Help with project template and repeated tasks

Hello! I’m new to Coda and coming from Notion. So far, I’m super excited to be moving over, even though there is definitely a bit of a learning curve. I found Coda when trying to look for a better way to do some things in Notion, and it was clear that this is going to serve my needs much better.

I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at templates and community articles and I just haven’t been able to wrap my head around project management templates. From what I understand of Coda templates, is that I would be generating a new table each time, but I want the tasks all in my mater task database.

I work for a nonprofit as a recruiter, and I plan events to invite people to join our non profit. Therefore, most of my “projects”, though not all, are events with the same set of tasks each time. In Notion I had a page template that held all my tasks. I would have to drag and drop all the tasks into the task database each time a new event was created. This is one of the bigger pain points that I’m trying to solve with Coda.

I would like to have a template for events that will allow me to create all my tasks for an event at once, and have the correct properties assigned (project, due dates based on number of days away from the event date, task hierarchy, phase/milestone, references, ect)

My current Coda setup has school districts separate from all other locations, but I think this is mostly from lack of knowledge when originally setting up my Notion. Any suggestions on how to combine this data? Would this be a column button with a formula map and a button to press all those buttons? That’s the best I’ve been able to come up with from reading the forum. I also have separate contact tables for internal and external contacts, because I have contacts pulling in from the google pack. I have the same concerns for my Events DB and Projects DB. Any ideas for combining these (or thoughts on weather or not it should be combined) would be greatly appreciated.

Another pain point that I had in Notion, was the way I was recording interactions. While this is partly the fault of my own design, I couldn’t figure out a quick and easy way to record interactions and have them attach to the project I was working on and the person I was working with. I imagine this can be solved in Coda with buttons. I ask the same questions to several different schools during the event planning process, so I would like to figure out how to include this template in interaction notes when I create a new interaction.

In Notion I had a template that I could use every time for these conversations that acted as a call script, but it didn’t connect back to an interactions db, so after an event is over that information is just kind of lost to the old project page instead of linking back to the appropriate record. Definitely not a great way to nurture relationships!

The Daily Log page I have setup automatically extracts tasks from the entry and adds them to my todo list. I can’ t figure out how this works for the life of me. I can’t seem to right click and get more info either. I would like to know how this works so I can also mark questions and ideas to be added to a table other than tasks.

I haven’t been able to get a good idea on how to handle repeating tasks either. I would there to be a log of each time a task is completed so I can track my habits and routines.

I would love it if you would also take a look at the current structure and setup of my Doc, and make any suggestions on design or structure. I want to set myself up for success from the beginning.

I’m currently working on adding associations/relationships for contacts instead of connecting directly to the organization, but that’s probably going to take awhile with all the contacts I have. I’m not quite sure how to automate this.

Can someone tell me how to remove brackets from empty search results in a cell? (See relationships column in organizations. This seems to happen when my connection isn’t quite right, but I can’t seem to figure it out every time. I’m getting little red tringles in the corner of some of my cells too (2022 targeting in Cities DB) and I’m not sure how to troubleshoot, or if I need to since it seems that it’s providing the correct data.

I would also like to know how to filter the options that a select list shows based on other selections made on the record.

There’s a link to my Notion setup to view a bare bones copy of what I use now for my event planning in Notion, along with a stripped down copy of my current base.

Sorry to bombard you with so many questions all at once. Thank you so much for your help. I appreciate your advice!

Hi Tanya,

Welcome to Coda! We will have to start a group of “ex-Notion” people…We are a growing bunch of people.

Advice that I always give people is to start gradually. There are subtle differences between Coda and Notion (and Excel, and everything else) that have a big influence on your design. Be willing to start over at least once, and you’ll get a doc that really sings.

On more practical things:
I like to keep things in once doc, and to use as few tables as possible.
I am currently building a new todo list for the competition that Coda has going on:

Hopefully it gives you some ideas.
There is one table with todo items, another with people/ contacts, and another with projects. The todo items has lookups to the people, and the projects. Currently I have a separate meetings table, but am planning to move it into the todo items table. The todo table has a todo type, whether it is a meeting, appointment or reminder, etc, so you can filter as needed.

The todo type meeting has a canvas column, with a meeting template that gets pulled in for every new meeting. This template has room to capture an agenda, notes and decisions. It also a view of an attendees table, with a lookup to the people table, and another view of the todo table - so you can enter any todos directly. I would suggest you consider using/ modifying the meeting template to record your conversations.

Similarly the projects table (once completed) will also have templates, one for each different kind of project. it will also have a view of the todo list.

With view you can then go to any meeting, any project, any typoe

I also did a doc right when I started Coda for a priest, that needed to be able to send out a few template emails. (For Weddings, baptisms, etc)

It is a bit of a hack, as I knew VERY little at that stage - but that is the beauty of Coda, it still did what was needed.

Specific answer to your questions:

It is from my “Quick Examples” doc:

The empty brackets typically occur when you have a column that filters another table, but the result is an empty list.

The red triangles shows that there is an “error in the specific cell”. Often you get it for non-numeric values in a number column. If you hover your mouse over a cell, it will give you a hint. In this example the message is " ‘’ is not a valid row reference. The formula in that column results in an empty cell, and Coda is expecting a link to a row in another table.

Repeating tasks can be a little tricky. What I have done elsewhere, is to have a button in the row that will create a new entry. E.g. for birthdays, once it is shown in my reminders, I click on a button that will add twelve months to the date. Alternatively, you can leave the existing row as is, and use AddRow() to create a new row.

Unfortunately I don’t have time to fully investigate what you are trying to do here. This sounds like the way Roam Research does things. My approach is different - I have a todo/task list, which I can filter to “Today” In there would be a task for each call, meeting or other activity that I need to do. As mentioned above, the row will have a canvas column with a template in which you can record details, including any tasks arising from the discussion/ meeting. And remember, the todo list table has lookup columns to the project, persons etc involved. You can then creates views hat will filter on that information.

Regards
Piet

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Hello @Piet_Strydom,

Thank you so much for your response. There’s a lot of good information here. I would love to have a group of ex-Notion people. They have a beautiful product, but Coda definitely has it beat when it comes to business processes and automation.

I tried to access your first doc, but it’s locked. Since this is your template for the current competition, I understand why you wouldn’t want to leave it open. If you share a copy with me I promise to keep it private. I wish I was ready to enter the competition, but I’m got a lot of learning to do.

Right now my meetings are importing through the google pack, but I would have no idea how to combine those tables. I currently record meeting notes in the Daily Log, which has a button in the calendar for this. I do really like this system. I’m not sure I would want to combine my meetings/tasks. What would be the benefits to that?

The canvas column populating a template isn’t anything I had discovered yet, and I wouldn’t have expected to be able to populate with another page. I’m very impressed. This doesn’t allow me to duplicate a task list from what I see. Am I missing something?

I can say that I looked at your doc that you made for the Priest before, but I don’t think I knew enough at the time to know what I was looking at. I even have it copied to my templates workspace but somehow didn’t come back across it when looking for examples for duplicating event tasks. I’m so glad you brought this to back to my attention. I really appreciate how well you explain things in your Start here section. I feel like this is the missing connection I needed right in this moment. If you were remaking this today would you still use buttons in a column and then a button to press all those buttons to automate the new template creation or would you find another way to do this?

On the Automated Event Tasks template, when I click the buttons on the Dashboard Add Pre Wedding/Baptism/Post Wedding take me to a different Coda doc that I don’t have access to. What is the purpose of routing to another base? What do these buttons do? Is it just supposed to take me to the page in the Coda doc?

When I click the add prewedding button I see where it is supposed to create the tasks, but I don’t find the new tasks in any of the tables I see. If I were to try to create something similar would I create a separate table for the event templates and another for event tasks?

Thank you for the showing me how to filter in the columns. I don’t know how I missed that.

This was all very helpful. Thank you so much for this information!

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Hi @steph

Is it possible to set up a group for ex-Notion/ Notion-and-looking people to congregate and compare notes?

Regards
Piet

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Hi Tanya,

I have not though about combining the two tables yet. My office is not on Coda yet, just me. SO I manually integrate. There are not all that many meeetings for me in any case.

Could you explain a little bit more of what you mean? What I have on the meeting template page, is a view of the task list, filtered by that meeting.

Combining the meetings and =tasks gives you a single list of date driven “things” to manage.

ABSOLUTELY NOT. I have found the RunActions() formula in the meantime, which allows one to execute several different tasks one after the other.

Oops. It is supposed to go to the task list in the same doc, and make an entry there. I must have used absolute references when I built the doc, and when I copied one for the public it retained the links tot he old doc. I will need to put that on the list to fix. Thanks for letting me know, that doc has been copied many times, and nobody pointed that out to me before.

I’ll retest that doc towards the end of the month, just a little bit busy with other things at the moment.

I am glad that it is useful, it make it worthwhile for me.

P

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I don’t understand how this is duplicating, rather than populating what’s already in the table?

Do you have an example of this in use that I could look at? If not it’s okay. Just knowing the direction to look helps a lot.

Thank you so much for all your help!

Hi Tanya,

I do not understand what you mean with duplicating the task list? Do you want to have a template of tasks that you can copy in for a new event/project/ occasion?

What I would do there is create a table with your template of tasks. Add a button(s) that will select the tasks, or a subset of them, and copy them to your task list.
And to do that, you could use the Formula map which I have just had explained to me by @Martin_Portevin, @Scott_Collier-Weir, @Xyzor_Max and @maria. Thanks all!

And here is a very simple example of runactions(). But it is the pattern, and you can string together as many formulas and actins as you want to. So what is in the individual buttons in my old doc, I would now string together in a single button with runactions()

Both the examples are from this doc:

Rambling Pete

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If you need help with FormulaMap() I’ve written an in-depth tutorial you can see here!

It walks you through the formula from a basic standpoint but then takes a more deep dive with practical examples as well

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Hey @Piet_Strydom,

What you describe here is exactly what I’m looking for. So with using the Formula Map I don’t have to create for buttons in the tasks in a column?

Thank you so much @Piet_Strydom and @Scott_Collier-Weir for the resources. I’ll start looking into these now.

Thank you!

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Hi Tanya,

Yes. Like I used a button to copy odd numbers to the odd table, you could create a button that will copy your template tasks from a task template table to your task list.

Regards
Piet

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这是一条提问。这是一条提问。这是一条提问。

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Nihao Yunjie

欢迎来到科达! 我希望你觉得它有用。

这是一个答案。 :wink:

Sheshe
Piet

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