We deserve better than Confluence and Notion

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If you ever were in the situation of looking for a tool to manage the knowledge of your organization, chances are you ended up choosing between Notion and Confluence. A handful of other tools also exist in this field, large players like Microsoft Sharepoint or Google Drive, niche tools like …
We deserve better than Confluence and Notion

Sun 26 September 2021 in in Opinion

If you ever were in the situation of looking for a tool to manage the knowledge of your organization, chances are you ended up choosing between Notion and Confluence. A handful of other tools also exist in this field, large players like Microsoft Sharepoint or Google Drive, niche tools like Slite, Guru, Coda etc and very old weird guys (KMS, I'm looking at you).

In the end, this critical and fragmented market is mostly served by Notion and Confluence, especially for startups and fast-growing companies.

Confluence is an old tool (V1 in 2004) and is admittedly hated by its users, as for any product made by Atlassian really. I'm not convinced Confluence deserves this rather harsh criticism given that it is overall better than its competitors.

Notion is the new, fancy note taking tool. It's the new Evernote and its growth is huge, but it was never built as a tool for organizations. Rather, it properly serves the needs of individuals and very small teams though now its creators are working hard to try to pivot into the Enterprise game.

What is important for an organization

The two objectives organizations try to achieve using these tools are making it easier to find information and encouraging the creation of new content. The issue with these two objectives is that they can easily become opposite goals. If the information architecture is not properly defined, additional content adds complexity and makes finding relevant information more frustrating, harder and time consuming.

Let's take an example, Confluence and Notion both advertise that they can have infinitely nested folders. But is that really a good thing? If you are the one creating the structure, you will give titles for each folder that match the way your brain works and you will be able to find deeply nested content. But for any other person, the folder system becomes a maze after the second or third nested folder. We…
Paul
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