The most typical use case for me would be for projects, which can be very diverse and require very different supporting information, that would belong in a page rather than a database cell. Some examples would be:
New product development project: We work with different sub-contractors, and we need to track different submissions by sub-contractors. I would typically track this in a table specific to this project (sub-contractor, date of submission, comments).
Choosing a new supplier: When assessing a new supplier, I would typically create a table with their pricelist, and calculations to set our own sales prices.
Competitor research: We might analyze the competitor’s products and compare them to ours. This data might be best described in a table specific to this project (Competitor product, Competitor price, Our product, Our price, Comments).
The examples I gave mention mostly being able to add tables, because that’s what comes to mind first. But other formatting options only available in pages (collapsible lists, checklists, images) would also be useful, and having rows as pages seems to be the most natural way to solve that.
Beyond projects, I could also imagine needing such pages for clients for example. So if we are working with a distributor, we could have some information about the other brands he is selling.
In the below doc I could really use something like that.
In generic terms, this doc allows somebody to automatically create a template of steps necessary to organise an event.
There is an EventTemplate, where for each EventType (Wedding, Baptism) a list of generic tasks are maintained. When a couple signs up for a wedding or baptism, an entry is made into the Events table. In the Events table there is a button that will push a set of buttons that will copy each task into the Tasklist. So the end result is a set of tasks in the Tasklist for the wedding, and where necessary, the task will allow the person to send an email with boilerplate text copied from Eventtype.
This is all done, and works. But the next step that I want to do, is to add a “complex” event to the EventTemplate, for example a fete. In this example, each task would be another Event, for example white elephant activity, or jumping castle activity.
I I could include a link to a page in the row that contains the details of the tasks, then I could capture details of the the jumping castle activity:
Pictures of the different tables from different suppliers
Contact details of the suppliers,
And might just include a “recursive” view of the original set of tables, that will allow Tasks like “email supplier for quote”, “Email to successful supplier”
Next “sub” Event could be a pulled pork barbeque
On the page for that event, I would then add a special table to record the names and times of people helping with the BBQ over the two days it takes to BBQ all the pork butts.
Here’s the universally applicable paradigm: any workflow comprised of units of long-form and/or rich-text documentation where each unit requires tabular or relational meta-data for automated or manual management. VIRTUALLY EVERY SINGLE INDUSTRY WOULD BENEFIT FROM THIS FUNCTIONALITY.
If the mission of Coda is to reimagine the workplace doc, then one thing that the current doc paradigm is sorely missing is the ability to holistically manage doc collections using structured meta-data (relational even better!).
How many times have you tried to organize or manage a collection of long-form/rich-text documents? It usually involves creating a list someplace – a text doc, a spreadsheet, a database. Each doc must be manually linked to that list. And manually kept in sync with that list as the doc collection evolves. And if you add doc meta-data to the process, then EVERY PIECE OF META-DATA must also be MANUALLY LINKED AND MAINTAINED IN SYNC. This is completely untenable. Even someone with mad programming skills would find it incredibly difficult to code something that automates this.
The ability to effortlessly link and sync any Coda object (doc, page, etc) to a row (relational meta-data) would elegantly solve this problem.
There are many thousands of use cases for this functionality. Pick an industry and drill down. THIS IS A HUGE HOLE IN THE MARKETPLACE.
What I should like to see for pages in general, the ability to control the page lay-out.
What do I mean with this,
Imagine the page is divided in 6 equal zones, 2 horizontal and 3 vertical (portrait layout), as basic sample.
In the background, there is a table that has for each such page, it’s name and 6 cells that “control” the content in each of the cells, to guarantee a standard lay-out for all of these pages.
A) For the page layout Imagine just a simple Excel table with A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3.
B) The “controller table” will be able to govern what and how each “section” is showing. Meaning
the layout is in a consistent way.
C) If we could make the it control if the menu’s are collapsed or expanded would be great
Imagine, you have build a template, used it 100 times and the circumstance change and the template is updated. Now you will have also to update the lay-out of each of these 100 pages created, as there is missing some relevant information
A) Through such a control table, you would be able to add the necessary updates and monitor the
progress in updating the “old” pages.
B) Although I do not understand the technology behind the scenes of Coda, I am quite sure that this info is available in one or the other form, it’s just not (yet) accessible
Like @Eric_Rabbath & @Ander are already addressing use cases for many businesses and as @Piet_Strydom mentioned also the more private events can be organized in such way.
The one that comes mostly in my mind is the “knowledge base” (KB). The biggest challenge is consistency of information, so users can fast orientate themselves and the builders can create a unified format all of the tool.
Even big players as Service Now do not offer this in their knowledge base tools. (As far as my knowledge goes)
Keep up with the great work, you are amazing Codans and Community Members.
This post is relevant to my usecase for pages as rows.
One of the things excluded from doc is that I’d like to be able to put views of tables (like “How Would You Rate This Meeting?” tables) inside of each page.
This would allow me to historically look at the meeting ratings of all my docs (and perhaps compare them against other page related metrics like “How Long Was This Meeting?” and “How Many Tasks Were Marked Completed?”).
Would this embedded page support all the features of regular Coda pages (text formatting, embedded objects, tables, …), or would it be a simplified version that would disable tables (and table-like objects like galleries, calendars)?
Notion allows nesting tables within pages to seemingly infinite depth, and considering tables in a layout of a row do not contribute towards the total object count, I doubt that the full feature set of pages will be enabled in these row “notes” field…
@loucadufault I would actually turn that question back on you: what would your expectations be around functionality, and why? I’d say, worry less about what’s possible and focus more on what you would actually use this feature for
@Coda_Zac Subfolders and subpages is something that has helped to lessen the need for this feature, but one example use case:
Meeting notes & history. When working on a product, it’s useful to have a meeting process page, and store all meeting notes in a table. A rich, free form cell type that can contain whatever may have transpired in the meeting, from images, to videos, to markdown (real markdown please ), is useful instead of having to use subpages. Same for the meeting agenda, allowing the team to put anything they want into an agenda is very useful (and then the agenda can get recorded away in the meeting history table along with the notes, date, items discussed).
Another important use case is simply product consistency and user flow. It’s jarring whenever the editor in a cell is missing features that are available in a page editor, like including images. I see the challenge however in terms of where to draw the line, e.g. the / command and everything it enables.
I think the intuitive expectation would be that all pages are equal and support the complete functionality set. However, I don’t think many users would be disappointed to see that tables (and table-like objects) are not supported in the embedded pages, as the use case for this would be quite small I would imagine.
Just having a section for text and simple objects would probably satisfy the vast majority of use cases (mine included). Tables in the embedded pages would be a nice-to-have, even if they are limited to not having embedded pages for their rows or some other limitation, but ultimately probably not all that used.
I will say though, if these embedded pages could be automatically created from a template (which Notion supports), then the value of supporting tables (and table-like objects) would drastically increase. It would make more sense to make use of tables in an embedded page if you did not need to recreate the table schema for each new page, but could instead just quickly populate a table created from the template.
Just wanted to bump this half a year later, and say that this remains the main limitation of Coda in my opinion, and the reason I have had to recommend Notion instead of Coda to a dozen or so people.
I personally mostly use Coda for organizing my university schoolwork, and although it is miles better than Notion (having used both extensively) for structuring the data and for automation and efficiency, I still find myself needing a way to embed notes from my classes into the cells of one of my tables.
I essentially have:
Semester 1 – * Course 1 – * Class
where each row of the Class table represents one instance of a lecture or tutorial associated with a course offering. I take notes for some classes, and would like to associate them with the class rows for later reference. The most straightforward way would be to have them directly embedded within the row, especially since Coda already offers a rich text editor experience (BTW this would be the one and only place I would ever use that experience). However, unlike Notion, Coda does not support this, so I find myself having to organize my notes externally from Coda, or linking to an online shared version of my notes which is cumbersome.
Most of my peer group would also use Coda for organizing school work and would have the same need to organize electronic notes. Although I would much rather point them towards Coda and share my doc as a template, I know that this limitation would effectively make the tool almost worthless for them, and as such I am forced to recommend Notion instead.
I have created the [Notion Like pages in Coda](https://Notion-like pages in Coda) to illustrate a technique that I use that (I think) gets very close to what Notion does with their page as field functionality. I think it is certainly better than trying to link to info maintained outside Coda.
I also show a method to maintain clickable definitions of words and phrases.
If a page has not yet been created, the button will display “Create page”, if the page was created earlier, the button will display “Goto page” or something similar.
Much more important though, this example does not capture a URL, but the page name. Therefor if the URL ever changes, e.g. when restoring to a previous version, then the page references will still work, whereas the URLs would take you to the previous version of the doc.