Notion vs. Monday.com Comparison – 2023
Comparing project management (PM) software can be challenging. Each project manager has specific pain points they’re trying to solve, and a productivity tool is only considered valuable to the extent it solves your particular challenges. Notion and Monday.com are two popular project management solutions; we’ll compare them head-to-head to determine the best option for your needs.
Notion is a flexible all-in-one workspace combining note-taking, collaboration, a knowledge base, and project management into one platform. The platform’s flexibility makes it useful for numerous tasks, including as a personal note-taking app, a business productivity tool for simplifying task management and collaboration, and an enterprise repository for storing business processes, procedures, and announcements. Try Notion’s free plan.
Monday.com is a work operating system (OS) that allows users to build custom applications for managing various business projects, processes, and workflows. The software is also a complete project management solution, with advanced features to track progress, manage time and budgets, and organize project resources. Monday.com is also scalable, with add-on products for software development, customer relationship management (CRM), and marketing. Try Monday.com, free for 14 days.
Notion and Monday.com Compared to the Best Project Management Software
Notion didn’t make our top list of the best project management software, though Monday.com did. We recommend Monday.com as the best option for most people due to its simplicity and versatility. These are our Golden Eggs, terrific alternatives to Notion and Monday.com, depending on the features and capabilities you’re looking for.
ClickUp is a highly customizable multi-feature project management platform that lets you manage processes, tasks, time, and team collaboration without switching between different tools or dashboards. Pay yearly and save up to 45% on any ClickUp plan.
Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-based project management tool adapted for task automation, collaboration, and process and resource management. Try any Smartsheet plan free for 30 days before purchasing a subscription.
Teamwork excels at task management and collaboration with additional customer-facing features like time tracking, free unlimited client access, process intake forms, and billing and invoicing. Try Teamwork risk-free for 30 days before purchasing a subscription.
Notion Compared to Monday.com
Project management is a broad topic that covers time, resource, money, and scope management. And since one software can’t do everything perfectly, it’s not unusual for PM software to focus on a few key competencies. For this reason, no two project management tools are the same. So it is helpful to consider the specific problems Notion and Monday.com are designed to solve.
Notion delivers project management capabilities like task lists, Kanban boards, dependencies, and roadmaps. However, the software is more of an all-in-one workspace than a stand-alone project management solution. Notion’s primary goal is to combine most of your daily software stack into one software.
Most teams have to shuffle between different software during the project’s lifecycle. For example, the project manager may use PowerPoint to create presentations and Gantt charts for project progress. Then, the marketing team uses Google Sheets to create an editorial calendar. Finally, the hiring supervisor uses email and Google Drive links to onboard contractors. So it’s no wonder that most project teams are disjointed.
Notion allows project teams to perform these tasks on one platform to encourage visibility, collaboration, and accountability. Now, the project manager can turn any Notion page into a sharable, interactive slide. And Notion lets marketers convert the editorial database into a drag-and-drop calendar to track content, assignees, and deadlines. Finally, the hiring supervisor can create a public wiki in Notion where contractors access all of the project details like brand guidelines, internal processes, and product training.
Monday.com is a work management OS that lets you add pre-built solutions to its central platform. The primary management platform solves most common workflow challenges, including resource planning, productivity management, collaboration, and reporting. The main product has pricing tiers, including a free plan, and you can choose the package that best suits your budget and needs.
The add-on products include Monday Marketer for managing productivity, campaigns, and digital assets. Customer-facing teams can use Monday Sales CRM to manage sales pipelines, lead capturing, and performance tracking. Monday Dev lets software teams manage roadmap planning, sprints, feature requests, bug tracking, and feedback management.
Monday products are interlinked, allowing you to switch between platforms within the same interface. This interconnectedness solves the problem of switching between different software. The products also share data to manage everything in one centralized place.
Notion vs. Monday.com Pros and Cons
Notion and Monday.com have many overlapping project management features. However, each software takes a different approach to solving project management’s most common problems. Therefore, understanding each software’s benefits and drawbacks is useful before deciding the best option for your needs.
Where Notion Shines
Flexible productivity tool: Workspaces like Monday.com center around projects and tasks. Instead, Notion workspaces work similarly to a website builder, allowing unlimited customization. Each page in a workspace is made up of blocks. There are over 50 blocks for anything you want, including text, sub-pages, tables, to-do lists, quotes, videos, images, audio, or code.
You can build the specific workflow required to support your project framework or methodology. For example, you can use the blocks to create separate pages for setting project goals, tracking project statuses, sharing knowledge, and managing leads. In addition, Noton’s pages are hierarchical so that you can create interlinked subpages from the main page, similar to Wikipedia.
Pre-built templates: Notion provides templates, so you don’t have to build your workspace pages from scratch. The templates cover most categories: product management, design, engineering, marketing, sales, and human resources (HR).
You’re bound to find a ready-built template for almost any project type. For instance, the product spec templates have ready-made blocks for the problem, proposal, and plan sections. Of course, you can also customize the template by editing or adding blocks.
Robust databases: Notion lets you create a database page or a database block within an existing page. You also have multiple options for visualizing the database contents, including tables, boards, lists, calendars, timelines, and galleries. Finally, you can add context, including text, numbers, dates, checkboxes, and status.
A unique Notion database feature is that each item is a page. This way, you can add content like to-do items or bullets to the items. You can also set permission levels to determine who can edit or change the database.
Affordable for basic project management: Notion is one of the cheaper project management solutions, with prices starting at $8 per user per month billed annually. The platform can also replace additional software stacks, especially for smaller projects. For example, Notion easily replaces separate project management, goal tracking, collaboration, wiki, CRM, content management system (CMS), and note-taking apps.
Desktop app: Like most other project management software, Notion offers a stand-alone desktop app. Notion claims that the app loads 50% faster than the browser version, which is useful when working with large databases, media-rich templates, or a metered internet connection.
Where Notion Needs Improvement
Steep learning curve: Notion offers near-limitless possibilities if you’ve mastered the software. Structuring data is tricky since you can create pages within pages to infinity, and Notion can become a nightmare without internal structures and best practices.
While Monday.com and similar project management software are customizable, they also have a structured way of doing things. Because of this, you only need to learn the basics, and then the software is intuitive and easy to use.
Lacks critical project management features: Notion is a feature-rich productivity tool. However, it lacks many advanced PM features. For example, while Notion has a timeline view, it lacks a milestone feature to indicate a predetermined point in the project’s timeline.
Similarly, Notion lacks native time tracking, timesheets, risk register, portfolio view, online proofing, group chat, and dependency tracking. In addition, most Notion project management capabilities are nested within templates and third-party integrations rather than built-in software features. Therefore, Notion may be underwhelming for people used to purpose-built PM software like Monday.com.
Lacks native two-factor authentication (2FA): Notion implements multiple security features, including transport layer security (TLS) protocol, SOC 2 compliance, and data encryption in transit and at rest. However, the software doesn’t offer native 2FA, which can be an issue for compliance reasons.
However, you can work around this issue by signing up for Notion using your Google account. Then, use Google Auth to secure your Notion account. Monday.com offers 2FA on all plans, including the free-forever tier.
Where Monday.com Shines
Full-fledged project management platform: Monday.com is a complete project management solution with all the features you need to simplify and manage your workflows. The software offers advanced features, including time tracking, task dependencies, dashboards, built-in reporting, Gantt charts, and capacity planning.
Monday.com’s robust PM features also mean you don’t have to spend extra on additional software. For example, with Notion, you may have to pay extra for TimeCamp for time tracking, Slack for group chat, Team Gantt for Gantt charts, etc. You don’t have to manage countless integrations with Monday.com since the software provides most project management capabilities you need within its platform.
Readily accessible automations: Monday.com lets you create custom workflows directly from your boards. The software also offers pre-built automation templates for common workflows like assigning tasks, updating statuses, and sending reminders. The feature is also easy to use. Simply choose a trigger, select a condition, and set an action.
While Notion also offers automation, the process is more complicated. You’ll need to create custom automations using the API or integrate with a third-party app like Zapier.
Easy to use: Monday.com has an intuitive interface comprising boards, columns, views, and dashboards. Grasping the basics lets you build any application or tool for your use case. Monday.com also has an extensive knowledge base and a massive user community in case you need help adapting the software for your needs.
Monday.com’s simple structure is a stark contrast to Notion’s Lego-style blocks. While expert users will appreciate Notion’s flexibility and customization, Monday.com’s structured interface is more appealing to most people.
Search Everything feature: Monday.com has a powerful search feature to help you find anything in your account. For example, you can search for a specific file regardless of where it’s located in your account. You can also set filters to narrow your search to specific file types, such as images or Excel files.
While Notion has a search function with filters, it’s not as powerful as Monday.com’s. For example, searching a keyword in a Notion database only shows results for page titles and property values matching that keyword. The search results don’t include page content matching the keyword.
Built-in reporting: Monday.com’s robust reporting feature is critical for tracking performance. The flexible tool provides high-level and low-level reporting depending on your needed information. For example, per-user reports let you track how many leads each salesperson brought. Similarly, high-level reports allow you to track project milestones and real-time progress.
By contrast, Notion doesn’t provide a native reporting feature. Instead, you’ll need a template or third-party reporting tool.
Where Monday.com Needs Improvement
Confusing pricing structure: Monday.com charges by groups of seats rather than per user. An individual or two-person team still has to pay for at least three seats. Furthermore, you cannot mix and match plans across Monday.com’s product suites.
For instance, say you choose the Pro plan for Monday.com’s primary product–you’ll have to choose the Pro plan for any subsequent add-on product. So you can’t sign up for the Monday Work Management Pro plan with the Monday Marketer Basic or Standard plan.
Lacks wiki functionality: Monday.com doesn’t let you build wikis, which can be an issue for organizations that need to attach documentation to projects. Workarounds include linking a Google Doc to an item or using various board components like items and sub-items for processes and steps.
However, no alternative comes close to the wiki functionality that Notion offers. Notion even offers personal, sales, engineering, and product management wikis templates.
No offline mode for the desktop app: Monday.com offers offline mode with its mobile app. However, the desktop app doesn’t let you work offline. This downside can be an issue for people working or traveling to areas with unreliable internet connections.
Notion offers an offline mode for its desktop and mobile applications. It’s a useful failsafe when your connection is interrupted. You can continue to work, and the changes sync automatically when the connection is restored.
Last Word on Notion Compared to Monday.com
Notion and Monday.com are viable project management tools. Both solutions cover project management fundamentals like project planning, task management, communication, and project views.
The main difference is each software’s approach to project management.
Monday.com is a terrific choice for its advanced project management features. It’s a valuable tool for tracking large and complex projects, with built-in time tracking, proofing and feedback management, and resource management. However, Notion’s superior note-taking and documentation capabilities make it a superb choice for smaller projects that require customized workflows, wikis, journals, and databases.
There are still more tools worth considering. We created an in-depth post comparing the best project management software, and our Daily Eggspert did a terrific job outlining each software’s best features and potential use cases.