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Run a quick survey of a marketing audience, asking them what their favorite project management tool is. A good seven times out of ten, you’ll hear Notion.
Often described as the “second brain,” Notion has gained popularity in the past few years thanks to the level of flexibility and cost-effectiveness it offers. Considering many project management tools can be complicated or costly, this tool comes to your rescue.
If you’re wondering whether it’s the right choice for your marketing team, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll review Notion’s features and limitations and provide tips on preparing yourself before using the platform.
Here’s a quick rundown of why you should consider using Notion to manage your content projects:
Many users call Notion their _second brain, _and for good reason. It lets you create comprehensive knowledge bases or wikis for your team. Here, you can centralize key resources related to your brand’s strategy, best practices and reference files.
Here’s an example of a statistics database that Tasmin Lofthouse, a copywriter and content strategist from Fika Digital, created:
Similarly, you can create a brand folder, freelance onboarding portal or even an internal linking list for your team in one place.
Notion’s dashboard feature is highly customizable, allowing you to create and personalize views. Here are the options it offers:
For example, you can create a content calendar and view planned posts using the Calendar view. But if you want a rundown on what the timeline for each piece is, use the Gantt chart view.
Every team member can toggle between these views based on their preferences, tailoring the experience to their needs.
You can use Notion as a content management system (CMS) where you manage your entire content operations. Here’s how you can use it to your advantage:
For example, connect WordPress and Notion to publish directly from your Notion dashboard.
Here’s an example of a calendar-style content calendar that Shivasankari Bhuvaneswaran, senior manager of content marketing and strategy, uses at Gallabox:
You also can build templates for documents and dashboards. Create your dashboard/document and save it as a template in your database for later use. This lets you standardize the process and ensure consistency in everything you do.
“I turned to Notion to manage my content, and it’s been quite the journey. The ‘Page Within Page’ structure is brilliant for nesting related content pieces,” says Farhan Advani, director of marketing at PhotoBuzz. “But I won’t lie. I faced some initial resistance because of its vastness. It felt like having a toolkit and not knowing what half the tools did! Yet, with patience, it evolved into my go-to workspace, making content planning and execution much smoother.”
Recently, Notion launched its AI-based feature called “Notion AI,” where you can perform three broad categories of tasks:
This means you can generate ideas, draft copy and even ask the AI to suggest improvements to your piece—helping you move past a creative block.
Notion has one of the best community-led marketing playbooks, as the launch of the app created an entire category of creators. While the company has its library of pre-made templates for different purposes, many creators also offer such templates or consulting services to help you set up your operations.
This means marketing teams can not only improve their processes but leverage the entire feature suite effectively. These templates save time and serve as a starting point for your team’s projects.
Notion offers over 75 integrations with popular marketing tools like Canva, Figma, and Pinterest. And if you can’t find an integration in its library, you can use its API to connect any two apps of your choice. This allows seamless data sharing and collaboration between Notion and your existing tech stack.
Notion offers flexible pricing plans, making it accessible to marketing teams of all sizes, from startups to large enterprises. Here are its pricing tiers:
Most startups can work with the free plan in the early stages and slowly scale to the Plus plan—making it an affordable option.
Now that you know why you should use Notion, here are a few things you need to look out for:
If you need an all-in-one solution that works for the end-to-end content management process, Notion might not work for you. The tool was made for project management and collaboration, so it lacks clear reporting features.
Without built-in reporting, you’ll have to export data to other tools or manually compile reports, which is time-consuming. You can pull in data, but organizing and analyzing it is another task altogether, and it’s easier to use another tool to report on your campaigns. It’s not as simple as using a spreadsheet to track production and reporting.
“This might be very niche, but I desperately want formulas and calculations to be as easy and robust in Notion as they are in spreadsheets,” explains Anna Crosby, email marketing consultant at Geni Collective. “I would love for the table feature to be updated to have the capability to function as a built-in spreadsheet. That’s the only thing I hate that Notion doesn’t have!”
While Notion excels at internal team collaboration, it’s not the ideal platform for external communication with stakeholders, clients, or partners. Its communication features are limited compared to dedicated tools like Airtable or ClickUp.
For example, the commenting feature is not visually apparent, and there’s no dedicated section to view full chats. It is challenging to share project updates and collaborate with external parties efficiently.
Notion offers a mobile app, but its functionality is more limited than the desktop version. It’s hard to navigate, takes too long to load, and is confusing overall. This can be a drawback if you or your team members need to work on the go or access critical information from your mobile devices.
“Firstly, the mobile experience of Notion AI is abysmal. Accessing our knowledge bases on the go is such a poor experience that it’s rarely, if ever, practical,” says Kade C., a Notion user.
While Notion is a very flexible and customizable piece of software, that comes at a cost. If you’re a first-time user, the entire dashboard can feel overwhelming, and you won’t know where to start.
Lofthouse says, “If you want to get the most out of Notion, there can be a steep learning curve. Even though I use Notion for everything, I know there’s still so much more I could do with it. There are probably better ways to use it, but understanding how to use Notion on a more granular level takes time.”
This means you need to spend more time and effort initially to understand the product to make the most of it. Or else it’ll delay usage and product adoption.
A key feature that the software offers is Databases. It’s an excellent option to organize your data, but if you’re unfamiliar with the platform, it’ll be hard to create your own database.
Here’s what Kasheia W., an onboarding specialist and Notion user, had to say about this feature:
“While it’s fairly easy to learn how Notion works, it isn’t always intuitive and can be a little clunky. It’s jam-packed with features and the ability to create databases, but sometimes it gets in the way of ease and setting things up in a more customized way.”
“Also, Notion’s lack of a true search function can be inhibited when you have a lot of data stored within the app, especially within databases. This has directly impacted how often I use Notion vs other organizational and productivity platforms where I can easily find what I’m looking for amongst various projects.”
Set on using Notion for your content production workflow? Here’s how you can prepare:
Identify the stages and processes you want to streamline before signing up for the product. As it’s not purpose-built for marketing teams, you have to spend a lot of time figuring out how to configure the dashboard to your liking. So save time by having a clear structure in mind first.
Not only that, you’ll also have to figure out how to automate certain parts of the process. When asked about what she hates the most about the software, Bhuvaneswaran said:
“The lack of actual workflows where things move automatically through the list of approvers without the need for manual nudges. Something like a conveyor belt that keeps moving something from one step to the next until it is all done and dusted.”
So, define your workflow stages and structure your Notion workspace accordingly. Create databases, boards, or pages corresponding to each stage and connect the right integrations to automate what you can.
As many users have reported feeling overwhelmed at first, be prepared to invest time in learning how to use Notion. Learn its terminology and features. Fortunately, many resources are available from the company and its community to help you get unstuck—so take advantage of them.
The tool offers extensive customization options, which can be overwhelming without a clear organizational structure. Take time to define your asset taxonomy.
Decide how you want to categorize and structure your data within Notion. This involves using the right naming convention, tagging features, and asset hierarchy.
Alternatively, if you don’t have time to figure everything out independently, hire a Notion consultant. They can understand your requirements, tally it with what’s possible within the platform and build a dashboard that works for you.
Sometimes, they also offer training and onboarding sessions, so ask them if that’s an option. This initial investment will let you ramp things up faster—without sacrificing time that could be spent on other business-critical tasks.
Notion has always been considered one of the top project management tools for content teams. When you consider the growing community-driven template library and its new AI features, it shows that there’s a lot marketers can gain from this tool.
If you’re familiar with the platform or have the resources to get a Notion specialist onboard to help you adopt the solution, it could soon become an invaluable part of your content workflows.
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Content Camel is a sales enablement tool used for sales content management. High-growth sales teams use our system to quickly find and share the right content for each specific sales situation and measure content use and effectiveness.