Is it good to use Notion as a task manager?

Notion is so versatile that you can use it for everything. CRM, website builder, personal note-taking, a combination of all the above, you name it. One thing you can use Notion for too is task management, or your to-do list to keep it simple. But is it a good idea?

I personally think that using Notion as a to-do list is a bad idea. Of course, having everything in one place is good, but Notion fails at the basics of task management.

Notion fails to capture tasks, quickly

It’s Tuesday morning, you are working in your pajamas, and you remembered about the groceries you need to pick up at 5pm. As you don’t trust your mind to remember these things, you want to add a task to remember it:

If you are using a todo list app

  1. You open the app
  2. You add the task
  3. You go back to your work

If you are using Notion

  1. You open the app
  2. You wait for the damn spinner, finally the page is loaded
  3. Chances are you are not on the correct page, figure out how to navigate to the tasks page
  4. You’re finally on the page, add the task
  5. Go back to your work, if you remember what you were doing in the first place

The first job of a task manager is to help you capture tasks quickly. Sadly, Notion fails to do so given it’s not designed for that.

Notion burries your tasks

After adding your grocery task, you remembered that email you need to send tomorrow morning. So, in order to not forget it, you want to add it to your task manager. And given you want to keep things clean, you’ve set up boundaries for personal tasks, and professional tasks. You decided that the new task should live in a “Work” project:

If you are using a todo list app

  1. You add the task
  2. Set the date to tomorrow
  3. Set the project to Work
  4. Go back to work

If you are using Notion

You have two options here.

Using a checklist:

  1. You add the task
  2. How can you set the date? Maybe writing it?
  3. How can you set the project? Maybe writing it?
  4. Or maybe you’re having different lists on different projects?
  5. It’s hard to achieve this

Using a table:

  1. You add the task as a new doc
  2. You set the date (via a property)
  3. You set the project (via a Tag/Select property)

So, here’s my question to you. How can I see my tasks for tomorrow?

If you are using a task manager, it’s straightforward. If you use checklists in Notion, you can’t achieve this. If you use a table, you need a combination of tag filtering and date filtering. All this to say it’s nearly impossible without customization and a lot of effort for a simple feature. We are not even talking about your tasks for the week, month… Nope, you can’t do it in Notion.

Notion buries your tasks and it’s nearly impossible to get a bird view of what needs to be done without customization and a lot of effort. This combined with the slowness to capture new tasks is what makes me not recommend Notion as a task manager.

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