What is Notion?

Notion is a digital workspace that simplifies and manages notes, tasks, projects, records, calendars, and more, for organizations of all sizes. It is available as a web interface or native app for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

Notion’s key features include task and project management, content creation and sharing, content database management, and data export. Notion simplifies project workflows with capabilities like product roadmaps, to-do lists, and extensive content templates. Users can view and manage completed, in-progress and unstarted tasks from any location or device.

Common uses of Notion are for collaboration on project work, sharing meeting minutes and project reports, and distributing organizational documents. Notion provides an application programming interface (API) that allows businesses to integrate the system with over 50 third-party integrations including Google Sheets, Slack, Twitter, and Figma.

While Notion is a great solution, some users find it difficult to use due to its extensive functionality and non-standard user interface. Also, it might be overkill if an organization plans to use only some of its features. Moreover, developers using Notion to document their software projects often find that documentation becomes stale quickly, and that finding the right document when needed is challenging. Below we cover several great solutions you should consider as Notion alternatives.

1. Swimm

  • Pricing: $0-$25
  • Platform: iOS, Mac, Android, and Windows

Swimm is a strong Notion alternative for software engineering teams. It seamlessly integrates Docs as Code documentation into the development workflow with various integrations for common developer platforms, such as Github, Jetbrains IDEs and VS Code.

Swimm’s core features include:

  • Automatically syncing documents as relevant code changes, as part of the CI process
  • Live code snippets, tokens and diagrams
  • Docs as code – Documents are saved as Markdown (.md) files within repositories
  • Web application – That includes a dev focused editor, fast cross repository search and various ways to structure the team’s workspace
  • Plugins for IDEs – That highlight documents that relate to various parts of the code.

2. Confluence

  • Pricing: $0-$10.50
  • Platform: iOS, Mac, Android, and Windows

Confluence is an Atlassian product designed as a remote team workspace that supports communication, collaboration, and culture within teams.

It is more of a knowledge sharing and collaboration platform than a project management tool. Confluence is a great tool if your main goal is to create and store documents without worrying about confidentiality.

Confluence can also be integrated with PM software Trello for better project management.

  • Unlimited space and pages for real-time document creation
  • Collaborative document management
  • Real-time editing and rich commentary
  • Advanced search function
  • Analytics and KPIs
  • Family and personalized feeds
  • privacy and encryption
  • 75+ customizable templates

3. OneNote

  • Pricing: provided with the Microsoft 365 suite.
  • Platform: Android, Windows, iOS, and Mac.

OneNote is Microsoft’s note-taking software, available with the Microsoft Office suite and free on all platforms outside the suite. You can use OneNote for multi-user collaboration and free-form information gathering. It lets you centrally gather notes, screen clippings, audio commentaries, and notes and share your content with other OneNote users.

Here are the core features of OneNote:

  • Type notes.
  • Record audio.
  • Sketch or write ideas (for tablets and laptops that support sketching).
  • Add images from your computer or smartphone.
  • Search your notes.
  • Move notes around a page.
  • Organize pages into sections.
  • Keep sections in one or several notebooks.
  • Change devices and resume your work.
  • Share notebooks with others, allowing them to view and contribute simultaneously.

4. Asana

  • Pricing: $0-$30.49
  • Platform: Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, and Web App

Asana helps orchestrate work across teams, providing features that support daily tasks and strategic initiatives. It enables teams to collaborate across various locations and departments. Teams can use Asana to track the status of initiatives and get real-time reports on project progress in minutes.

5. Airtable

  • Pricing: $0-$20
  • Platform: Android, Windows, iOS, and Mac.

Airtable is an organization and collaboration solution that provides a centralized platform for managing customers, projects, and ideas. This mobile-friendly tool includes native smartphone and desktop apps that enable users to organize content with collaborators from any location.

Here are the core features of this tool:

  • Rich text fields like dropdowns, checkboxes, long notes, and barcodes.
  • Intelligent content links.
  • Customizable forms and displays.
  • Integration with apps like Dropbox, GitHub, and Slack.
  • Drag and drop file attachments.
  • Document previews.
  • Grid, gallery, and calendar views.
  • Filtering, grouping, and sorting capabilities.
  • Tagging, messaging, and sharing content with collaborators.

Airtable automatically saves and syncs all changes securely across all devices.

6. Obsidian

  • Pricing: $0-$50
  • Platform: Android, Windows, iOS, and Mac

Obsidian is an extensible knowledge base that works on a local folder of plain text files. It provides 143 themes, 25 core plugins, 722 community plugins, and custom styling that you can use to customize Obsidian’s functionality and look to your needs.

Here are the main features:

  • Graph view—provides information at a glance. It lets you observe, explore, and stay motivated using groups, filters, and display options to customize the view to your needs.
  • Backlinks—lets you link relevant pages using one click.
  • Outgoing links—you can view all existing and potential links and turn mentions into links.
  • Control—Obsidian stores notes live on your device. You can set up encryption and backup using your methods and tools.
  • Always available—Obsidian works offline to ensure Internet or service issues do not hinder productivity.

7. ClickUp

  • Pricing: $0-$19
  • Platform: iOS, Mac, Android, and Windows

If you’re looking for a full-featured project management tool, ClickUp is an excellent choice. Combining your favorite note-taking and project management tools, ClickUp has skyrocketed in popularity as an all-in-one tool today.

ClickUp allows users to save and edit documents in real time, track tasks and projects with a color code system, and has basic notepad functionality. Notepad is more functional than Notion’s Notepad, allowing you to add checklists, simple code snippets, and providing the ability to print a Notepad.

  • Free and paid plans available
  • The note-taking feature allows users to print notes.
  • Customizable interface—suitable for any size business
  • Drag-and-drop function in an intuitive and simple interface
  • Basic time tracking and powerful integration

8. Coda

  • Pricing: $0-$36
  • Platform: iOS, Mac, Android, and Windows, and Web App

Another great Notion alternative is Coda. This note app lets you manage all your project documents in one place.

Actually Coda has the same module layout. Unlike Notion, however, Coda is completely encrypted.

Like Notion, Coda can be used for documentation, productivity, and most importantly teamwork. It has customization features to easily create new pages, checklists, tasks, forms, kanban boards and other essentials.

  • Powerful word processor, spreadsheet and database capabilities
  • Flexibility for simple and complex systems
  • A variety of custom views
  • Extensive collection of templates
  • Easy integration with other applications

9. Nuclino

  • Pricing: $0-$6
  • Platform: iOS, Mac, Android, and Windows, and Web App

Nuclino is a collaboration tool built for speed. The simple, intuitive design greatly shortens the learning curve, and advanced features such as auto-save, instant search, and shortcuts help you quickly capture ideas as they arise. Nuclino also integrates with over 40 different apps, giving you access to all the best tools in one place.

  • Quick Search: Use search and apply filters to find everything you need.
  • Version History: View previous versions of a document and undo unwanted changes.
  • Editor: Nuclino uses a simple drag-and-drop editor to create and edit content.
  • Views and visualizations: Nuclino supports list, board and chart views that can be seamlessly switched.
  • Permissions: Set who can read, edit, or comment on your document.

10. Evernote

  • Pricing: $0-$14.99
  • Platform: iOS, Mac, Android, and Windows

When it comes to note taking, Evernote was first and foremost. Accessible from any device, you can capture and store all the information you need, including images, text, sketches, video and web clippings.

Getting this information is also easy thanks to Evernote’s OCR search feature. Just type in a search term and Evernote will return accurate results whether the word is in a photo, document, or handwritten note.

  • Web Clipper: This feature allows you to capture web pages, articles or PDFs and customize them with highlighting, text and annotations.
  • Templates: Evernote comes with several pre-designed templates that you can install and customize to quickly start taking notes.
  • Search: Use search to find words in handwritten notes, photos, and documents.
  • Sync: Your notes are automatically saved online so you can access them anytime, anywhere.
  • Tasks: Create tasks from notes, set due dates, repeat, remind, and assign tasks to other members of your team.