Reminders and Notifications

I’ve been looking to move on from Notion for a while. They rarely make improvements, and when they do, it’s insignificant at best. A lot of “Thanks for the feedback, we’ll make sure that gets to our team!” with little to no action.

The recent release of nested pages from Coda was one of the biggest improvements I was looking for and I’m very pleased it’s here. Full freedom to construct docs the way you want is huge. Notion set the bar very high.

What seems to be one of the last few things holding me back is the way notifications and reminders are handled. I can’t for the life of me figure out how make it work how Notion does.

If I create any block with a date in it, I can set that date as a reminder, and the notification message will be the contents of the block I added the date to.
Screen Shot 2020-05-02 at 4.44.31 PM

Or, if I have a table with a row. I can make a cell in that row the notification date and the message will be the value from the primary column (in the same row).

Coda seems to use Automations for reminders, but configuring the date and output message is very confusing—at least if you’ve never done it before.

  1. Is simplifying reminders and notifications anywhere in the backlog?
  2. Is what I am describing actually simpler than what I’ve understood so far?
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Unfortunately there are no reminders or any sort of reliable “fire at exact time” mechanism. Automations can be used for this purpose but they are far from ideal. All they do is perform an action every X hour (1 hour being the smallest interval you can set), e.g. send a notification if some condition is met (e.g. it’s due to send one). You have to code that condition yourself. Also automations don’t reliably run each 1 hour but can be delayed. So if you’re after fine reminders (e.g. to alert you about an interview), these will most likely fail you.

What you can do instead is set up a Google Calendar pack to add yourself calendar events for these things you want to remind yourself of at specific timestamps. Then let Google Calendar be responsible for timely notification delivery.

hello, could you please elaborate on the google calendar pack setting up??? thanks in advance

Another idea could be to use Zapier Delays paired with some acute messaging service to get the notification exactly when you want it.

Turn on the pack and through an action you can create events in a calendar of your choice. These events will have reminders as you have these set up by default in your Google Calendar (e.g. 30 minutes in advance before the event). Calendar pack is very limited in the free version of Coda though (only 20 actions, i.e. 20 created events, per month).

Or as @Johg_Ananda said, you can use Zapier or Integromat. You can actually use Zapier or Integromat to listen on new rows in Coda and create calendar events as well. This is more work to set up, but free tiers of Zapier and Integromat will give you higher limits of runs, not 20.

Or if your reminders aren’t time-sensitive, and it’s fine if the notification is delayed till the next hour + up to 20 minutes, then you can build a reminder system with Coda automations.

This is the only feature that actually keep me in Notion. I would love to use coda as my main tool but reminders are so important for my that I can’t live without.

Nested Pages: done.
Reminders: someday
Full or almost full edit option in mobile apps: far away

If coda devs could do this, coda would be THE tool.

Coda Team is really working hard and I trust they will get it done.

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agree - this is a major missing piece. I do like the way you can structure your pages in Coda - for example, can have a table that isn’t a crazy thing, and just behaves like… well… a table!

But the ability to annotate reminders against objects, or inline when note taking is something i use daily with Notion. Coda… if you want to take it one step further, give users an easy way to see an aggregated list of any/all reminders that have been set and the objects they’ve been set against - allowing for chronological sorting/filtering. Notion doesn’t do that… and i feel it’s a major omission.