar tools.
Why it isn’t a To-do List yet?
The premise of all to-do list applications is a today view, an inbox,
Of course, you can create this inside of Notion, but there are elements that you miss out when not going with a to-do list application, like list management, structured layout, smart-plotting (views) and logbook processing.
This is just my opinion, but Notion isn’t there yet. There’s something about to-do list applications that will grip people a little longer. The structure, the refined look and the focus on accomplishing tasks in your day is something Notion lacks, right now, but nothing to be said there will be these elements in the future.
Why it isn’t a Note-taker yet?!
The biggest question. Can Notion replace Evernote!? Aha.
Evernote has been around for 10 years now and it’s not just the market leader but on the majority of people’s phone. Although I speak about it’s static experience and bloated features, only recently, it’s core experience is fantastic, and for me, as a user, I use it so much.
Notion doesn’t have the ability to collect information like Evernote, no web clipper (yet), no collection via email function (yet) and no fixed organisation layout that we are used to in many of our note-taking experiences.
It’s almost there and for me, I even use Notion to create the occasional list or plan of activities, but nothing more right now. It’s of course something you could practically do, but it lacks what the traditional experiences prides itself on.
Why it isn’t a Calendar app yet?!
When Notion released 2.0, people jumped to the Twitter feeds to ask, "now with calendar view, can I use Notion to plan tasks"
My answer since has been, yes, but only if you are using it as a project management or timeline experience. There’s no real benefit to it above Google Calendar for reminding you on events and activities. There’s no integrations it’s more of a plotting view of your future events and activities than it is a full standalone calendar.
Of course, they have the ability soon to add Google calendar and iCal sync which would change things.
Phew, feels like I’m putting Notion down.
No way, Notion is the future in the next 5 years, if it keeps at it’s pace and continues along the route, but the current state is, I don’t want people jumping ship, just because something "sexy" and magic appears on the horizon for their productivity….
I’m using Notion along with a to-do list app (for tasks), Evernote (note-taking), Google Calendar (for events/meetings) right now and it works great, complimenting my experience.
I’ve been getting about 10 emails a week on the topic of Notion replacing Evernote, in which I’m yet to cover in a video, but at the moment, I see Notion being your Trello replacement, not Evernote. Yet!
Stay tuned on the YouTube channel for more features on how Notion compares with the likes of other resources and my general thoughts as this pans out in the next few years or even months.