Have you spent any time with Notion?

It’s a multi-platform/web-based (it does have OS and mobile specific apps) knowledge/content management tool.

I came across it when searching for alternatives to Evernote and admit I am intrigued. It is a clean, highly configurable, wiki-like workspace. It’s free for individual use (even without ads). It has downsides: No inking support, no offline capabilities, no end-to-end encryption.

Visually and structurally, I could run a long way down this rabbit hole. Just curious if any of you have tried it. TIA.

(Not sure this is in the right place; please feel free to move it if needed.)


I have been using Notion as a replacement for OneNote/EverNote and to some extent MS Word for a little over a year now. I haven’t even begun to unpack all of its capabilities yet but I really like the nested file structure for my uses.

I am using it for a game I am developing, nesting the different aspects into a folder structure. I also find it passable for writing, as the nested structure also works for chapters which can nest their own references that can be easily removed later. You can add links between pages for easy access to everything you have nested, which is nice. I don’t know how those links translate if you try to export it outside of Notion, but, if you want others to collaborate, you can add them to individual projects/file structures, anywhere in your Notion.

There are options for databases to be added as well, but I haven’t played with that yet.

All in all, I highly recommend anyone try it out. It’s got a learning curve because it’s pretty powerful, but overall it’s been great for me.


Thanks for sharing this.

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By the way, this is psuedo true. As long as you open the app while online, it will remain open if you go offline, and your changes will sync when back online again. If you’re offline and try to open it though, it usually takes you to the sign on screen and you can’t get in. I think I’ve even opened it offline before with cached data, but don’t quote me on that part.

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Haven’t tried it, but came across this which may help make it more visual:

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The lack of e2ee caused me to go in a different direction. I use Devonthink for everything except inking (although I can use it for that even–I just use Notability instead.) When I was windows only, I used desktop Onenote on Nextcloud. This meant I could locally host my onenote notebooks. The drawback was it wouldn’t work on my iPhone or Android Phone…

Notion is fine for what it does I just like e2ee in my cloud solutions…

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May be misunderstanding you - does Notion not work on iOS?

I like the sound of this and am looking for something to help me plan out a personal project with a friend - however he’s iOS only. (classic tattooist who uses an iPPro for Procreate)

Notion definitely works on IOS. I have it on my IPP, MBP, and Pixel 6 and use it on all 3 regularly.

I think Eltos was referring to Onenote on Nextcloud.


No, local offline notebooks wouldn’t work in onenote on iOS or Android. Sorry for any misunderstanding. :slight_smile:

Yes, exactly. Sorry about the ambiguity. :slight_smile:


Thank you! You peaked my interest when you said you were using it to write / organise a game. I’m finally getting round to planning and hopefully carrying out a large personal project and your first comment on the thread really intrigued me and I could see how this would replace lots of scraps of paper around the house with scribbles and notes on.

I don’t want to steal your notes or ideas but I can imagine constructing or working out a narrative and then breaking those bits down into sections to put the detail in. One mistake I often make in large personal projects is to put detail into a plan before I have the structure sorted - this could discipline me. Is that how you use it - if I’m not prying too far?

Don’t sweat it. You’ll be sorry when I come back asking lots of beginner questions. I was just worried if I put the effort into this that my tattooist friend wouldn’t be able to access the plans or even add to them on his iPad Pro.

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If I’m understanding you correctly, partially, yes. I created the idea for this game about 2 years ago, before I discovered Notion, so I already had some structure behind it. But, for Notion, I created the main project, then within that created all of the different files and sections I knew I would want. This is a TTRPG game that I’m also developing an online character builder and possibly interactive map to play online real time, sort of Roll20 ish with updated code if you know what that is. I sorted it into all of the mechanics sections, like characters, items, abilities, things like that, and also made sections for game rules and for world building. Within each of those pages is yet another set of pages, so items would house pages for equipment, armor, weapons, and magic items separately. Drilling all the way down to those pages resides the actual list of items I’m creating with their details that will eventually get loaded into my database for the site.

I have a separate document that is for PDF printing for basically an overview of how to play/create characters/everything you need to get started in print format that I’m working on organizing all those other pages into for a potential in-person play rulebook.

That’s pretty much how I use it for everything though so far. I have some other documentation I’ve been working on for a new Javascript framework that’s got a similar file structure. It’s just a tree breakdown of all the sections of the framework that will eventually become the docs and demo guide for the website. I haven’t set up a lot of links between pages, but it’s pretty easy to do so.

Anyway, hope that helps.

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Wow, if the software can do all that - then handling the structure of a graphic novel / story set-up and then scripts pales into comparison so yes - you really helped there.
It’s one of 3 projects I’m doing over the next 2 years and if it’s not organised and tied down then it’ll all end up a horrible mess.

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There’s a series of helpful YouTube videos on how to use Notion I would recommend also. I wish I had found them when I first started using it. I can’t remember the name off the top of my head, but I’ll link it later if I can find it.

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FYI, the word you wanted there was piqued.


So far, I’ve set up Notion (thanks @Bishop for the initial headsup and @James for the use case) spent two days with it and it’s fabulous.

I originally ran a successful monthly comic strip many many years ago (before I entered the world of teaching) and have wanted to do something similar - but lack of groundwork and planning always led me to dead ends after a promising start.

Anyhow - I have it on my Mac Mini for extended research and input and I have it on my phone for on-the-go ideas and jotting down random thoughts. I’m not worried about lack of stylus input - I’m going to do all rough drawings and storyboards on paper and then insert links to image scans and reference photos from my Gmail blog account which will serve as the image repository.

Notion just feels like a really useful tool - learning curve doesn’t feel like a brick wall to dismantle - I can name plenty of art software which is a brick wall that you have to spend months or years learning before you can start being productive (looking at YOU Blender… Clip Studio… Affinity) but instead Notion feels natural and supportive right from the get-go.

If I were a literary person, I could imagine blocking out a story and dragging / dropping elements around as the story evolves and develops - dropping in tables or extra detail to create the “lore” of a series of novels. As it is - the drag and drop of blocks speaks to me for how I could easily rearrange storyboards and timelines and add extra depth as needed.

Couple of things I’d like to try / explore - is there voice-to-text - so I can enter or input ideas on my phone and maybe download the Google Blogger App so I can capture immediate research pictures and upload them - linking directly in Notion.

Rare to find a piece of software that so neatly and quickly enables me rather than gets in the way. I have a book on Hergé’s TinTin and how he arranged his studio with research pictures everywhere around his drawing desk. I wonder how much easier he might have found planning and organising his ideas with something like this App. (Mind you - he might have been super-organised which was why he was so successful)

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It looks pretty cool and useful.

No inking and limited offline support makes it of no use to me though. Using a plugin for another service for something like that isn’t seemless or reliable enough. Offline support that requires concious action before use (looking at Steam of old) is also bad design and incredibly frustrating.

Also, tinfoil hat on, I noticed that OneNote wasn’t shown at the end of video for services/programs that they suggest Notion can replace…


Interesting you say that. It began to register with me how many content creators swear by Notion for managing their production process. Granted starting from the set of their YouTube videos is probably a self-selecting sample, but even the unsponsored ones are raving.

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The more I futz around with Notion, the more of a HyperCard vibe I get.


That may be why I like it.

When I’ve played with OneNote it’s always reminded me of an IBM app that got given away in the 2000’s. I can’t remember what it was called but it came on a giveaway CD on a computer magazine I used to subscribe to. That seems to have an infinite canvas feel to it which I’ve never been a fan of in my art software. Knowing how some ideas get regurgitated - it could even have been the ancestor of OneNote and modern note-taking organiser Apps.
I gave that original IBM App a couple of weeks try - you could type notes / paste sound and video files and drop links in too - don’t remember being able to draw or write in it though.

Notion (so far) gives me a structure I can work around and then have my own unlimited thoughts and direction.

I absolutely love being able to drag pages / blocks or links around so easily - OneNote probably does the same thing but it just doesn’t fit with my thought processes. I think that’s it - visually, a drop down parent-child organisation works for me whereas OneNote (from the times I tried and hated it) seemed to separate things off with much more distinct pages - mimicking a book a bit too much for my liking.

Sorry, I’ve rambled. Good thing I’m going away for holiday where there’s no wifi.