Notion Reviews

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Notion.so are receiving well-deserved praised for their attractive-looking, flexible and very feature-rich platform. Primarily, Notion enables users to organize data in a Wiki-style system within inter-linked pages. Many templates exist for those pages, everything from simple blank pages to calendars, meetings, tables of various kinds, and far beyond. Each page can have embedded links, documents (including embedded), images, tables (with different column types), calendars (whole-page or inline), formatting, code highlights, markdown and lots of other options. It is an extremely versatile approach to organizing information.

I do have some reservations few seem to mention. Here they are:

Privacy: Notion don't impress me in privacy terms. It's actually every bit as bad as its competitors - and that's not good. There is no option for end-to-end / zero-knowledge encryption, which means everything you put on Notion is readable to them, whoever might subpoena them (and laws in the US for doing that are ample and often used) and also whoever might hack their servers. Few will agree with me, but I think end-to-end encryption of user data is an absolute must these days. At the very least, know that whatever you put on Notion (or Evernote, or OneNote), may slip beyond your control for both legal and illegal reasons. They also don't mention what happens to your data if you delete your account (is it irrecoverably deleted? after how long?).

The login system: Notion seem to have chickened out of storing user passwords. I can understand this; they don't want to be the next company to discover a leak of user credentials. But their solution is appalling. The first option to login online (web app) is to use Google credentials. Not everyone has a Google account, not everyone wants one, for privacy reasons. For me and my company, Google is as no-go as you can get; I respect my customers too much to store their data on Google's privacy invading systems. The other Notion.so login option is that you type in your email, and - in lieu of a password - you receive a login link or code to that email address. So that means the security of your account is outsourced to your email provider. That makes logging in online hugely inconvenient. I have to login into my email account just to login to Notion.

The overall process is this:

  1. Go to notion.so, type in your email.
  2. Go to email account.
  3. Type in credentials
  4. Use 2FA.
  5. Open email from Notion.
  6. Click link or copy code
    (7. Paste code back into notion.so page.)

What it should be:

  1. Go to notion.so
  2. Type in username + password
  3. Optionally, a 2FA code.

Apart from the inconvenience of this, Notion are assuming that my email account is well secured. It's a terrible assumption, given that virtually every email provider in the world is hackable, people use weak passwords, no 2FA and that companies like Yahoo have managed to have every single account hacked into. Notion are just being lazy; if someone gains access to my Notion by hacking my account, they can wash their hands clean. They are also saving money and time by not implementing a 2FA system. But the fact is that it's Notion's dumb decision to rely on the security of email providers they don't know. That's a very dangerous game to play. They should do their own login system, and just do it properly.

Linux: There is no Linux client. This is par-for-the-course in the "productivity" world. Windows and Mac are appalling from a privacy perspective, but companies like Notion, Evernote and their ilk know which side their bread is buttered on. So Linux users are stuck with using the online version and the tedious bullshit login system (see above). All I can say at the moment, though is that at least the web version is every bit as nice as the app, which in Evernote's case is not at all true; Evernote's web version is laughably slow and poorly implemented.

Not an Evernote replacement: It's tempting to think that Evernote and Notion are competitors, but for all of Notion's innovative and flexible features, it's note-taking capability is nothing like Evernote's. There is no structured note-taking system, no scanning or ability to deliver notes directly via email. At least not at the time of writing. Perhaps that will come in the future. Notion are perhaps more similar to Dropbox paper or Nuclino. Except better implemented and feature-rich.


Presently (2018-06-24), I'll give Notion.so 3 stars for innovation and for making a clearly popular and desirable product. And they don't get more because of the poor privacy, the inconvenient, lazy and dangerous login strategy and the lack of any Linux support.

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Everything gets organized in Notion... Plus: Markdown support.

Airtable competitor killer.

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  • I was the original author that posted the 3 star review of Notion
  • I am really pleased to see the development pace of Notion
  • Notion by far, has less and less visible bugs, their development team loves to listen to different opinions and this product is finally starting to kickstart
  • I personally see huge potential for notion, and I would like to see them open api and extension support as well as address some security concerns

[Edited by C0, November 13]

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Tries to do too much.

Confusing.

P.S. I am looking for a bonafide notes from Mac alternative. For windows, preferably cross platform

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Is a lot more user friendly and flexible than similar programs such as Onenote, despite lacking some features. Extremely aesthetically pleasing! Could have the option to simply buy software and store info locally.

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Notion is a fabulous all round productivity app!

  • In the field of purely notes based apps it is better than the likes of Standard Notes, Laverna, SimpleNote, etc. due to its extensive markdown support, additional features (like inserting images, links, LaTeX, highlighting and text color), and the 'block' architechture that makes arranging and organising information very easy.
  • It serves as a very powerful productivity app that can be made to your preferences, supporting Kanban style views, ToDo lists, Calenders. While It may not be as focused as programs such as Trello, Asana or Monday, its customizability makes this a more powerful tool.
  • It is built for team use, is good for personal use, and can replace shitty shared OneNotes, Google Docs, and other collaborative tools. It more accessible than ever now with a new Android Version
  • It looks really nice
  • Active support
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Because it is so EZ to use and feature-rich!

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Awesome for wikis: you can easily start writing a bunch of web pages, share it with co-workers and choose whether to publicize or keep your content private. It's also easy to hyperlink pages

Flexible contents storage and organization: you can upload files and embbed online stuff in any hierarchical structure using pages, toggle lists etc

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Awesome for wikis: you can eas...

about Notion · · Helpful Not helpful -2 Helpful Report as spam

Awesome for wikis: you can easily start writing a bunch of web pages, share it with co-workers and choose whether to publicize or keep your content private. It's also easy to hyperlink pages

Flexible contents storage and organization: you can upload files and embed online stuff in any hierarchical structure using pages, toggle lists etc

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