Free Notion all in one workspace. First look

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Write, plan, collaborate, and get organized. Notion is all you need — in one tool. For teams & individuals — Web, Mobile, Mac, Windows

It does Notes/docs, Tasks/Projects, Knowledge base & Databases (actually looks like Coda sheets not sure if it does calculations on cells though). You can link/share with others pages you have setup.

There is a free version that allows  up to 1000 blocks (This is like a specific cluster, say paragraphs of text, a list, an image. Once over that individual pricing is $4us/month.  See here for pricing plans.

There is online access, a desktop app and an android app as well. So easy to get to the source information from any location.

In your settings & Members  it shows how many of the blocks you have used so far, so you can keep an eye on your limit.

Pages

The interface is a bit like a web page. Instead of Html it uses “Markdown” to write on the pages

You select a new page and can, from there, select a lot of different options. You can have sub-pages to the main page, Therefore making the Main page the SECTION or TOPIC.

The Database

The “database” can act like a spreadsheet but its a bit cumbersome putting in the formula for basic calcs.

I suppose you set them up and then leave them to do the work. It looks like there is a variety of options in the ‘database”, like multi-select and tickbox, these would be handy if using a list on a mobile device where you want to simplify interactions.

Actually  it might be an interesting exercise to do an expense tracker  or timesheet using this tool.

The tag column cal be colourised for different tags, which would make it handy to filter. One of the recommendations of the hacks video below was to use one big Database table and filter by tags, so that only counts as one block, then copy link with filter to another page.

Import/Imbed

The example below is of an embedded google sheet (stored on Drive). It can be edited here so that is useful for keeping it updated.

Sharing/Collaboration

I need to explore this feature further. For free version there is unlimited sharing, so it is easy to send a link to others.

It does have a track on who has been editing a page if you’ve shared it.

Also, the other thing that was bothering me, was I couldn’t find where you could print something out, I found that you could could export as PDF. If you wanted something in another format I suppose you could use an OCR (Optical Character Recognition tool) if cutting/pasting was not a viable option.

Add Items

Not only can you add text, or lists etc , but also images, videos, links, audio files, and embed from other locations and change colours and also some advanced items such as mathematics blocks and save to template.

 

Keyboard Shortcuts

Something else dear to my heart is keyboard shortcuts, although some of them are quite lengthy. Still, if you are working in the environment for long enough they will speed up the work.

 Managing limited blocks

The video below shows how to manage the 1000 block limit by using methods to reduce the block count.

End comment for overview

From what I have seen of tools like Trello and Slack they are just a storage panel with some messaging services. They leave me pretty cold. I’ll stay with email.

This tool looks to be more versatile, it has overtures of Coda, in that it can be useful for an individual and also for collaboration. But extended. The fact that it is online, on desktop and has mobile app makes it very versatile.

The database looks as if it could be useful, as does Lists and docs. Especially if you are out and about and using a mobile version.

I can see this being able to be used as an on-site survey tool for a team quite easily.

I will need to explore the programme more, but to date, I’m quite impressed with its features, even the free version. You just have to keep an eye on the number of blocks you are using.

One video I viewed suggested mapping out pages that you’d want, then begin to build a site to make it usable. I will need to do a bit of planning to see how best to utilise this tool.
This is one way that someone has set it up:

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