Todoist and Notion are two well-respected project management tools for your team members, but they’re a great choice for personal use, too.
In this Todoist vs Notion comparison, I’ll show you the key differences, features, pricing, pros, cons, and much more.
By the end of this post, you’ll exactly know which task management tool is the best for you.
|What are Todoist and Notion?||Todoist is a versatile task management app for individuals and small teams, which makes working on your to-do list a very lucrative experience.||Notion is an all-in-one workspace and collaboration platform for project management, teamwork, personal knowledge management, and more.|
|Mission||Organize your work and life into a single space||Break away from today’s tools, and bring back the good old wisdom|
|Anatomy||Project, sub-projects, tasks, sub-tasks||Pages, databases, and blocks (supports multiple workspaces)|
|Platform||Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Web, Apple Watch, Wear OS||Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Web|
|Automation||It’s a draw||It’s a draw|
|Task management and project management||Winner|
|Pros||– Natural language support
– Powerful quick captures
– Location-based reminders
– Easy to use and customizable
– Two-way calendar sync
– Emailing tasks with smart dates, labels, and priorities
|– Fully customizable workspace
– Surfacing information is a breeze with filters, grouping functions, rollups, and linked views
– Generous free version
– Brings your workflows into a single space
– Advanced databases
|Cons||– Lacks complex functions (timeline, reporting, custom fields, tables)
– A bit restricted teamwork
|– Lack of quick capture
– Working on your tasks is a more manual experience
– Lack of native email integration
– Offline work is restricted
|Verdict||Best for task management for individuals and small teams||Best for managing complex projects, centralizing work into one space, and knowledge management|
Todoist vs Notion: Overview
Let’s begin this Todoist vs Notion battle with the basics. I’ve highlighted the key features for you. Later, you’ll learn how these project management apps came to life, how they approach work, and how you can make the most out of them.
Todoist is a capable task management app with many useful functions for maximum productivity.
- Schedule your tasks with ease by leveraging natural language support
- Never miss an important thing with the two-way sync between your calendar and Todoist
- Create unique views with advanced filters
- Organize your tasks with lists and Kanban boards
- Capture your thoughts in seconds with Todoist’s quick-add feature
- Turn your emails into new tasks with your Todoist email address
Get started with Todoist.
Notion is an all-in-one productivity app for your daily tasks and a powerful workspace to organize your entire life.
- Leverage six different views to manage your daily tasks (Kanban boards, lists, calendars, timelines, tables, galleries).
- Build your own project manager and never miss an important feature again.
- Replace third-party apps like Google Docs or Google Sheets and manage your work with Trello-style board views.
- Collaborate with team members on docs and projects in real time.
- Create customized databases and link them together to create a highly personalized workflow.
Get started with Notion.
Now, that you have a brief understanding of Todoist vs Notion, it’s time to dive deeper into the detailed comparison.
Todoist vs Notion: Detailed Comparison
History & mission (don’t skip this part)
I always like to familiarize myself with the company behind a project management tool.
Understanding what drives the development of a productivity app helps you make the right decision.
Here’s a brief history of Todoist vs Notion.
Todoist is a real granddaddy of task managers: it was founded back in 2007.
Todoist has a very loyal user base. They proudly state that 50% of their users have been with them for 4+ years. Also, they don’t raise VC funds and don’t have a plan to exit or get acquired. The proof is the 15+ years in the productivity game.
This is what I appreciate most in Todoist, just like in Nozbe. And this is what makes a productivity app robust.
Otherwise, Doist (the company behind Todoist) regularly releases new functions. One of the most interesting ones was the habit tracker feature. As far as I know, TickTick is the only task manager that directly integrates a habit tracker feature.
Notion was first released in 2016 to change the status quo by providing a single workspace to life.
Since Notion’s launch, there has been an increasing effort to keep the app up to date and improve the user experience.
There was a major update on speeding up the application, the Notion editor and the databases are getting better each year, and recently there has been a great investment in the AI feature as well.
Notion acquired Automate.io, an automation platform, to integrate its functions into the software.
Winner: There is no clear winner here, but I can’t speak enough of Todoist’s business strategy.
Understanding the anatomy of Todoist vs Notion can help you work more efficiently. You’ll see that these task management apps have slightly distinct philosophies in how they work and organize information.
Todoist has a relatively flat hierarchy:
- Projects: projects are the placeholders of your tasks. Projects can be further structured with sections.
- Sub-projects: you can organize similar sub-projects under a parent project to keep your project list neat and simple. Todoist supports three levels of hierarchy.
- Tasks: Tasks are at the heart of Todoist. They can carry sub-tasks, comments, descriptions, due dates, priorities, reminders, and labels.
- Sub-tasks: sub-tasks make it easy to break down complex tasks into manageable chunks.
There’re a couple of more interesting views in Todoist:
- Inbox: this is the place where new tasks land until you assign them to a project.
- Today view: the Today section shows your tasks that are due today.
- Upcoming view: this is a nice calendar view displaying your scheduled tasks. You can now view your upcoming tasks in a board and drag and drop tasks between days.
- Labels: labels can be used as GTD contexts to batch similar tasks together.
- Filters: you can create advanced filters to surface tasks in granular details. Use different filter queries to make this happen. At first, it might feel a bit intimidating, but the true power of Todoist lies in its powerful filtering options. You can create your own dashboard or priority view and add them to the favorites on the Todoist sidebar.
In Notion, everything is built with LEGO-styled building blocks. Pages, subpages, text, databases, to-do lists, images, and files are all blocks.
Apart from blocks, there’re two entities in Notion’s hierarchy: pages and databases.
Think of pages as top-level containers such as folders or notebooks. Notion pages can contain any number of blocks and databases.
Databases are structured Notion pages. Every row in a Notion database is an individual page, which can contain all kinds of properties and blocks including text and subpages.
Notion databases can communicate with each other through a relation property. Not only that, but you can pull up and aggregate information from one database to the other with rollups.
What makes Notion databases so powerful is that any Notion page can be turned into a single database or can hold multiple databases. Those databases are composed of rows, and each row is a Notion page itself that can contain further pages and databases.
Also, you can create a linked view to your database that behaves like an embed: you can enter new pieces of information into this linked table or surface anything you want with powerful advanced filters and sorters.
You can now see that Notion supports unlimited structure and resources to create a personalized task manager for large projects.
One of the key metrics to finding a great task manager is how good the user experience is. While both Todoist and Notion excel in this arena, you’ll learn that they’re fundamentally different.
Todoist offers a minimalist and easy-to-use user interface. It doesn’t take much time until you get comfortable with it.
The user experience is superior and coherent across platforms (web application, desktop application, Windows vs Mac).
Not only does Todoist support dark mode, but it also offers multiple basic and premium themes. You can switch themes with a shortcut (O then T).
Compared to Notion, however, you’ll have limited customization options available.
What you can do is organize projects into sub-projects, create all kinds of filters, switch between list and Kanban views, and add different colors to projects, labels, and filters.
Also, you can add emojis to projects and tasks to make your workspace more vivid. (Side note: this one is more robust in Notion.)
One of the superpowers of Todoist is capturing tasks:
- You can use a global shortcut key to quickly capture any task when you work on another application.
- You can forward emails to Todoist and turn them into tasks either by using the Todoist add-on for Gmail or using your unique Todoist email addresses.
- You can capture websites as to-dos by leveraging the Todoist plugin in your web browser.
- You can, of course, simply create a task right in Todoist and quickly specify the metadata (priorities, due dates, reminders).
- You can use the smart date recognition feature to automatically recognize due dates when typing a task. (Don’t forget to turn on this feature in the settings.)
- You can use shortcut keys to capture essential information like assignees, priorities, labels, and projects.
This is not the case with Notion.
Navigating and quickly capturing information is a bit more awkward in Notion. There’re no quick captures (except the Notion web clipper) and shortcuts directly supporting tasks.
Notion’s flexibility and fluidity come at a price: it’s a bit hard to get started and it can take time until you build up your productivity system. If you’re a perfectionist, you’d better find a template and work your way up slowly.
Despite the complex database and structure, Notion works pretty fast thanks to a major upgrade back in 2021. The Notion app also works very coherently across different platforms (web app, mobile app, desktop app, Windows vs Mac).
Notion supports dark mode. The cool thing is that you easily switch modes with a single shortcut key: Cmd + Shift + L (Ctrl + Shift + L for Windows folks).
The mobile experience is quite good, although capturing information and navigating can be a bit challenging. With a clever system setup and some widgets, however, you can find peace.
Automating mundane tasks can save you so much time and effort. Let’s see what’s on the table.
There’s no dedicated automation module within the Todoist app. What you can do is automate your workflow with integrations.
Todoist directly integrates with Microsoft Teams, Gmail, Evernote, Jira, Toggle, Slack, and a couple more tools.
Also, you can connect Todoist with hundreds of applications via Zapier or IFTTT.
Enhance your Todoist experience with extensions. There’re now six different options including the Habit Tracker to track your recurring tasks as habit streaks in Todoist, the Task Helper to automate basic task operations, and the AI Assistant to make tasks more actionable and manageable.
To use the Todoist extensions, you need to install them and grant access to them.
Notion’s recently introduced AI can help with your writing and organizing efforts. You can ask the AI to find action items for you, summarize your text, improve your language, and even create a to-do list for you.
The AI feature can be a powerful tool to leverage already captured information (your own second brain). Time will tell, but the AI feature might be a field where Notion can gain an edge over task manager apps like Todoist. As of now, AI’s direct implications for task management are not yet on my horizon.
Notion offers native integrations with a couple of third-party apps like Zoom, Slack, Jira, Google Drive, Dropbox, and more.
And, of course, you can connect Notion to hundreds of third-party apps via IFTTT or Zapier.
Side note: as I’m writing this manuscript, Notion is releasing a brand-new feature, called Buttons. Buttons can take your productivity to a whole new level by replicating content or repeating actions with a button.
Winner: It’s a draw
Task management and project management
This is an essential part of this Todoist vs Notion comparison, so read carefully.
In my opinion, Todoist is one of the best task managers for solo work and low-to-medium complexity projects.
Todoist has everything that makes a great task manager app:
- Supports a great GTD setup (projects, contexts, next actions)
- Turns emails into tasks with customization options
- Allows quick capture for tasks and notes
- Is truly cross-platform
- Offers great integration capabilities
- Has great offline functionalities
- Has a trusted developer
Where Todoist is running out of steam, Notion starts to fly. Managing complex projects is possible within Todoist, but Notion offers Gantt charts, advanced databases, custom fields, formulas, and more advanced functions to assist your project management efforts.
It’s important to note that Notion isn’t a to-do list app per see.
Although many folks advocate Notion for task management or project management, it’s rather an all-in-one productivity app with strong task management capabilities.
You can create highly personalized GTD dashboards and manage your projects with six different views like Gantt charts, Kanban boards, calendars, lists, and more. Notion’s flexible anatomy makes it easy to create reports and analytics.
To create a basic (or a more complex) task manager in Notion, you might want to create two databases: one for your tasks and another one for your projects.
Tasks in Notion are individual rows in your task database, which can contain an array of different properties from due dates to assignees to priorities.
You can assign a task to a project with the help of relations (relational databases) and measure your progress with Notion rollups.
The hardest part is to quickly capture tasks with Notion. Since Notion isn’t a dedicated task manager app, there’s no shortcut key to quickly capture information and immediately specify the properties (due dates, assignees, priorities, etc.).
What you can (and definitely should) do, however, is to create an inbox, a dedicated place for incoming tasks and notes. You can use the Notion web clipper (although I prefer using the Save to Notion plugin) or a widget on your phone for “quick” capture, but streamlining is a bit more manual as compared to Todoist.
Things will become a bit more awkward in the Notion mobile app. (Again, this is because Notion is an all-in-one productivity app and not a dedicated task management software.)
One of the major drawbacks to using Notion as a task manager is the lack of emailing tasks to the app. (This is where Todoist is hard to beat.) You can of course find a way around it with Zapier, but that’s not an ideal solution.
While both task manager apps offer interesting functions, they serve fundamentally different purposes as you’ll see in this comparison.
Although Todoist is a minimalist task manager app, it has some outstanding functions that can supercharge your productivity.
Here’re some of the advanced features of Todoist:
- Karma: I’m not a big fan of Karma, but many people like it. When you complete your tasks in Todoist, you can earn Karma points that raise your Karma levels. You can both earn and lose Karma either by completing your tasks or falling off the wagon. This is a great way to keep yourself motivated and accountable.
- Experimental features: you can turn on this feature under the advanced settings to gain early access to upcoming Todoist features.
- Forward emails to Todoist as new tasks: turn your emails into tasks by forwarding them to a specific project or your inbox. Each one of your projects has a unique email address that you’ll find at the top right corner of the screen under the project settings. Set due dates, labels, and priorities right from your email client.
- Location-based reminders: this is a very handy feature if you’re familiar with the Getting Things Done methodology and keep a list of tasks from separate projects labeled as errands. Location-based reminders can help you automate this process.
- Advanced filters: use the filter queries to create advanced filters and customize the view with the grouping and sorting functions.
This very blog post couldn’t be long enough to list Notion’s advanced functions. This all stems from the fact that Notion is rather an all-in-one productivity app than a task management tool.
Some of the advanced functions are:
- Advanced databases: I can’t speak enough to Notion databases. They make it possible to organize information uniquely and create a highly personalized task manager.
- Formulas: Notion formulas can be useful when you create reports and analytics for your team. They work very similarly to Excel formulas.
- Relations & rollups: these properties connect databases and pull up information for you.
- Bidirectional links: this is the foundation for building a second brain and surfacing information. Not only that but bidirectional linking works in databases, too, which can enhance your Notion task manager.
- Mentioning: mentioning pages, reminders, people, and dates is easy in Notion. Just type “@” and select an item from your list. It’s a clever way to add reminders for yourself or your team. And don’t forget that Notion also supports smart date recognition.
|Notion Free||Notion Plus||Notion Business||Todoist Free||Todoist Pro||Todoist Business|
|Price $/mo (per user, billed annually)||Free||8||15||0||4||6|
|Number of tasks||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Number of projects||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||5||300||500|
|Collaborators||10 external collaborators; unlimited internal collaborators (per workspace)||100 external collaborators; unlimited internal collaborators (per workspace)||250 external collaborators; unlimited internal collaborators (per workspace)||5 (per project)||25 (per project)||50 (per project)|
|File uploads||Unlimited (5MB per file)||Unlimited||Unlimited||5MB||100MB||100MB|
|Calendar sync||Embed||Embed||Embed||Two-way sync||Two-way sync||Two-way sync|
This Todoist vs Notion comparison couldn’t be complete without mentioning the price tag.
I can say that both Todoist and Notion are budget-friendly task managers. Notion doesn’t put the advanced functions behind a paywall. You can use a fully functional Notion account basically for free except for the 5 MB limit on individual file uploads. However, this is not a big deal.
A Todoist free plan’s only major limitation is the number of projects you can create, which is five. If you want more, you need to upgrade to the paid version.
Notion’s second tier starts from $8 per month that’s exactly twice as much as Todoist charges for their Pro plan, which is more than enough for small teams or individuals. Of course, you can experiment with the pro features once you begin your free trial.
Todoist Pros and Cons
- Natural language support (smart dates)
- Powerful quick captures
- Location-based reminders
- Easy to use and customizable
- Two-way calendar sync
- Emailing tasks with smart dates, labels, and priorities
- Lacks complex functions (timeline, reporting, custom fields, tables)
- A bit limited collaboration features
Notion Pros and Cons
- Fully customizable workspace
- Surfacing information is a breeze with filters, grouping functions, rollups, and linked views
- Generous free version
- Brings your workflows into a single space
- Advanced databases
- Lack of quick capture
- Working on your tasks is a more manual experience
- Lack of native email integration
- Offline work is restricted
Todoist vs Notion: the verdict
This Todoist vs Notion comparison has focused on task management capabilities. Notion, however, isn’t a dedicated task manager app per se.
That being said, it wasn’t fair to say that Todoist is superior to Notion. They play in different teams.
Where Todoist runs out of steam, Notion begins to excel: that is advanced project management and knowledge management.
That’s why I strongly recommend Todoist for task management. The main benefits of Todoist are its ability to quickly capture tasks, manage them more smoothly, and use them together with your calendar. Everything seems of a less manual experience compared to Notion, which makes Todoist a better choice for managing your to-do list.
If your goal is to bring all your work into a single place, manage huge projects, or share databases with your team, your best option is Notion.
In addition to supporting your project management efforts, Notion can serve as a hub for standard operating procedures, customer relationship management, knowledge management, data management, wikis, and so much more.