Any hacks for more info in Calendar

Hey there,
I’m about 8 weeks thru creating a full project management / CRM / task / booking system for my small business. Its been a journey, and a tonne of folk have helped me along the way here - many thanks!
Today was actually a momentous day, as we moved the first part of the docs over to real use - just contacts, clients and a CRM.
Project management is close to working (its been a complex puzzle to solve!) but my producer here just threw a massive curve ball at me!
She was going through what I’d done with studio bookings - and she is very bothered by the calendar for the bookings.
She is used to looking at a full width full month calendar - currently inside notion.
We have 3 studios, and each has its own cal (and we also have an “all studios” view.
I’ve just cut out one of the days here with info thats not sensitive to show what she sees.
Screen Shot 2020-01-28 at 3.35.22 pm
Unfortunately, everything I’ve tried with coda calendars has come up short.

My only small hack to date has been concatenating a few rows - but even then its almost impossible to display anything meaningful given the thin width of each day in either month or week view (which is where we spend most of our time!)

Now has anyone here come up with interesting hacks to allow a better cal view? Does anyone know if there’s any plans by coda to improve the options? I was quite taken back by our producers response, but essentially she thinks its currently un-workable for her… which would throw a HUGE spanner in the works given the time investment in moving from notion to coda. (Coda has WAAAAY more to offer us in terms of other tools for the database / tables which I think far outweigh the negatives, but I’m also not the one using the system day to day!)

I would love to come up with something. Perhaps it will mean syncing to google cal? But this seems not ideal and fraught with issues as well…

The roll over info is great - but I kinda need all that info viewable in the calendar at a glance.

Any thoughts / options are very very much appreciated.

My current best thought is just using cards - but its very hard for the producer to see when we are busy / not with that view…so its not great.

Cheers! b.

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Yeah this is something I think Coda will need to address at the code level. You could use conditional formatting to add some color to inflect more information @Brendan_Woithe.

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You hit the nail on the head. Coda has done a ton on the database / tables front, but has a long way to go still in terms of formatting, display, etc… The only view that I have seen which comes close to what you are looking for is the detail view, which allows for customizations, multiple included tables, selecting which elements show up where, etc… Perhaps you could set it up so that day can be selected one the left and the view has all of the info you need? Not ideal, but maybe a workaround while Coda matures in this area?

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I’ve used detail view for pretty much all the other user facing views for this project. Its really been both a huge time saver and a great way of showing a bunch of info really easily. It just doesn’t quite cut it on the bookings front.
However - I will keep at it. I have a crazy idea that might not be perfect but might be enough to tide us over till cal view improves.

I just went back and looked at attempted integration with gcal from a week or two back, but the slowness of sync (using automations to detect changes etc) is never going to work here. Its another strange one to me… automation certainly doesn’t seem to pick up triggers fast / in real time)

Anyway - I’ll post back if I get anywhere further using detail view.

And in the mean while, will cross fingers and toes that improvements to cal view are coming.

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Does anyone know if there is a way to tell cal view to wrap the header text? If you look at the example in the first post, the title is cut off very early! If it could wrap, I could potentially put a bunch of info in that way. Would be a simple albeit messy work around

I’ve tried using character(10) - unicode for line feed, but it is ignored.
Indeed - it seems ignored in a lot of instances. While working on a detail view, I’ve also tried inserting character 10 into the description field to make it easier to read, but it doesn’t work at all.

In the detail view it looks like this (ignoring the line feed)

Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 12.53.56 pm

But in the table view it looks like this (the line feed works!)

Hmm this might be a good place to use format(). Create a template and then pipe in the values to create a larger block of dynamic text; then pump it in and see if it displays all the info you want. Char(10) and Char(9) come out well in format().

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Could you point me to a doc which shows me what you mean? i’m not sure what you mean by “Create a template and then pipe in the values”… Sorry - sure I’m just missing some terminology!

(Do you mean in-doc templates?)

Are you essentially saying use a separate place to try and get all the info together that I want to display… is there any reason I shouldn’t do it inside the booking table that I’m trying to display? I’m struggling to figure out how the template might help / what I’m missing.

I’m able to piece the bits together quite nicely in a column using just a long (but straight forward) formula…

Might your method allow me to format different bits in different colours etc (although colours do not show up at all in detail display (or is there a hack for this too?)

I think he means the Format() formula, which you can read about at the link. It explains the ‘template’ parameter.

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Many thanks! This makes much more sense than where my head was at!

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the format() formula is awesome and will help me a tonne. It doesn’t help with adding in line feeds into the selection of a table display.

Unfortunately another of my ideas isn’t working either - which is using the undocumented _color("#xxxxxx",“text here”)
It works in a table, but the color does not work in the lookup column (the menu I guess) of a table display. I’m just trying to get information to be viewed in a clearer way in this column.

Can anyone suggest other ways to get this column (menu) displaying info better?

I can confirm however, that using unicode character 160 as padding DOES work for formatting. Its not perfect, but I’ve been able to format it to look like this :
(The line feeds are not unicode 10 - they are just the result of some careful padding)

How are you using the non breaking space char(160) @Brendan_Woithe?

Here’s part of the formula to show whats going on.
Essentially, I know that the job number will be 5 characters long, so I just add enough padding to ensure that the next bit of info goes on the next line!
Screen Shot 2020-01-30 at 1.17.52 pm

So in this case, I’m saying the whole thing needs to be 20 characters. I’m in the middle of changing it up - from memory it was 34 characters to work properly with the display view.

There are downsides. Since this is the display column, using it for other views means it looks horrible.

I’ve gone back to working on a calendar view again… and using a bunch of colour and icons to represent information - since we only get 1 short line to communicate whats needed.

Screen Shot 2020-01-30 at 1.23.00 pm

So in this case, pencil for a pencilled (not confirmed) booking, or a smiley for confirmed (and tick for completed), microphone if it involves recording voice (we do sound for tv mainly), and people icon for if there are clients attending. Background colour shows which studio its in… grey, purple or light blue.

Unfortunately, when displaying 3 bookings at the same time, things get REAL tricky, and almost impossible to communicate. So I have filters to turn the different studios on/off etc.

TIP : I’m sure this has been covered here many times, but I discovered that the roll-over text is in the order the master table presents the columns. So I’m re-ordering that to help display the most important info in the roll-over before one needs to scroll.

Here I was thinking getting the underlying structure / logic done was the hardest part. Not at all - it getting a usable UI/UX thats the trickiest. Kinda opposite of notion… but the power of the formulas / automations / zapier integration is just TOO good to ignore!

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Oh - Another quirk I discovered has to do with using dates in formulas and formatting.
If a column ISN’T a date (ie, uses it within a longer display formula) it ALWAYS seems to revert back to MM/DD/YYYY - which is not what anyone in australia is used to. Its why in the formula above you can see I’m formatting date myself… its messy but it works.

Are there any other approaches to this?

I’m not sure if there’s a coda-wide solution to the date format (like a user preference), but you can use your newofound format() to modify the date display format on the fly.

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You can nest a format() in a format() fyi

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@Johg_Ananda thats exactly what I’m doing :slight_smile:

nice! I’ve gotten deep into format; maybe my framework would help you. In each doc I create a section _templates and use this table structure:

Then when you use format() you can ‘at’ the @task-info row, so use:

format(@task-info.template,first,second,third)

Keeps things very organized and easy! Good luck

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Oh I need to look into this some more. I feel like there’s a world of possibility / organisation that will really help me. Unfortunately I’m about 85% thru creating my doc system… it all works now (I think) but just struggling making it usable for others! UI and UX.
But this might help there too…

Any chance you could share an example with me… its sometimes much easier to figure things out that way?!

Thanks anyway for showing this idea!