The 4 Best Notion Alternatives [2024] – Which Tool is Really the Best?

Notion: once born as a modest note-taking app, it has evolved in just a few years into a digital Swiss Army knife that can do much more than just store notes.

With a proud 30 million users worldwide — a number that is growing rapidly — Notion is now considered one of the most popular productivity tools.

If I had to sum up Notion in a few words, I would describe it as a fusion of Trello, Excel, Word, and Evernote. It’s like combining the best of these tools into one package. Notion allows you to manage projects, organize information, and coordinate teams, both in private and professional contexts.

The user interface remains intuitive and customizable, so you don’t need a developer background to make the most of Notion. In my eyes, that’s why it’s the perfect no-code tool for freelancers and small businesses.

The fact that the basic version, which covers most of the features, is completely free makes it an unbeatable offer in the app world.

However, Notion is not the only productivity app on the market. For certain users and user profiles, other apps may be better.

In the following, I present some of the best Notion alternatives and describe for which users they are a good alternative.

Asana as a Notion alternative

If you already use a well-structured work environment and just want to coordinate projects and tasks, you should definitely take a look at Asana.

As a specialized tool, it is in some areas even more user-friendly than Notion:

Advantages of Asana:

  1. Ease of Use: Asana is a very user-friendly tool that can be quickly set up and operated by users.
  2. Project Management: Asana is not a tool that tries to cover all areas. It specializes in project management and therefore offers many features that help you organize and track projects.
  3. Team Collaboration: Asana offers many collaboration features, such as task comments, delegation, and real-time communication.
  4. Integration: Similar to Notion, Asana offers a wide range of integrations with other tools like Google Drive, Slack, and others.

Disadvantages of Asana:

  1. Limited Customizability: As mentioned earlier, Asana specializes in project management, which means it is less adaptable to your needs than Notion.
  2. Price: While Asana does offer a free version, its paid plans are considerably more expensive compared to its competitors.

Evernote as a Notion alternative

For years, Evernote was the dominant force among productivity and note-taking tools. However, due to the emergence of competing products like Notion, Evernote has lost its supremacy in recent years.

Still, millions of users continue to prefer the simplicity and specialized focus of Evernote. Below, I break down the advantages and disadvantages of the app compared to Notion:

Evernote Advantages:

  1. User-Friendliness: Simple and intuitive experience; quick setup.
  2. Note Management: Notes are the core of this app. With Evernote, you can quickly jot down notes with multiple content types. Syncing notes across various devices is also a breeze.

Evernote Disadvantages:

  1. Flexibility: Users have some flexibility in designing their notes. Otherwise, they can hardly customize the app.
  2. Price: There’s a free plan available; subscriptions with the most powerful features start at €5.83/month. The app is affordable, but it can’t compete with Notion’s free plan.

My Conclusion:

Evernote is preferable if you’re looking for a straightforward note-taking application and if you don’t require task management or collaboration with team members.

On the other hand, Notion is a better choice for those who want to create their own productivity system. It’s also ideal for those needing a workspace to collaborate with team members with whom they want to coordinate tasks and projects.

Obsidian as a Notion Alternative

Unlike traditional note apps where notes are arranged linearly,

Obsidian allows you to organically relate each entry to other entries. When you work in Obsidian, it’s like navigating through the neurons of your own digital brain. Therefore, it is considered the best app for building a Second Brain or Zettelkasten.

Obsidian Advantages:

  1. Individual Knowledge Workers: Obsidian is especially useful for individuals who want to build a deep, connected knowledge system, such as researchers, writers, or students.
  2. Local Data Storage: For users who value data privacy and want to store their notes locally, Obsidian is the better choice.
  3. Speed: Since data is stored locally, Obsidian is much faster than all the other apps on this list.
  4. Connected Thinking and Zettelkasten: Those looking to establish a Zettelkasten system will find Obsidian very useful.
  5. Markdown Lovers: For those familiar with or preferring Markdown, Obsidian provides a natural environment for writing and formatting their texts.
  6. Expandability: Tech-savvy users who want to extend and customize their system with plugins will appreciate Obsidian’s flexibility.

Obsidian Disadvantages:

  1. No Team Features: Obsidian is designed for individual users. It’s not suitable for team collaboration.
  2. Project Management: Task and project management is possible in Obsidian thanks to several plugin solutions, but they are not intuitive.

My Conclusion:

Obsidian is excellent for knowledge management, but it’s not ideal for task tracking or project organization. For those solely seeking a Zettelkasten, Obsidian is perfectly equipped. However, for task and project management combined with note management, I would still prefer Notion.

Trello as a Notion alternative

If you’re looking for a simple solution for task and project management that’s ready to use immediately, Trello might be a good choice. It’s ideal for teams working in agile environments who want to easily track progress.

Trello Advantages:

  1. Simplicity and User-Friendliness: Trello is easy to understand and doesn’t require extensive training. It’s quick to set up and ready to use right away.
  2. Visual Representation: Trello’s Kanban system allows for a clear, visual representation of tasks and projects, facilitating collaboration and communication.
  3. Integrations: Trello offers numerous integrations with other tools and platforms, simplifying automation and data exchange.
  4. Mobile Apps: Trello provides well-optimized mobile apps for iOS and Android, making it easier to work on the go.

Trello Disadvantages:

  1. Limited Features: Trello primarily focuses on task and project management, offering less flexibility for complex data structures.
  2. Documentation and Notes: Trello does not offer robust features for documentation and creating extensive content.

My Conclusion:

Trello is a user-friendly task and project management tool ideal for agile teams. It offers a clear visual representation of tasks through its Kanban system, making collaboration and communication easier. Trello integrates with various other platforms, enhancing automation and data sharing, and also provides mobile apps for on-the-go access. However, it might be limited for those needing complex data structures or robust documentation features

Conclusion: Notion vs. The Rest

The productivity app market is dynamic and constantly evolving. Even though Notion currently sets the trend, it’s uncertain whether this dominance will continue in the coming years.

However, it can be said that Notion is currently the most universal tool in this segment. For those wanting to consolidate different requirements onto one platform, Notion is ideally suited.

Yet, in more specific areas such as pure note-taking or project management, the alternatives discussed here might well surpass Notion.

Ultimately, the choice of the right tool is always personal and based on your individual requirements. There is no universal app that meets all needs equally. Nevertheless, I hope my overview provides you with a clear insight into the market and helps you identify the ideal tool for you.