Advanced users assemble!
I want to plan out what I want my doc to contain.
Pages, tables, views, columns, features…
How would you go about planning a Coda “application”?
Do you draw it out on a piece of paper?
Sketch it out in a whiteboard software like FigJam?
Regardless of how you do it, I would like to see some examples, so that I can get ideas on how to approach the planning.
There’s been a very similar thread just lately. I replied there:
I recorded a series on how to approach building complex docs here:
There’s a post that preceded the series — it features some best practices in text form (faster to consume but nowhere near as complete):
For building systems of connected docs I suggest using Sync Tables Pro instead of Cross-doc right away. I just gently launched it last week:
P.S. Sometimes I do some sketching but usually I just follow my best practices to build docs that can adapt to changes. You c…
Additionally, I started recording the “Making a To-Do” series. I kinda abandoned it (other higher priority things emerged like the Packathon) but the first video actually talks about planning out a setup. I published it for Patrons only — that’s one perk of my patreon, the fact that I share whatever I record there immediately but then it may never be published on the channel for everyone.
i always use a mind mapping tool like mindmup (but any tree graphing utility will do) .
(there is the maremaid pack by
@Leandro_Zubrezki and the svg-basted tool in coda by @Paul_Danyliuk. or you can use the miro pack that has a kinda mind-mapper tool.)
i map out the pages and subpages at the top level, with the tables and their columns below that and a seperate bunch of subtrees for views, dialogs and charts.
use color codes to distinguish the different objects; pages, tables, views, texts, numbers, dates, formulas, buttons, lookups etc.
this logically structured view is then easily communicated among collaborators and is included in the documentation. it then guides the building and testing process.
most mindmap tools let you collapse subtrees to show only the details you need at any one point.
its not a strict methodology (like UML or SSADM) but does impose rigor and structure on the design process.
i have used this for decades with my clients, for automating workflows in excel/vba, sheets/gas, etherium/solidity, salesforce/apex, and more recently with bubble, notion and coda.
so it has stood the tests of time very well. agile-dynamics has courses and tutorials on this, but honestly, its just common sense, not a hard science.
My short answer would be “Anything that works” With that I mean, use whatever works for you. (Like the best exercise is the exercise you will stick with…)
I am busy making a doc for back office automation, and I am using the doc to build the doc.
The following is an explanation:
Here is a link to the doc if you want to look further:
Ok this is some next level stuff, I don’t think I will be using a doc to plan/build a doc
However I am intrigued and would love to see the doc, but it is not viewable, so I requested access.
You gave me an idea to use a mind mapping software, there is one I used in the past and it’s great and free → MindMaster
, wanted to share it in case you find it useful.
Best mind mapping software is pen and paper IMO (or comparable devices)
Being tactile with your thinking is just so much more productive than typing it out or even scribbling with a digital pen and tablet.
I still fondly remember the time when I recorded this
FYI here’s a detailed explanation how the table calculates node positions (13 minutes, not so short). Hopefully it is clear enough and helps anyone looking to modify the chart for their needs.
[Coda trick: Mind map chart drawing algorithm]