Any others trying to go "all in" with Coda & drop other tools like Jira, CRM, Wikis, etc.?

Hi,

I would very much like to get any feedback from others in the community intending to use Coda not as a way to create a one-off app or sorts, but as a full-on Project Management suite to handle all main operations - Issue Tracker (Jira replacement), CRM, Support (possible with Intercom Pack), Wiki/Documentation (not offered by Airtable for example), HR management, some finance such as tracking overdue invoices, light task management ala todoist. While putting together this entire set-up will require quite a bit of config, Coda seems powerful enough to handle all this. My main hang-up right now is the fact that unless I can get this all in one Doc, I will lose the ability to integrate amongst the tools because rows in tables, which will represent development tasks, bugs, etc, customer records, Work candidates, and so on, cannot relate to one another.

I would be very grateful to get any other feedback from the community on using Coda this way. Although the motto is “a doc that’s an app,” I am seeing Coda as an “all-in-one” business management solution given the flexibility, aside from the one hurdle I am having most difficulty overcoming which is the inability to link rows among docs.

Many thanks for any thoughts out there!

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I’ve built three tools so far:

  1. A professional services resource manager and revenue forecaster (forecasted hours per week on projects by each engineer. Shows soft spots in utilisation and rolls up to a quarterly revenue forecast)
  2. A resource forward planning tool (looking at sales opportunities coming down the pipe, scoring them by size, sales stage etc. and then provisionally assigning engineers. Helps justify to sales why key staff have been selected for project X, and not their project Y!)
  3. A services partner selection tool (given minimum competency in a particular product, region and industry, who amongst our partners could deliver a particular job externally).

They’re all in separate docs but they use common information (e.g. engineers, products etc.) These all have to be specified in each document, which is a bit of a pain.

I have two main issues:

  1. I can’t “lock down” the application structure whilst allowing access to its content, which means I can’t prevent people from accidentally breaking it. This is a huge problem AFAIC and I’m surprised that this vulnerability exists.
  2. I can’t share certain key data structures amongst multiple docs. This is less of an issue for me.

But it goes without saying that I’m finding Coda to be enormously exciting, and a lot of fun to use. :slight_smile:

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I am hoping to do this as well but hit a few stumbling blocks when I tried this a few months ago. These were:

  • Performance on larger databases is terribly slow, to the point a CRM app was grinding to a halt
  • Search was also affected which reduced the effectiveness of the app ( I believe this has since been improved)
  • Permission settings are not granular enough, meaning that everyone sees everything or nothing. I need some granularity to allow users to focus on what they need.

Coda are aware of the above items, and so I am hoping there will be some news shortly as we need to decide on a solution going forwards.

As you say Coda is very exciting, I just hope we are in a position to use it as our mini-ERP

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It seems to me that this thread will turn out to be very important one.

It is something else to build partial solutions which often looks very promising and it’s quite easy to get over excited or even agitated because Coda is fun and innovative, but to be able to implement the solution fully so that it meets the critical business requirements… that’s the place when problems and doubts arise in my opinion.

Templates that showcase the potential possibilities often aren’t enough when it comes to build something designed for many real businesses, still those are great sources of inspiration, to extract some building blocks for example.

Small businesses, personal use - yes, it works for sure as partial solutions are often enough and people can accept some mess, workarounds, inconveniences etc. as it is managable.
But the question is, and this thread in my opinion points to that clearly, whether we’ll be able to really go all in and what, let’s say, should we consider as the upper limit of our expectations in the future.
What’s more, all this issues look very interesting and important considering the new pilot program here:
https://community.coda.io/t/we-need-your-input-for-an-upcoming-program

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Well put Kris.

At the moment I think we are going to have to embark on doing something in GSheets and other pieces of software as Coda isn’t at the level required just yet - and it would be unreasonable to expect it can deliver it in the short term.

It has made massive strides already and some of the new functions look great - hopefully this time next year maybe.

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Really glad this thread topic was a worthwhile one!

After writing this, I actually almost ditched my plans to go as “all in” as I described in my post above, due to the current limitations of Coda ultimately hindering the effectiveness of the set-up I was trying to accomplish. In the end though, after really deeply testing two other “finalists” ALM/Project Management suites, I realized that these out-of-the-box solutions were unable to handle a lot of the custom stuff Coda can do. So I’ve made the power call, and going to bring my small (12 people) team over to Coda and try to manage all we do here!

As a follow-on to my original post and the great replies from the community, I wanted to share what I’m finding right now the three top items on my wishlist, which if released, would really provide a lot of benefit to me:

  1. Aforementioned inability to link across Docs. As I am moving away from Jira after many years (my team used to be larger), I do miss the fact that an issue can be viewed across the entire app, if permissions allow…and about permissions:

  2. Some basic permissions. I plan to set up several docs, and attempt a one-way API or Integromat sync to a master “Roadmap” Doc I will use to track the entire activity of my team at a management level. I have read a good deal about this in the community and hoping it will worked as planned! But a big help here would be the ability for me to have individual permissions inside a doc. That would ease some of the need to set up multiple docs, which can’t be connected, as I could limit visibility to part of a doc, and thereby build it out more. For example, I have freelance offshore web developers who I don’t want to see my financial (tasks about chasing late invoices, etc.) or HR info.

  3. Ability to lock down a doc. As I move forward, I have fears about docs getting “broken” by mistake. There is a will publicized article that talks about Coda in the context of some other new-age apps, and the author cites this issue:

I would think this is a relatively simple addition to the platform so hoping to see it soon!

and a PS on this article, the author ranked Notion ahead of Coda, but I dissent. Notion has a lot going for it, in particular the amazing design. But actually I find Coda easier to work with. As I tried to set up Notion, which I almost converted my team to instead of Coda, I found it was like a “war” - as the author describes working with Coda interestingly - to configure to get function I was looking for. Also IMHO, I have actually over time found that you guys have a superior wiki to Notion! Every piece of text in Notion is a block, and that becomes difficult when trying to write paragraphs, instructions, Product Requirements, all kinds of documentation. While I think the Coda document capability is limited right now, the fact that you can truly write free-form, embed formulas, etc. makes you guys actually better for documentation at the moment, at least that’s my take!

Really excited to be going full speed ahead now with Coda, and anxious to continue to engage here with this great community!

Cheers!

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How are you finding it?

Hey, so sadly, I have not been able to execute on this, largely due to the reasons I cited in the end proving too hard to overcome. There were also a lot of challenges to get Coda set up so my team felt comfortable with it, as they were used to tools with more typical UI set ups, think Jira, Asana, Wrike, even Trello.

I still think Coda is the most flexible tool out there and continue my efforts to adapt it, but for now, I’m still in a multitude of other tools, including the new wave of “Product Management” apps such as Productboard, Aha, Prodpad, etc. that Coda also can easily match with its flexibility.