GainKnowHow VS. Notion

Notion is the Swiss Army Knife of software. You can do everything from track projects to store an employee directory. If you are a small company starting off, storing your internal documentation in Notion can be effective. However, as you grow, you will find shortcomings in storing your documents and onboarding employees in Notion, which GainKnowHow can help solve.

Eddie Anderson

We actually use Notion internally at GainKnowHow because of its incredible flexibility. It's great for project management. You can easily get project management up and running in minutes. If you have a custom workflow, you can probably implement it in Notion.

However, it's not the best platform for internal documentation and onboarding. Just like GainKnowHow is not the best platform to manage your projects, Notion is not the best platform at storing your internal documents and onboarding employees. Notion is lacking key features GainKnowHow has to keep your team on the same page.

"Just like GainKnowHow is not the best platform to manage your projects, Notion is not the best platform at storing your internal documents and onboarding employees."

GainKnowHow Overview

GainKnowHow is a knowledge propagation platform. GainKnowHow's goal is to spread knowledge throughout an organization, keeping everyone on the same page. It stores your organization's internal skills but most importantly keeps track of changes to users' skills over time, intelligently notifying them of these changes. GainKnowHow also ensures users have the context to learn advanced skills by presenting skills to them in the correct order.

Notion Overview

Notion is an open-ended tool that can be used in a variety of ways. It's a lightweight CRM, a database, and a document store. With all of its features, Notion could be summed up as a workflow automation platform. It's great when building a custom workflow for a specific process in your organization.

GainKnowHow Advantages

GainKnowHow takes a different approach in organizing documents/skills than Notion. GainKnowHow stores documents in a Knowledge Web that reflects how documents are related which allows for many useful features.

  1. Skill Learning Paths:

    Teach skills to your employees in the correct order and with all the needed prerequisites, ensuring comprehension.

  2. Change Management:

    Users get notified of the exact changes to a skill when it gets edited or when a new skill is added to their learning path.

  3. Admin Skill Tracking:

    Admins can see how each user is progressing in the learning paths, making sure employees are learning at the right speed.

  4. Quizzes and Approvals:

    Optionally assign a quiz or get another user's approval to ensure an employee truly understand the skill they are learning.

These features end up creating a platform that ensures employees are on the same page on your organization's documentation.

Notion Advantages

Notion's biggest advantage is its flexibility. If you want to automate a custom process in your company, Notion can probably be used to make a tailor-made workflow. Notion has databases and wikis that can be molded to your exact use case.

Employee onboarding use case comparison

Let's compare how each platform would approach onboarding a new employee. In this scenario we need to teach a new customer support employee the skills they need to do their job quickly and effectively.

GainKnowHow's approach

The first day the new customer support employee is assigned the advanced skills they need to correctly resolve customer support tickets. The new employee learns the basic skills first around the expected language that management wants to use when talking to customers, which is required to eventually handle support tickets.

For each skill the new employee takes there are quiz questions to confirm they truly understand the skill and are not just skimming over the material.

For some more interact customer support skills the employee is asked to roll-play a customer support scenario with a manager, which the manager signs off on, allowing the employee to continue learning customer support skills.

Finally, the new employee has successfully completed all the skills needed to do the assigned customer support tickets and their manager is notified.

In the future, when the manager wants to change the specific language they want to use when talking to customers they edit the specific skills in GainKnowHow. Every customer support employee who has taken the skills around customer support language are notified of the exact changes to the language management wants to use.

Notion's approach

The first day the new customer support employee is given an account it Notion with documents describing how to resolve customer support tickets. The new employee starts reading these documents and reports back to their manager that they have read all the documents in the "customer support" folder in Notion.

The new customer support employee is given their first customer support ticket in ZenDesk. The employee vaguely remembers how the page in Notion told them how to use ZenDesk because they just skimmed over it and were not quizzed on their knowledge. Eventually, the employee gets an idea how ZenDesk works and starts answering customer's tickets, but not in the exact manner that was described in the Notion page.

A few weeks go by and the manager realizes the new employee has been filling out fields in Zendesk wrong. The tickets were not closed correctly and the customers were never notified of the resolution from the new employee, delaying customer support time.

Eventually, the manager wants to make a change on how customers support employees talk to customers. He schedules an hour long department wide meeting to discuss the simple changes, taking the support staff away from closing tickets. The manager forgets to update the Notion page on customer communication with the changes. Future new employees have to learn this change from chatting with coworkers.

Which document store is right for you?

Notion is the Swiss Army Knife of software. It makes sense to initially store your documents in Notion because of its flexibility. However, you wouldn't build a house with just a Swiss Army Knife. As you grow you'll need specialized tools to grow your organization. A Swiss Army Knife does't have a nail gun. GainKnowHow is the nail gun of onboarding. Building a house is much more efficient with a nail gun, but there is a still a need for the Swiss Army Knife. So keep Notion around to do your project management workflows, but when you're ready for a specialized tool for onboarding and documentation, GainKnowHow is the more effective tool.