After all the stuff I had read, watched, and heard about Notion, I wanted to see if I could use it as my primary personal information data capture and retrieval system. The other day, I went ahead and created a Notion account, imported some stuff from Evernote (that part surprised me and went very smoothly).
Mostly, I wanted to take a look at Notion before I got too far into my latest productivity efforts with Evernote. It isn’t that I am unhappy with Evernote, but there is something buzzing in the back of my head telling me that I need to look around at other notes apps also. Nothing concrete, but more a gut feeling. At the top of that gut feeling was wanting to look at Notion.
Then I spent a good part of the evening and this morning playing around to see what it could do. Without getting too much into the weeds or trying to break things.
What I like a lot about Notion, it is powerful and has features that I wouldn’t use right away, but would be great to have later as I develop more expertise using the app. However, I believe that I could jump in and start using it as my second brain. There was an awful lot that I like about Notion.
That part was great, and I thought even more about what would happen if I did go to using Notion instead of Evernote?
However, as I kept using it I found a few things that made me change my mind.
There is no native or easy way to forward my email to Notion. This is a big deal for me and by itself is enough reason not to use it. Especially, since I have decided not to store anything in my email accounts moving forward, and only keep copies in my storage/retrieval system.
The stock Notion web clipper needs work, I am spoiled by the Evernote Clipper setup and all its functions. Notion’s version is too basic for me. This wouldn’t be a deal-breaker but is not as useful as I would like.
Integrating Google Calendar is more of a work-around than something that is done seamlessly. Embedding a calendar as a read-only isn’t what I wanted. Also, having to make it public on the web is not a great workaround with other options available. While there are rumors of doing something with Outlook, I am not a huge Outlook fan and purposely ran away from it, several years ago.
Finally, and yes this is the major drawback for me.
Notion does too much. I love to tinker and in Notion, there is a lot to tinker with. Knowing me, I would get lost going down into numerous Notion rabbit holes. Which would be fun, let me learn new ways of doing things, but would become a time suck away from the reason I want to use it.
- To store, organize and use things I want to retrieve, quickly and easily. That being productive thing, I have decided to do better with this year.
What I learned
Sometimes, the tool that is best for you is not the one that does the most, is the newest or slickest thing out there, which I think Notion is. It is a fantastic productivity app, but there are too many things that my initial look made me think that using Notion would add stickiness in areas that I consider important and that Evernote works better for me at this time.
There will always be workarounds to get stuff done, no matter what app you are using, but when there are too many or the ones that are there make what you are attempting to do too sticky or add friction to getting what I want done, done. Then it becomes an easy choice on which app to use.
I will keep Notion in my back pocket and keep learning more about it, just in case my gut feeling about Evernote comes to fruition. Otherwise, I will stay with Evernote because it works good enough to do the things that I want to be done without a lot of fuss and muss that I see happening in Notion.
Sometimes familiar and what works for you is more important, than latest and greatest.