There’s a cycle that I constantly go through with the apps that I use. For a while I’ll find new apps that do a great job at a specific purpose, realize I have too many, and then combine them by using one mediocre “do everything” app. It’s like the choice between using a fork and spoon, or making do with a spork instead. The spork is convenient, but most prefer proper tools.
Lately I’m noticing that Notion can become a spork, for better or worse.
I still use and love Notion, but last year I let it become a bit of a spork for me.
- I can track my reading list in there, instead of using a tool like GoodReads.
- I can use it to replace a paper planner, instead of using something like the Full Focus Planner.
- I used for a little while for spaced repetition learning, instead of Anki.
- I used it to store my main contact list.
- I used it for our company’s CRM.
- I used for managing projects and tasks.
It did a good job at all of those things, but in most cases there were separate tools that did things better. As a result, I’ve slowly started moving much of that stuff out of Notion and into more focused apps. Notion is still great for some things, but when I tried to make it do everything it felt like using a spork.
At this point, my selection of apps is getting pretty wide again, so I suspect it’ll collapse a bit over the next few years.
As I work through tools, I try to fit them all into my digital efficiency framework. Some tools can serve multiple purposes in there, but having an overarching strategy above the tools helps me to really focus on the purpose of each one and determine the best path forward.
Where are you with your tools right now? Are you happy using a few sporks, or do you have individual spoons and forks all over your table?