Automated Date Notifications

I’m just playing around with Coda and automations, to see if I want to make the jump from Airtable. I have set up a mini playground table to experiment.

I want to set up a database for some events that usually happen in certain phases/stages, and I want notifications a day before, say Phase 2 or Phase 4 starts. The Notification should say something like: „Tomorrow phase two of Event begins“ with Event being the title of the entry.

I’ve searched the forum and still cannot get my brain to understand this apart from Step One: Check Daily and that I’ll have to use Concatenate for the message itself.
(I’ve now even did something to the IF formula to cause False returns.)

I think I’ve figured it out with the use of the lookup formula. :tada: Now waiting for a final test run in the wild tomorrow.

On mobile so can’t view in detail rn, but one tip to make this easier to manage: make a view of the main table, called “things starting tomorrow”, and use the filtering tools to filter to just tomorrow’s events.

You can keep this table view on a hidden page, as it’ll just be used for the notifications.

Then in the automation you can reference the Things Starting Tomorrow table view.

You could even go so far as creating a named canvas formula on the hidden page that spits out the result of the concatenation. That way it’s easier to troubleshoot the concatenated message, and then you just grab that message and pull it into the automation.

Is it possible to do all this filtering and concatenation in the automation code? Sure! But something to keep in mind as you experiment with coda: don’t be afraid to do intermediate calculations in the UI. That could mean

  • instead of a very complicated formula in a column, make an intermediate column that takes care of some of the calculation. You’ll hide this column in your main views, but it makes your code easier to parse a year down the road when you come back to it, and also helps you troubleshoot cause you can see what the intermediate result is
  • creating multiple views of a table, often hidden, for referencing commonly needed slices of your data
  • splitting action logic into multiple buttons (buttons that press buttons)
  • canvas formulas (if you name them, you can reference the result of them elsewhere in your doc)

Thank you a lot for the suggestions.

I’d rather keep the UI ‘uncluttered’, however a hidden page with specific views and formulas for intermediate steps sounds like an interesting way to deal with automations. Guess I’ll have more to experiment over Christmas. :smiley:

(The Lookup solution did work and sent me notifications today. So, I’m happy with that and more excited for further experiments.)

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