5 Best Notion Open Source Alternatives to Boost Productivity

Check out these open-source Notion alternatives that offer comparable features and functionality.

Are you looking for an open-source alternative to Notion? Notion is an incredibly powerful and versatile collaborative productivity tool, but with power comes complexity. 

As a proprietary software, Notion has its limitations. What you gain in terms of functionality and aesthetics, you give up in terms of data privacy and control. It also lacks a native app for Linux (nor is one planned in the near future) and has a steep learning curve. 

On the other hand, open-source software come with many advantages. If you’re a power user looking for alternatives that gives you more control over your data, native experience, and the ability to customize every part of your software, an open-source solution might be what you need.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the top open-source alternatives to Notion and discuss their features, user interface, cost, and other aspects so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you. 

5 Best Notion Open Source Alternatives To Get More Done

Although not limited by a vendor’s feature set, open-source solutions, like all technologies, have their own set of tradeoffs.

The following are our top picks for self-hosted and open-source alternatives to Notion we believe you should consider based on the features you require and those you can live without.

1. Joplin – Advanced Note-Taking & Organization

Joplin is an advanced hierarchical note-taking application that supports markdown and works offline to keep your data accessible even when you are not connected to the internet. 

Users can create notes and to-do lists, then sync them across devices with end-to-end encryption using cloud services. It includes a desktop web clipper, file attachment, note history, and custom CSS support to add to the user experience.

notion open source alternatives - Joplin

You can easily switch between markdown and WYSIWYG editors and get extended functionality via plugins and data APIs.

While Joplin is free to use if you already have a cloud storage subscription like Dropbox or OneDrive, you’ll need Joplin Cloud starting at $5.45/month to publish notes to the web and collaborate with multiple users.

Support: Windows, Linux, mac OS, Android, and iOS

2. AFFiNE –  Offline-First Collaborative Knowledge Base

If you’re looking for a Notion alternative that offers offline-first functionality with native cross-platform support, AFFiNE might be for you.

With its flexible interface, you can organize and create pages and whiteboards with Kanban boards, tables, and rich-text paragraphs. It supports markdown syntax, goal tracking, and real-time collaboration and sharing.

notion open source alternatives - AFFiNE

You can easily switch between documents, Kanbans, and databases with document view (Paper Mode) and whiteboard view (Edgeless Mode).

It’s an ideal option if you want to manage your projects without relying on cloud integration. Although AFFiNE is entirely free, AFFiNE Cloud, which will provide some additional functionality through paid plans, is on the way.

Support: Windows, Linux, mac OS

3. TiddlyWiki – Personal Self-Hosted Task Management

TiddlyWiki is a classic note-taking tool that’s free, open-source, and self-hosted. It consists of a single HTML file containing source code for dynamically changing the application’s view, behavior, and data.

TiddlyWiki can be saved as a single, portable HTML file that contains both data (Tiddlers) and application (wiki), or you can save data separately for each individual tiddler in text files by using extensions. 

notion open source alternatives - TiddyWiki

TiddlyWiki supports markdown-based document formatting with built-in editing, saving, tagging, searching, and styling capabilities.

Although powerful, it can be challenging to navigate if you’re a beginner looking for an out-of-the-box cloud-based solution. Tiddlyiwiki is completely free and comes with no strings attached.

Support: Windows, Linux, mac OS, Android, and iOS

4. Logseq – Personal Non-Linear Outliner

Logseq is a secure, offline-capable project management software and a collaboration tool. Unlike other conventional note-taking apps, Logseq is a customizable outliner that allows you to easily connect different blocks in your notes collection.

It works with plain text files and supports markdown as well as Emacs org-mode.

notion open source alternatives - Logseq

For organizing notes, the platform includes features such as linked references, queries, searches, flashcards, and block references.

Encrypted file syncing is provided for secure real-time access on any device. While Logseq has a free version for personal use, a paid option with added collaborative features is on the way.

Support: Windows, Linux, mac OS, Android, and iOS

5. Baserow –  No-Code Database Management

Baserow is a collaborative platform for creating and organizing online databases without needing technical skills. Baserow combines the power of databases with the simplicity of spreadsheets.

It allows for self-hosting with no storage restrictions. With real-time collaboration, unlimited rows, customized plugins, and a decentralized structure, you can handle your data exactly how you want.

notion open source alternatives - Baserow

Baserow offers both hosted (SaaS version) and self-hosted options and integrates easily with other popular software, making it a great Notion alternative for teams of all sizes.

You can upgrade to the paid version starting at $5 per user per month for additional features such as role-based permissions and enhanced data visualization using Kanban or Calendar views.

Support: Web Browser

And, this concludes our list! We recommend putting these Notion alternatives to the test for at least a week before settling on one.

Wrapping Up: Best Notion Open Source Alternatives

Finding the perfect open-source alternative can be challenging as the most popular ones either lack the same features or are too complicated. To find the best way out, try using a combination of tools and choose the ones that fit your needs the best.

For example, you might want to look into Joplin for cross-platform offline note-taking and task management, while Logseq can be used as your primary tool for non-linear note-taking and organizing.

In essence, an effective open-source alternative should keep your data safe and secure while also allowing you to scale it to better organize your workflow.

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