Several years ago, I ditched Evernote. I was a loyal user for the all the reasons everyone loves Evernote: organization, the ability to handle any data type you throw at it, and having it available on any and every device I used. Then, they restructured. Free features became locked behind a paywall, and I could only use the free version on two devices, this wouldn’t work as I was constantly bouncing between my phone, tablet, and desktop. This began my search for a replacement that could do everything I needed it to. Finally, last year, Notion launched, and I haven’t looked back. This calls for a Notion review.
A New Ecosystem
I tried solution after solution, but nothing had all the Evernote features. It was like no alternate understood Evernote users and what they wanted. Some companies even capitalized and made tools to import Evernote content into their platform, but none had everything an Evernote user would need to make a full transition. The promise of new features wasn’t enough. We needed everything we had, and our productivity depended on the tools we used day in and day out.
Notion’s feature set is extensive, and even removes some limitations that Evernote had. For instance, the organization hierarchy only extended from notes → notebooks → stacks in Evernote. Notion has an unlimited hierarchy. Each page you make in Notion can contain however many pages you want, and those pages can contain more pages and so on. You can also leave a “breadcrumb” on any page, in case you get lost among your pages. I’ve never had this problem though (yet).
Notion can handle reminders, notes (both long and short form documents), checklists, calendars, web clipping, and more. Pretty much anything you need it to do, it can do. More importantly, even though it has so many possibilities, all unused features don’t get in your way. They stay out of sight unless you need them so you won’t get overwhelmed.
Sometimes we forget that products are made by people. Notion’s support team has been an invaluable resource. They operate on the “No question is a dumb question” policy. I was a part of Notion’s beta, and during that time they patiently helped me through every question I had. They even took note to update me on any bug reports, and file additional feature requests I made with with their dev team. Plus, the chat-like nature of their support requests help it feel genuine and like you’re talking to someone who actually wants to help.
As you’re setting up your account and figuring out your workflow, I highly recommend reaching out to them with any help you need. Even if it is as simple as “How can I do xyz?” they’ll respond, helping you solve your problem. I have no doubt you’ll have the same positive experience with their team that I have.
I’ll give you some examples of how I use Notion every day.
First, I use the Notion web clipper on Google Chrome and Android. This saves web pages and articles into the “My Links” page for reference later. A bonus is for almost every article, Notion will parse the text and put it right into the page so you can read it, highlight it, annotate it, and share it all within Notion’s apps. Amazing.
I follow Tim Challie’s system of organization. You can find out more about that by checking out his book Do More Better, but my main pages are for 1) Personal, 2) Family, 3) Church Leadership, 4) Church Family, and 5) Professional. From there I have sub-pages for various things.
For instance, in my Personal page, I have pages for Sticky Notes (a gallery view of notes for quick note taking), My Links as mentioned above, Writings, Book Notes and Quotes, and a Reading List. Diving into my Reading List, I’ve created a table within Notion to keep track of all the books I’m interested in, their authors, a tag for their current status on my shelf, and completion date. This helps me keep track of my giant reading list and gives me so much satisfaction plugging in the complete date once I’m finished.
Most of my other pages are generic text-based pages. I’ve created a template for my Sermon Prep so the first thing I do is duplicate the template and plug in the basic info and start preparing. I have a table full of my writings (to-do and complete). I have a chart for the couples I counsel at church. The sky is the limit.
Notion comes packed with templates for you to play around with as well. If you’re doing this at night, be sure to enable night mode to save you eyes!
If you’re like me and have been searching forever for an Evernote replacement, head to Notion’s website and import your Evernote. It’s powerful, flexible, portable, and reasonably priced. Notion’s free version includes a certain number of “blocks” you can use, but after that it’s $4/mo for their personal plan and increases from there. If you end up running out of free space, I highly recommend upgrading. Notion is an all-in-one solution and could be your go-to productivity / organization system. Check out Notion here.