Grouping and Select Lists

It would be great if there was a mode where grouping a table by a column who’s format type is “Select List” would allow you to see rows of that table in every Group where a given item from the “Select List” is select. Or perhaps there’s another approach to what I’d like to see…

For example… consider I have a table called “My Stuff” and it has a column called “Categories” which is a column with a “Select List” format and allowing multiple selections. Consider I have these items in the table

Item 1, Categories = A, B
Item 2, Categories = B, C
Item 3, Categories = C, A
Item 4, Categories = A
Item 5, Categories = C
Item 6, Categories = (none)

When I create a view of this table, and group by the Categories column, I get groupings like this:

Group: A, B … Item 1
Group: B, C … Item 2
Group: C, A … Item 3
Group: A … Item 4
Group: B … Item 5
Group: (no categories) … Item 6

What I’d like to see is:

Group A: Item 1, Item 3, Item 4
Group B: Item 1, Item 2, Item 5
Group C: Item 3
Group (no categories): Item 6

Further, I’d like to be able to move items between the Groups to be able to add that category to the item, e.g. move Item 6 to Group C would add “C” to Item 6’s Categories, or moving Item 1 to Group C would add “C” to Item 1’s Categories. If I moved an item to the Group for those with no Categories, it would clear the Categories field.

Is this possible? is there a better way for me to set this up?

Edit: Because my list of Categories is dynamic, I’d rather not setup separate views for each Group (by way of a View and a Filter where Category = A, etc.) as I’d constantly be having to add another View every time I add a new Category.


Oh my goodness yes! I almost always want grouping to work this way as opposed to the way it is now. It is something we’ve talked about… someone else should chime in but I’m not sure when we are planning on getting to it.


I’m open to better / different ways of solving this problem if you, or anyone else, has any ideas. Thanks!

That is the way Lotus Notes grouping (they call it categorizing) works. And since you could create formula columns in views I think you could get it to also work the other way if you wanted. Probably how the Couchbase document database works as well since it was originally built by an ex-Lotus person. The second case is pretty desirable (as the default?), especially if formula columns in Coda make the first case possible as well. But depending on your app they are both useful under certain scenarios, i just always found the 2nd one the poster desires the more useful myself. To be clear Lotus Notes didn’t do the drag and drop scenario the original poster outlined but I would expect Coda would. Airtable does it the first way and I find it very annoying as well.


You could do what you want with custom formulas/filters but it would be much nicer if it “just worked” dynamically when you add new groups.

Do you have an example of how you’ve worked around this? Thanks

Sorry for bringing up this old thread but I didn’t want to open a new one for the same topic. How is the current status of fixing this issue? I’m struggling with this now, too. I created a week planner where I write down all appointments, events and big tasks for each day of the upcoming week. One task (publishing a new blog post) is scheduled for every Tuesday and Thursday. However, it doesn’t appear under the “Tuesday” and “Thursday” groupings but under “Tuesday, Thursday”, which doesn’t really help if you have a board grouped by weekday.

Great question @Thomas_Robbs ! I just wrote a new help article on how to do this using a lookup from table column type, rather than a select list type:

We may end up building functionality into the select list grouping options to only show unique items, rather than unique combinations. But until then, this should help :smile:

CC @Stephen_Hood @Richard_Kaplan @Kriton_Dolias @Saskia_Bader


Thank you @justin - that is very helpful

Thank you @justin. It does provide a step in the direction of a solution, but I agree that the best solution is in the direction of extending the select list functionality to support showing unique items vs. unique combinations.

E.g. I’d like to be able to (using your example) curate the Movies associated with a particular Tag, e.g. removing a Movie’s association with a Tag, or adding the association, especially in the case of a newly added movie that hasn’t been Tag-ed yet. (see the “Further…” part in my original post).

Thanks again for the creative approach!

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Another vote for this feature here.

I’m not super sold on how dragging between groups would work in the original post, but… There needs to be three functions: (1) Adding it into a group. (2) Removing all values. (3) Removing from just one group.

The suggested pivot table technically works for displaying by group, but it removes many advantages of using groups. For example: I should be able to click, in that Movie Tags table, on each individual movie to open the record.

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Just did some playing around with this idea.

The problem lies in that Coda is unable to show the same row twice in a view. So to achieve this:

You really have to have two rows for item 1, two rows for item 3 and so on.

In short, one row for each combination movie-tag. So in theory the best solution is to have a big table for all combinations and then just make views from it. The caveat here is you lose many features like drag-and-dropping or using select lists.

I was able to create a semi-decent workflow to keep these features by using two separate tables, then running actions to sync the data. This is far from best practice, I still vouch for @justin 's method.

More explained inside the doc:

Very clever @Dalmo_Mendonca! Funny enough, the newest puzzle is related to this same schema:

Ha! Got a sticker! :wink:

@Dalmo_Mendonca great! Be sure to email your doc to :clap: