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There are many great options to choose from when looking for project management software with Notion being one of them. While the app offers plenty of benefits, such as a high level of customization and access to automation tools, Notion isn’t the best fit for all businesses.

Instead, consider choosing any of the alternatives we’ve selected and test it out before committing.

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What is Notion?

Notion is a project and task management app where users can take advantage of many customization features to cater it to their needs. Users can create items like to-do lists or a place to capture notes and ideas all in place. 

Customizing Notion is done using blocks, to which users can add content and rearrange them to their liking. Content is organized using subpages instead of folders like you would on your computer. 

Pros and cons of Notion

  • Thousands of templates available.
  • Customizable features and dashboards.
  • Integrations available.
  • AI tools available to streamline operations.
  • Learning to use the app can be time-consuming.
  • No invoicing or other finance tools.
  • No time tracking tools.

Overall, Notion is a great tool for those who are looking for a place to organize their to-do lists, organize notes and track their projects. There are around 80 software integrations, including Zoom, Zapier, Google Drive, Canva and Calendly. This feature is in addition to other ones, such as the ability to:

  • Customize blocks. 
  • Create calendars. 
  • Create subpages to capture notes and thoughts. 

From there, you can input your content into Notion AI, an add-on, to help you do more instantly. You can, for example, tap into artificial intelligence to help you make meeting note summaries, generate to-do lists, generate campaign ideas and tweak content to fit your audience. 

However, there are some downsides to Notion. If you want to get set up and running quickly, it may not be possible to do so. Although Notion offers robust resources, it can take some time to understand all its features and integrations in order to customize it to fit your needs. 

Notion also lacks a few features, notably invoicing, budgeting and time-tracking tools. 

Choosing the best project management system

Choosing the best project management tool should take into consideration your budget and the needs you and your team members have. Take some time to look at what tasks you want to track based on your business’s workflow and processes and the challenges you’re currently facing in tracking them. 

Talk to your team to learn their task management challenges, needs and preferred features. Look at the solutions you already use and ask your team what they lack or do well. Then, compile that feedback into goals and a features list. 

Next, signing up for free trials of different project management systems will help you assess which is the best fit. Consider testing features such as:

  • Ease of use tools for setting up the software. 
  • To-do lists.
  • Task assignment and prioritization features and processes.
  • Tracking subtasks or milestones within projects.
  • Assigning tasks. 
  • Controlling who can access tasks or content.
  • Integrating existing apps you currently use.
  • Updating and managing tasks on mobile and desktop devices.
  • Automating tasks. 
  • Using templates to streamline task setup. 
  • Reaching out to the software’s customer support options and availability. 
  • The availability of complementary tools such as time tracking, project budgeting, automation and invoicing tools. 

Once you’ve tested a few, compare the pricing and features against your budget and features list to see which best fits your business’s needs. Then, ask your key team members (such as department leads) for their opinions on which one best fits their needs. Narrow down your decision from there to one solution. 

Finally, if you want to upgrade to a paid plan, if possible, take advantage of the software’s free trial to roll out the software to your management team. Make sure they are comfortable with its functionality, usability and customized features before having them champion the software before their respective teams. 

Why you may choose Notion

Notion is a great fit for those who are working by themselves or a small team and want a solution to organize their to-do lists, brainstorm campaign or business ideas and integrate other apps to create an all-in-one solution for their product management needs. 

Several reasons you may want to choose Notion include:

  • The ability to quickly design simple websites: Whether you want to create a public version of an employee handbook or keep track of client work in a portfolio, Notion gives you the ability to build a website using its tools, then publish it. The productivity management tool offers tutorials and examples of what you can create. Notion also has templates you can use, so you’re not starting from scratch. 
  • Access to tools to organize different types of content on one page: Notion allows you to create blocks of content and drag and drop them in a way that makes sense, whether it’s displaying lists, text or images, embedding a database or creating a content table to better navigate long pages. 
  • Access to automation tools: Notion AI, an add-on available through Notion, gives you the ability to automate tasks that would otherwise hinder progress. For example, it can instantly create next-step to-do lists from meeting notes, brainstorm marketing campaigns or adjust the tone of content to speak to the executive suite.
  • Access to tools for customizing tasks and to-do lists: With paid plans, you can create as many content blocks as you wish, including subpages, which can then be linked to block groups. There is also a sidebar where you can navigate all the blocks you’ve created. 
  • Access to training resources: Notion offers help with its product through webinars, tutorials, API docs and an online community. You can choose from these options based on how you learn best. 

Why you may want an alternative

Several reasons may want to stay away from Notion include:

  • You need to track employees’ or clients’ time: While you can manually track time and individually connect apps to see how long you work on certain tasks, Notion is most likely not robust enough for multiple people to track time spent. If you’re a staffing agency, for example, you may want to consider an alternative. 
  • You need to invoice or manage business budgets: Notion doesn’t offer tools for managing client or business expenses, such as those offered by Teamwork. 
  • You need more integration options: You may not be able to integrate all the apps you use into Notion. For example, while you can integrate Google Drive and Google Workspace, there isn’t an integration available for Google Analytics. 
  • You need a quick setup solution: While it can be beneficial to customize blocks however you want, it can feel overwhelming. Plus, creating to-do lists and other methods for productivity management that suit your needs may take some trial and error. Other tools may feel more intuitive and have less of a learning curve. 
  • You need included advanced automations: While Notion AI offers some impressive automation tools, you must pay extra to use these features. 
  • Issue management: You want to be able to raise issues through a support ticket workflow. 


We extensively research the key competitors within an industry to determine the best products and services for your business. Our experts identify the factors that matter most to business owners, including pricing, features and customer support, to ensure that our recommendations offer well-rounded products that will meet the needs of various small businesses.

We collect extensive data to narrow our best list to reputable, easy-to-use products with stand-out features at a reasonable price point. And we look at user reviews to ensure that business owners like you are satisfied with our top picks’ services. We use the same rubric to assess companies within a particular space so you can confidently follow our blueprint to the best project management software.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

There is already a free tier to Notion, but there are other free project management software that exist. Some alternatives that are free or offer free paid tiers include:

  • Asana
  • ClickUp
  • Trello
  • Confluence
  • Todoist

Learn about these and other free Notion alternatives by reading our best free project management .

Google Workspace is a close alternative to Notion. It has features such as project management tools, a place to write and document notes, collaboration tools and to-do lists, a calendar view and mobile access. 

Airtable and Notion are both popular and capable project management tools — neither one is better than the other. There are differences between the two that could make it a better choice depending on your needs. 

For example, Airtable and Notion offer features such as calendars, timelines and custom reports, However, Notion doesn’t have time tracking or invoicing features, features Airtable has. And, Notion has the ability to tap into AI to brainstorm campaign ideas, a feature Airtable lacks. 

As such, while Airtable may be better for client-facing companies, Notion may be best for content creators. 

Coda and Notion offer project management features fit for different needs. Both offer free and paid tiers and similar features for all users. However, Coda offers slightly more advanced features such as more integrations like Salesforce and Quickbooks, interactive RPD (rapid product development) templates and product roadmaps. The software also allows you to collaborate with other users. 

To determine whether one is a better fit than another for your needs, consider signing up for a free trial and testing out both Notion and Coda. 

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy. The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Sarah Li Cain


Sarah Li Cain is a finance and small business writer currently based in Jacksonville, Florida whose articles have been published with outlets such as Fortune, CNBC Select, the Financial Planning Association and Zillow.

Alana Rudder


Alana is the deputy editor for ˽ýӳ Today Blueprint's small business team. She has served as a technology and marketing SME for countless businesses, from startups to leading tech firms — including Adobe and Workfusion. She has zealously shared her expertise with small businesses — including via Forbes Advisor and Fit Small Business — to help them compete for market share. She covers technologies pertaining to payroll and payment processing, online security, customer relationship management, accounting, human resources, marketing, project management, resource planning, customer data management and how small businesses can use process automation, AI and ML to more easily meet their goals. Alana has an MBA from Excelsior University.