What you need to know before migrating your company to Notion from another tool


Apr 26, 2024


Apr 26, 2024


You want to migrate your company to Notion… now what?

Change is the one thing you can always count on in business — whether it's welcoming new faces, adjusting to fresh management styles, navigating mergers and acquisitions, or embracing a new tool like Notion.

But before leaping into a company-wide migration to Notion, it's crucial to have a solid plan in place. After all, Gartner reports that 83% of all data migration projects fail, with over 50% exceeding their budget.

This high failure rate might be attributed to companies thinking that:

  • It's simply moving data from A to B.

  • Thinking that the current information structure will function the same way when transitioning from their old tool to Notion.

  • Assuming that migration is a one-time event rather than a continuous operation.

Over the past 4 years, our company has assisted a range of companies in migrating to Notion, from mid-sized teams to startups with 500 or more employees. Each migration is unique because companies come from different management tools such as Asana, Jira, Trello, Monday, etc. However, what remains consistent are the steps we take to ensure the migration runs as smoothly as possible.

  • Communicate the change

  • Plan the migration

  • Train your team

  • Post-migration evaluation

  • Continuous Improvements

Communicate the change

Before thinking about the migration process, the first step is to talk to your team about this change. Explain its reasons, outline the benefits, and discuss the process. This sets the tone for the entire migration and ensures everyone is on the same page.

Effective communication is a two-way street. It's not just about providing information but also listening to your team's feedback, concerns, and questions.

We recommend holding an all-hands meeting to update the entire company. Be sure to schedule it when everyone can attend and allocate enough time to discuss the migration in detail.

Structure your meeting in different segments like:

  • Reasons for the migration: Explain why the company is shifting from the previous tool to Notion, citing added features, cost-effectiveness, or better alignment with the company’s workflow.

  • Notion benefits: Showcase improved collaboration, task organization, or project management compared to the previous tool.

  • Migration process: Offer a brief overview to prepare your team for the coming weeks or months.

Get our Notion migration announcement template here

Plan the migration

Assemble your team

Start planning the migration by determining who will help you with this big task. After this, define clear roles and responsibilities for everyone. Here are a few you should consider:

  • Migration lead: Appoint a migration lead to oversee the entire process, coordinate efforts, communicate with team members, and ensure progress.

  • Team leads: Assign department leads as primary contacts. They'll collaborate with the migration lead and offer department-specific insights.

  • Support team: Identify team members who will guide others in getting the hang of Notion, offering help, and sorting out any worries during and after the migration.

This support team can change depending on the size of your company and when you'll be migrating to Notion.

Get our migration team template here

Identify what needs to be migrated

Not all data or projects from your previous tool need to be transferred to Notion. Identify active projects, relevant data, and crucial tasks requiring migration.

Begin by reviewing your previous tool. Look closely at every project and document and determine if it should be moved to Notion. Consider the relevance or age of the data or whether the project is still active. This step might take a while, but it's important. Plus, it's a great opportunity to tidy up company information and eliminate old or unnecessary data. Assign team leads to each department and get them involved in the review process (make use of our team migration template).

If you have a large team with multiple departments, consider utilizing an automation solution to export all your content into a spreadsheet or Notion database, then filter it by department for review.

Identify how you will migrate your data

Depending on the tool you're migrating from, the method will vary.

Internal migration options

Notion offers internal migration options with other tools such as Asana, Confluence, Trello, Monday, and Evernote. Each has its own way of migrating and limitations.

For example, when importing data from Confluence, you should do it all at once to retain the correct page links within your documents. If you do it per team/section, you’ll run the risk of the links in documents not working correctly.

External migration options

Another option for migrating your data is using automation tools like Make, Zapier, or N8N. These tools provide greater control over how you can migrate your data into Notion than the internal migration options, because you have the option of programmatically migrating your data by teams/departments and also the ability to update migrated content.

This varies on a case-by-case basis. Each automation tool and previous app you are transitioning from has its limitations. We recommend testing your previous tool to identify these limitations and create a database with your findings.

Train your team

In between building your Notion workspace and migrating your data, you also need to allocate resources for training your team. This is important to ensure your company adopts Notion well.

Begin by assessing your team's training needs to pinpoint the skills and knowledge gaps, or assign the support team you have for this task. This assessment will guide you in customizing the training program to suit your team's individual needs. Consider the varying levels of familiarity with Notion, how your company will primarily use the tool, and decide from there on the extent of training needed.

After this, decide on the type of training. This can be a combination of live training sessions, recorded video tutorials of Notion's official resources, written guides, or documentation. Consider your team members' learning preferences and availability when selecting the training methods.

Post-migration evaluation

Once the migration from the previous tool to Notion is complete, perform a thorough post-migration checklist to ensure a successful transition and address any remaining tasks or issues.

Data validation

Cross-check a sample of data from your previous tool with Notion to identify discrepancies, such as task assignments or missing details.

Documentation and knowledge sharing

Update internal documentation to reflect the transition to Notion. Provide clear guidelines and instructions for project and knowledge management, including best practices and customized workflow documentation.

Continuous improvement

Make it a habit to schedule a review every 3 to 6 months, looking for ways to improve and stay on top of Notion's updates. Incorporate and share any new tricks you’ve learned that would benefit your team.

And if you need help continuously improving your Notion workspace for your team or implementing a Notion migration, let's talk. Our team of Notion Certified Consultants is ready to assist you during this transition and beyond.

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