How many apps do you use to organize your workflows, be more productive and plan things? You can delete them all, because there is a universal cross-platform program for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows called Notion. More precisely, it appeared much earlier, but we discovered Notion quite recently. And we have a lot to tell you.
The app is developed by a small team of developers, Notion Labs, based in San Francisco. The global release of the program took place back in 2016, and since then it has been constantly updated and improved. Usually small companies tell at least something about themselves, but the official website only has a picture of their office - judging by the description, they walk around in it without shoes, creating a relaxed, home-like atmosphere. All the rest of the information is devoted to the application itself - on the other hand, this is commendable, because the developers are fully focused on their product and don't waste time (and server space) in vain.
Photo from the official website
According to the developers, Notion is a workspace that can be a regular notes service, a knowledge base, a task scheduler, and a project tracking service. The functionality of the application is huge, and the deeper you start digging, the more you are amazed by what Notion can do - it is about the same emotions you experience when you start working closely with Excel. That's why the app easily supersedes the other programs, and single-handedly handles the vast majority of the tasks you do every day. Authorization in the app is through Google, which is also convenient - you don't need to have a separate account. There is a dark theme - many will like it (judging by all, this kind of thing is usually preferred by programmers).
An up-to-date photo of the Notion Labs team
Notes and Documents
The application allows you to take notes and synchronize it between all the devices on which you are authorized. Updating is very fast, literally "on the fly", which can not fail to please, because to work in the application as a single or an entire team. Notion supports markdown-coding - a word between certain characters is automatically italicized, crossed out, bolded or linked. Your workspace itself is arranged minimalistically - the text is on a white blank background, nothing distracts you from your work. If you want, you can choose an icon or a page cover, and even the free version has the ability to not only choose something from the built-in files, but also to upload their own. The only limitation - the weight is no more than 5 MB.
As mentioned above, Notion supports teamwork, and you can start a business space to work in. Notion is put through the "@", control version changes, edit in real time, and configure permissions. All of this is done both in the app and on the computer, which makes it much easier and faster.
Notion is the killer of Evernote, Bear, and other services that specialize in note-taking. Needless to say, even Google Docs may not be needed with such functionality - unless, of course, you need precise layout for subsequent export of the finished document to a word-file.
Tables and databases
Let's say at once that you can't make full-fledged tables with calculations, formulas, and so on. Here we are rather talking about an informative table - more precisely, a database in which you can conveniently store information. To create a table, you need to take a few taps / clicks - create a new page, then click on the "table" button and that's it.
What's convenient (and incredible at the same time) is that every cell in the table is a complete file in which you can enter data, set tags, attach files and write comments with notes. Airtable - sorry, you're not needed either.
By the way, internal linking allows you to organize a wiki-like knowledge base - for this there is a separate template (template), of which there are just a huge number. Create the required number of blocks for the base, link pages, and after that - happily use. No crutches with tags and contexts - everything is available via links. It's unrealistically cool - with Notion you can organize anything you want.
All sorts of task lists like Todoist, Wunderlist, Trello, etc. can be safely torn down, because Notion has templates that just "tear" these applications.
The first option is a lightweight list of tasks: To-Do list, in progress and completed. The first column - tasks with checkboxes, and you can set not only the name of the topic, but also comments to it (if anything, the markup still works). You can try to adapt this template for GTD, and then the first column will act as the Inbox. The second and third column, respectively, shows which tasks are in progress, as well as completed ones.
The second option is a Trello-style task scheduler, without checkboxes, but with more boards. You can turn it into an Eisenhower matrix if you want, but you can't customize the arrangement of 2x2 blocks. You can assign urgency/importance tags to the task, and delegate the task to people in charge.
The developers have provided the ability to import data from Trello and Asana, as well as Google Docs, Dropbox and other well-known workflow tools. All your business that you can think of and organize can be easily implemented in Notion - a single workspace is always in your phone and computer, it can be edited in any mode. But if you create some pages on your computer, you have to load them on your smartphone manually - even Evernote couldn't cope with this crutch.
The free version also has limitations - no more than 1,000 pieces of information. It is understandable - the development team needs something to live on, despite the impressive list of investors. Fortunately the rates here are reasonable - 4 dollars a month for yourself only, 8 dollars a month will have to pay for the team. There is also an enterprise mode (16 bucks / month), but about the service will have to write to Notion Labs, so that you have a presentation of opportunities.
There is no Russian language. Everything is very clear, plus all fonts support Cyrillic, but it would be much more convenient if Notion was localized. Especially when you consider the fact that Sergey Surganov (former art director of Meduza), a Russian designer, works in the team.
And another thing - apparently, the developers use Amazon's servers (not their own), so there is a risk of losing all the data that is there. Probably not as big as in Evernote (from which almost everyone has escaped already), because Jeff Bezos is not going to slow down, so one can only wish him good health. As well as all the guys from Notion Labs - they made the most powerful product and just destroyed the competition, so there should be more than enough negative thoughts about them.
Instead of an afterword
It turns out that Notion itself also has a competitor - Coda.io, you can go to the site and see for yourself. The app is already available in the App Store, it's colorful and bright, with lots of pictures, graphs and so on. Notion intentionally remains in monochrome - according to the developers, nothing should distract from the work process. In principle, we agree with them.
I have been writing reviews of mobile games since 2011. I am actively involved in the development of mobile eSports, commentating on Auto Chess, Clash Royale, PUBG Mobile matches. If I like a game, I like it for a long time and study it thoroughly. And share my thoughts with everyone!