Is Coda really a doc?

Hi Community,
first, let me briefly introduce myself. I work as freelance developer, I used all other products (and for those that knows it my prefered tool was the regretted IQ Tell). I tried : Clickup, Asana, Wrike, AirTable, etc. Yes, I am a fan of David Allen’s GTD methodoly, but I also want a tool to rule them all. So fo course I ended up to use Notion. That’s not the perfect and it’s limitations annoy me.

When I discoverer Coda few weeks ago, I was mind blowed. Basic things like choosing icons, condionnal formatting, colors, etc, etc. I was specially impressed by the formula editor, the graphs, etc, etc.

I played with tables, a lot, references, filters, etc. I wasn’t making a doc but instead manipulating data. Then as we can use charts, I made some (well a lot… :slight_smile: ). My disappointment started.

There is no way to really make a document. There is so few components, I exported my Strava logs and the table is fine, the graphs are perfect, I can display my FC Max anywhere with the formula everywhere. But… I want to have it in a card. The 1000px width is too low. Worst not full width separator line.

To make it brief : Coda is perfect for playing with data, making some todos stuff, ok, but I read here and there that this is a doc (and that the name means that), but have you ever try to make pages ? No data, just notebooks to keep references ? Well… It should be the initial use case and it’s not.

So please can you explain me why I am wrong ? Why have I this feeling about coda ? I see it as it was my calculator. Just a tool in my workflow. Whilst Notion is my source of truth. What am I understanding wrong. Does anyone use it to take note, I mean really serious notes ? With code, separators, etc. Not just one column note, something with some layout and components (like Airtable interface) ?


Everything in between

That’s what I describe Coda

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Personally, I primarily use Coda as a low-code tool for building internal productivity apps.

While I don’t use it as frequently for purely document-y stuff, I find it’s pretty functional for that use case:

  • docs with sections (“pages”) inside
  • writing unstructured, semi-structured, and structured data in the same place
  • some light layout control/components to help you organize that data (auto-generated table of contents on pages, recently-added multi-column support, code blocks, various table view types, etc)

However you should not think of it as a flexbile layout engine/document design tool/website builder. You have to be ok with the opinionated formatting choices that Coda has made.

So I would say it’s really great for notes, wikis, and business apps. But it’s not Figma, InDesign, or even Word.


I don’t plan to go that far, but notes/todo apps in the industry have defined a new layout model that is by block (I can mention : Notion, Clickup, Airtable, etc).

What I want is to be able to tap text on the flow. There is not even markdown support (which is supported by the community editor I am currently typing).

What you mentioned si totally what I feel : Coda is a low-code tool for building internal productivity apps. But I wouldn’t say it’s great for other than that.

Why should I be ok with the formatting choice since it doesn’t allow me to perform my work ? Did you try to put a background on H1 tag ? Zero padding, ugly stuff. That’s basic things like that I really want. It think that they have gone really far with tables, formulas. But the last mile is missing. The page, renderer, viewer, doc whatever we call it, is not at the same level

Well, maybe I am just not the targeted user. No problem.

Anyway thanks for taking time to answer.

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