Question

A question on many's mind: Any insight out there as to when the Notion API is actually coming?

Hi, I, like I am guessing 100's here in Capiche, cannot get past a day without envisioning all the ways I will be using the Notion API when it finally comes out. There seems very little info of any sort - leaks, insider teasing, anything - about when it will finally be available. It's been listed now officially as a paid feature even, but that happened now it seems like months ago. I feel like any day I will see the big announcement, but I also feel like it could come in 2021.

Are there any insights out there? Of course, I am interested not in just the API release, but also what it will look like, will any integrations come along at the same time, like source control, time tracking, etc., will there be an Atlassian-style "Marketplace"? This is something I hope does not happen to quality is ensured, but given the hordes of excellent developers using Notion, there is bound to be a ton of creative, good stuff coming from 3rd parties.

Thanks!

Mentioned
#Notion #Project Management #Issue Tracking #Capiche #Airtable #Intercom #Slack #Zoom #Asana #Zapier #Twist #Basecamp #Todoist
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maguay's avatar
2 years ago

There have been two hints towards Notion’s API coming soon over the past few months:

In the meantime, there is an unofficial Notion API on GitHub that could be worth trying. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer for the real thing!

7 points
GtBob-bluberry's avatar
@GtBob-bluberry (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

Hey, great response, to be expected from a Capiche insider, haha!

Yes, those two pieces of info are exactly the only ones I have also viewed as "teasers," but they both are getting quite in the past at this point. You gave the specifics on what I meant by "as a paid feature listed officially now."

I literally refresh the "What's new" area on Notion daily looking for any mention of the API's release. I assume when it does come, I'll find out somehow otherwise, as it's bound to create a storm on the web. Probably one reason they have to take special care about the release as so many are waiting on it. All the same, it is really taking a long time I think. "Coming soon" has been stated by the team on Twitter, and in the old "Roadmap" area that's gone now off Notion Official, for well over 18 months.

Would really like to hear if anybody else at all has any more info aside from these publicly available sets of info. Perhaps @cjc would be so kind as to jump in, since I too noticed she's part of Capiche's community. Any info whatsoever would be golden! My situation: On the sidelines trying to get over to Notion, but I run a start-up that needs certain things that the API promises, such as import of client records to run a CRM in Notion; time tracking; integrations with Source Control, and other typical biggies! We can't make the move until the API happens, and in the meantime I'm getting close to having to choose a lesser option for my team.

Just would like to know if it's really coming "soon," or not till 2021, for example.

Cheers and thanks for responding to me!

1 point
ianthiel's avatar
2 years ago

There are few things I want more right now than a Notion API. I ping them about this regularly via Twitter and email and haven't gotten any new insights beyond what's already been shared here.

Without knowing the timing, we may have to switch to something else in the next few months. Notion isn't a long-term solution without the API.

4 points
GtBob-bluberry's avatar
@GtBob-bluberry (replying to @ianthiel )
2 years ago

Hey @ianthiel Great to get the commentary here, you summed up succinctly pretty much the same position I'm in. While I don't ping them on Twitter, I read their feed many times daily. I have probably asked 20x via their Intercom support. I too took great notice when @cjc wrote the post re: being named to head up the program. This seemed like a huge milestone as the API had been "coming soon" for probably a good 2 yrs up to that point. As a side, her post about Notion being able to eliminate internal Emails - since she hadn't gotten one in some time since working there - really got me thinking about even greater potential of Notion:

Anyway, back to the API. That was back in late March. Then, the API went up on the pricing page as "coming soon," so really getting close right? But still we have nothing. I have been testing Fibery, Coda, and even back to Airtable which recently came out with a good Doc integration, rich text fields, buttons - seems like they are moving more quickly suddenly as I always associated AirTable with not iterating on new features too quickly.

Let's hope we just see a huge announcement re: the API, like, tomorrow! But I too at some point will have to choose something else if the API just drags and drags...

Cheers!

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @GtBob-bluberry )
2 years ago

Would love to know if that comment about not receiving internal email means the Notion team is doing all of their communication in Notion, or that they just rely that much on Slack.

My former team at Zapier, and our current Capiche team, both rarely use email—though in both cases, everything's in Slack chat or Zoom calls, and at Capiche we use Notion for documentation and sharing longterm ideas more. You could have a bit of a conversation in Notion comments but it'd be tough to keep going long.

Quip includes a full chat tool ... would be interesting if Notion added something similar, though I'd also worry about it cluttering up the interface and taking away from the core notes tools too much.

But it would be interesting if the delayed Notion API is tied to Notion also adding some other major new feature to launch alongside the API...

1 point
GtBob-bluberry's avatar
@GtBob-bluberry (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

Hey @maguay, this is a good topic (sorry if I should start a new thread?) but you've hit on one of my particular pain points - trying to have a coherent conversation in Slack. What I am hoping for in many of the PM tools out there (I have tried just about all of them extensively) is an Email-like solution that actually emulates what you need from Email:

  • A starter topic, with a subject and description (Email & its body, which is also how "issues" or "tasks" are almost always formulated in PM tools).

  • Ability to then comment to the original post

  • Ability to close out the post when resolved, ideally with another comment required stating the final solution.

You guys have coming soon Twist, Twist handles this terrifically and I'd love to see a project management app incorporate this solution internally. Twist itself is under the radar and a worthy Slack competitor, as it has all Slack has, plus this sensible "thread" approach, but I think the big issue with Twist is trying to go against Slack's integrations. Aside from GSuite or some huge players, I don't think there's anything else out there as well integrated as Slack - you might now with the Zapier background, haha!

Asana is my favorite on how they get close to this, but within an app. They claim you can really eliminate internal Email with Asana and I believe you can, but nobody else is there yet. Here's why I believe Asana:
- You can start the convo at all requisite levels: Project, Team. I think you don't need this at the task level, as that task has its own comment stream (as long as there are threaded comments, which actually are absent in Asana's tasks...)
- They have great apps, so you can get notified on the go, and "fire up" these convos on the go - just like within Slack
- You lose what is in my opinion the big negative of slack - endless strings that are not coherent when read taken as a whole. Slack granted has a "threaded" feature, but what they're missing (that Twist gets right) is a true "break out" of the thread from the rest of the string: There is no subject, no way to simply have a topic & conclusion with a specific set of users.

I've chatted with the Wrike, ClickUp, Coda, and many other product teams about trying to bring this to their respective apps, but none have yet.

So as far as Notion, this really intrigued me as I don't think Notion's structure is really that good here: The Notion Page is basically just a task/issue in another Productivity App. Comments are very "lite" with no threading, and you can't see the history when they resolve. And they aren't indexed in Notion search, so forget about finding what you said 6 months from now! You can "force" Notion to handle Email-like communication like you can any other app such as Trello, Monday, etc. by making a "page" the email, but that's unnatural, and not nearly as fluid as Twist or Asana.

Sorry to go on this became a huge roundabout response to what you wrote, and way off topic about the Notion API, but hope it's useful to you guys, perhaps for SEO if nothing else!!

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @GtBob-bluberry )
2 years ago

It could definitely be worth starting a new Capiche discussion about how other teams hold conversations in Slack to see if others have more tips!

It's interesting how the Todoist team built Twist as a separate product instead of building it into Todoist—where on the other hand, Basecamp merged their Campfire chat into their project management app.

Microsoft Teams also seems to be more focused on treads than individual chat messages. Its greatest selling point is both that it's bundled with Office 365 (so it's "free" if your company already pays for Office), and is deeply integrated with other Microsoft software (so your Outlook calendar shows up in chat, and you can edit Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations with built-in web apps). Slack, on the other hand, has more 3rd party integrations, along with a newer built-in workflow builder. Teams sits between your Office apps; Slack sits between every other app you use, ideally.

But I digress. On conversations, the best solution I've found is to have conversations wherever—email, Zoom, Slack, comments inside a document—and then document the result in a shared notes app like Notion. But since it's tough to document everything, Slack search still is the most likely place to find random decisions. Just good luck filtering through all the noise!

1 point
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