The Coda GTD Manifesto: Part 2 Project Management

Hi fellow Codans,
after my first introductory article on Why CODA can change your GTD game forever!, in this second article I will take readers on a full fledged tour of all amazing project management possibilities I was able to create according to the GTD methodology in CODA. Never on my wildest dream I would imagined It was possible for a regular guy like me with no coding experience to create from scratch one taylor-made project management system with incredible ease and richness of power and features.
:pray:t2: You guys at Coda, and all the community have made this possible! :point_down:t2:

How to build your taylor-made GTD™ Project Management App in CODA!


Nice work! Thanks for giving Coda a shout!

Glad it’s been such a great tool for you :slight_smile:

Hey Giacomo, it’s clear a lot of thought and effort has gone into making this doc! Well done, it looks really slick. Do you have a template version you could share with the community for copying?

Hi @Ryan_Martens1thannk you for you appreciations and for the interest.

This was just a quick tour of the project section, I am still finishing the mission control as I have already to complete the someday maybe section an the most important one, the weekly and monthly review part.

Also I need to find a way to create easily a shareable template where I can easily delete all my personal data. Also the whole system is linked to my gmail and GCal accounts so I need to know how to make it works for every other Coda out there!

@maria can you point me how on some content on how to setup a complex doc with packs for sharing in the community?

I will setup some kind of kill switch in the tables that will push all the delete rows button I have created, but I don’t know how to be sure the doc will work as expected when using the packs and automation I have setup having the pro version.

Hi @GiacomoPasini! I’m so excited that you’re preparing to publish this doc. We don’t have any formal documentation on this, but for packs, if you have your own pack in the doc, when it’s published it will prompt the viewer to login with their own credentials.

That being said, you can also create a placeholder account for packs to pull demo data - this is what we often do internally. Hope that helps!

@maria You mean a “dummy” Google account with fake datas in contacts calendar and gmail to use it just for testing the functionality of the doc? So when an user will copy the doc he will be able to login with his accounts and pull and sync his actual accounts? Also due to the high complexity of the doc I have set up, I’m not sure if it will make sense to write an entire new section of the doc that explains the functionality and maybe embed some screen recording to show how to make it work. Just sharing this docs looks like intimidating :joy:

What you see it’s just the Project part! The previous section in the doc starts with identifying your why’s, setting up relative goals, choose habits and rituals to help you achieve the goals and register progress day by day on the practice and then start to clarify what need to be done and keep track off in a task a project management system based on GTD.

Well this doc it’s kinda containing my whole life. I am planning also to pull all these metadata to use as a journal! Will be very useful to know in the morning and at the end of your day what you are accomplishing and towards where you are moving the needle.

Regarding to this increasing complexity I will
Ask you an architectural advice from you @maria and @BenLee for the purpose of sharing this doc with the community as many people will be interested in some part and functionality instead of another;

I have built all these related tables that share datas: will it make more sense in your opinion to build separated docs to refer and less intimidating so a user can add more blocks if needed without losing the future functionality? (For example an user can start using the goal setting doc, then maybe he wants to add the habits/rituals formation section, then in the future reference to this data in table to use the task management part)

Does referring to tables in other documents in Coda will slow the refresh rate and the whole speed of the calculation inside docs?

Or it will be better to unpack sections as I plan to growth and growth this doc and the data inside tables in terms of future performance?

I haven’t planned ahead and I have builded and added functionality as my knowledge of the Coda ecosystem has grown day by day. Now many people seems really amazed and interested on what I have built that wasn’t meant to be shared and teached. Sorry for this long post but I am sure you can point me out to some interesting discussion/post or content to clear my mind. :blush:

Oh my god, congrats to you man. This must have taken a huge amount of mental modeling to complete. I think it is a fantastic idea for everyone to do this, it will teach them how to plan and mentally model their life in general.

That having said, I have a totally different approach to project management by circumstance. I manage 4 other people, including my own projects, so everyday is about doing what’s right in front of me. I have a daily checklist - i write down at least 5 things that needs to be done that day and go to bats to try to finish them all. I have a handy backlog of tasks that I can pull from, but I only review the backlog once a month… Usually new things just popup before I can worry about the big picture

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@Jake_Nguyen thank you for your kind comment: well to be honest the mental model was already there, it’s the GTD methodology.

What was a challenge it was building up the an whole system that must work as easy and immediate as pen and paper: it really required a constant effort, but also grants constant everyday improvements was the polishing and the GUI setup that for me must be easy, frictionless and that can easily mesh physical and digital domain and quickly change focus from personal and professional domain.

There is a tweak, a refinement, that the more I use the system the more I get my doc extended and polished, with a/b testing.

Regarding how you manage your time and your team, anyone has it’s own style. I don’t know exactly in which domain you work and what is at stake but it seems to me that you work and the latest and loudest and managing on daily basis with the 5 most important things that are equally known as a good practice; “eat that frog!”: but you have to ask you and your team: what has my attention, the teams attention now? Because the more you use the GTD the more you will experience more clarity, free some huge amount of relief passing from putting out fires to really start to think more strategically on what you can really plan to do in the long term and how to get there in the more fruitful way.

When you get to a clear picture on what’s on your and your team’s plate you will have more and more free mental space that could unleash great creative thinking and solution and opening for new projects and ideas.

What I really love of Coda is that it can grow accordingly to my speed and needs, and the more I know the tools the more I increase the power and ubiquity of the system. Even the last feature I have added ( a notes management system) that let me easily pull down, edit, add and rearrange notes attached to a project or a task have changed my productivity life:

Think about notes before and after a team meeting: no need to duplicate agendas;

I can filter a task, or search a task related to a project or start pulling down directly from the domain:

After I have polished the notes and rearranged them, it’s just a click of a button to update them in the right place with no click or navigating through project folders and going to search the notes field, and with another click of a button I can pull the participants from the event and automatically send out delegated next actions, or just the post meeting agenda via the Gmail pack with a pre-formatted mail template to my team.

This has really increased my leadership on the team as I tend to answer faster, clearly and consistently before and after a 1:1 or a group meeting and it’s clear for anyone why, what and how has to be done by whom; also it’s easier and faster for me to request and track feedback when I am with someone; I can ask about multiple updates of very different project stages without the fear of forgetting something or have to make a second call because I haven’t filtered out all the task and project assigned to a team or a colleague or a supplier.

The more you grow and become better to manage, the more the senior executives and manager will trust you giving new and most challenging projects; I noticed that in the past; the better organized you become the more work and tasks are assigned to you and your team; it will be mandatory to become better and better or you will get really frustrated or tend to care less on less short term goals like health, relationships, personal life and your happiness. That’s the caveat of managing the latest and loudest imho.

Sorry for the long run, I hope you find these insight useful and inspiring.