Notion access and the new content database in global Notion

Australia has transferred a lot of its instance management work into Notion (e.g. project management, HR processes, circle and role management, comms content creation and mapping products and user journeys to content, measuring impact against strategy, etc.)

In order to share all of our content creation with global and any other interested instances we have built all of our comms databases in the global Notion workspace rather than Australian workspace.

The outcome is a full content library which any affiliate instance can draw on and contribute to, for local and global instance use. This reduces the content creation burden for global and also for each instance.

I would like to:

  1. Check with the global community - is it ok for us to add comms managers from global affiliates to the global Notion workspace? Are there any data access concerns we need to be aware of?
  2. If there are no concerns, flag the existence of this comms database for all Affiliate instances, and invite marketing and communications team members from your instance to participate in shared content creation,
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Thanks @Jen for this post.

I get that Notion seems to have quite a few supporters within the community, mostly in local instances but @Jana and @Erioldoesdesign have adopted it also for their tasks at the global level.

I’m not against adopting it and considering it as an “official” tool we use to organize global work however I’m concerned about the fact that both Notion and Google docs/drive are offering similar features. Therefore today for example within the product circle if I want to search for something I have to look at two places. It does not look like a long term best practice for our community…

This might be only a product circle problem, but as our number of circles grows and so does inter-circle collaboration, I would feel better if we could collectively decide which tools are dedicated for what, and in an ideal scenarios, reduce the number of tools we are using (thus facilitating onboarding).

So I have a bold question for everyone: if we introduce notion, can we get rid of our shared google drive and migrate everything in Notion? :slight_smile:

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I also really like a vision of a future where we have one place for shared docs and not two (or more). I care less about which place it is, and more about the fact that we agree on one place.

I know little about notion. Will there be a fee for an instance?

I note that my google drive is at the point where I’ll have to pay a fee, and where I have to start culling things… so wondering if Notion will be better.

I would be happy for us to move to Notion

It feels a bit like swimming upstream trying to stop people from exploring the best tool for the job - Notion, GDocs, Slack, Discourse, Gitbook, Miro, Canva, VTiger, Airtable, GScripts, Zapier… we use a lot of tools and they all do slightly different things. Maybe we need a different approach than to try herd everything into the fewest tools. It feels exhausting thinking about implementing a tool minimisation strategy at this point. Who would drive that process? Who would want to?

To me I don’t care which tool is used so long as things are well linked into core tools. Perhaps instead we can define core tools (eg Discourse, Slack and calendar) and define how documents and folders in other tools need to be linked into the core tools?

So maybe it makes more sense - instead of focusing on tools, to focus on getting lists (which I know we are trying to do) of various ‘circles’ and teams, so that then whoever chooses, whichever tool, for whatever, at least they know who to give access to.

I start to reply with a very long post. But I will not because @Jen question is clear and with a define scope.

I take me some time to understand Notion. It seems to be a well design tool with lots of collaborative features; an all-in-one collaborative suite.

If Communication Circle wish to collaborate here. Fine for me.

But what I see in the tool is unclear (the organization, labels and content are “only” collaboration; there is few structures or this is not set up…).

I’m not sure about documents, are they (to be) store in Notion too?

But at the end to me, this do not solve the underlying questions of governance:

Where is OFN memory?

Where do Circles communicate together (inter Circle Communication)?

OFN Memory is Discourse
Circles communicate in Slack

Both of these tools can link to any other tool - but everything must travel through them.

That’s my understanding anyway :slight_smile:

Honestly I’m not a huge fan of notion because I don’t think it makes collaborative document creation very ‘equal’ or ‘accountable’ but I’m very happy to defer to other judgement. I think we can achieve the same structure with good google document hygiene but don’t wanna rock the boat!

I agree! I would add that circles communicate in Slack for stuff that are not needed 3 months from now. But maybe that’s what we mean by “memory” :slight_smile:

That’s a very good rule. But it would be great also if everyone (or a global account) had owner access of the resource shared on discourse and slack. If the person who shared that link was owner of the resource and happened to disappeared, having the link on Discourse or Slack would not help us a lot, the resource would have disappeared with their owner.
I notice lately that a couple of critical docs/files are on Anselm’s account for example. Yet he does not use his gmail account anymore :smiley: I will check with him.

On the CSA project last year, the developer I’m working with decided for very good reasons to close his personal gmail account. His gmail account was owner of our shared google drive. 2 years of invoices, budget etc disappeared :boom:

I don’t know if Notion is better at this or if it would add even more to the mix. Do we know who are currently the owners of the Notion workspace?

your right @Rachel. That’s why I strongly believe we need a common referential on some stuff and a share common document repository is key.

I also love the concept @lin_d_hop exposes that everything should travel through major Tool one day or the other.

The main referential for Decision could be Discourse: if so, I think we need to clarify the decision (editing the initial post for example)

To me, the objective is to have the full record of a clear and usable decision. Discussions and iterations are interesting to understand why (and because they may modify an existing decision)

Anyway, the rule / decision / plan must be crystal clear in 2 minutes of reading even if you have not been involved in the discussion (personal opinion)

Regarding Notion, (maybe I already say it) it seems a great tool for collaboration, but not for long-term information preservation or keeping track of decisions. Same symptoms as MS Teams: everyone can do too much thing to keep it organized in the long run.

Temporary or project attached document could be in another repository, but all deliverable shall be stored in the same place. My fear is that if Instance store (significant) documents somewhere else, people sharing their time between one instance and ONF will have difficulties working together.

Would you support the following?

here are the Applications OFN support, each align with a scope:
- Discourse to record decisions: and all discussions of interest
- Slack for team communication: including Circles another key groups in OFN
- Gitbook for Product documentation (Product stands for OFN software)
- Notion to organize Content Database: to support @Jen proposition to build together databases of common interest* (If I understand well)
- Notion for Instance management: if you think there is interest to leverage a single tool
- Google Document for files/document storage: including Commons as well as legal, financial records…

@Thomas just FYI Gitbook is not only use for software. The OFN handbook for example is documented on there as well. It’s the bible documenting our governance, processes etc across all our processes: Introduction - OFN handbook