Am I crazy or does Coda have much better design than Notion? (and a lot else?)

Genuine question.

I remember hearing of notion a long time ago, but for whatever reason it just didn’t click or stick with me.

When I found Coda it was like discovering some weird cheat code. Anyone else have this experience? Maybe this is a biased place to be asking this question.

For example, to me the design of Coda, like visually, is just on a different level. I get excited to use Coda for basically anything. I’ve never felt that inspired to build something on notion.

Notion seems to have more mass adoption, and gets mentioned more often everywhere else. I’m confused as to why Coda doesn’t have a bigger cult following.

Am I crazy or does Coda just click for my personality or brain type or something?



I hear you and felt very much the same when I discovered Coda 8 months ago.
I still think it’s an amazing platform with some really incredible potential.

There are some quite frustrating restrictions and limitations mainly (for me),

  • Cross-doc, i.e. syncing tables between docs - It’s one-way sync only, which becomes very limiting in terms of using it for what you really need it for, and it is clunky and slow.
  • Granular viewing and/or editing permissions - They do not exist at all
  • Limitations on the number of rows - It’s not a definitive number but over 15k and heading to 20k is about it I would argue
  • Speed of loading and use in larger docs - It’s still usable but it’s not great
  • Mobile app - It’s really still pretty much a web wrapper and it bluntly does not support (i.e. immediately crashes) with larger docs.

I know all the above sounds very negative, but that does not reflect how I feel about the platform - Compared to the competition it’s so far ahead in power and flexibility and I sing it’s praises to anyone who’ll listen!
I just think it’s helpful to have a balanced perspective on all the great things it can do and it’s current limitations.


I found Notion first, and found it really interesting at first, but quickly ran into limitations. I can remember filtering was a pain - no ability to use AND or OR.

Then I found Coda. I used the two in conjunction for a while, until I needed to build something relatively serious. And I struggled a lot in Notion. Then I tried the same thing in Coda, and it was a breeze. I have not looked at anything else since.

Notion was the first mover, and so has a time advantage. But Coda is also heavily focused on the corporate world, so I think not as active in promoting to the mass market. I prefer to work with small businesses, so I do hope it takes off in the “mass market” as well.



I cam here basically to write this, now I don’t have to :smiley:

Especially Cross-Doc (which is really pain and bothersome to use and has many limitations, especially when you compare it to competition, like Notion that was mentioned) and granular permission (again Notion comes to mind).

On the other hand it does have very powerful and much easier to use Formula Language + implementation with buttons that make it really flexible, and platform that you can use to make many things. I just wished they improved on permissions and cross-doc as it forced you to make many compromised and overly-complicated solutions for something that should be really simple.


I found Notion first and at first I did like Notion’s visual elements a little more on some things. Their column layout on the canvas was better and the ability to make sub columns in their column layout and how you could have a table with pages in the table.

But then I found Coda and Coda’s tables took Notion completely out of my options. I don’t like the layout of the tables in Notion how when you edit a row, you see all the “properties”. I cannot tell you how many people I built a Notion doc for and they would edit the column’s title rather than the actual data in the column. UGH. I did like how the views for Notion you could have multiple on one page I kinda like that still.

But…being able to use truly relational tables (which I don’t feel like Notion does very well) is what was the turning point for me and Coda just keeps getting better. And when I found Notion they didn’t even have an API yet and Coda already had many packs available. Another selling point.

I honestly don’t know why Notion still has such a following. I feel like if you don’t need a lot of fancy tables then maybe Notion is a good fit but if you are data heavy and like tables, then I just don’t think Notion looks as well.

I’m with you though. I LOVE my Coda docs. It’s silly but just having those pictures on the top of pages makes me happy to use the product. And the ease of automating things, pulling stuff together is just the icing on the cake!

And Coda support has been the best support I’ve ever received in my lifetime of working with IT companies!


@Evan_Price1 I’m curious what size doc you find crashes on the mobile app. I think I have a pretty good sized doc and it doesn’t have any issues with the mobile app. So I’m wondering how large is large?

Hey @Susan_M_Davis
The doc in question has 250 tables and 8700 rows in all those tables, and I think about 80 pages…I would love to have it a lot smaller but that’s kind of impossible when Coda does not allow 2-way cross-doc sync - i.e. We use it for work management (like everyone else), and we want to do our work management amongst the work itself while also having access to our contact data (well now a subset of it), and that makes for an ungainly doc until Coda can make a 2-way sync…I’ve heard rumors this could be in the works, but I have no hopes of it arriving any time soon.

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Someone was building a pack to do 2 way cross docs. It is either @Paul_Danyliuk or @Scott_Collier-Weir but I don’t recall which one. Check the Gallery packs and see what’s new.

You can also look at webhooks.
Scott and Christiaan have packs for that.

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