3 open source alternatives to Notion, Fundraising news from Sema4 AI, Maybe, Nile, Job opportunities at Highlight, Oso, Giskard

Welcome to a new edition of Open Pioneers - your weekly update from the forefront of open source. Today, we talk about:

  • 3 open source alternatives to Notion - Appflowy, AFFiNE, Focalboard

  • Fundraising news from Sema4 AI, Maybe, Nile

  • Job opportunities at Highlight, Oso, Giskard

  • Meme of the week 🤡 (New category - thanks for the idea, Charlotte!)

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🔍 3 open source alternatives to Notion

“Notion” is one of the most popular search terms of my open source alternatives directory. It got about 80k page views over the last year.

And it makes sense. Almost everyone used Notion or similar tools at some point, and sometimes felt it wasn’t customizable enough. Also, do you want to trust Notion with all your personal and business data?

This makes it a great playing field for open source. Since there is not only one good open source alternative to Notion, I thought I would introduce three of them today: Appflowy, AFFiNE, and Focalboard.

GitHub stars growth of Notion alternatives


AppFlowy is the most popular open source alternative to Notion. The project is “an AI-powered secure workspace where you achieve more without losing control of your data”. Besides its beautiful note-taking features, Appflowy focuses on leveraging AI to keep your life organized. Additionally, the project’s app is available for all popular desktop and mobile operating systems.

Appflowy raised $6.4M in Seed funding, and its AGPL-3.0 licensed open source repository reached over 46k GitHub stars.


AFFiNE is the newest project out of these three Notion alternatives. The product includes a productivity workspace with fully merged docs, whiteboards, and databases. The UI is very close to Notion, which might make it easier for some users to get accommodated to it.

The startup behind AFFiNE announced $8M in Seed funding in February 2023. The project has over 26k stars on GitHub, and the core of the project is distributed under MIT license.


Focalboard is an open source, multilingual, self-hosted project management tool that's an alternative to Trello, Notion, and Asana. It helps define, organize, track, and manage work across individuals and teams. Noteworthy features include Kanban boards, customizable templates, team messaging, file sharing, and backup snapshots.

While the project was started by Mattermost, it’s been fully community-supported since the end of 2023. Focalboard has over 18k GitHub stars and is distributed under AGPL v3 license.

🦄 Open source startup radar

  •, a new AI startup, raised $30.5M in funding and acquired the open source automation startup Robocorp. Link

  • Nile, an open source platform for serverless Postgres, raised $11.6M in Seed funding. Link

  • Maybe, an open source personal finance tool, raised $1.5M Seed funding from OSS Capital. Link

💼 Work in open source

  • Founding Developer Advocate (Remote/US) at Highlight Apply

  • Head of Engineering (New York, US) at Oso Apply

  • Head of Sales & Strategy (Paris, France) at Giskard Apply

Not a fit for you? Check out more opportunities at

🤡 Meme of the week

Until next week,

Jonathan (@jonathimer)

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