Jestor vs Notion: The best alternative to Notion 2023
- Jestor vs Notion comparison summary table
- 20 reasons why Jestor is the best alternative to Notion
- 1. Jestor has Conditional Fields
- 2. Variety of No-code integrations and Webhook
- 3. Native no-code automations
- 4. WhatsApp Native Integration
- 5. Interactive No-code Pages
- 6. Apps and dashboards that pull data from anywhere
- 7. No-code Roles and Low-code Profiles
- 8. Kanbans and Views
- 9. Data Structure
- 10. Mobile app retains the same functionalities
- 11. Jestor has native and customizable forms
- 12. Most familiar and simpler API
- 13. Jestor has Low Code and Developer tools
- 14. Interactive Fields
- 15. Chat behaves more like Slack
- 16. Dedicated Feature for Tasks
- 17. No-code Buttons
- 18. Organized Workspaces and Bundles
- 19. Non-local Custom Pages
- 20. Hybrid combinations of Pricing Models
- Notion Pros
- Why Jestor is the best alternative to Notion?
Notion is one of the favorite tools out there when it comes to creating internal docs and wiki-like structures. It is not only used by companies that want to have more interactive software for establishing policies and guidelines, but it is used even on a personal level by people who want to create journal-esque notes and to-do lists.
It’s easy to understand why a lot of people turn to Notion when starting out with productivity software. It’s fairly easy to understand, being very similar to using office suites to write blog posts or internal memos, but bringing some extra features to the table, such as kanbans and other visual components.
It also has some database features that help users organize information in a way spreadsheets can’t. However, Notion did not start or was strongly developed as a database-oriented solution, and it shows. A lot of features you would search for in such a platform are not as fleshed out as you would expect–and sometimes they’re entirely absent. Automations, charts, indicators and other important business tools are among the features that are missing, something that will be sorely impactful to scaling businesses and dynamic teams.
The question then becomes: does Notion ease-of-use and friendly UI make up for the lack of those features?
We made a Jestor vs Notion comparison to show you some key points that will help you decide whether Notion is truly the all-in-one tool for you, or whether you should stick with a different solution.
Jestor vs Notion comparison summary table
|Pricing||🟡️||✅||– Notion: charges per user.|
– Jestor: has both usage-based and user-based pricing, meaning companies can choose the model that best fits their business model.
|Pricing similar plans (20 users 09/27/22)||🔴️||✅||– Notion: $300 Business Plan|
– Jestor: $120,00 Developer Plan
|No-code Automations||🔴️||✅||– Notion: there’s no dedicated no-code automations feature. |
– Jestor: 17 triggers and over 30 actions, with operations/specific automations. More being developed.
|No-code Integrations||🟢️||✅||– Notion: around 30 integrations, but most of them are embedded updates. |
– Jestor: 18 active integrations, more being developed. It includes Slack, Gmail, Twilio, and more.
|WhatsApp Integration||🔴️||✅||– Notion: no native WhatsApp integration. |
– Jestor: native WhatsApp integration, where you can send and receive messages directly from a record, creating a chat with your clients, suppliers or team members.
|No-code Pages||✅||✅||– Notion: Notion’s core view, and where you’ll find its most advanced and polished features.|
– Jestor: has no-code pages which allows you to create dynamic documents that combine text with real-time data.
|Low-code||🔴️||✅||– Notion: no dedicated low code area. |
– Jestor: feature-rich developer area.
|Low-code Apps||🔴️||✅|| – Notion: no custom pages through native development. |
– Jestor: back-end/front-end customizable pages.
|API||✅||✅||– Notion: REST API. |
– Jestor: REST API.
|Permissioning||🟡️||✅||– Notion: classic spreadsheet-like approach to permissioning. |
– Jestor: advanced permissioning with custom business rules.
|Workspaces||✅||✅||– Notion: workspaces that can share information. |
– Jestor: custom, connected workspaces and bundles.
|Dashboards||🔴️||✅||– Notion: nearly zero analytical tools to make use of data in databases. |
– Jestor: apps with 28 different components, ranging from analytical to integrations and operational/interactive.
|Wiki-like documentation||✅||🔴️||– Notion: customizable no-code pages that allow for wiki-like pages and formatting. |
– Jestor: no “docs” feature yet.
|History Log||✅||✅||– Notion: exportable activity log with usage and structural actions. |
– Jestor: exportable history log with usage and structural actions.
|Mobile||✅||✅||– Notion: mobile app that successfully mirrors desktop use.|
– Jestor: customized experience for each app developed and mobile native navigation without feature loss.
|Forms||🔴️||✅||– Notion: no native forms |
– Jestor: custom apps and forms with connected data.
|Buttons||🔴️||✅||– Notion: no custom buttons. |
– Jestor: buttons for navigation, data input, and automations.
|Chat||🟡️||✅||– Notion: Google Docs-like comments. |
– Jestor: Slack-esque chat.
|Tasks||🟡️||✅||– Notion: to-do lists in pages or database records as tasks.|
– Jestor: dedicated, contextual tasks that can be assigned to users, tables and records.
|Data Structure||🔴️||✅||– Notion: n:n connection fields that incentivize disorganization and get in the way of automations. Data dies with the process..|
– Jestor: n:1 connection fields that ensure correct data structure and allow powerful automations, allowing for correct n:n auxiliary tables. Single source of truth.
|Kanbans||✅||✅||– Notion: has customizable kanbans. |
– Jestor: has customizable kanbans with optimized process oriented features such as conditional fields.
|Views||✅||✅||– Notion: multiple customized views per table.. |
– Jestor: multiple customized views per table.
|Fields||✅||✅||– Notion: 19 fields, most for basic input. |
– Jestor: 33 fields, with technical fields (such as Query, which runs an SQL query), and even integrated fields (such as Address, which integrates to Google Maps to search for a location).
|Conditional Fields||🔴️||✅||– Notion: no conditional fields. |
– Jestor: has conditional fields with nested AND/OR conditions.
20 reasons why Jestor is the best alternative to Notion
1. Jestor has Conditional Fields
Notion has no conditional fields for the records.
Jestor has a conditional fields feature that allows you to determine when a field should either:
- Appear or be hidden.
- Be required or optional.
This means that you can set up, for example, a Recruiting structure where an applicant has to provide a diploma only for certain positions, or hide the Social Security Number field when a contractor is a Corporation instead of Individual.
Also, these conditions can be nested and complex, following OR and AND structures up to three levels of rules.
This ensures that not only you’re able to create a kanban that holds all the information you need, but that only shows and requires certain data in specific scenarios. In other words, it makes the process easier to follow for the user, minimizing mistakes.
2. Variety of No-code integrations and Webhook
What Notion lacks is internal no-code automations, it seems to make up in native integrations. Adding an external app connection is as easy as adding a block, just the same way you would with a header or a kanban.
A more careful look, however, reveals that most integrations are merely embedded updates on the other platform. That is: they’re a window to see information on the other side, but in many cases there’s no way to actively make Notion interact with the other platform. That’s a consequence of the fact that Notion does not have a dedicated feature for automation.
Jestor also has a good number of integrations, and is constantly developing new ones. Not only does it connect with some popular tools such as Slack, Discord, or Google Sheets, it also integrates with communication tools like Twilio and marketing tools such as Mailchimp.
More importantly, however, is that Jestor’s integrations are mostly active. This means you can set up an action that will be executed upon certain conditions being met, such as sending a message to Slack when a new deal is closed.
This wide variety of integrated tools paired with the power of its native no-code automations allows Jestor to be at the center of operations, effectively allowing it to be the single source of truth that connects the whole ecosystem together and fully automating any process that a team may need to work on.
Of course, if you want to have a window to other platforms, you can embed them into Jestor as well. This is explained in the dashboards section of this article.
3. Native no-code automations
Notion has no no-code automations. There are ways to automate Notion, but they’ll usually involve third-party tools such as Zapier, or even other dedicated tools that have been created to fill this gap in the product.
Because the only way to no-code automate things in Notion is through external solutions, this also means that you’ll probably:
- Incur extra costs.
- Lose a lot of power, as automations have to be extremely generic.
This is probably one of the biggest downsides of the platform, as it severely impacts its power to scale operations and truly become a central hub for your daily activities.
Jestor on the other hand has a wide array of native no-code automations, both generic and specific/niche. You can not only create a Billing record when a Sale is Won, but create monthly installments from that sale, take items sold from inventory, and generate a custom QR Code to direct the customer somewhere else, among other uses.
It’s also possible to string as many actions as you like in one single automation, and even use the result of an action in the next action. This means you can run sequences instead of simple one-offs, like: if a record is created, send a POST call to an external platform and, depending on the result, create another record.
4. WhatsApp Native Integration
Notion has no native WhatsApp Integration.
Jestor has a native WhatsApp integration which allows you to send and receive messages directly in a record, just like you would with the internal chat feature.
With WhatsApp being one of the most used messaging platforms worldwide, this can be incredibly useful in many different scenarios, such as:
- Sending automatic messages to clients.
- Requesting quotes from vendors.
- Setting up an organized support channel.
Messages received automatically create or update records in tables or kanbans, and you can have predefined templates to send messages using data from Jestor. Not only that, but you can also automate WhatsApp messages just like any other part of Jestor, so this feature is just as powerful as everything else, and only an add-on with a limited scope.
This is a great feature to integrate your internal processes with external sources, and the best part is that everything you do will be stored in Jestor, meaning your messaging history doesn’t have to be isolated in an external platform.
5. Interactive No-code Pages
Notion’s flagship view, and the main appeal of the platform. Notion behaves like an interactive document, with wiki-like capabilities.
One of Notion’s core uses is creating internal documentation for companies and teams, and this becomes evident when writing things down in one of its pages. It’s easy to format, add components, and link things as you’re creating documents, whether they are internal policies or process descriptions.
Despite some limitations when it comes to data structure, using Notion as an internal wiki is a very pleasant experience, and makes sharing information between teams very easy. This is an aspect in which Notion truly shines, and for what it is still considered one of the best tools out there.
In this page, you can write and format text just like you would in a word processor, and then add all the information you deem necessary for the user to access alongside the text. As a result, you can create documents that can not only hold dynamic data, but you can also create interactive pages which explain a process–while also allowing the user to operate it as they read it.
This is an amazing feature for:
- Data retention
By combining these features, you can ensure new employees hit the ground running, cutting onboarding time. Or even provide helpful reminders to prevent common mistakes.
To top it all off, it’s very easy (1 click, in fact) to print the document or save it as a PDF, which can be a huge time saver when you need to update someone on the most recent numbers.
6. Apps and dashboards that pull data from anywhere
Dashboards, or analytical features in general, is one of the areas in which Notion suffers the most. While pages have a few useful blocks to help you organize on a daily basis (such as calendars or kanbans), there’s a real lack of analytical blocks that would really help with insights and fully leverage the data stored across the pages.
Most notably, one would find it hard to look past the absence of native charts and indicators, features that are fundamental to any software that works with data.
Aside from the number of building blocks available, two main things differentiate Jestor’s apps the best alternative to Notion dashboards:
- Jestor’s apps allow you to pull data from anywhere inside Jestor, not only a specific table or base. This means the finance team can pull information from the sales team’s tables to build their indicators and charts, for example.
- Jestor’s components are not only analytics-inclined. While there are charts and indicators, there are also interactive components such as order generator, forms, dynamic search filters, and even kanban views.
Those two items combined allow for Jestor’s apps to behave less like a simple dashboard attached to a base, and more like central hubs where data can be used as desired, and operational tasks can be performed. For example, you can have a CRM with charts, contact lists, and a kanban view all in the same place, an HR hub to see all information related to an employee, or even a form that automatically subtracts items from stock.
7. No-code Roles and Low-code Profiles
Notion follows a spreadsheet-like approach to permissioning. Pages can be shared with users, groups, or workspaces. In the pages themselves, you may assign roles to users with some wide scope access levels, such as:
- Full access: can do anything, including sharing.
- Can edit: can edit the page, but not share the page.
- Can edit content: can edit content in databases, but not share the page.
- Can comment: can only view and comment on the page.
- Can view: can only view the page.
These settings provide a decent amount of control if all you need are some general rules for the page, such as defining owners/editors and read-only users. However, there’s not much to customize besides that.
If you need more complex rules, such as filtering content depending on the type of user, there’s not much you can do with Notion’s permissioning system.
In Jestor, there are two better alternatives to Notion: no-code Roles and low-code Profiles. They both customize the same access levels, but with varying degrees of possibilities.
Roles let you assign Jestor-wide powers, such as creating new tables or customizing colors, as well as in-table permissions, such as defining which tables a user will have access to and whether they’ll have full access and powers in it, or a more limited scope.
Profiles allow you to create more intricate permissioning rules, such as: Junior Salespeople can only see clients with potential under $5,000.00, or leads that they created themselves.
One huge upside of having custom low-code Profiles is that you can create a super intricate access level that follows dynamic rules and filters, then concede this access level to multiple users and still have them see different things based entirely on your specifications. This eliminates manual work and a lot of menu fidgeting that usually comes with other software access level controls.
8. Kanbans and Views
Notion allows you to create many different views for the databases. From calendar to kanban views, not only can you create these views but you may have more than one view of the same type activated. For example, you may have two different kanbans that have different filters or columns for the same database.
Notion’s views main problems, however, come from the lack of expected features from this type of solution. For example, there’s no way to create automations for when cards reach a certain stage in a kanban, or set up conditional fields that appear depending on the values of the record itself.
Jestor allows you to create custom kanban, table, task and record views directly on the tables themselves. It allows you to have as many views as you want to, so you can switch between them to focus on the most important data in any given situation.
A huge advantage Jestor’s kanbans and views have over Notion is that every field is supported in any view. Not only that, but the conditional fields feature make complex process simpler to use, increasing team’s overall productivity.
9. Data Structure
Notion has connection fields (it calls them relations). That is: a field that allows you to select records in other databases. However, those fields allow for n:n connections, which introduces ambiguity to the data structure of the cards.
As such, there are usually two problems with growing structures in the platform:
- Automating is harder, as there’s no way to standardize connections in a way that allows for complex automations. Even though there’s no native no-code automations in Notion, this also impacts other tools, like Zapier.
- Data becomes disorganized, as the many connections start to scramble information, usually leading to the platform being used more to control workflows and less like a single source of truth. It’s not uncommon for data duplication to occur to facilitate processes.
While it is possible to force n:1 connections, just the existence of n:n makes it hard for the platform to create more useful automations and features using connected data, as you can have anywhere from zero to hundreds of records being referenced in a single field.
In Jestor, connected data is always n:1. This introduces clarity to the data structure, as there’s always a “stopping point” to connections. This means the software always “knows” what to expect, allowing for more complex and useful automations.
Also, by the virtue of forcing correct data layout across all tables, data grows organized. Jestor can be (and is) used by many companies as a single source of truth, and there’s no need for data duplication to run processes. If there’s any need for n:n connections, it is also possible to do it using auxiliary tables, which keep data organization and clarity intact.
We encourage companies to take our data structure courses to understand how to better approach database building.
10. Mobile app retains the same functionalities
Notion’s mobile app is a pleasant experience. From navigation to content creation, one can expect to find in the mobile much of what the desktop experience contains.
This isn’t a surprise given Notion’s document-style approach to custom pages. Using Notion on mobile devices isn’t that much different from using Google Docs or Microsoft Word with a table of contents.
In Jestor, the mobile app is the best alternative to Notion cause it adapts features for verticality and usability. More important, however, is that the mobile app retains the same functionalities and operations-oriented design of the platform. This means there’s a wide array of things you can do aside from filling and moving records around.
There are some advantages Jestor’s mobile app that comes down to the larger number of features in the platform. For one, there’s a fixed navigation bar for things like Chat and Tasks. However, the biggest advantage is the existence of bundles, which allows for custom navigation bars that display optimized interfaces depending on the processes being operated at the moment.
11. Jestor has native and customizable forms
Notion has no native forms feature.
Jestor’s forms are a component of the apps. This means you can customize it just as you would any other app: apart from the form itself, you can have pictures, embedded videos, charts, and even buttons to open WhatsApp conversations.
The form itself allows you to not only create records in a table/kanban, but create connected data at the same time. For example, if you have a form for New Client, you can also add sections to add as many Contacts as you want, and this information will be created in Jestor already connected correctly.
12. Most familiar and simpler API
Notion has a REST API, one of the most common technologies used in cloud SaaS platforms. This means that developers are almost guaranteed to understand how the API works and have no trouble developing ways to integrate with Notion.
It is also fairly powerful compared to other solutions. In it, you have a lot of structural power. This means that, if you wanted to generate a new page through the API, and have all the components and text set up, you could.
Jestor also uses a REST API, which is immediately the best alternative to Notion cause it’s familiar to most developers or tech-oriented team members. This means that anyone familiar with integrating platforms can most likely hit the ground running.
Not only that, but just like in Notion, Jestor’s API is full of structural endpoints, which means creating fields, tasks, or even fetching nested structures is possible and fairly easy to do. So whether you’re trying to quickly create a previously designed data scheme or to keep a table’s structure automatically updated, you’re most likely covered in any scenario you may come across.
13. Jestor has Low Code and Developer tools
Notion has no dedicated low-code or developer area.
Jestor, on the other hand, has a feature-rich development environment that allows developers or tech-oriented individuals to create complex and unique solutions to their problems.
The development area encompasses:
- Triggers: you can create custom low-code automations called triggers. They’re lines of code that will run whenever the trigger you set up (such as After a record is created in Receivables) is activated. This allows you to create a plethora of complex automations that no-code automations are too generic to do, such as running financial predictions or treating data before sending a POST request.
- There’s a wide variety of native methods that allow you to fetch and manipulate data inside Jestor, as well as specific things such as cURL requests or creating files.
- Pages: you can create fully customizable (back-end and front-end) pages inside Jestor, allowing for custom built interfaces for specific processes. More on that in the Pages section of this comparison.
- Back-end functions: you can create back-end functions that will behave similarly to triggers, but can be invoked in other situations, such as through a webhook or in the middle of a trick.
- Styles/CSS: you can create CSS styles to be easily accessed when creating Pages, facilitating the process of creating customized interfaces.
- Profiles: you can create access levels that follow custom permissioning rules. More on that in the Permissioning section of this comparison.
- Webhook: you can create incoming webhooks that either create records directly into a table or run custom functions from the data you receive, which can be particularly useful to integrate event-heavy platforms, such as PMS’s.
Coming soon to Jestor:
- Python and other languages.
- Better UI and UX, including IDE.
14. Interactive Fields
There are currently about 19 fields in Notion. Most of them are very basic input fields, such as text or numeric fields, and they don’t really set Notion apart from other similar tools.
All in all, this is an area in which Notion is pretty much average.
Jestor currently has 33 fields. As well as direct data input fields, there is a better alternative to Notion with more interactive fields (such as Checklists or Buttons), technical fields (such as Query, which runs an SQL query), and even integrated fields (such as Address, which integrates to Google Maps to search for a location) as well.
15. Chat behaves more like Slack
Notion allows you to comment on records in databases, or comment in sections of the pages (similarly to comments on a Google Docs document).
You can tag people and react to comments, and there’s even a dedicated section where you can see the last times you were mentioned.
Jestor also allows you to comment on records and tag other users. However, Jestor operates more like a chat section than a card history. In this manner, Jestor’s chat behaves more like Slack than Notion. It’s possible to open a record and see the comments, but also check out Jestor’s chat section and see ongoing conversations, with read and unread messages, and use tables and records as channels.
16. Dedicated Feature for Tasks
Notion takes a records-as-things-to-do approach to tasks. The platform encourages the user to create task databases, and to sort through tasks just as it would with any other database, using custom fields. Another way the platform encourages users to manage tasks is through creating to-do lists in pages.
Apart from that, there’s no real task-oriented feature in the platform.
Jestor, on the other hand, has a dedicated feature for task management. Tasks are not the records themselves. Rather, tasks can be assigned to users/groups, as well as to tables or specific records. This means Sale #0352 is not a task by itself, but can have many different tasks attached to it, with varying deadlines and owners. Tasks can be checked by record and table, and users have their own My Tasks section where they can see their pending tasks (with overdue and approaching deadlines given priority).
As with other parts of Jestor, task creation can be automated as well.
17. No-code Buttons
Notion has no customizable buttons feature.
Jestor allows you to create three types of buttons:
- Buttons that add connected records (for example, add an Apartment record to the Hotel record you’re currently seeing).
- Buttons that navigate to a link, which can also be used to open pre-filtered apps.
- Buttons that run standard no-code automations, such as send an email, remove an item from stock, or even start a shift on a timesheet (marking the current time).
These buttons can be accessed not only on the tables and kanbans, but in app components as well, allowing users to create a more intuitive experience (for example, a green button that approves a payment request, and a red button that denies the request and sends an email to the requestee).
18. Organized Workspaces and Bundles
Notion allows you to create workspaces (called teamspaces here), which are collections of pages organized as sections of the user’s menu
The main benefits of having workspaces come down to:
- Organizing pages visually.
- Setting teamspace permissions and sharing.
Contrary to many other platforms, Notion allows you to cross information between workspaces. This means that you can be in the Finance workspace and pull information from a page in the Sales workspace through a block, which prevents data duplication and out of sync information.
However, do note that a page cannot be in more than one teamspace at the same time, which means you’ll always need to pull information through blocks. While not a dealbreaker, it’s also far from ideal when you want people to always see the same information.
Jestor also allows you to create workspaces, but in a more refined manner.
An app or table can be in more than one workspace at the same time. This means the same database (such as Clients) can be shared between many workspaces. There’s no need to sync between duplicates of tables: everyone can rest assured they are seeing real-time, up-to-date data.
Jestor is the best alternative to Notion cause it also has Bundles, which is like a dedicated app with its own navigation bar, making mobile use and ultra focused operations easier for the end user.
19. Non-local Custom Pages
While Notion’s focus is creating custom no-code pages, there is no feature that allows you to go a step beyond and customize pages with code.
There are some workarounds: for example, you may use an external platform to create your custom components or code and then embed this into Notion using an embed block. However, there is no real way to do this directly in a Notion’s page.
In Jestor, you can create customized pages by providing the back-end and front-end codes directly into the development area, which is stored and run entirely by Jestor, and effectively allowing you to make a new second-level interface for a specific process or need.
As a lighthearted example, here’s a Flappy Bird-esque game running on a Jestor page (code by w3schools).
20. Hybrid combinations of Pricing Models
Notion’s pricing model is user-based. That is, you’ll always pay a monthly fee for the number of active users you have on the platform. As such, users can seriously impact your billing, even if they perform only an action or two daily.
Jestor has pure usage-based plans, as well as user-based plans and hybrid combinations, which is already a better alternative to Notion. Big operations can have as many users as they need without paying extra for it, and small scale teams can purchase a few users if it’s more economical for them. This freedom and flexibility ensures that you can always find the plan that makes most sense for your needs.
There are some places in which Notion has some advantages over Jestor.
- Notion currently has more views, such as timeline views.
- Notion’s integrations can be better if all you need is to read quick updates on other platforms.
- Notion’s document-style pages are more intuitive for most users.
Why Jestor is the best alternative to Notion?
Notion is a great tool if what you need is a cool way to document information, and to have collaborative documents and guidelines in your company. Having a nice user interface and being a very intuitive software to use, it allows teams to work together to create a sort of virtual office space.
The problem is that Notion’s documentation style does not necessarily translate into a scalable platform. Chances are that you’ll be using two software solutions in your company: Notion as an internal wiki, and a more robust solution for managing processes in a scalable and automatic manner.
In fact, there are quite a few things that may indicate that Notion is not the solution for you. Some less than ideal aspects of it may hinder your use:
- No analytical dashboard components.
- No no-code automations.
- No dedicated tasks structure.
- Lack of in-depth developer area or low-code tools.
- Non-scalable data structure.
- No conditional fields to prevent data input mistakes.
- Rigid user types with no custom roles.
In Jestor, you have a wide array of features that will not only cover your table needs, but can be used or adapted to any process in your company at any size, from an individual freelancer to thousands of employees. From back office to field ops, you’re covered no matter the problem you’re trying to solve.
Schedule a meeting with our team here to understand why Jestor is the best alternative to Notion and why many companies are migrating from Notion to Jestor.