Microsoft Launches Loop Web and Mobile App: First Look and Comparison with Notion

April 4, 2023
11 min read

What Is Microsoft Loop? Which Business Pain Points Does It Solve? Why Do We Need It?

Microsoft Loop is a new Microsoft 365 App that combines a flexible canvas with portable components using the Fluid Framework that stay in sync as the components move freely across selected Microsoft 365 Apps. Content of Loop components stays in sync and components can be embedded into different Apps like the brand-new Loop web application. Fluid Framework is a software technology created by Microsoft that allows different people to work together on the same document in real-time, no matter where they are located. It enables collaborative creation and editing of content like text, tables, tasks, polls, and graphics in real-time. Loop helps you organize everything you need for your project into a single workspace and even does the searching for you to kick it off. It solves the business pains of having fragmented and siloed information, tools, and many different Microsoft Teams. Sometimes we collaborate with colleagues, customers, or partners on a short-term basis where it does not make sense to create a dedicated team in Microsoft Teams, create a new OneNote, start with new SharePoint document libraries, etc. Loop is a short-cut for this kind of short-term agile (currently internal-only) collaboration. External users do not have access to Loop content.

Loop is a simple project management tool with a UX *very* similar to Notion. Its approach is to build flexible project pages with tables, overviews, voting tables, progress trackers and many other elements.

Screenshot of elements that can be used in Loop pages including tasks, tables, lists and dividers, plus templates for tasks lists, voting tables and progress trackers.
Figure 1: Selection of elements that can be used in Loop pages. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

Everything is broken down into components that can be used throughout other Microsoft tools like Teams, Word Online or Outlook. You are then able to add things to these new Loop web pages while staying in the app you got the component. These pages can be accessed via or using the Loop Mobile app. They are available in context like Teams Chats where you would create and edit Loop components.


Creating a Q&A within an Outlook email
Figure 2: Creating a Q&A within an Outlook email, which is easy to paste later into a Loop web page. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

A common use case for Loop is a project planning overview. The tool most people would use is OneNote. The advantage of Loop is that Microsoft has templates for the pages inside of a project like “project planning” or “product wiki.” Instead of plain text with some tables, you will get a fully flexible site inside of a project. You can move every element / line inside of the project and change styles easily.

If you are already familiar with Notion, then it will feel like home.

Screenshot showing the Loop Template Gallery with ten templates available.
Figure 3: Loop Template Gallery. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

Short History of Loop in 2021-2022

Microsoft Loop was officially announced on November 2, 2021, as part of the Microsoft 365 app. In 2022 we could work with Loop mostly in Microsoft Teams contexts like Chats but also in Word documents. The approach is to keep the UI (user interface) very slim and to provide elements for the user on the go or just with the input of a slash (“/”).

How Can I Start with Loop Web and Mobile App?

Loop is available in Public Preview since 22nd of March 2023 and can be accessed at after running a PowerShell command and adding a new Cloud Policy in for a dedicated security or dynamic group. Find more here. Then you should also be able to download Loop Mobile in your Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Now you have a fully working app that already has some templates and components implemented. You can build pages and sub-pages for your specific needs and you can also share them with your team (internal only for now) and get feedback.

Loop Copilot

The vision of Microsoft Copilot is to use large language models (LLMs) and your data in the Microsoft Graph to turn your words into powerful productivity tools. Copilot can generate images, video, code, and more based on your text input. Copilot aims to help users across the development life cycle with AI assistance and is going to be embedded all over Microsoft 365. AI-powered summarization capabilities are going to be added to Copilot soon, which is helpful to understand longer Loop content easier. Loop Copilot cannot be enabled now; it is still in limited private preview.

Preview screenshot of Loop Copilot with AI
Figure 4: Loop Copilot with AI. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

Loop Jumpstart Workspace

Loop Jumpstart within can be enabled within the settings of a Loop Workspace and is supported by AI recommendations to add relevant files from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – stored in OneDrive and SharePoint – into your Loop Workspace. What about Loop components? Yes, they are first class citizens in Jumpstart as well. File suggestions are based on the name of the workspace. Keywords can be added to fine tune these recommendations.

Screenshot of the Loop Jumpstart with AI suggestions for your Loop Workspace
Figure 5: Loop Jumpstart with AI suggestions for your Loop Workspace. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size


Make sure to enable Jumpstart Workspace in your Loop Workspace Settings under “Experiments” – next to Copilot.

Enabling Loop Jumpstart workspace in Loop Workplace Settings
Figure 6: Enabling Loop Jumpstart workspace in Loop Workplace Settings | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

Comparing Microsoft Loop with Notion

You can easily guess that Loop is deeply inspired by Notion and other productivity tools.

The page structure is similar and both tools support sub-pages as a form of structuring your project.

As Loop was freshly released, it is missing some page design features that will hopefully be added soon like collapsible headings. The most crucial difference I noticed was the integration of databases and third-party applications, which I’ll discuss below. It is the mass of different tools which startups use that makes Notion such a powerful tool. On top of that is the community factor with custom templates and tutorials for custom functions, third-party integrations, etc. Many internal integrations within the Microsoft ecosystem like Power Automate and Power Apps are missing. Yes, you can argue that there is an integration with Teams Chats, Word Online and Outlook, but the experience is not very consistent: you see a different choice of options depending on which context you are in when creating Loop components. It can be difficult to remember where to create which component, for example, to start a poll or progress tracker.

Loop Templates and Marketplace

These ten templates are currently available in Loop (26th March 2023)

Screenshot of the Loop templates by Microsoft. This shows the Project brief template.
Figure 7: Loop Project brief, one of ten currently available templates. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

Notion has been in the market since 2016 and has already built an impressive marketplace and store which can be used for monetization. When I had the first look at the Loop templates, I thought about a favorite question from many customers: “When do I use which tool? When should we use Loop for issue tracking and when does it make sense to use Microsoft Lists – which also offer various templates?”

Databases in Notion

One key reason that smaller teams use Notion, besides their minimalistic approach, is the possibility to endlessly create, modify, and edit databases. The database entries can then be easily transformed into pages and then you can also add content there.

I use a database for my videos where I have all my video ideas, equipment I need, deadlines, and editing status. This is how I can keep track of my progress and never forget interesting ideas.

If Microsoft integrates SharePoint Lists and other databases into Loop like Notion does, it can be a game changer. For example, imagine syncing tasks directly from Todo or syncing databases from List directly into Loop. Currently Loop users need to create new Loop components; they cannot re-use existing objects from SharePoint Lists, ToDo or Planner. This could have a negative impact on usage and adoption because users already created these content pieces.

The advantage comes with styling options to customize your pages for your team and having all important tasks, databases, and information in one place without losing track.

Storage of Loop Elements and Objects

Loop is currently not connected directly to file storage like OneDrive and SharePoint (hidden Site Collection which cannot be accessed directly) where you can drag and drop files into it. I can copy and paste files, but they are not rendered yet. In a Loop page, documents stored in OneDrive or SharePoint can be accessed via @mention. The documents are inserted into a Loop component like we know it from Teams chat or channel conversations.

Screenshot of the preview experience of Loop components.
Figure 8: Suboptimal preview experience of Loop components within a Loop page. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

Currently it only works to paste images from your clipboard into Loop.

Loop components and pages can be found and filtered directly in, which is a very prominent place and in a user’s OneDrive (only the canvas is opened, not the real page).

Screenshot of Loop components filtered on the Office Home page.
Figure 9: Loop components can be accessed in on the Home page. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

Christoph Twiehaus dug deeper and found three layers of storage: 

1st level:

  • Loop components initiated in Teams are stored in the Microsoft Teams Chat Files folder.
  • Loop components initiated in Outlook are saved in the Attachments folder.
  • Loop components initiated in Word Online are saved in the Word Loop Files folder.

2nd level:

  • OneDrive of the creator stores Loop components as well, next to storage levels in the 1st level (above). While this looks like an unnecessary duplication, this can be very useful for governance purposes as highlighted by RD and MVP Christian Buckley.

3rd level:

  • Welcome to the world of canvas, a file with the extension “.fluid.” If a Loop component has been created in Teams, Outlook or Word Online, it can simply be pasted into one of the other apps via clipboard.
  • Loop and Whiteboard? You can also paste Loop components in a Whiteboard; you cannot create new Loop components. There is no support yet for Microsoft Teams Rooms Whiteboards.

Notion wins here with advanced previews of documents.

Loop wins with strong OneDrive and SharePoint storage layer with enterprise-ready security, compliance, and document management capabilities. What we are still missing are better previews and rendering, as mentioned above.

Can Loop Be Compared to Notion? Is Loop Better Than Notion

I would say partly. Loop’s design is very familiar if you have used Notion; you’ll have a very fast and short learning curve. Notion is an all-in-one workspace solution and has its own flexible database structure with customizable properties and views. But it’s a standalone platform and may not integrate with other platforms, particularly with the Microsoft ecosystem.

That’s what Loop is built for. It combines the best aspects of minimalist workspace tools with its flexible site approach. It will be very powerful when database integrations (Dataverse, SharePoint Lists) and all kinds of Microsoft 365 tools are released and is therefore currently more of a workspace planner.

The real beauty comes with AI integration like Copilot where Notion AI is “only” focused on completing content. In comparison to Notion with its focus on small businesses and startups, Loop is clearly focused on organizations that use Microsoft 365 every day.

With the integration of Loop components into Teams, Outlook, Word, and Whiteboard, Loop can be more powerful than Notion inside of an Office environment. Then it would not be just another workspace tool, but a tool for everyday use which is a significant help. Loop is less expensive than Notion if you already own a Microsoft 365 subscription or free Personal Microsoft Account (e.g. using, although Notion has a free plan for personal use and paid plans for teams. If you need SAML SSO, private team spaces, and want to invite up to 250 guests, you will pay US $15/user/month for Notion.

Find out how Loop components – the secret sauce of Loop – can be used, integrated, and embedded into your existing Microsoft 365 infrastructure. That’s the strongest unique selling point (USP) of Loop so far. But Loop has just started. It will improve.

Loop Teams Outlook Word Whiteboard
Bulleted List                              Available                             Available                                                            inserted as copy
Checklist Available Available Available inserted as copy
Numbered List Available Available   inserted as copy
Table Available Available   inserted as copy
Voting Table Available     inserted as copy
Paragraph Available Available   inserted as copy
Q&A   Available   inserted as copy
Task List Available Available   inserted as copy
Poll     Available inserted as copy
Progress Tracker     Available inserted as copy
Agenda   Available    
Image Available  Available  Available  inserted as copy

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Ragnar Heil

Ragnar Heil

Ragnar is a Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Microsoft 365 Office Apps and Services. He works at Rencore as a Global Director of Partners and Alliances. Together with MVP Alexander Egger, he hosts the “Alex & Ragnar Show,” a bi-weekly Video Live Stream about Microsoft 365 Hybrid Workplace. Ragnar is a blogger and podcaster, headset geek, and core-member of Viva Explorers Community. He has an M.A. in Social Science and an Executive MBA, and has also published several books and articles about modern work.