Is Notion “Too Good”?

As I begin to realize more and more of my workflow can head to Notion, part of me is happy that I can see all my life in one little box. But another part is worried, worried that perhaps by putting all my eggs in one basket — regardless of how good of a basket it is — I may be setting myself up for failure.

You can do a lot on Notion. Even in its early days of an Excel alternative, the database features were so powerful that people were able to construct entire websites and products using Notion as the backend. Then came updates like linking, functions, the Notion API, and most recently AI assistance… it’s gotten to the point where you can do anything on the platform.

The fact that Notion is a 10/10 product is pretty undebatable. Barring a few inefficiencies here and there, it does what it sets out to do remarkably well. But when you have one tool that can do everything, other concerns begin to arise.

Right now, I am writing this blog post on Notion. When I’m done, I mark this off in my todo list, also in Notion. From there that todo list notifies my dashboard, also in Notion. My dashboard contains many of the products I’m currently building out, which in turn leads to more Notion pages.

So what happens if Notion goes away?

Sure, outages happen occasionally. Quite ominously one occurred while I was writing this very post, which is where the header image comes from. I was forced to take a temporary break from working on pretty much all my projects, and used a Notepad todo list that I struggled to remember what exactly I needed to get done (or could even do in the first place, given Notion’s outage).

Now, that outage ended up lasting only 45 minutes. But one day, very suddenly, Notion might not exist at all. Remember all those people awhile back who got their Google or Stripe accounts mysteriously deleted, causing them to upend their entire lives? Could the same thing happen for Notion?

Back in 2021 I wrote an article entitled Aggregation and Decoupling. It argued that tech goes through phases of one tool being used for everything, only for that tool to be “taken out” by many different tools that do each task much better. I think where we stand right now, Notion is the aggregate tool. And one day, Notion will be decoupled. I go back and forth often as to whether I should settle for the inefficiencies but hedged-risk of using multiple products anyway, or go for the cozier yet more risky strategy of staying on Notion. What are your thoughts, and what do you personally use Notion for? If you don’t use Notion, is there any product you do use that seems to give you the same benefit/problem?

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