By Jorim Theuns, July 22, 2023
For a while we didn’t need a blog, but over time we’ve accumulated some stories worth sharing. I looked around for an elegant solution, and settled on Notion!
Many of you may have blogs or write blogs, and some of you may have used Notion before. At Dembrane we have chosen Notion as our internal information management tool, and while it’s not perfect, I’d rather have one generalist tool that forces us to keep things simple than use many specialist tools and risk information spreading about everywhere. It doesn’t work for everything, but as a principle it gets the job done.
Why write about Notion? Well I was shopping around for an elegant way to set up our blog so that anyone in the company could write, edit, spellcheck and the like, and I wasn’t really happy with the feature bloat of other solutions. Writing in Notion is a great experience, and, well, it didn’t take very long for me to realise that Notion could be used as a content management system.
Website builders like potion.so and super.so use Notion as a CMS like this, and while they are pretty great, I wanted more customisability. For example, you may have noticed a pattern of dots on our website that evolves over time. It is a mini ecosystem simulation that I created during my masters in Information Design: It’s the perfect metaphor for the kind of collective intelligence that we advocate at Dembrane. I wanted that simulation persist on every page.
Our site happens to be built fully custom with Next.js (Trust me, I’m having fun). After poking around a bit, I found the perfect piece of open-source software that would allow us to write our blogs in Notion and publish them with a single click, without leaving Notion. (All hail open source) 🙏
With a little bit of set up and debugging, we now have a fully featured CMS for our blog inside of Notion, and anyone can trigger on-demand builds of our blog whenever there’s something to update.
Why does this matter? Due to static site generation, our website is super fast and responsive, and because search bots can read our site really easily (because it’s all rendered and cached on the server) our SEO is much better than if we would have used Wordpress or something similar.
All in all I’m very happy. My team gets a fully featured CMS tool with all the ease of use and functionality of Notion, and I get to keep my cool mouse following dots simulation.
Thanks for reading!