Both enjoyed by many, HackMD and Notion have often been compared, especially among developers. This post will give you an overview to alleviate the burden of deciding which one to adopt.
HackMD was built by developers who see the importance of, but also the snags in making, documentations. Its focus is to get what’s on your mind in Markdown quickly, offering enough extensibility to the content at the same time.
On the other hand, Notion labels itself as an “all-in-one workspace,” which highlights the generalist approach in designing the product.
So if you are in a hurry, just take this idea away: Notion is for persons who handle volatile tasks and whose missions involve frequent context switching. For a team of developers, HackMD may be a better option for it is lightweight and lightning fast.
Notion is about building a system. HackMD gets you to the note-taking way faster.
You can create databases, issue trackers, plan projects with Notion, and people are not wrong about it for that part, albeit you probably don’t have time toying around in Notion. You have greater missions than that.
HackMD lands you to the full-fledged editor once signed up, and you can jot down what you think right away. Notes are all in your workspace and you can locate them easily with the Tag List and search.
While there are no fancy blocks in HackMD like in Notion, HackMD’s editor is fully capable of embedding different sources into the note.
Both apps can export all notes in a workspace into Markdown files.
HackMD works from bottom up and recommends its users to write documents in Markdown in the first place rather than parse the content into Markdown, like how Notion exports.
Due to its recommendation, HackMD has the merit of keeping content indeed as Markdown.
HackMD is easier to learn than Notion is.
While you can build a car that you can drive with LEGO, you will not drive one on the road. For the same reason, you can take notes with Notion, but you should choose HackMD for it’s the car that can carry you in the real world.
Notion has a better admin toolset than HackMD does.
You can create permission groups in Notion, while in HackMD, you have to set permission for each member one by one.
Both HackMD and Notion are affordable for individuals. However, HackMD is 37.5% more affordable than Notion in teamwork, since the latter charges US$ 8 per month (paid annually), while its counterpart charges US$ 5.
It’s crucial that you are not paying for irrelevant features. For a team focusing on writing documents and referring to them in one’s workflow, HackMD could be a more viable choice.
You may find a lot of fun in Notion building all kinds of tools, but at the end of the day, expressing yourself, leaving traces for other people to follow up your train of thought, is the central value team wiki apps can propose. In that case, HackMD is better than Notion.
Not everyone takes a generalist approach, you can be a more focused doer.