Can Anytype be a direct replacement for Notion

First off, let me say that Anytype is absolutely stunning and beautiful.
I like that it’s offline first, so it works fast, and I can work on it anywhere, anytime. Its fast, snappy and works as intended.

However, I would like to say, without any prejudice, that I do not like the concept of Object - Type thing.
It’s very confusing for me. I am very well used to nested notes, which is how I organise things systematically. With this model in Anytype, I felt that my notes were everywhere. I understood the concept that everything is linked, just like how our brain works. But I’d like to leave that to my brain because the brain has an amazing way to sort things out. I would dislike having the same mental concept on my digital notes — I felt really suffocating trying to figure things out. I had books of notes on coding/lessons, and upon putting some of them, they were everywhere. This excludes other things like my personal notes, work stuff, etc. - which, according to my observation, made things quite messy and confusing for me.

I would really appreciate it if the team would fork another version of Anytype that handles things like Notion and Coda or other similar doc builders (excluding Obsidion or Logseq) — where nesting and structuring like books on shelves or folders are typical.
Because I’d hate to ignore such a masterpiece like Anytype, but I also know many people like the model it’s proposing. But also I believe many are also in my position.

I hope the team will consider this; if not, it’s totally fine, and I still wish Anytype great success!


I feel you. Somehow I cannot seem to relate some stuff together which makes my graph look awful. There’s tags, relations and links and I’m still figuring out what goes where. I don’t care for hierarchy, but I do care for consistency, and I’m not quite there yet.

The dancing women (clients) should be around the DanceFirst object (page), like my Flutter Codelabs and Gists (courses) are around the RJC object (page), which does makes a pretty ball of relations. It hasn’t clicked yet how that works for one purpose and doesn’t for the other. Now the clients just fly around, apparently unlinked to the page that they’re on. Another hierarchy structure like you propose would be great for ‘beginners’ like us maybe, like trainingwheels before we go the brain way.

We’ll figure it out, Anytype’s way is the way I want to go with my personal and business stuff and I’ll just punch myself through the learning curve.

very agree.
Maybe because of the language.My research on this software is not very thorough.What you mean is that the software of any type can’t take the most traditional tree structure to take notes?
I thought I didn’t find a way to use it.

So if you can’t use a tree structure to take notes, I think it’s really a big disadvantage.As a knowledge management note-taking software.I think this is very necessary.

As you take more and more notes, there will be a lot of notes you can’t find, and then you have to take another note, which is used to explain what notes you have taken.

Haha, I am using translation software to communicate with you, if there is any deviation in understanding, please include more.

No worries, I understood everything you’re saying :smiley:
That’s my problem with Anytype too.

I see your point, and quite frankly, I also understood the benefit of the brain way.
However, for some of us, our brain thoughts are everywhere, and it’s more difficult for those with ADHD because they are already struggling to sort out data in their brain in a hierarchy.

In a study, on brains of ADHD vs normal brains, found that individuals with ADHD show alterations in blood flow to various brain regions, including decreased flow to prefrontal areas, which suggests decreased brain activity. The prefrontal area is responsible for many important tasks, such as executive functions like planning, organising, attention, memory and emotional reactions. If anything - having a clear structure and an assistive visual tool to sort things out really helps those (with ADHD or not) who face similar things as mentioned above. By no means are these considered disadvantages, but it’s worth considering methods to approach things like organisation, planning etc.

I’d prefer the combination of both: tree/hierarchy view, and then you can tag these docs with a tag on some parts of the doc (like tag the H1 title or paragraph with #some-topics), and in the tree view, it will link all the documents that have the tag, but also based on hierarchy. Because actually everything can be related, that’s why it’ll be messy and confusing. For example, the basic concepts of JS include Variables, Data Types, Operators, Expressions, Statements, Loops, Functions, Arrays; all of them are connected somehow, i.e. template literals (best explained in variables but also in expression topic). However, if you’re sharing these notes or re-reading them again after a period of time, hierarchy is good to tell you when to know this (so you don’t suddenly read some advanced topics before you are ready). This is when tags become handy - that leads to the network diagram. But the tree structure must not ever be ignored too.
It’s like playing an RPG game where you progress through the levels and unlocks more skills and abilities. Then you will know how to use them properly, when to apply them, is able to activate them anywhere, in any order you want.

As I mentioned earlier in my original post, my brain already works like the diagram you mentioned, it’s a lot to process, and I like it the way it is, but I sort them out with tree structure. I do not need my digital notes to enforce the brain way again, where it became very restrictive and overwhelming. I didn’t quite use any digital note-taking like Notion before during my PhD (regrettably), yet I use physical notes. However, when I started working, running my company and learning coding topics, I found the dire need to organise things, and I began to appreciate it more when I could.

Scientists, thinkers, etc, throughout history, rely upon this traditional method and that’s the pillar of how our civilisation progresses. I am hardly convinced of the need to reinvent the wheel or method; rather the modern way (i.e. the brain way), if anything, can augment this traditional method and increase its efficiency, not replace them completely.
An interesting and similar approach is made by Trilium: GitHub - zadam/trilium: Build your personal knowledge base with Trilium Notes

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I feel like this “works like your brain” thing is just a marketing gimmick; I find it terribly unusefu and cluttered. My actual brain doesn’t work very well; I don’t want my second brain to work like that either.


It’s interesting because for me the “object” based paradigm makes so much sense, it indeed “works like my brain”. By the past I used a lot Bear, and one thing I always loved about it (and missed when I moved to a Notion + Craft workflow) its the fact that a note could belong to different places in the same time. Capacities is very promising for the same reason but online first is a big turnoff for me. Different people, different brains i guess :slight_smile:

I’m very hopeful for the upcoming beta version to be good enough to switch the biggest part of my Notion workflow, and if the roadmap is respected and well executed I should be able to do it by the end of the year.


The tree view is included in the upcoming sidebar/widgets update. In the meantime, you can recreate your hierarchy by creating a page and using toggle as a way to create levels and sublevels.

The lack of a navigation tree is also a frustration of mine when I first started using Anytype, but over time, I have come to appreciate that I can create a note or an object without pressuring myself to file it under one category. And as Elias have said, it’s a huge benefit to be able to place a note in multiple locations. (Though technically, you’re just linking instead of filing.)

That said, I also seek to access info through categories. I tried to do this using Sets, but the Graph View doesn’t display the connection, so what I do now is I just link them manually. (You can link objects without assigning labeled relations.) That could create a table of contents ‘tree’ in Graph that could work with your use case. (Example: main topic at the center, then sub-topics linked as you go farther in the Graph.)

This makes me so excited for the next update. I think that will make Anytype more adaptable to different perspectives.

I totally get your point. I think I have had Anytype for at least 6 months by now, and initially, without the tree structure I just couldn’t wrap my head around this new system, it was maddening. I think I’ve picked and dropped Anytype at least 5-6 times and it would intertwine with my toxic love story with Notion. What changed in these few months is that I introduced myself to Obsidian and to the actual “second brain” concept, by Tiago Forte. I’ve started using the P.A.R.A. system etc.

The gist of it is that if you have a very simple filing system, then you can easily adapt yourself to any tool. When I ventured into Obsidian – in another attempt to dump Notion – it helped me that there was both a “tree like side structure” and the “second-brain” like graph. It provided the sort of training that the comment section was talking about, for I was able to get used to this new filing system.

When I started missing Notion again and went back to it, I was aware of the benefits Obsidian brought too, and realised that Anytype may be a really good middle ground. So since now I am more in tune with my data and kinda understand what I want to do it with it, I am really liking Anytype so far. I don’t think I’m ready for a complete transition, so keep juggling between different note taking and filing systems, mainly One Drive, Notion, Obsidian, and Apple Notes (but i think im smhw getting to a more unified approach). As a previous user said, you can use a note as a sort of index. I am still exploring how to use sets though. For now I’ve focused mostly on relations.

All that aside, I also think that Anytype can reach a wider audience if it does something similar to Obsidian and similar softwares, by offering both a “tree-like system” and enhancing its “second-brain-like features”.

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