Whether it’s a tool to facilitate rapid communication or balance the books, software solutions are becoming increasingly necessary cogs in the business machine.
The predominance of remote work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic challenged business owners to manage employees from afar — and many successfully rose to the challenge through project management platforms.
Notion is one such project management tool, allowing teams to create custom workspaces and collaborate effectively. It’s a popular solution for managing a range of projects, given its flexibility, yet it has its limitations.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at some apps like Notion to help you decide whether there’s something better out there for you and your team.
Continue reading to find out about budget-friendly Notion competitors on the market that could suit your business needs.
What is Notion?
The Notion app offers an alternative to the classic task management system that many project management solutions use. Instead of having you control the action by moving tasks around in a dynamic interface, Notion relies on custom drag-and-drop workspaces that reflect each team’s specific workflows and goals.
What is Notion used for?
When you first open the Notion app, it may appear to be a straightforward note-taking solution, but this betrays its real utility. Whether you’re working from home or at the office — or indeed a hybrid of the two — Notion lets you quickly access key project and team information in one place.
The main strengths of the software lie in how flexible it is, with many customization options for small businesses and dynamic teams. Start with a range of pre-built templates fit for various use cases and industries, and from there, you’re free to make Notion what you need it to be.
One of the primary limitations of Notion is the lack of a client-facing portal and features that let you track the financials of your projects. While it works well for internal use, it can be challenging to factor in stakeholders and use Notion at the enterprise level.
- Personal - Free
- Personal Pro - $4/month
- Team - $8/month
- Enterprise - Custom
Alternatives to Notion
No.1 Notion alternative: Wrike
Wrike is a strong, feature-rich Notion alternative. The flexible project management solution offers a rich suite of collaboration features and productivity tools that can cater to some of the shortcomings of Notion.
For example, whereas Notion caters primarily to small businesses, Wrike is a project management software platform that works for businesses of all sizes. Regardless of whether you’re building a fresh-faced startup or expanding an enterprise, Wrike can help you manage every aspect of project management from the top down.
Wrike also includes access to a wealth of reporting data and insights, meaning you can measure the success of each and every project. Unlike Notion, clients and stakeholders can get a glimpse behind the curtain with Wrike’s 360-degree visibility and stay in the loop with everything you do. Wrike also features a best-in-class mobile app that allows team members and stakeholders to access their projects on the go.
Plus, you can track budgets and organize billing, so there’s little chance of making calculation errors or being caught out by hidden costs.
While on the surface, Evernote and Notion may seem very similar, on closer inspection, you can see the key differences that make them suitable for different scenarios.
For example, Evernote’s standout feature is its web clipper tool. With it, you can grab snippets of blog posts, take screenshots of articles, and so much more. For a creative agency or team, it’s the perfect tool for building a mood board or brainstorming ideas. There is also a free version available.
Its other main strength lies in the ease with which you can scan text documents to find what you’re looking for. Unlike Notion, you can use Evernote to find the exact quote to add to a blog post or a specific statistic that lends weight to your website copy.
- Scan the web with the web-clipper tool and compile useful information
- Use text-search features to make finding data easy
- Lack of task management features
3. Microsoft One Note
Microsoft One Note is a straightforward and easy-to-use Notion alternative. If you’re looking for a tool that the whole team can learn quickly, One Note is an excellent choice.
While Notion offers plenty of customization options, it does so at the expense of simplicity. One Note prioritizes simplicity with a variety of colorful and easy-to-navigate menus and options.
One Note also puts a lot of stock into security, offering users the option to create password-protected documents to safeguard sensitive information, which Notion does not.
- Password-protect your documents to key sensitive information secure
- Ease-of-use makes for quick employee onboarding
- Unlike Notion, One Note doesn’t have a quick-search sidebar to easily find information
4. Google Keep
Google Keep is a web-based note-taking app that works just as well on mobile devices as it does on desktop. It’s easy to check in on your most pressing tasks wherever you are and work through your to-do lists.
In some ways, Google Keep is the perfect brain dump solution — you can update it whenever you get a minute to reflect the latest project updates and ideas that come to mind. That makes it a better fit than Notion if you’re working as part of a small collaborative team that thrives on bouncing ideas off each other.
Anyone with a Google account can start using Google Keep with no registration or payment necessary. Organize tasks by labels and build a low-stress, free project management solution for your team. You can even integrate Google Keep into Google Docs and the rest of the Google Suite of products.
- Easy to use and only requires a Google account to start
- Completely free
- Google Keep doesn’t offer some of the advanced features of Notion
Asana is a comprehensive project management solution suitable for large and small teams. While it may not offer customization on the scale of Notion, Asana’s pre-made dashboards provide you with a digital hub for managing tasks and analyzing relevant data.
Asana lets you collaborate effectively with your team and scale as you grow, offering a simplified solution to project management that relies on more conventional features such as Kanban boards.
- Scale your business with easy-to-use project management features
- Access data and use reports to analyze performance
- Asana offers fewer customization options than Notion
Monday.com is a project management solution that offers a wide variety of case-specific templates and many integrations with third-party apps.
A more complete tool for project management than Notion, Monday.com lets users track progress visually using Gantt charts. Monday offers time tracking as well, so team leaders can assess team and individual performance and cut down on idle time.
While Notion offers a basic expense log, Monday.com goes the extra mile with a budget tracking tool for keeping on top of project expenses.
- Create tasks and integrate with your work calendar for seamless project management
- Use case-specific templates to streamline common work processes
- Monday.com doesn’t offer Wikis and easy ways to store lots of information like Notion
Wrike can be your all-in-one tool and more
Wrike has all the features you need to encourage effective asynchronous work and get your team working together as one.
To keep up with the times, you need to prove that how your organization adapts to change will keep you moving forwards rather than staying in place. Wrike can help you develop Agile-friendly practices that sharpen your organization’s competitive edge and enable your teams to collaborate effectively.
Just like Notion, you can use Wrike to set up workflows that suit your teams. Yet with Wrike, you can go a step further and completely customize how you manage projects down to individual tasks, keeping stakeholders in the loop with 360-degree visibility and encouraging productive practices. See for yourself with a free two-week Wrike trial.