Notion vs Goodnotes: Which is Better for Your Team?

Content Writing & Strategy
Team Slam
Helping you win online

Whether you are writing notes from a kick-off call, figuring out who is responsible for what in a project, or wanting to document a how-to guide for a new hire, having an operational hub for your team’s workflow can be what makes or breaks whether you meet your deadlines and surpass your goals. But with so many of these tools in the market, which one should you choose? In this article, we’ll be going over two popular contenders: Notion vs. Goodnotes, with detailed comparisons on: 

  1. What is Notion? 
  2. What is Goodnotes? 
  3. Notion vs. Goodnotes: User Interface 
  4. Notion vs. Goodnotes: Features 
  5. Notion vs. Goodnotes: Pricing 

Why trust us with the major decision on what tool your team should use? It’s because we’ve been there. Here at Slam Media Lab, we’re a remote and fast-paced web design agency that depends heavily on operational tools, from team sprints to basic communication when we’re thousands of miles apart from each other. We’ve tried out all the tools under the sun, spendings 100+ hours of research and application on what tool is best and why. Now, we create products & resources to help teams like yours not go through the iterative hassle and reach peak operational efficiency in minutes rather than months. 

Looking through our resources, you’ll probably get a good idea of which tool we prefer. But let’s go over why in this article. 

What is Notion? 

Image of Notion's website homepage.

Notion is a versatile and powerful productivity tool that functions as an all-in-one workspace, allowing users to create, organize, and manage various types of content and information. It combines elements of note-taking, project management, knowledge base creation, task management, and collaboration within a single platform.

Notion is designed to adapt to diverse workflows and organizational needs, making it popular among individuals, teams, and organizations seeking a flexible and customizable workspace solution. There are three main features that Notion is well-known for: 

  1. Flexibility 
  2. Customization 
  3. Collaboration 


Notion employs a modular approach with pages, databases, and blocks. Users can create pages for different purposes (e.g., projects, notes, databases) and customize them by adding various blocks such as text, images, to-do lists, calendars, and more. This is why Notion users are able to create more complex and unique dashboards, Notion Wiki templates, and even Notion websites.


Notion offers a wide range of customizable templates for different use cases. These templates provide pre-built structures that users can modify to fit specific needs. At Slam, we’ve built our own array of templates that businesses can use on Notion, from a Notion Vision Board to Notion Assignment Tracker templates. We use these in our day-to-day work cadence, so you can trust they lead to great results. 


Multiple users can collaborate on Notion pages simultaneously, making real-time edits, comments, and updates. This feature enhances teamwork and facilitates seamless communication within teams or across departments. We use these features on the regular here at Slam, and it helps us move projects 10x faster as we’ve built tools like the Notion Sprint Template to make real-time project management a breeze. 

What is Goodnotes? 

An image of notes taken by a medical student on the human eyeball using Goodnotes

GoodNotes is a popular digital note-taking app designed primarily for iOS and macOS devices. It offers a comprehensive platform for handwritten notes, sketching, annotation, and document organization. GoodNotes aims to replicate the experience of traditional pen and paper while leveraging digital tools to enhance productivity and creativity.

GoodNotes is widely used by students for taking lecture notes, organizing study materials, and annotating textbooks. The ability to combine handwritten notes with text, images, and diagrams supports comprehensive learning and revision. Artists and designers also use GoodNotes for sketching, drawing, and creating digital artwork.

In general, Goodnotes is typically an app that is made for individual use, rather than for large teams. While company workflows may not be the most compatible with Goodnotes, it is great for individuals who wish to integrate digital handwriting and note taking tools into their personal workflow. 

Notion vs Goodnotes: User Interface 

While Notion and GoodNotes differ significantly in their user interface approaches—Notion with its modular and customizable workspace, and GoodNotes with its handwriting-centric and intuitive notebook-like interface—both tools cater effectively to distinct user preferences and workflows. Choosing between them depends largely on whether you prioritize customization and collaboration (Notion) or a seamless, handwriting-focused experience (GoodNotes). 

Notion’s User Interface 

Notion's interface is structured around a modular system where users create pages and populate them with various content blocks such as text, images, databases, calendars, and more. This modular approach allows for flexible customization and organization of information within pages.

Notion utilizes a left-hand sidebar for navigation, where users can access different pages and databases. The main workspace area allows for easy dragging and dropping of blocks to rearrange content, enhancing usability and organization.

Users can also use content blocks that can be customized extensively. Each block type has unique properties and formatting options, allowing for tailored layouts and visual representation of information.

As mentioned previously, one of the great things about Notion is the sheer amount of templates available for you to use. This is especially helpful for user experience, as users can leverage Notion's library of templates to quickly set up pages for different purposes, such as project management, team collaboration, or personal notes. You can, for example, use our Notion Documentation Template to streamline processes without having to start from level 0. 

Goodreads’ User Interface 

GoodNotes is designed primarily for handwritten notes and sketching, leveraging the precision of stylus input, such as the Apple Pencil on iPad devices. The interface supports natural writing gestures, allowing users to write, draw, and annotate directly on digital pages.

The app also offers a variety of writing and drawing tools, including different pen types, highlighters, colors, and erasers. These tools enhance the user experience by providing flexibility and control over handwriting and sketching tasks.

GoodNotes has a great UI for note organization, categorizing notes into digital notebooks with tabs, dividers, and covers, mimicking the structure of physical notebooks. This organizational approach is intuitive and familiar, making it easy for users to create new notebooks and organize content within them.

Users can navigate through GoodNotes notebooks using thumbnail previews, page lists, and a robust search function. These features facilitate quick access to specific notes or sections, enhancing productivity and usability.

Finally, Goodnotes allows for seamless PDF annotation, enabling users to highlight text, markup documents, and add annotations directly onto PDF pages. This feature supports reviewing, editing, and annotating documents within the app. For users whose priority is having a tool for handwriting and note taking, then Goodnotes’ UX solves that need. 

Notion vs Goodnotes: Features 

In this section, we’ll cover features that Notion and Goodnotes provides. Keep in mind that the audience and goal of these two tools differ, and their individual features reflect their difference in target audience. While Goodnotes is more niche, being an iOS app focused on note taking, Notion has various features that are needed for project management and larger team workflows. 

Notion Features

With recent updates such as the ability to publish Notion websites, Notion is a powerful tool with endless use cases. Here are just some of the features that and your team can use: 

  • Pages and Blocks: Notion organizes information into pages that can contain various types of content blocks, such as text, headings, images, videos, embedded files, code snippets, and more. This modular approach allows for flexible content creation and customization within notes.
  • Rich Text Formatting: Users can format text with headings, bullet points, numbered lists, and inline styles (bold, italic, underline). Notion supports Markdown for quick text formatting.
  • Inline Databases: Notion allows users to create inline databases within pages. These databases can be customized with different properties (e.g., text, number, date, select options) and filtered or sorted to organize and view information efficiently.
  • Linked Databases: Databases can be linked across pages or databases, creating relational databases where changes in one database reflect across all linked instances. This feature supports complex data management and cross-referencing.
  • To-Do Lists and Kanban Boards: Notion offers task management features with to-do lists that can be organized into Kanban boards for visual project tracking using drag-and-drop functionality. 
  • Deadlines and Reminders: Users can set due dates, reminders, and recurring tasks to stay organized and on schedule.
  • Team Collaboration: Notion supports team collaboration by allowing users to share pages, databases, and projects with team members. Real-time editing and commenting streamline teamwork and communication.
  • Permission Controls: Admins can manage permissions to control who can view, edit, or comment on specific pages or databases, ensuring data security and privacy.
  • Integration with Other Apps: Notion integrates with popular tools like Slack, Google Drive, GitHub, and more through APIs and embeds. This allows for seamless data sharing and workflow integration across different platforms.
  • Embeds: Users can embed external content like websites, files, videos, and maps directly into Notion pages, consolidating information and reducing the need to switch between applications.
  • Accessibility: Notion is accessible via web browsers, desktop applications (Windows, macOS), and mobile apps (iOS, Android), ensuring users can access and update information from any device.

Goodnotes Feaetures 

GoodNotes is a digital notebook with a variety of powerful resources to help you streamline your note-taking efforts. Here are some features that make Goodnotes an appealing and popular app: 

  • QuickNotes: GoodNotes allows users to quickly jot down notes without opening a specific notebook. This feature is handy for capturing ideas or tasks on the go and later organizing them into appropriate notebooks.
  • Handwriting Recognition: GoodNotes supports handwriting recognition, converting handwritten notes into searchable text. This feature improves the accessibility and usability of handwritten notes by enabling quick searching and indexing.
  • Auto-Backup: The app includes automatic backup options, such as iCloud syncing, ensuring that your notes are securely backed up and accessible across multiple devices linked to the same Apple ID.
  • PDF Annotation: In addition to annotating PDFs, GoodNotes supports editing PDFs directly within the app, including adding text, images, and shapes, which is useful for document modification and collaboration.
  • Bookmarking and Outline View: GoodNotes enables bookmarking pages and creating document outlines, facilitating quick navigation within large notebooks or lengthy documents.
  • Dark Mode: The app offers a dark mode option, which reduces eye strain in low-light environments and provides a different visual aesthetic for users who prefer darker interfaces.
  • AI Tools: Users can also autofill and correct errors, even in handwritten text. Using these same features, GoodNotes also lets users search for anything from handwriting to PDF text so you never lose track of a document.

Notion vs Goodnotes: Pricing 

With their features in mind, the next consideration is pricing. Each software takes a unique approach to their pricing structure, so let’s compare how they hold up against each other.

Notion Pricing Model

Notion’s pricing plans are much better suited for teams, offering a broader variety of features for a fraction of the cost: 

  • Free Plan ($0/month)some text
    • Collaborative workspace
    • Integrate with Slack, GitHub & more
    • Basic page analytics
    • 7 day page history
    • Invite 10 guests
  • Plus Plan ($8 per user/month billed annually OR $10 billed monthly)some text
    • Everything in free
    • Unlimited blocks for teams 
    • Unlimited file uploads 
    • 30 day page history 
    • Invite 100 guests 
  • Business ($15 per user/month billed annually OR $18 billed monthly) some text
    • Everything in Plus 
    • SAML SSO 
    • Private teamspaces 
    • Bulk PDF export 
    • Advanced page analytics 
    • 90 day page history 
    • Invite 250 guests 
  • Enterprise (contact sales for pricing): some text
    • Everything in Business 
    • User provisioning (SCIM) 
    • Advanced security & controls 
    • Audit log 
    • Customer success manager 
    • Workspace analytics 
    • Unlimited page history 
    • Security & Compliance integrations 
    • Invite 250 guests 

Notion plans will be based on the size of your team and how complicated your Notion workspaces are. For example, if you are a remote and fast-paced company (like us!) then you would probably want to go with the Business or Enterprise plan. Or, if you are a freelancer or student that just wants to use Notion as a PM tool, you could stick with the Free or Plus Plan. 

Goodnotes Pricing Model 

GoodNotes offers a few pricing models, depending on your intended use. In their standard pricing model, they offer four options. These plans are primarily designed for individual use, but you can still share and collaborate on documents at no additional cost. 

A screenshot of Goodnotes' pricing model, which you can use for comparing Notion vs Goodnotes.

While these plans are incredibly cost-effective for individuals, teams can only share individual documents. If you want access to their internal team features, you’ll need to upgrade to their business plan, which costs $50/month.

Our Preference? It’s Gotta Be Notion 

When comparing Notion and GoodNotes, the choice ultimately depends on specific needs and preferences. Notion excels as a versatile all-in-one workspace, offering robust organizational tools, collaborative features, and customization options ideal for team projects, knowledge management, and task tracking. 

On the other hand, GoodNotes focuses on providing a seamless handwritten note-taking experience with intuitive tools for sketching, annotation, and PDF management, catering particularly well to users who value the tactile feel of pen and paper. Whether prioritizing digital organization and collaboration (Notion) or a tactile, handwriting-centric approach (GoodNotes), both platforms stand out for their distinct strengths in enhancing productivity and creativity in different ways.

For us? It all comes down to Notion productivity meeting our needs. At Slam, we are a fast-paced and remote agency that needs a comprehensive, collaborative, and customizable hub for our projects. 

While GoodNotes is a highly regarded note-taking app with a wide range of features, it’s main purpose is really just that: note-taking. With its app-only limitations, difficulty in collaboration, and less available integrations, the tool is great for individual brainstorming, to-do lists, and annotations, but overall not the strongest contender for large, team-based projects that have lots of integrated parts with numerous stakeholders. 

Notion's benefits, on the other hand, lie in its versatility, adaptability to different workflows, collaborative features, integration capabilities, and robust organizational tools. It empowers us to streamline work processes, enhance productivity, and manage information effectively across personal, professional, and team environments. 

And when we say we both like and depend on Notion, we mean it (this isn’t an ad, so you can trust us on this). We use Notion so diligently that we’ve developed templates for our team that we now share as resources for folks like you, who may want to integrate new tools into their work cadence but don’t know where to start. 

We always come out with new templates, but here is the running list so far: 

See what we mean? We’re kinda obsessed. Though you don’t have to follow our lead, we’re here to help you with your operational woes, so you can always contact us if you want to get a glimpse of how we roll. Still not sure which tool is best for your team? Check out our other comparisons below:

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