Notion has quickly become my go to hub for knowledge management and course writing
July 26, 2021

Notion has quickly become my go to hub for knowledge management and course writing

Stefan Boeykens | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Notion

I came aware of Notion when preparing for a complete update of my course material as a university guest professor. In this capacity, I share from experience as consultant in the construction industry and bring this into the broader subject of "Building Information Modelling" (BIM). As the previous course has evolved from a Bachelor to a Master's Course, I needed to rethink the whole course content and structure.

While I had been planning to write a course text, I was initially reluctant on how to organise and publish it. Having had experience with traditional documents mostly (Word and LaTeX), those were the first attempts, but as the main concept of BIM is situation in digital transformation of the industry, I felt I could do better.

After a series of tests with a variety of dedicated writing tools (e.g., Scrivener), a blog-oriented writer tool (MacJournal) and some preliminary tests with Markdown platforms (Gitbook, Docsify, ...), I discovered Notion. And it had the incredible balance just right between an accessible Markdown-style writing environment, an open flexible structure (pages in pages) and integrated tables with database behaviour, this fit really well.

So its main use for me are in the form of a course (wiki-style) and as knowledge management. Being able to embed interactive content and having no barrier between writing and online publishing, I decided to adopt Notion for this purpose.
  • Flexible document organisation (everything is a page, pages can have subpages)
  • Embedded tables which act as databases (tables with relations, filters and views)
  • Simple markdown structuring
  • Direct online sharing (no separate publication steps)
  • Free Personal Pro plan for academic users
  • The depth of the formulas is a bit limited (e.g., when compared to Coda)
  • No way to group rows in a Table
  • eBook export or full publishing workflows are not available (but workaround seem to exist)
  • Simple and free to use (generous free tier available for everybody)
  • Fully functional on iPad
  • One hub which you can turn into a knowledge base, task manager, interactive document
  • In just a short amount of time, the majority of my course draft has been transferred into an interactive online course, always live
  • Sufficient control over page structure gives a clean look, with sufficient means to add some personal touches
  • After a learning period, I could concentrate on the content rather than the tech
  • A huge motivational drive to learn more about no-code platforms (enthusiastic learner!)
While Notion lacks the depth of the formulas of Coda and is less ideal for something more resembling a web application, it compensates with a generous free tier, very usable mobile app (full editing) and clean styling.

Airtable is not suitable for wiki-style document management, but is more efficient for a spreadsheet-style database organisation (= its core feature).

ClickUp and are first and foremost Task Management platforms, where the document authoring was my primary objective.

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  • Turning a basic spreadsheet (I have countless of those scattered around when researching subjects) into a database with views and filters, in a clean layout.
  • Embedding interactive tables inside a document (no duplication of information required)
  • Clean and friendly minimalistic styling
  • No additional steps required: everything you write is "live". You only have to decide whether to make a doc public or not

Notion Feature Ratings

Task Management
Gantt Charts
Workflow Automation
Mobile Access
Visual planning tools
Internal knowledgebase
Integrates with Gmail and Google Hangouts
Integrates with Outlook
Video files
Audio files
Document collaboration
Access control
Advanced security features
Integrates with Google Drive
Device sync