While Google Docs has built a solid brand recognition over the years, Notion has gained recognition for its cutting-edge features, in a relatively short span of time.
This article weighs the pros and cons of using Notion and Google Docs for content writing. We will also discuss key features of each tool that make or break the deal for them.
Let’s get started.
Everything you need to know about Notion for writing
Notion offers powerful features that can help you enhance productivity and streamline your workflows. Its editor interface is aesthetic and offers many “blocks” to make your content stand out.
Having said that, content writing is beyond just putting words on screen, you need to be able to create briefs, share content with your team, organize content projects, and so much more! Notion has got your covered in all departments. You can carry out all content tasks with ease.
Key Features of Notion for Writers and Content Marketers
1. Direct publishing to website
Notion is the perfect tool for your content marketing efforts. It enables you to publish content online — and by using Super, you can quickly publish the content to your website and get it live. This takes away the effort of writing content in an editor and copying it to another platform.
2. Notion AI
Notion AI is one of the latest features of Notion that lets you write content on command. You can simply drop prompts and let Notion AI produce a rough draft that you can edit to your taste. While Google Docs has an in-built AI feature, it leaves a lot to be desired. Notion AI, on the other hand, does a great job with writing content. In fact, Notion AI can help you write in 14 different languages!
Notion AI in Action
3. Content organization
Notion enables you to arrange your content into folders and subpages which keeps content organized and accessible. You can find the list of all folders and pages in the left pane of your Notion screen.
4. Rich text editing - Notion offers a host of block types that make adding rich content easy. You can embed pinterest, PDFs, videos, etc. to make your content stand out. You can also use quote blocks, header texts, toggle blocks, etc. to structure your content better.
5. Notion templates
Notion offers a huge collection of templates for common use cases. You can easily find templates for calendars, tables, blog posts, portfolios, etc. and customize them to your needs. In fact, you can even create your own Notion templates and use them repeatedly for as long as you need.
6. Notion databases
Databases can help you manage your content calendar on Notion, they can even help you manage teams seamlessly. Notion offers six database views to help you visualize tasks - Table, Kanban, Gallery, List, Calendar, and Timeline.
Using Notion databases
7. Collaborative writing
With Notion, your whole team can collaborate to bring content to life. This feature is especially useful if every content piece has many owners. For example, if SEOs, product marketers, designers, and writers all have a say in what a piece should look like, then they can add comments within the page and have a discussion without even leaving the platform!
Shortcomings of Notion as a writing tool
1. Steep learning curve
Due to its vast array of features, Notion can easily overwhelm new users - especially those writers who need simple functionalities. If putting words down is the only requirement, Google Docs is a better option than Notion because it’s a highly simplified tool that meets basic needs.
2. Limited offline functionality
Notion pages, once open, can be edited offline - Notion syncs content once you are connected back to the internet. However, you can’t open Notion pages without an internet connection.
3. Limited font options
There are only three default Notion font options to choose from. This makes design difficult as all other elements must be modified to make these fonts look good. This limitation does not exist for those who build Notion websites with Super. Super provides a much larger library of fonts which help your content on Notion look aesthetic.
Fonts styles offered by Super
How is Notion rated?
Notion is rated 4.7 on a 5-point scale on G2 - by 4750 users.
Everything you need to know about Google Docs for writing
Key Features of Google Docs for Content Teams
1. Real-time team collaboration
Google Docs allows team members to comment and chat within the workspace. This enables your team to work on the same document simultaneously. This feature is especially useful if two writers are writing different sections of the article, or if multiple team representatives need to add their input.
2. Extensive formatting options
Google Docs offers a wide range of formatting tools, making it easy to customize the appearance of documents. You can easily highlight text, add header tags, change fonts, etc
3. User-friendly interface
Google Docs is a highly simplified tool that is easy to learn and adopt. Anyone who knows how to type, can use Google Docs and get used to it quickly.
4. Charts and graphs
Google Docs allows users to create editable charts and graphs, thus enhancing data visualization.
Disadvantages of using Google Docs
1. Limited features
Google Docs has compromised features to enhance simplicity. While you can add basic header tags, you can't format text for quotes or make embeds look aesthetic the way you can in Notion.
2. Overtly simple interface
Google Docs is designed for a generic audience which means it does not have modern complex features that advanced users may need. For example, you can't add synced blocks or template buttons to reduce your workload. Modern tools like Notion support such features.
3. Fewer ready-to-use templates
Google Docs offers fewer customizable templates than Notion. This means, you will have to create a new template from scratch, each time you need to create a new page type.
4. Poor AI support
While Google Docs has introduced AI writing support, it leaves a lot to be desired. It is still learning how to process prompts effectively and often doesn't provide a good initial working draft.
5. Dependence on Google workspace
All document types in Google are stored in the Google drive. While this feature makes integration of Google Docs with Google sheets and Google Slides easy, it also forces users to organize their documents in another window. Google docs does not support folder-subfolder structure, it relies on Google drive for that.
How is Google Docs rated?
Google docs is rated 4.7 on a 5-point scale, with 27000 reviews on Getapp.
Google Docs vs Notion: Features Comparison
While Google Docs allows you to make pages public, Notion puts your content to the best use by enabling you to publish it to your website through Super. This means, you can generate traffic to your content and convert visitors into paying customers by using Super.
Notion’s powerful AI features far outshine Google Docs’ AI capabilities. While Notion AI integrates with the established ChatGPT directly, Google Docs mostly uses in-built AI features. It is still learning to understand prompts and generate relevant results. In other words, content written by Google Docs AI-writer provides a subpar copy when compared to Notion AI that generates a fairly effective first draft that often just needs minor changes.
Further, Notion offers a folder - subfolder structure that helps you organize content better, on the other hand, Google Docs saves documents in the Google Drive - you will need to migrate away from Google Docs to find your document in the right folder. Further on, moving Google Docs documents between folders in the Google Drive is a complicated process for new users.
Notion folder-subfolder structure
Finally, Notion blocks like Quote, Divider, Header, Toggle, etc. make your content look aesthetic. It also makes embeds look easy on the eyes. Notion’s features like templates, databases, dashboards, etc. make content management easy. Google Docs lacks all these features.
Google Docs vs Notion: Pricing Comparison
Google Docs is absolutely free to use and so is Notion. However, Notion is a better no-cost tool for most writers because of the array of features it offers. While Notion also offers paid plans, most writing activities can be done with the free version - with the exception of Notion AI which costs $10 per month per writer.
While Google Docs is a decent word editor for beginners who do not need too many features, writers might find using Notion more beneficial due to the depth it brings. If you are happy writing just text, Google Docs would suffice, but if you want to write text that stands out, looks aesthetic, and allows easy collaboration across teams, you must use Notion.
Is Notion better than Google Docs?
Notion is better than Google Docs in terms of the features it offers. You get so much for free that Google Docs looks too simplistic, too basic. However, if you need an easy-to-use, limited editor, Google Docs might be a better choice.
How do Notion and Google Docs compare for note taking?
Notion supports advanced note-taking features that help you take, organize, and distribute notes easily. While Google Docs also supports note-taking, Google Keep might be a better Google suite tool for the purpose.