Tinderbox Forum

Comparison with Notion

Came across Notion (www.notion.so), and while it (like everything else out there!) is lacks most of Tinderbox’s super-flexibility, it seems (IMHO) to be more than half-way there and good-enough, and cross-platform with a mobile app.

Anyone else tried it, or have opinions about it?

I’d be hard pressed to consider Notion as anywhere near “half way” to Tinderbox’s capabilities. Yes, I’ve used it and though it’s a shiny nice webby thing, it’s not Tinderbox by any stretch of the imagination. That’s just my view, of course.

I’d think of Notion.app rather as a Love Child of Airtable and DropboxPaper. Not a bad thing. What do you think, @PaulWalters?

Only CSV-Export-Option seems to be missing. But I hope I am wrong on this.

Notion has .csv export (or Markdown) – it’s in menu accessed by the three dots in the upper right corner of a page. It also has .csv import, so it can sort-or cooexist with Tinderbox, but not in any automated fashion. It also supports custom properties (i.e., custom metadata) but in a very limited sense.

Notion is more like Curio than AirTable, IMO, but I can see the resemblance.


Export from Notion
In Notion, I can only see Markdown-Export at the very spot you directed my attention at … not .csv :-/

Nature of Notion
I see what you mean by referring to Curio. But the UX reminds me a lot of DropboxPaper. And having the Airtable feature of relating to internal relational databases (including the kanban-view-option) and the option to provide a shared link to be viewed in a browser by non-members and so forth made me think of Notion as a Love Child of Airtable and DropboxPaper.

And have you tried working with GoogleDocs documents inside Notion. Seamless commenting and editing.

Just observations and thoughts …

Maybe they have different interfaces for different user groups? Not sure. This is the menu I see on a notes page and on a tasks page on the web page. (I don’t use the desktop Notion app.)

I’ve never used DropboxPaper and I don’t share GoogleDocs with anyone so no comment – though comparing those features to Tinderbox is a bit far afield since Tinderbox is solely a Mac desktop app.

@PaulWalters Wasn’t comparing Notion to Tinderbox at this point of our inspiring discussion. So, yes, I agree it is far afield comparing it to Tinderbox in that respect.

Notion Export Options
How do you get those .csv-Export-options? I don’t see them at all.

ok, @PaulWalters, I get it: .csv-Export is a payed feature. File closed on this. :wink:

Actually, I am not certain, whether .csv-Export is a payed feature; since in settings it only says that payed-versions can prevent Markdown, .csv and PDF-Export …

And while I am editing this entry your answer comes in that you don’t have a payed version either … What I notice, thougk that it your screenshot does show csv-Export but no Pdf-Option.

Very interesting …

That’s interesting. I’m not paying for Notion LOL!!!

I signed up very early – so maybe my free account got grandfathered into the feature?

Yeah, I just “commented” on that in the re-editing of my previous post.

Can anyone here clarify whether or not Notion has non-payed-version-csv-export? Maybe @Agam?

Now I think I got it: .csv-Export is only available for tables but not for an entire workspace or page. So, now the .csv-Export-file is closed. Thanks again.

I’ve been playing with it for a few weeks as a wiki. It works as a well enough for a personal wiki (on the order of iOS Trunk Notes (https://www.trunknotes.com). I’m not sure how it will scale as a wiki; 300 - 400 pages might make navigation tricky.

But is has nothing on Tinderbox or DevonThink - it’s a different creature.

I tell you what…I have never been more excited about an app as much as Notion. As much as I adore Tbx, I’m increasingly frustrated that I cannot use it to store my notes (as in a database…aka very large amounts) without lagging as if I were back in 98 shooting up my Quake 2 fellas. This is also mentioned in The Tinderbox Way (not the lag…the database usage). The aliasing capability, while great for automating your agents, not very useful when it only allows 1 level deep “cloning”; I’ve already shared my opinion on cloning a while back

see post here: DEVONthink Replicates vs. Tinderbox Aliases

decent cloning argument: https://www.outlinersoftware.com/topics/viewt/6264/0/list-of-all-the-software-that-support-cloning

It seems like every new app is incorporating the cloning/relational structure these days. Notion is pretty unique in that not only it allows for cloned pages in an outline format but also allows notes to be structured in an outline format. You can throw an inline page database (in Tbx that would be the text panel) and indent it inside your notes, as an outline (while having an outline in the left pane of the app), then throw all the properties your soul desires in a very unique and insane way. Yes, Tbx is a great piece of software, and if you truly understand deep data structure and work with classification scheme, you realize Tbx doesn’t actually give you the freedom it claims it does. It focuses to much on body text ($Text) rather than divisions and parts ($Name). Tbx I use more for text automation and QDA these days. Hopefully this could be used as a note database but until then Notion is not bad, not bad at all

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I think everyone should use the software that works best for them. Comparing apples and oranges, and wishing they would both be strawberries, is very frustrating. I’m sure every developer hears the market voices that interest them, and make the investments in time, money, and design that make sense to their vision of what they want. I’ve used Notion. Doesn’t thrill me. (I have no idea who these people are and what they are doing with my data – same story for every cloud-based service.) But Notion clearly brings out a glow in others.

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Sorry your Tinderbox is “lagging”. Have you tried reporting this?

The key to Notion is that works on iOS. It’s UX is a bit idiosyncratic and sometimes awkward. Most of my reading and research these days is done on an iPad Pro and Notion excels as an organizer. While DevonThink is a shoebox, Notion let’s you organize in cross-ref tables and journals. Little comparison to Tinderbox, though. If Tinderbox were on iOS, it could fill this gap and others.

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Welcome, Lisa!

Good points. There’s a limited interaction possible between Notion and Tinderbox via CSV ex-/import in each application. CSV needs cleanup before importing to Tinderbox to conform Notion’s column names and Tinderbox attribute names. Notion supports custom metadata, which can match Tinderbox system or user attributes.

Not something I would do a lot of, but if I had a body of notes created with Notion on iOS / iPadOS then they could be transferred over to Tinderbox for the next step in analysis.

Greetings Paul!

Interestingly, I have not found it particularly useful to put notes into Notion. Within that environment, I’ve completely gravitated toward tables, kanban, and journaling. It’s still much nicer to produce draft notes in Bear (typed / code snippets) or Goodnotes (handwritten). But it is quite useful that one can export so easily from Notion. Hopefully, the company will add x-call-back URLs.

Anyone wanting to export should try the ‘export entire workspace’ function (under settings) which creates a zip file of md, pdf, images, and csv. I did a one time dump to grab what I wanted for DT and will now just take care to archive documents, separately.

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