Readers using the Notion book notes template are facing a couple of issues which led them to wonder what other alternatives are out there. We all know how important it is nowadays to use note taking while reading in order to enhance the experience and to remember more from what we read.
Whether it’s important information about the plot, data required in an upcoming book report or simply a nice quote that needs to be saved or shared, the modern reader needs a facile and performant solution for taking notes.
The pen and paper method may have worked fine until recently, but the modern, fast paced way of living nowadays is pushing us all to find better, faster and more comfortable solutions.
But is Notion really the best way to take notes?
What is the Notion book notes template?
First, let’s have a look at Notion as a whole. It is a free and rather ingenious productivity tool, with note taking features, ticketing possibilities and pretty much unlimited applications in project management. With a history dating back to 2013, Notion has made a name for itself thanks to the team behind it, who dedicated a lot of work for its development, making it a top choice for millions of users who needed a tool to better organize their activities.
Notion was designed to be editable and customizable to a certain degree, giving the user the possibility to organize the boards in a number of ways. Users’ creativity is a powerful tool and it was surprising even for the creators of Notion to see that their product ended up having even more applications than they anticipated. Some of these applications included reader-dedicated templates, and the book notes template is one of them.
How does the Notion book notes template work?
Let’s check out what the book notes template can do and how well it does it. First and foremost, users need to register a Notion account. Once they do that, they can duplicate (or download) the Notion book notes template and add it as a separate board in their own personalizable dashboard.
The newly duplicated board will be filled with dummy data, which is meant to give the user a better idea of how the template will look and work once it’s been populated with the user’s real data.
Once the dummy data is removed, users will be able to add their own tickets to the board and start customizing them as they see fit. Each separate ticket (each book) is added to a table where the information about the reading material can be filled in, and each ticket can be then populated with the user’s notes or thoughts.
As you can see, it took me three paragraphs just to explain how the Notion book notes template can be installed and used. This leads us to believe that there may be other, better options out there for note-taking readers. First, let’s have a quick look at some of the drawbacks Notion comes with.
Notion book notes template downsides
We already know that nothing and nobody is perfect and Notion is definitely no exception. Especially when we take into account that it was initially designed with a completely different purpose in mind, it becomes obvious that if we look closely we will find a couple of flaws in the note taking feature.
Let’s see what those are.
It’s not that easy to set up
Duplicating the template, removing the dummy data and adding book titles as tickets and information about each book only to be later able to add your notes within each ticket is clearly not ideal. It takes a while to get everything ready for a note-taking reading session and actually taking advantage of the board you create takes some getting used to.
It is too customizable
“Too much of anything is bad” says an old Latin proverb, and that is especially true about freedom.
Having unlimited customization options, the Notion book notes feature gives users rather overwhelming freedom to find the best way of organizing their boards and note taking system. This can easily lead to a ton of wasted time and frustration for those users who end up getting lost in making their boards “perfect” instead of focusing on what’s really important- reading and taking notes.
Everything needs to be done manually
From adding the book title as a ticket, to adding its characteristics in the table on the dashboard (genre, author, rating, reading/ note taking status) to actually writing, formatting and organizing the notes, everything needs to be done manually.
Nothing is automated, the user even needs to upload cover images for the books manually if they want the books to be easier to find in the table.
It gets harder to use as more titles are added
Having a single, simple table on the dashboard, the Notion book notes template gets harder and harder to use as you progress with your reading and keep adding titles and notes to the list. Looking for a book you read tens of books ago is challenging and we all know that a crowded list is not easy on the eyes either.
As you can see, while we appreciate this tool for everything it stands for and has to offer, these downsides of the note taking feature has pushed many of its users to raise the question: what else is out there? Well, luckily for you, we are here to tell you that an amazing Notion book notes alternative exists and it is even more accessible than you would think.
What is the best Notion book notes template alternative?
Those of you who used a reading tracking app at least once, already know that they are miles ahead of the Notion templates for readers. Dedicated reading apps not only have better note taking features, built with today’s reader in mind, but they come with additional features for those who love reading.
And for those who are looking to turn those “miles ahead” into light years ahead, there’s Basmo, the best and most complete reading app out there. It is by far the best alternative for the Notion book notes template and it comes with a ton of other features users will simply fall in love with.
To get a better idea of how it feels to start using Basmo, try to remember a moment when you discovered a certain device that made your life so much easier that it left you wondering how you lived your life without it until then. Even though it usually isn’t the same exact thing that impresses everyone, the effect is the same, and this is exactly the feeling you will get when using Basmo for the first time.
How is the Basmo notes taking feature better than the Notion book notes template?
What makes Basmo so special? A great deal of things actually. First, let’s see how the notes taking feature in Basmo is an improved version of its Notion equivalent.
It is very easy to use
Basmo’s note taking feature is already included in the app as soon as you download it. There is no additional setup required, no dummy data needs to be removed before you actually get started, and you can literally start adding notes seconds after opening the app for the first time. The whole process is seamless, as the app is user friendly and you’re very unlikely to ever require a tutorial for any of its features.
It’s a feature within a dedicated reading app
Needless to say, many benefits come straight from the fact that Basmo is a dedicated reading app. This means everything was created with the reader in mind, including the note taking feature, and it shows.
Can be used while reading sessions are ongoing
To use the note taking feature from Basmo, you will need to start a reading session. That means you will need to look for the book you’re reading with the dedicated search feature, which will browse through millions of books and will return the correct one within milliseconds. Each title already has the author and cover image uploaded, so all you have to do is tap on the image of the book you’re reading and start the reading session.
While the reading session is ongoing, the note taking feature is automatically made available within the session, so as soon as you find a note-worthy piece of information in your reading material, you just pick up your smartphone or tablet and start typing.
The notes are automatically saved within the book and you can simply access them whenever you tap on that particular title in any of your predefined book collections (currently reading or finished).
Users can scan pages and save quotes
We promised you amazing features for the modern reader, so here’s one of them.
Basmo offers you the possibility not only to manually take notes, but to also use your phone’s camera to scan the pages that you will need to make notes of. You can either scan the pages and save them as image notes, or you can extract the text from the image and save it, edit or format it as you see fit.
Notes can be formatted and organized within the books they are related to
Speaking of formatting and organizing your notes, Basmo offers you a bunch of options like using different colors and pretty much anything else that is needed for your notes to be easy to read and remember later.
So after finishing a book, if you ever need to go back and read your notes again, all you have to do is tap on the book from the reading list it is automatically assigned to, according to its status, and your notes will be there waiting.
Basmo also offers you the possibility to skip the typing altogether. You can use the voice-to-text feature to simply speak into your device’s microphone and Basmo will transform your spoken words into written text. It’s like an improved tape recorder which allows you to record your thoughts or observations and saves them as written notes in the Basmo app, within the book they are related to.
This way, you no longer have to type your notes, making the process a whole lot faster and more convenient.
Basmo allows you to save pages from your books as images
By using your phone’s camera, you can simply take pictures of the pages you find most interesting in the books you read, and save them as visual notes within the book in the Basmo app.
This is especially helpful if you want to save diagrams, tables or graphs from the books you’re reading and it makes it a lot easier to keep this kind of visual information at hand.
Basmo allows you to create your own quotes
If you want to manually write down a nice paragraph or sentence from the novel you’re reading and save it as a quote, you can easily do so with the quote editor from the Basmo app.
Once you’re finished typing the text into a note, you can use the quote editor to format the text as you see fit or even turn it into an image and share it on your preferred social media platform.
Basmo comes with additional features to make your reading experience better
The notes feature is actually just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways Basmo can take your reading to another level. There are many other features under the hood, and these are the ones that most users have ended up falling in love with:
- Scheduling: Basmo allows you to create your personalized reading schedule, tailored for your daily routine. You can select the days of the weeks you plan to read in and even different times for each day. Basmo will also remind you of any upcoming reading sessions through notifications, so you don’t forget.
- Goal setting: Any life coach or motivational speaker will tell you that the first step you need to take in order to achieve your goals is to actually set those goals. And since reading more is a common resolution for any responsible adult, Basmo allows you to set daily or yearly goals for your reading and helps you achieve them by tracking your progress and providing you with insightful statistics about your reading habits.
- Reading lists: Knowing what to read next is oftentimes quite a challenge. Not anymore. Use the reading lists in Basmo and populate them with the titles you are interested in. You can choose to use the predefined book collections or to create your own, personalized reading lists.
Ready to take your reading game to the next level?
Try Basmo book tracker today!
It’s 100% free to download, so what have you got to lose?
While we’re not suggesting that the Notion book notes template is bad, we’re here to tell you that you can do a lot better. Notion is a fine option from many points of view and is clearly a great solution for what it was initially created for. As a productivity or management tool, it’s ahead of many of its competitors.
When it comes to its application for reading though, it is no match to a dedicated reading app. And with Basmo offering so much more than just note taking, even compared to other reading apps, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a try.