Note Taking Apps

Looking for a Notion replacement? Explore these 5 alternative Notion-like apps

Check out these Notion alternatives for building your personal knowledge management system.
Elizabeth Butler, MD, PhD 6 min read
Looking for a Notion replacement? Explore these 5 alternative Notion-like apps
Table of Contents

Reasons to consider Notion replacements and alternative Notion-like apps

Looking for a Notion replacement? Maybe you’ve been tinkering around in Notion for a while, but you’re wondering what’s out there that’s better than Notion. Or after building your personal knowledge management system in Notion, you’re frustrated with some of the limitations and you’re looking for similar Notion-like apps that solve these challenges. Maybe you’re annoyed by the lack of offline mode, or unreliable search, or slow and buggy performance. Or maybe you find that Notion is fine, but it doesn’t feel like quite the right fit. Or maybe you’re just exploring, wondering what might be out there that’s better than Notion.

Here are five personal knowledge management apps that you can consider as an alternative to Notion.


If you want an alternative to Notion's database feature


Airtable is a database-focused web app with endless automations and integrations. If you use Notion primarily for its database feature, you’ll be delighted by all the customisations available through Airtable instead.

Airtable vs Notion further reading

Want more reading on a comparison to help you choose between Airtable and Notion? Check out these links:

Airtable vs Notion | BuiltOnAir
Airtable vs. Notion: Which should you choose? Read the in-depth comparison guide and review the features and pros and cons of Airtable and Notion.
Airtable vs Notion: the Ultimate Guide
An in-depth comparison of Airtable and Notion.
Notion vs. Airtable: Which database app should you use?
With Notion, Airtable and other no-code apps, any layperson can fire up a database with custom views and fields. Here’s help on picking the right tool.

Craft Docs

If you’re looking for a minimalist aesthetic and support for Markdown (like Notion) with offline access

Craft Doc aka Craft Notes

Craft is a native iOS and macOS note taking app with a web app to allow for cross-platform access. It has a beautiful design with lightening-quick speed.

Craft vs Notion further reading

Want a deeper dive into a comparison of Craft Docs versus Notion? Check out these articles:

Craft vs. Notion: The Best Note Taking Tools for Authors
This examination of Craft vs. Notion will help you find the right note-taking tool for your next writing project.
Craft and Notion 🤔
Reinventing the wheel? Screenshot courtesy of the author; Craft and Notion icons via and I first became aware of Notion because I watch a lot of productivity, creativity and vari…
Why I switched from Notion to Craft Docs - Maggi Fuchs
If you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for the perfect app to take notes. Especially when working and traveling at the same time,...


If you’re looking for a quick-loading, cross-platform, web-based note taking app


Nuclino is perfect for building a personal or shared knowledge base. Editing and search are optimised for speed. It has a lightweight, minimalist aesthetic that will help you focus on the words you’re writing instead of going down the rabbit hole of customisation.

Nuclino vs Notion further reading

Want a more detailed analysis of the features of Nuclino vs Notion? Check out this comparison:

Nuclino vs Notion: A Side-by-Side Comparison
Nuclino vs Notion? We’ve put together a detailed comparison so you can learn more about your options and pick the best tool for your team.

Bear Notes App

If you wish that Notion was quicker and had more reliable iPhone access

Bear Notes App

Bear Notes app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. (No web app for cross-platform access yet, but it’s been in the works for a while.) If you work in the Apple ecosystem, Bear offers a blazing-fast, seamless, reliable note taking environment with first-class mobile and tablet access.

Bear Notes App vs Notion further reading

Check out these articles and videos for a deeper dive into comparing Bear Notes versus Notion:

Day #18 | Apple Notes to Notion to Noto to Bear
I’ve been trying to find the best note-taking app for myself in the last two years.The Apple Notes app is the default for everybody, but if you need something more beautiful and powerful, you have to look for something different.


If you wish that Notion was more flexible and customizable

Obsidian is a highly flexible knowledge base that you can customize to fit any workflow or use case. There are endless Obsidian plugins available, and the Obsidian user forum is an active trove of inspiring advice and example setups. Also, you can adjust your personal knowledge base to fit your aesthetic taste with these custom Obsidian themes.

Obsidian vs Notion further reading

Want to go deeper? Check out these videos, discussions, and articles comparing Obisidan versus Notion:

Notion vs. Obsidian Notes: Which Application is the Best Fit for you? - The Productive Engineer
In this article, you will learn about two note-taking applications: Notion and Obsidian Notes. We will compare the features of these apps to help you make a
r/ObsidianMD - Help Me Choose Between Notion and Obsidian?
9 votes and 36 comments so far on Reddit

How to organize your notes in Notion or your Notion replacement app

Maybe after all this, you've decided that Notion is the best fit for you right now. Or maybe you're excited to rehaul your personal knowledge management system and begin organizing your digital notes in Obsidian or Bear Notes or Craft. But you feel a bit overwhelmed as you try to decide the optimal way to structure and organize your note taking workflow.

The Calmer Notes method may be just what you've been looking for.

Calmer Notes: Mindful Personal Knowledge Management for Digital Minimalists takes you through the process of designing and maintaining a customized, made-for-you personal knowledge management system to organize your digital notes and files.

The self-paced course is currently available for purchase at Gumroad.

If you'd like to learn more, browse my previous blog posts about the Calmer Notes method or visit the Calmer Notes website.

Wishing you all the best on your personal knowledge management journey!

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