Excel or Coda? Which is better?

Hi newcomers,

Welcome to Coda, I hope that you will also come to find Coda an extremely useful tool.

I don’t think that Excel or Coda are inherently “better”, they are good at different tasks. But there many things, including financial things, that you are doing in Excel, but which should be done in Coda.

In the beginning one of the most difficult thing for me was to get rid of the Excel patterns in my brain, and replace them with Coda patterns.

The doc below shows a random group of topics that are typically done in Excel, but can be done in Coda in more structured and secure ways.

Rambling Pete


I love the title. Enlightened people know that it cannot (nor should it) be answered without additional context. But the question itself is to be admired because we know many people who are just now becoming aware of Coda are asking this all the time.

Unfortunately, it is human nature to frame new concepts in the bounds of known (and deeply proven) concepts. Your comment crashes that party with provocative intent.

Reversing Polarity

Sometimes you have to forget what you know and try to re-imagine what you are doing. This is the deep takeaway from this post and I think it’s worthy of a deeper idictment:

There are things you are probably doing in Excel which should never have been done in the first place.

I see it often - Excel is the hammer and everything is a nail. Using Excel as the means to every end is far worse than using Coda for every imaginable purpose. Don’t read too much into my comment - I’m not suggesting Coda should be used for everything, but I am suggesting …

If there was a competition between running a business on Excel or running a business on Coda, Excel would finish second.

But to those wondering which is better - Coda is better for the same reason you’ll want a Swiss Army Knife if you are facing a multitude of different task types. Typically, as managers, educators, researchers, marketers, and just about every facet of work in a digital world - we need the Swiss Army Knife - Coda.


Yes. If I had to choose one of the two, there would be no thinking, Coda is the best.

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I always wince when it becomes so easy to wrap a tidy bow around the term “best”. I also feel trepidation when attempting to subjectively measure two products - one which I hold deep respect for and the other which I have great dependency for. I guess it’s the data guy in me that tries to establish reasoning behind conclusions, however obvious (to us especially) they me be.

Going into the hand-to-hand combat of business, a chart like this helps to quantify why we can so easily come to these seeming “no-brainer” conclusions. But they’re not really no-brainer decisions; we all have cached forward experiences that serve to elevate the conviction of our commitment despite the blink-like conclusiveness of our answer.

I’m sure I missed some key activities and welcome a deeper exploration into what serves such a decision well and in the best interest of all users trying to make this judgement call.


One of the few things i still use excel for (hoping coda adds this at some point), is quick sum/count calculations when highlighting a group of cells :grimacing: