7 Reasons I Won’t Shut Up About Notion

Nivi Achanta
5 min readDec 4, 2019

I heard about it when I was meeting my VC friend for lunch (classic San Francisco). At first, I thought he said Lotion — after all, it’s an “app that combines all your other apps,” he told me. Okay, so like…lotions them all together, I thought.

I signed up for it during one of the promotions they ran — maybe it was a student discount, maybe it was something else, but since then, I have used it every day. (Including some weekends. Not joking.)

I even downloaded their mobile app. I hate downloading apps. But I love Notion!

Before I jump into my love letter listicle, a little about me: I’m NOT an organized person. Interviewers ask me if I’m detail-oriented and I laugh uncomfortably, telling them I’m excellent at project management and more of a big-picture person. (As we all know, that’s jargon for no, I’m not detail oriented. At all.)

I’m also a super wing-it person. I pride myself on working smarter, not harder, and that often means taking quickly-calculated risks and flying by the seat of my pants. It’s done me well in life, but I could really benefit from some structure.

Enter Notion.

Here’s why I love my new tool friend:

  1. It’s so affordable!

I’m a stingy miser when it comes to paying for tech products. (Okay, fine, I’m a stingy miser in most aspects of life.) The free version of Notion is $0, “personal” is $4 (and free for students and educators, so slide in with that .edu!), “team” is $8, and “enterprise” is $20.

I’m currently on the Personal plan but I know that when I finally get full-time team members on my startup, Soapbox Project, Notion will be staying in our family.

2. It. consolidates. everything!

I know that’s their whole premise, but for YEARS, I’ve tried to get on the Trello/Google Docs/Evernote/other goal- and project-tracking level. The biggest reason I would never effectively complete my goals and tasks is because I would forget about them.

I loved Trello for about 2 days. I loved Evernote for about a month. I still love Google Docs, but half the time, I can never remember what I named a file. It’s banished to the abyss.

The reason I use Notion every day is because I don’t have to use anything else. I no longer have to find my tasks, goals, random thoughts, roadmaps, pending applications all in different parts of the internet. It’s all right here!

Everything from a cookbook to my journal to the Soapbox Project Roadmap!

3. It’s made me a clearer leader.

It’s not like I wanted to not be detail-oriented. I wish I was one of thoses people with color-coded notes and attentive follow-up emails. It’s just that till now, it’s been the last thing on my mind.

In September, I onboarded a part-time designer for Soapbox and it was the first time I’d put together a consolidated list of expectations, tasks, and onboarding for someone through my company.

Last year, I had a part-time team too, but I felt so scatter-brained every time we had a weekly call. My imposter syndrome was at an all-time high — I was always tabbing between Powerpoints and sticky notes and Messenger chats to keep track of what everyone was up to. I felt like a total mess.

This go-around is so much better. I feel like I can measure my progress better, I always have a record of what Malena, my designer, and I have talked about, I can click into anything in the road map for more detailed notes, and Malena and I can both move stuff around as it suits us.

I share my drafts for each newsletter I write with her, we edit and adjust our sprints on the fly, and most importantly, we’re always on the same page. Literally.

I still feel unburdened to where I can wing things and make game-time decisions, but now, it’s with intention instead of randomness.

All our lil design plans all in one clear place!

4. It’s not flashy.

I waste so much time picking out colors and changing fonts. It’s not a good use of my time at ALL, but I am weak and easily distracted. Notion has none of that — the tags autogenerate colors and the only distracting thing in it is picking an emoji for your work, but I’m far too lazy. I save SO much time with the lack of formatting options.

5. Keyboard shortcuts are my best friend.

“/” pulls up the entire list of templates you need. The whole thing is responsive to Markdown. I rarely have to use my mouse.

I care about efficiency and simplicity and Notion’s range of keyboard shortcuts is one of my favorite things about it.


It has the views you’d expect — kanban, calendar, board views in Trello style, Airtable-type forms and databases, and more. But it also has an entire gallery just for templates — I used to use Notion just for Soapbox and other professional stuff, but now I’ve got my daily journal and a collaborative cookbook on it as well.

My friends really need to up their game and start contributing to this “collaborative” cookbook.

7. Their team responded to me on Twitter.

We already know that emotions > logic for human decisions; yet, companies still don’t seem to implement that practice. When they do, they can become friends with their customers and even conjure an unprompted blog post!

This concludes my originally titled “5 Reasons I Won’t Shut Up About Notion” post; I got carried away and gave you 7 — let me know what you think!

Nivi Achanta is the founder and CEO of Soapbox Project, a media platform that makes it easy for busy people to give back on issues such as education, gender, and sustainability.



Nivi Achanta

I’m the founder of Soapbox Project (www.soapboxproject.org), host of Get Schooled Podcast, and passionate about helping people do more with their limited time.