Notion is not a productivity tool

If you’re using Notion as a personal productivity tool, you probably shouldn’t be.

Notion is a great product. It’s beautiful, highly flexible, even fun to use. It can be used for a ton of different purposes. A small selection of things I’ve used it for in the past:

  • CRM
  • Project Manager
  • New employee onboarding guide
  • Internal wiki
  • Essentially managing every element of my digital personal life

So, I am by no means a Notion hater. I often recommend it to people to serve various purposes like the ones I listed above. It’s a great catch-all product for when you don’t want to add another SaaS tool to your stack.

But, Notion is not a productivity tool. In fact, Notion is probably second only to Slack as the biggest productivity killer among the most commonly used tools used by most startups and high-growth companies.

It pains me to see people using Notion as a productivity tool. In the r/notion subreddit, people share their personal dashboards they’ve spent hours, days, even weeks building and maintaining. It always gets me wondering when they have the time to do the actual work on their Notion dashboards.

If you are using Notion for your personal productivity, you are almost certainly using the wrong tool for the job. Here’s why.

Why Notion kills your productivity

Notion is a significant productivity killer because of its primary value proposition: it’s super flexible. This is great when you need to fit it into a workflow like a project manager or create an internal wiki/documentation database. However, if you are trying to be productive, the last thing you should be doing is faffing about with your tool. Productivity tools should be helping you manage your time and not become a time-suck themselves.

Another issue with Notion is how slow it is. When you are in flow and want to jump into the next thing as quickly as possible, Notion inevitably slows you down.

Finally, Notion has a relatively new API, so there aren’t a ton of integrations built for it. Even the ones that are pretty clunky for syncing things like tasks and calendar events.

Alternative productivity apps to Notion

Clearly, we are biased here, but we recommend looking at a stand-alone productivity app rather than trying to do it all in Notion. If you practice timeblocking, we think Taskable is the best choice. We integrate with the tools you already use to bring everything into one view and make planning your time super simple. But there are some other great tools on the market these days like Sunsama, Akiflow, Motion, and more.

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