About Notion

A story of tools and the future of work

An illustration of several people working on computers at their desk

Hi there! If you're reading this, you're probably like me—spending most of your days in your office, in front of a computer.

An illustration of a person leaving their chair and walking away

You probably have fifteen tabs open: one for email, one for Slack, one for Google Docs, and on, and on…But have you ever thought about where these "work tools" came from? Or why there are so many of them?To answer these questions, and to explain why we created Notion, we have to travel back in time.

A photo of people working in a factory during the industrial revolution

As people flooded to factories during the Industrial Revolution, many tools were invented to ease the management overload.Typewriters replaced illegible handwriting. File cabinets stored more information than any clerk could remember (and also won the gold medal at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair!)Tools like these paved the way for offices as we know them today.

A photo of people working at a large computer in the mid 20th century

Fast forward to the 1950s, when computers came into the workplace.At first, they were lifeless, room-sized monsters that operated on paper and punch cards. They were used solely for number-crunching.

An illustration of a person celebrating several documents

Then something magical happened in the 1970s!A generation of pioneers saw the computer as something far beyond a number-crunching machine. They dreamt a future where computers could amplify imagination (Alan Kay), augment intellect (Doug Engelbart), and expand our thoughts far beyond text on paper (Ted Nelson).A tool unlike anything we have seen before.

An illustration of a person sitting on top of a video player

But things didn't turn out that way. As the legend goes, when Steve Jobs "borrowed" the ideas behind personal computing from Xerox PARC, many subtle, but crucial, differences were lost. 👈 Click play and listen to the man himself.

An illustration of type writers and filing cabinets with a person shrugging in confusion about these items

And that's where we are today.Google Docs made typewriters multiplayer. Dropbox brought file cabinets to the cloud. But conceptually, they evolved little beyond their Industrial Revolution ancestors.We duct-tape everything together with emails, copy/paste, and countless open tabs.

An illustration of a person taming a floating mess of documents

That's where Notion comes in. We want to break away from today's tools—and bring back some of the ideas of those early pioneers.As a first step, we are blending much of your workflow into an all-in-one workspace. Want a task list? A product roadmap? A design repository? They are now all in one place. You can even customize your own workspace from dozens of LEGO-style building blocks.Solve your problems your way, bounded only by your imagination.

An illustration of several people working at their desks in excitement and waving

Hopefully you've gotten a good sense of why we started Notion. Challenging the status quo is not an easy task. Check out the product! Write in! We need early adopters like you to start a movement. See you soon!

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
Alan Kay, computing pioneer

Join us

Notion is based in the sunny Mission district of San Francisco. We are a diverse group of people interested in computing, history, art, alternative programming languages, and skateboarding.

Interested in joining us? Learn more here 👈


Our investors

We are fortunate to work with some of the best investors in the world. Chances are you are already using the products they helped to create.
An illustrated headshot of Shana Fisher

Shana Fisher

Investor in Pinterest, Stripe, Hackpad, Paper/FiftyThree.

An illustrated headshot of Naval Ravikant

Naval Ravikant

Founder of AngelList. Investor in Twitter, Uber, Yammer.

An illustrated headshot of Ram Shriram

Ram Shriram

Partner at Sherpalo Ventures. Investor and board member of Google.

An illustrated headshot of Josh Kopelman

Josh Kopelman

Partner at First Round Capital. Investor in Uber, LinkedIn.

An illustrated headshot of Phin Barnes

Phin Barnes

Partner at First Round Capital. Investor in Blue Apron, Clearbit.

An illustrated headshot of Aydin Senkut

Aydin Senkut

Partner at Felicis Ventures. Investor in Shopify, Fitbit.

An illustrated headshot of Matt Macinnis

Matt Macinnis

Founder of Inkling. Investor in Clever, Zenefits.

An illustrated headshot of Elad Gil

Elad Gil

Ex-VP at Twitter. Investor in Airbnb, Stripe, Square, Pinterest.

An illustrated headshot of Mike Vernal

Mike Vernal

Partner at Sequoia Capital. Ex-VP of Platform at Facebook.

An illustrated headshot of Ronny Conway

Ronny Conway

Partner at ACapital. Investor in Pinterest, Reddit, Coinbase.

An illustrated headshot of Lachy Groom

Lachy Groom

Early employee at Stripe. Investor in Figma, Front, Superhuman.

An illustrated headshot of Daniel Gross

Daniel Gross

Founder of Pioneer. Ex-founder of Cue. Ex-Partner at Y-Combinator.

An illustrated headshot of Sarah Cannon

Sarah Cannon

Partner at Index Ventures. Ex-policy adviser of the White House.

An illustrated headshot of Caryn Marooney

Caryn Marooney

Ex-VP of Communications at Facebook. Board member of Zendesk, Elastic.


In the news

Just a few of the stories about Notion in the tech and business press.
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