Notion has been a revelation. I actually wrote this post in Notion use Markdown. I have moved quite a few areas of my digital life over to Notion from Onenote, and Evernote. There are two major areas in which Notion does not quite do well enough to move completely over. Those are Importing of digital content such as websites, and photos. Two, pen (handwriting) support. Evernote still has one of the best web clipper, import systems on the market. Closely followed by Onenote. Onenote has the best handwriting system especially if you are coming from a Surface device. The Onenote platform has also made massive strides in terms of UX and UI designs in their android as well as Windows apps.
Notion has too many features for me to get through everything but I will run down a few of the features that I find set it apart from some of the other platforms for note-taking and digital life organisation.
Notion is organised around blocks. That is pieces of content like text, images video etc. If you want to check out their Guide on the editor, click here.
I have moved essentially all of my PhD management needs to Notion apart from task-management where I still use Todoist (See my previous post). Below is my PhD landing page and as you can see it is extremely customisable. Header, Icon and multiple columns.
As base I have used the excellent template created by Sterling Osbourne and you can use it yourself from this location.
The most powerful feature in my opinion, is the ability to link databases. I have created a literature database that allows me to network and connect the literature that I find through my travels.
As you can see all the essentials are here; title, type, year, authors and many more. This is of course completely customisable and so whatever fits best into your workflow. Here is an example that you can see in more detail (https://www.notion.so/borganstein/Chourabi-2012-6efc4e4edb4241bd8e8bb2fb940c5494).
Other than the immense flexibility this type of system offers, the ability to link to other content within Notion.
As you can see utilising the @ symbol allows me to link to specific pieces of literature, this makes it incredibly easy to pull together disparate pieces of information into a cohesive whole.
The above is one of the main reasons why I changed over from evernote, onenote and others. The other major feature that makes Notion such a strong competitor is their embedding technologies. You can embed a myriad of different content such as Google Docs, Sheets and Maps. As well as all the other major types of content.
Embedding Google Maps is incredibly easy and adds critical contextual information to a page, post or other piece of content. This goes for any of the embed types that Notion supports.
As you can see there are multiple ways to layout your databases to make them more visual and efficient.
The pricing structure is also quite reasonable with a fully featured free tier, and this gets you 1000 blocks and a 5mb file upload limit. I have upgraded my account to the personal level with a year subscription. The prices are below.
Considering that they have a fully featured free tier, I would highly recommend you give this product a try. Use this referral link to sign up and get $10 in credits to use in Notion.
I do wish it had better task-management and pen support but they have a really quick development cycle and are working on new features and consolidating existing ones all the time.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or even better tips please hit me up on my various social platforms or email.