You want your team to be as productive, happy, and on-task as possible. You know that your best option is to scrap the office notice boards and piles of paper and go digital, but there are so many options out there. So, how do you choose which digital productivity platform is right for your team?
Trello and Notion are two popular choices and share some core features that can help your team’s workflow. However, they also have substantial differences, as well as some features that both options lack. Let’s take a look at what Notion and Trello offer, what they don’t, and which productivity platform is right for your team.
Trello: The Kanban King
Trello has been a popular productivity platform since its launch a decade ago. It is primarily based around private and collaborative Kanban boards but has added features over the years to boost and diversify its use. This has included a heavy focus on automation, with Trello acquiring Butler in 2018, which developed Trello add-ons to increase in-house functionality.
While the classic Kanban system is what Trello is designed for, many users get creative with organizing cards and columns for different workflows.
The core features of Trello are:
Versatile Kanban boards
Notion: Where Information Comes Together
Notion is a relative newcomer to productivity platforms, launching its web and OS X app in 2016. Notion pitches itself as an “all-in-one workspace,” which can be used to centralize workflows but is primarily an information-management tool and misses some notable features that competitors offer.
The core features of Notion are:
Kanban is at the core of Trello, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is the company’s own organizational method. It has been in use for far longer. It is attributed to Toyota in the 1940s when they implemented a lean production method, with Microsoft bringing it to broader productivity applications in the early 2000s.
Kanban boards are traditionally used to depict the stages in a workflow as columns and individual work items as cards within these columns. These cards then move from left to right as each item progresses. The simplest of boards could consist of three stages: “To-Do,” “In Progress,” and “Done,” with your tasks being moved from one column to the next.
Within Trello, these Kanban cards can include attachments, images, descriptions, team attributions, comments, and more. Additionally, columns can be customized to suit your specific workflow. As mentioned above, Trello now includes Butler in paid plans, which can analyze your workflow to suggest and create automation for repetitive tasks. These are often basic logic queries, such as “if a card is a move to ‘Done’, mark as Complete” or similar.
Out of the box, Notion looks like a more comprehensive productivity platform, offering Kanban boards like Trello, but also notes, wikis, databases, and tasks (mainly through calendars and reminders).
It is set up as a way to organize information for teams, so is mainly pitched at enterprise-level customers who might need elaborate company-wide internal wikis. These could be pages for topics such as policies, company objectives, or rolling updates.
For less static information, Notion offers collaborative notes, which have modified markdown support; can be assigned to specific team members; and include various content options such as images and video. In keeping with Notions’ focus on information management, notes can be included and organized in databases.
The actual project management side of Notion is, as with Trello, based around Kanban boards, but the information within these can be repackaged into many different views such as tables and lists to add a level of customization to different team’s workflows.
Pricing: Notion vs Trello
Trello’s pricing is broken into three tiers: Free, Business Class, and Enterprise
Free: (it’s kind of in the name)
The free version of Trello offers the platform’s basic features such as unlimited cards, basic automation, assignee, and due dates, as well as some others. However, it limits the number of boards, view types (such as calendar and timeline), admin controls, and much more.
Business Class: $10/month/user paid annually
The first paid tier offers all of the features in the free plan without the restrictions, as well as all other team-level features and views. It lacks enterprise-level controls, which could be important for those looking to keep track of larger organizations.
Enterprise: Custom quotes
It’s recommended for organizations with more than 100 employees. The enterprise-level tier offers everything from the other plans as well as organization-wide tools, power-up tools, and advanced automation.
Notion’s pricing is divided into two main types: Personal and Teams/Business.
Notion includes unlimited pages and blocks, only one user but up to five guests. Generally, other features are available (even if some are in a limited capacity, such as 5 MB file uploads); however, this is with the exception of admin & security tools as well as collaborative workspaces.
Personal Pro: $4/month paid annually
This tier has everything from the free option but includes unlimited guests, unlimited file uploads, and 30-day version history. It still lacks admin & security tools as well as collaborative workspaces.
Team: $8/month/user paid annually
This tier includes everything in Personal Pro as well as collaborative workspaces, unlimited team members (paid per person), five timeline views (as opposed to three), as well as basic admin & security tools.
Enterprise: Custom quotes
For larger teams and organizations, Notion offers an enterprise-level plan which makes all features unlimited and includes the advanced admin & security tools.
Customer Service: Trello vs Notion
You want to focus on managing your team and getting work done, which means not being held back by software issues. That’s why customer support is such a key factor when choosing between platforms.
Trello Customer Support
Trello offers priority email support to those on the Business Class or Enterprise tiers, which means that emails will be answered: “within one business day”.
Notion Customer Support
Those on Notion’s paid plans, both Personal Pro and Teams, get access to priority support. However, it’s only on enterprise plans that the full suite of support options becomes available to your team.
So Which is Better, Trello or Notion?
At the end of the day, Trello may only do one thing, but it does it really well. If you think you can sort all your tasks into cards and columns, that’s 100% the way to go.
Notion is aimed at teams that are looking for a more well-rounded productivity tool, one with all the features that a team actually needs. However, it falls short in some areas, so if you want a single productivity platform with everything you need, consider some of the alternatives…
Like Spike…The Better Option!
Unlike Notion and Trello, Spike offers organizational simplicity with advanced team features. It’s based around your email, which is already the heart of most day-to-day business, meaning no steep learning curve, just straight to work. What’s more, by being a full productivity suite rather than just boards or databases, it offers teams all the advanced tools you’ll need in one single package—no more switching apps when you need to chat, send an email, write a list, or anything else! Just some of the tools included in Spike are:
The power of email with the simplicity of instant messaging. Get rid of the clutter, like signatures and headers, when you don’t need them so you can focus on what’s actually being said.
Collaborative online notes allow you to add, edit and create wherever and whenever you are. Work with your team in text, code snippets, images, video, GIFs, and more.
Tasks & To-Do Lists
Never lose track of what needs to be done again with Tasks and To-Do lists. Work your way through checklists or flow through stages right there within your Inbox.
Collaboration is key to any modern work environment, and Spike Groups allow you to create an online workplace to chat, work together, and build focus.
Put things into perspective with Spike’s all-in-one Calendar. Add calendars from elsewhere or pull tasks directly in (you can even RSVP in-line straight from your Inbox).
Trello and Notion both offer good tools but are also limited. If you’re willing to take a hit on how you organize, that’s fine, but if you want simplicity and powerful, centralized tools, Spike is the clear winner here.
Notion vs Trello FAQs
Notion offers notes as one of its core features and other productivity tools, as compared with Evernote, which focuses on note-taking. That said, your team might benefit from a single-purpose approach if note-taking is all you need. If notes are just one part, consider looking into other options.
Is Trello a better Kanban board app than Monday? Almost certainly, but Monday is a more diverse productivity app. Sometimes you need to specialize; sometimes, you want more features.
Notions Personal Pro Plan is free for students with an educational email address, but if you’re looking to work with a team, the other tiers are paid plans.
Yes, it is possible to use Notion on an iPad.