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Notion vs Trello

by | Notion, Software Review

Productivity is becoming more important in the modern professional world. Optimizing your workflow, and having the ability to keep tabs on your ongoing projects, is an extremely important resource. Not to mention the ability to collaborate with team members and clients.

In the world of productivity tools, there are two pieces of software that stand out. Notion and Trello. Both provide a range of benefits to their user’s productivity and organization. 

Today we’ll explore which of these two tools is better for your productivity.


What is Notion?

Notion is known within the industry as the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of productivity tools. Providing a complete range of software solutions for business organization. Notion brings together the functionality of many different pieces of software typically employed by modern professionals, and brings them together under one roof.

What is Trello?

Based on the Kanban project management system, which was invented by Toyota in the 1950s, Trello is a project management and productivity tool that excels at organization and an effective simplistic design.

Trello is designed around a card system. Allowing you to keep track of a wide range of information in a single board. Despite its simplistic design, the platform is a highly versatile tool. Allowing users to adapt it to many professional and personal applications.

Notion Pros

Notion is an extensive program that has a lot going for it in the industry, which is no doubt the reason for its widespread popularity. Let’s explore some of the key pros that contribute to Notion’s success.

Highly Customizable 

One of the foundational features of Notion, and a huge reason for the tool’s success, is how customizable Notion is. The architecture of the software provides incredible customization, allowing you to shape your Notion platform to meet your needs very specifically. 

The core of Notion works on a block system, which can be moulded to fit a wide range of professional and creative applications. It’s possible to have two Notion workspaces, and neither of them look anything alike.

An Extensive Template System

A large part of Notion’s customization is through its template system. Templates can be for almost anything, from novel planning, to software development roadmaps, the list goes on. These templates are both made by the Notion team themselves, and by third-party users. Providing you with access to an endless wealth of creativity contributed by Notion’s user base.

Great Note Taking

Compared to many programs of Notion’s style, where the note taking functionality is limited, this is not a problem for Notion. With an incredibly extensive word processor baked into the very fabric of the tool, and a well-organized note taking framework (Often with the use of templates) that can be set up in seconds.

Multiple Platform Viewing Functionality

Notion employs the Kanban system, and a large part of that is how you can view your projects, data, and deadlines. This allows you to view this information in a wide range of ways, such as lists, tables, calendars, and time tracking maps.

Supported on All Platforms

Notion is supported on both Windows and Mac operating systems, as well as having apps available that work on phones and tablets of all makes and models. A huge bonus if you’re looking to make sure your team can interface with your Notion workspace with ease.

Wide Range of Integrations

Notion provides a wide range of integrations, add-ons, and drag & drop functionalities. Many Google apps can be quickly added to Notion, as well as web pages, YouTube videos, and much more. 

In fact, there are so many integrations, that the Notion team has a dedicated page covering over 10,000 software integrations that the platform supports!

Notion Has a Free Version

Notion is primarily a paid service; however, they understand that users may not want to put up the capital straight away to try the program. Thankfully the Notion team provides a decently generous free version, which supports only one user, with the majority of the platform’s features included.

Trello Pros

Trello is a widely popular project management tool, and comes loaded with a wide range of benefits. Let’s take a closer look at the core pros that make up the Trello platform:

Simple and Effective UI Design

Trello is designed on the foundation of a simple, effective, and easy-to-understand UI framework. This can often provide the wrong impression for some professionals, yet where the platform lacks in upfront complexity, it makes up for in functionality.

The platform is quick to understand, and easy to master. Providing you with a clean, simple, and straight-forward approach to its project management and productivity benefits.

Less Complex Pricing Structure – Extensive Free Plan

Compared to many of its competitors in the market, Trello provides a much more straight-forward pricing structure. You have an extensive free version, which allows you to invite an unlimited number of users, create boards, cards, and lists.

On top of this, Trello provides a Business Class version for $25 per month. This opens up the ability for bulk exporting, a higher data cap, and more functionality for administrator users to access and manage all of their boards with ease.

Yet despite this paid model, the free version will provide you with the vast majority of Trello’s functionality. Which is an extremely generous offer, a huge plus for people looking to try out the platform without an upfront cost.

Mobile Friendly

Trello is supported on all platforms. Everything from computers, tablets, or phones. Each platform has its own UI design, and keeps the same easy-to-use functionality across all platforms. 

A huge bonus for those looking to keep track of their work on the go, or are looking to add more people into their project. Doing away with the concern that others may not have the equipment to use your management platform.

Trello follows the Kanban system

Trello is built on the foundation of the Kanban system, which was created by Toyota in the 1950s. The Kanban system plays a major role in boosting productivity in the development process, and isolating bottlenecks that you may be facing.

Instant Notifications

Trello has an impressively extensive notification system. Allowing you to keep up to date even when you are not actively on the platform itself. This can be customized to meet your own preferences, yet by default you will be alerted by email when deadlines draw near, new cards are set, and tasks are completed. 

Allows You to Understand Instantly When A Deadline Nears

Keeping track of your deadlines is simple with Trello. When you create a card within Trello, you can set a due date to it. As the date nears, the card will turn yellow, and when the due date has passed, it will turn read.

This simple overview structure cuts down on time you’ll spend keeping track of your deadlines. Providing a quick at-a-glance way to keep up to date with your

Notion Cons

Even the most extensive and widely used programs have some shortcomings. Let’s explore some of the drawbacks of the Notion software:

The Free Version is Strategically Limited

Whilst Notion does provide a free version, there is a strategic element to what they provide you. The free version of Notion only offers you functionality for personal use, and their first upgraded paid version is also just an enhanced version of this personal use version, costing you $4 per month.

It’s not until you begin to step up to the Pro version, which costs $8 per month, that many of the collaboration features are added. 

A tool such as Notion excels at collaboration, and team-wide organization. With the majority of these features locked behind a paywall, it can be incredibly difficult to gauge if Notion is right for you without first paying some money up front.

Customization Comes at a Cost

One of the key benefits of Notion is its incredible customization, however this comes at a cost. A time cost, to be exact. For those looking to push Notion to its limits, and tailor it to their specific needs, you will often need to spend a considerable amount of time working on it.

This is only made worse by the template market. If you are looking for a specific template for your business, many of these templates cost money. So whilst it is great that Notion employs such a high level of customization, this can quickly become a time sink, and a costly endeavour. 

Underdeveloped Mobile App

The mobile app for Notion is usable, but it has some noticeable drawbacks. Navigation within the app can be frustrating, and many users report that it is easy to delete items mistakenly.

Browsing the reviews for the Notion app, you will see that many users express their frustration for its limited functionality, and poor optimization.

Internal Index Searches are Not Great

Since Notion is designed to be an extensive project management platform, a lot of information is often stored on a Notion workspace. Searching for this information can be a problem, with keywords often working fine, but filters and custom tags often not properly searching your information indexes properly.

For users that require an extensive amount of information to be stored within Notion, this can cause a lot of wasted time and frustration.

Trello Cons

Despite Trello’s widespread popularity, the platform isn’t perfect. Many glaring issues stick out once you begin using Trello more extensively. Let’s explore some of the key cons of the Trello platform:

Trello Has A Storage Limit

Quite surprisingly, Trello has some incredibly restrictive storage limits on its platform. For free users, you can only upload a 10MB file at a time for each attachment. Business class, and Trello Gold users have a higher threshold, yet this caps out at only 250MB in total.

These storage limits, in the modern internet age, are extremely small. Posing significant challenges for any users, or teams, that exchange larger attachments on the regular. Forcing them to use off-site solutions to get round this limitation.

Difficult to Handle Big Projects

One of Trello’s biggest shortcomings is its ability to handle larger projects. Due to the simplistic Kanban design, tracking large amounts of information can be difficult. With the card system struggling to keep up with extensive project management use. Making Trello only excel at small team projects, or personal usage applications.

No Road-Map Feature

One of the key elements that define a project management, and productivity platform is the ability to roadmap progress. Yet this won’t be found on the Trello platform whatsoever. Even something as small as a two-week projection cannot be communicated on Trello. Again, forcing you to use off-site solutions to handle your roadmaps.

No Comment Editing

Every card within the Trello platform can have comments attached to it, and this is at the core of how the Kanban Trello card system is used. However, once a comment is written, it cannot be edited. Forcing you to recreate the card with your edited version.

A slight annoyance that is sure to create some frustration.

No Offline Access

Whilst the Trello platform fashions itself as an all-in-one solution for your project management, and productivity needs, it does not support offline viewing. This means you will always need internet access to stay in touch with your Trello board.

This may not be an issue for some people, however in the event of your internet going down, you will not be able to keep up to date with your project notes. Creating a situation that could deeply impact your productivity in certain situations.

Advantages That Notion Has Over Trello

Whilst Notion and Trello are very different programs, there are some key advantages that Notion has over Trello. Let’s explore some of them here:

More Customizable Platform

Notion is, without a doubt, far more customizable than the Trello platform. Allowing you to fully tailor the workspace to meet your personal needs. Where Trello struggles to be flexible in many key areas, Notion is built on a foundation of flexibility.

Meaning you never have to worry about if Notion will suit your personal project management needs.

Extensive Word Processor Support

Notion comes with an impressive in-built word processor as part of its core package. Providing great support for a wide range of industries, and general note taking applications. Whereas Trello only supports an incredibly basic word processor, Notion’s word processor can do almost everything that Microsoft Word can do. 

More Integration Support

Whilst Trello offers almost no integration support, Notion can be integrated with over ten thousand different programs with ease. This not only feeds into the customization of the platform, but the flexibility of Notion when it comes to meet your own personal business requirements.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a mainstream professional program that isn’t supported by Notion, which is a huge achievement.

Advantages That Trello Has Over Notion

Trello is an impressively designed project management, and productivity platform, with many key areas that excel over Notion. Let’s explore those here:

Better Free Version

Trello, compared to Notion, provides almost all of its features up front. With only a few minor parts of its functionality locked behind a paywall. This is incredibly generous from the Trello team, and shows a confidence in the value of their product.

For teams looking to begin trying a platform such as Trello, this means you won’t need to fork over capital to begin taking advantage of Trello. A huge bonus.

Significantly Better Mobile and Tablet App

Compared to Notion’s poorly designed mobile and tablet app, Trello’s app has been well designed from the get-go. Admittedly, this is also due to the vast difference in complexity between the two platforms, but the end result is an app that is frustrating (Notion) and an app that just works (Trello).

Easier to Use for New Users

Trello is a considerably easier platform to behind using, compared to Notion. This is due to a streamlined and simplistic design. Allowing people to quickly become accustomed to Trello’s interface and functionalities.

Who Should Use Notion?

The answer to this question is hard to pin down, as Notion can be used by an extremely wide range of professionals. However, for anybody looking for a platform that allows them to customize every little element, Notion is a strong choice.

Furthermore, Notion is also much better suited to large team applications. Whilst still being useful for the personal user.

Who Should Use Trello?

Trello is well suited to individuals and small teams who are looking for simple project management tracking. Whilst Trello doesn’t provide the most extensive features, this is often all that is needed for these groups.

Which is Better for Project Management?

In the broad sense, Notion will win out compared to Trello. Due to its extensive integrations, features, and customization. Providing all of the tools required to tailor the exact project management platform that your business, or yourself, require.

Which is Better for Boosting Productivity?

There is no clear answer for this, as both platforms offer different solutions. For larger teams, Notion will more often provide a boost in productivity. Due to its extensive features, integrations, and customization.

However, Trello is also incredibly effective in this regard. Providing a minimalist solution to keeping on top of your project management needs.

Pricing: Asana vs Trello


Both Trello and Notion are incredibly popular, and well-made project management and productivity tools. Supported by large communities that find great value in their use. 

Looking deeper into both programs reveals that Notion excels at the large-scale project management setting. Able to provide an endless array of solutions to unique professional applications.

Whilst for smaller teams, Trello is the kind of minimalist results. Providing a straight-forward approach to boosting your productivity, and keeping track of your projects.

Want to read more about Notion and other tools like Trello, Asana, OneNote, Basecamp…?

Have a look at our Notion “vs” software reviews here:

Notion Review

Notion vs OneNote

Notion vs Asana

Notion vs Basecamp

Notion vs Airtable

Notion vs Roam

Notion vs Todoist

Notion vs Clickup

Notion vs Coda

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