Reciprocal links auto-generated with @mentions

Hi, not sure this is already out there, but I am really missing the automatic reciprocal links to entities in Coda when I use an @mention to reference a section or row in Coda. This was a functionality that was extremely useful in my use of Confluence/Jira, which I am moving off of in favor of Coda.

One use of this would be in meetings. I frequently want to reference an item anywhere across Coda, not just from one table, so @mentioning is a superior way to reference vs. lookup tables, which limit to just one table. I plan to build out Coda for my growing software development team for things like CRM, HR management, content calendar, and of course engineering. So in a meeting we may reference anything from those topic areas, which are in various sections and tables in my Coda set-up.

I would even take this a step further and lobby for a row to be pulled into a table that is being viewed, perhaps a “virtual” table that would just be a group of collected rows via @mentions, but that could be edited in one area, in my case in this meeting note.

If additionally the comments box could be accessed via these rows, then it would be very easy for a team to quickly discuss key items from across Coda, and write into the comments their decisions as they happen. I think note-taking in meeting, in a way that doesn’t kill meeting flow, is a big pain point for a lot of teams.

Thanks for considering guys and keep up the great work, you are exceptional and count me in among the first paying customers, you deserve it!!

3 Likes

Hey, I wanted to follow-up here as this seems the best place to post about this:

I have been posting across the community about what I think would really get me into flowing with Coda: more referential handling across the app. This post has been referenced in various places, although I don’t have any responses in the post directly. But here is a summary of posts out there that are that I think all are talking about this need:

  • In this post, I’m talking about an easy ability to create a relation to anything in Coda, and then have the “originating” row sort of follow the new one. Great for keeping context of how a row came into existence:
  • Here the point is to just simply create a reference to any row in a doc, and have the “destination” row pick that up, but also include other info about the “originating” row to full context can be seen. If the reference just contains data out of the Display Column, which is how “@” links work now, you can miss some context. My idea to solve this was to have a column type “row.”
  • This one is a common functionality of some other apps where you can convert something you just wrote into a db “entity” - in our case, a row in Coda:
  • This is a new one I discovered today that also addressed the issue of lookups/references:

So the reason I’m posting today is I just discovered a new note-taking app called Roam. Has anybody else seen this?

There is a lot of chatter already about it in the note-taking app/nocode community. In that post referenced above, where it won product of the day on PH a few days ago, a lot of people are talking about how it’s superior even to Notion(!).

My reason for posting here is I think if we could get in Coda, one day sooner than later, the ability to more freely relate rows across the app, and visualize those relations, you’d really harness the full power of Coda’s flexibility, and get some amazing capabilities. My personal struggles with Coda are in understanding how to set up relations and hierarchies freely. I feel like as Coda is currently set up, the proper MS tool to compare with is not in fact Excel, but Access. I feel like I have fairly strong Excel skills and I was hoping they would take me far with Coda. But without the DB/Access type know-how, I have been in the weeds trying to do hierarchy/relations. And I believe that hierarchy/relations are the key to Coda, not spreadsheet-like features.

I would love to get some feedback from the Coda product team on how they see a solution like Roam and either 1) how the philosophy of Roam coincides, or not, with the longer-term vision of UX for Coda, and 2) possible pack integration with a tool like this down the road.

And @GJ_Roelofs, as your quote below very elegantly describes in summary what I’m talking about in paragraphs here, would love to get your feedback on this.

Oh and @Paul_Danyliuk, would really like to hear what you think if you have a minute on this overall topic and the Roam app’s approach vis a vis how this would fit in for Coda. Sorry I know you weren’t in on this thread earlier, but if you have a moment…

Thanks everyone!

1 Like

Dear @ABp,

I am testing RoamResearch for one month now and it feels very promissing.
As you mentioned, some techniques would be super to see back in Coda, I have written a PM to Nathan about it.

RR is targeting a rather different audience and usecases from Coda

Related post:

2 Likes

I’ve never tried Roam and never really used any journaling software. By reciprocal links, do you means something like there is in the community, where beneath a post you can see where it was mentioned?

Why are lookups limiting? If you feed the need to link a row to any other row in 10 other tables, maybe you either a) need to change your data structure so that all those 10 tables are actually one, or b) use separate columns to link to different kinds of entities?

One thing to sorta remember is that Coda is not journaling software. It is a database-for-humans kind of software. Like relational databases but for non-developers. Like Excel but bringing structure and order to the data. And that’s kinda it. I see how you could want to use it for much more — actually I have a client who’d love to move everything to Coda. But I sorta believe that an app that aims to be good at everything will in the end be mediocre at anything.

Notion is beautiful. But as I said, I never really needed it. That’s all I can say about it.

1 Like

I think the point is about quickness and referencing. Roam allows you to quick enter and connect everything.

1 Like

Hey guys @Paul_Danyliuk and @tomavatars really appreciate you chiming in. Tom, late to the party you obviously fully aware of Roam, so I guess you can add my sentiments to yours, and thanks for linking it, haha! That is in fact exactly what I’m talking about, the ease of creating these relationships fluidly.

Paul, I agree with everything you said. And I think you’ve hit on a huge need Coda has started to solve, for better or for worse, and that precisely it can potentially be used to handle just about all a team manages in one place, especially tech/internet start-up From my speaking with the Coda team the last year, it’s unclear to me if that was an intended goal of the Coda vision, but Coda has been so well thought-out that it is about the best thing out there I’ve seen that could meet this need. And I, for one, really would like a tool that can do this! My team really suffers from issues we face using separate tools for (a non-exhaustive list):

  • Chat (Slack, Twist, Discord, etc.)
  • Task Management (Wrike, Asana, Clickup, etc.)
  • Repo mgmt (Github, GitLab, Bitbucket)
  • CRM (Salesforce, Hubspot, etc.)
  • Dev Mgmt (Jira, TargetProcess, PivotalTracker, Rally, etc.)
  • Wiki (Confluence, Quip…)
  • Product Planning (Aha!, ProductBoard, ProdPad, etc.)
  • Support (Intercom, ZenDesk, etc.)
  • Outsourcing Mgmt (Hubstaff)
  • Diagraming (LucidChart, Miro, etc.) - and you even offered a solution of this one!

I’m pretty sure there is a growing market of users who’d like to solve all this with one tool. I have found middleware like Zapier, Integromat and so forth conflate the problem further as you are going to need a dev to set those up. And you raise another point @Paul_Danyliuk that is huge - Coda is for humans and I think it continues to get easier with each release. So a non-dev like myself has a realistic chance to set up a lot in Coda to handle what all those varied apps are designed to do.

And yes Paul, the linking provided by this software Discourse is actually something that works very similarly to what I would like to see, I even commented on it earlier!

Finally, just a point re: journaling software - I definitely do not see Coda as that sort of solution, even though it is all-the-time compared to Notion. And by mentioning Roam, it’s not with the intent that Coda would build in that type of functionality. For things like replacing Confluence and team wiki functionality, which Notion gets used for a lot, I think Coda is already very strong. I have spent a good deal of time trying to see if Notion could do what I’m trying to set up in Coda, and not even close…

Thanks again guys!