Notion Import Confidence Poll & Appraisal ⚖

:mega: Calling all Notion runaways!

Your appraisal is requested: Help us fine-tune our Notion import to Anytype and gauge our rollout readiness!


:mag: Did Anytype’s Notion import work for you?

  • :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Yes, account import from Notion works fairly well!
  • :expressionless: Neutral – Meh… not great, but not terrible.
  • :unamused: No, I don’t recommend. This function isn’t ready for rollout.
0 voters

We’re very eager to hear from those who’ve successfully imported their Notion accounts to Anytype. :rocket:

Was the migration smooth and hassle-free? Did it require significant effort? Was it worth it? Do you feel it’s adequate for a large influx of Notion escapees?

Please describe your experience (good or bad) with us in comments :pray:

Thanks for participating, your insight will help us refine our import functionality and ensure a confident rollout! :raised_hands:

6 Likes

Mine went pretty well, all databases were mostly intact, images got imported, relationships between pages were kept.

All Spotify music blocks got messed up though, I had to remove all of them. All imported collections behaved well but had SO MANY colums (it’s an issue from Notion side, Anytype just does relashionships between objects more minimalisticly).

After the import I realised how big of an issue is that I cannot change relashionships / types / statuses of multiple objects at the same time. Process of manually changing several object’s types were a bit time-consuming, I had to move some of the least important objects to my archives, because manually adjusting them to new system would take much of my energy without giving much in return.

On the bright side - while going through notion to check if everything got transfered smoothly I realised how MUCH faster Anytype is in comparison to Notion.

8 Likes

Thank you for sharing @boring_Pete ! We’re planning on implementing batch-editing as soon as possible to make the process even easier and less time-consuming. Feel free to let us know how else it could be improved!

5 Likes

My feedback on a fairly small import (one page with one inline database).

Instructions

The import instructions in-app are great! Here some feedback (really I’m nitpicking here):

  1. The instructions follow a different order than the one I had to follow to create the Notion integration, maybe they changed their creation flow?
  2. To make the integration show up, I had to refresh my notion page.

Import

The import was fast and went super well.

:+1: What I did like

  1. Re-importing does not create duplicates :two_hearts:
  2. Creation dates are preserved! :date:
  3. A collection with any page imported is automatically created (and easy to delete if you don’t want it) :card_file_box:
  4. Tags maintain their color :rainbow:

Also I found out something new, Anytype previews .ai files!

:-1: What I didn’t like
Of course it’s annoying that some data formats are imported as text, especially date ranges, and other stuff like comments is not imported, but I’m confident that this will improve over time (maybe even with the help of plugins)

Also there are some things that I didn’t like when it comes to how some content is handled by default (all easily fixable “by hand”):

1. The inline collection did not mirror the source one


2. Files are previewed by default

And that is great, but this:


should have been like this:

3. All pages are imported as a "page" object

This is fine actually but batch Type editing is very much needed to change the Type of imported pages :wink:

  1. My page and database custom icon was not imported
  2. The layout width was not automatically imported

Comparison

After some manual editing (see the points above):

Looks great! :tada:

(If I could, I would have voted in the middle of the first and second option, for more complicated imports, sometimes not all content was imported, maybe due to Notion not changing permissions fast enough, in the end the tool needs a lot of refinement and features to be complete but it’s already usable)

3 Likes

Above all, it can be improved, and for small imports it can be done. But as the aim is to migrate, I’m going to be critical.
Many things go wrong, often because of AT’s limitations but not only.

  • Formulas, grouping, … (more than half the bases imported for me)
  • Non-separation of data: in Notion, if I have 10 distinct databases (travel, wiki, games, etc.), I end up in Anytype with a list of all the elements in all the databases.
    The “Notion import” collection is just a monster mess.
    This is similar to some forum posts asking for solutions to separate data. Once possible, it would be necessary to find the same structure when importing (in “Notion import” or elsewhere): I want to review my various databases (and the objects in each accessible by going to that database), not thousands of objects sorted alphabetically with no relationship between them.
    And I didn’t dare import everything…
  • The views (Notion) need to be completely redone! The properties (relations under AT) are no longer even directly accessible in the image collection on AT. If I have 10 properties, I’ll have to
  • Click on the + button
    o Click on "+ Add relation
    o Search for it (and here again, there’s no separation between bases; for example, I have 3 “Level” relations from 3 different bases… so I’ll have to grope around to find the right one)
    o … and this for EVERY property in every database!
    You’d have to keep the columns displayed when importing, really! I think it’s the bigger issue.
  • … and when I have a nice text “Description” field, it’s not put in the text “Description” on AT. Too bad.

Notion → AT

  • Dates are transformed into text… surprising choice. But the problem is that AT doesn’t let you change the type of a relationship (or I haven’t found it). Trash my dates…
  • The different views of a database are lost, even the simplest ones
  • An empty name in Notion will give an “Untitled” name in AT. Logical, I suppose, but the result is depressing (especially without the other columns displayed).
  • Layout not respected (I’m often in full page mode, so I have to resize to full page on AT).
  • Integrations don’t work (Youtube integration in particular)

NotionvsAT2

Not everything is negative:

  • Page layout generally well respected (integration of images, code blocks, …)
  • Column types are generally well respected (dates and formulas are forgotten for the moment)

Good luck!

4 Likes

I’ve only tried it on a few pages. The import itself was easy, but once in Anytype it’s a lot of work because:

  • It didn’t follow the layout (I have texts in different columns. It was all aligned to the left after import.)
  • The custom icon and Unsplash image weren’t included. (This one surprised me because AT is also linked to Unsplash.)
  • All texts were imported in the default color.
  • The layout width was different.
  • Upon checking, my creation dates weren’t preserved. (I wonder what I did differently. :sweat_smile:)
3 Likes

I’ve recently started shifting some of my content from Notion to Anytype, and I’d like to share some initial observations. While the migration works fairly well for single, uncomplicated pages, I’ve run into substantial difficulties when importing more complex databases with hundreds of Notion documents.

After importing these databases into Anytype, I’ve found that a significant amount of manual editing and corrections are necessary to ensure data consistency. For example, I recently spent 2-3 hours adjusting data post-import, only to lose all changes when I forgot to disconnect the Anytype connection in Notion before the next Notion import.

It’s certainly a plus that the import process avoids creating duplicate entries, but it’s bothersome that the system doesn’t ask for direction when changes have been detected in conflicting documents within Anytype.

Tools for batch editing could undoubtedly help manage some of these issues, but a more comprehensive, guided import process would be even better. This improved process could allow us to tackle potential conflicts and errors before data import (automated resolution of these issues would, of course, be the ideal solution).

For me, and I believe for many others, a smooth and accurate Notion to Anytype import process is vital before fully migrating to Anytype. Over the last ten years, I have collected a large amount of data, first in Evernote, then in Obsidian and Bear, and more recently in Notion. Given the extensive manual work required to ensure data accuracy, it would take weeks of effort before the data appears as it should in Anytype.

edit:
I may be a bit late in realizing this, but I’ve found that renaming the properties on the Notion side before importing saves me a lot of time. For instance, changing ‘tags’ to ‘tag’ has proved beneficial. In the past, I manually added all the tags in ‘tag’ (in Anytype), but now, simply renaming the property to ‘tag’ before importing handles this task automatically :man_facepalming:t2:

3 Likes

I imported two small databases to test the feature. Those are my observations:

Good stuff:

  • It was impressive how the images I was using for thumbnails which were only present as URL (not Unsplash) in Notion, actually imported as images rather than links.
  • The import was pretty damn fast
  • No page was left out

Issues:

  • The views for the database did not import
  • The tags which had not been assigned to any page in the Notion database did not import. Only the tags which had been assigned to some page made their way through.
    &
  • I also tried importing a page with bunch of text, images and many linked views of several databases and my app crashed. Tried 2 times, crashed both times.

From my little experiment, I’d say the feature is in its ‘Middle Adolescence’ stage.

1 Like

I’ve reassessed and changed my vote from ‘No’ to ‘Neutral’. After utilizing the import feature multiple times, I feel this vote better aligns with my experience.

Before importing from Notion, a ‘tips & tricks’ guide would have been beneficial. As I mentioned in my previous response, a simple step like renaming the property in Notion to match my usage in Anytype saved considerable time. However, I’m unclear about how re-importing will impact documents already imported into Anytype. Will it reset the documents back to the original state from Notion, or will my changes in Anytype be retained? Could the import screen provide details about what will be imported? Given that Notion supports batch editing, it’s far more convenient to make changes there prior to import rather than managing each page individually in Anytype.

To summarize, the import feature is adequately reliable for early adopters. However, a seamless and efficient Notion import process is essential if we are to convince individuals to transfer their extensive libraries from Notion to Anytype and transition into full-time Anytype users.

5 Likes

In order for the migration to be effortless, batch processing of objects has to work.

4 Likes

The reset button currently is to just create a new account.

1 Like

Thank you everybody, don’t be shy, keep it coming!

I want to make a point that we value all feedback, and greatly appreciate constructive criticism, as long as your post is well-intentioned and offers actionable insights as to how things can be improved. We genuinely want to understand what aspects are lacking in order to achieve an ideal outcome for everybody. :surfing_man:

5 Likes

Sounds like you had a promising experience — I wonder why mine was such the opposite.

Databases & relations did not really remain in tact & page details were just kind of slathered all over the place.

I do know that my Notion based setups are quite complex, having not only database relations, rollups & formulas, but also linked views of databases inside of database pages, sync blocks, etc.

1 Like

Agree with the sentiments expressed here in regards to needing a seamless & efficient Notion import process for extensive libraries.

I have thousands of pages & hundreds of databases inside of Notion. Many of them are intricately woven, nested & linked.

I happen to have a bit of involvement in the web3 space, and one thing that is often acknowledged among builders in the space is that it’s not good enough to just reach parity with what your competition can do — in order to overcome the immense hurdle that is convincing people to switch from one platform where they are already comfortable into another one, is to purely be the better option; to be superior in a stand out way that warrants the change.

Naturally, this is incredibly challenging to do, but at the very least good indicators are starting with offering features or conveniences that aren’t available on the other platform; ones that work really welll & provide reasonable benefit. From there, other features that establish parity can be rolled out consistently, helping to bridge the gap.

I would say you all at anytype are aware of these facts & have indeed rolled out unique features that offer something a bit different than Notion. importing seamlessly & efficiency will perhaps be a more difficult challenge because in a way, it might require feature parity to accomplish. (Sync blocks, etc.)

3 Likes

I’d like to add a problem related to Notion imports: property management:

  • link Notion properties to existing AT relationships when relevant (creation date, …)
  • by default, link relationships (properties) created during import to the imported collection (database)

See discussion here :

Otherwise, as soon as you have a large import, things can get really messy :scream::sweat_smile:

image

image

Without spoiler, the import in the latest version (0.33.9) is much improved (bravo and thank you!), so a new problem has to be found.:grin:

2 Likes

Absolutely @mrwildenfree, your point is well taken! Your feedback is exactly why we initiated this poll.

I want to emphasize that we never intended to be a direct replacement for Notion, nor did we position ourselves that way. The perception of similarity has been shaped by some vloggers, but it wasn’t our initial goal.

Our main focus revolves around our core values, which we prioritize above all. At the same time, we’re dedicated to aligning ourselves with the evolving needs and expectations of our Community.

Your insights are very valuable in helping us strike the right balance.

Thank you!

1 Like

Thanks for the response @Angelo !

Should it not be anytype’s direct imperative to be a replacement or alternative to a platform like Notion, then I think it would indeed make sense for you all to amplify the messaging around how you all are actually positioning yourself in the market of productivity tools.

It may be the case that the market of users started to speak for you (either first or more loudly), as that is what I’m currently perceiving (not just in regards to Notion, but as a competitor within the space that Notion, Tana, Capacities, Monday, Asana, etc. all occupy).

What has been really beneficial for me in determining the usefulness of a tool, is to get a crystal clear vision of its best use cases.

For instance, I have been considering a few tools in my tech stack that somewhat overlap (being a form of note taker, mind map, relational database, etc.). For these tools, what became helpful was for me to dive into their offering & figure out their limitations — for it is the limitations that define a tool, or represents the boundaries for where its use cases cannot reach.

For me, I have explored & categorized these platforms (most of which could be shoe-horned into fitting similar use-cases):

  • Notion — specifically using as a Knowledge Management System, Project Management, Workflow Development, Content Management Backup, Form + Response Manager, Podcast Production & Planning Manager, current CRM, Document Wiki, & Actionable Music Book (songwriting & tracking music release progress).

  • Scrintal — Research / Learning Note-taker, Knowledge Relation Visualizer & Multi-Directional Link Management.

  • XMind — Mind Maps for visual Presentation of concepts

  • Muse app — Brain Dump, “Ideation Phase” Planning & Organization, Quick Drafts of concepts & relations, “Mood Board” &/or “Connecting the Dots” from existing explorations to new thoughts.

  • anytype — Considering as a potential CRM tool to manage contact relationships across Social Platforms, Newsletter & other sources… yet still not confident enough with the platform & the current bugs to do anything more than tinker & observe progress.

1 Like