[Updated]Coda, Notion, Airtable and the future looks like

This comparison table based on my requirements , something missing and the same all of them.

Why do I make a comparison ?

For my requirements choice or for your choice.

Collusion :

Airtable = Excel (Access、SQL) + Web

Notion = Docs (Outlines) + Basic Airtable

Coda = Basic docs(or Basic Notion) + Automation/Action


UI/UX: Notion > Coda

Docs : Notion > Coda

Table: Coda > Airtable > Notion

Automation/Action : Coda > Notion = 0

What is the future looks like ?

I think the future looks like : All in one place App = Notion + Airtable + Coda + Mind map + AI + AR/MR

For more Static data , like wikis, blog post schedules, for day to day task :arrow_right: pick Notion

For more Dynamic data , more database-oriented documents :arrow_right: pick Coda

If have something wrong, please note.

Thanks.

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For me it’s like:

  • You cannot really build custom workflows in Notion or Airtable like you can in Coda.
  • You cannot really make a good guided UX for entering the data in Notion or Airtable like you can in Coda (it’s tedious but possible — my main specialty too).

Otherwise:

  • Airtable: largest adoption among user-friendly cloud database-like platforms. Coda — usually not a first choice.
  • Notion: gorgeous UI for note-taking / documentation / wikis / lightweight databases, but not so much else. Coda — not so gorgeous.
  • Coda: limited devices that still allow to build bespoke workflows and provide good UX for non tech-savvy users.

P.S. While having automation is nice, it still doesn’t feel that reliable to me. Usually automation triggers are delayed, and once it was as much as half a day for me. Adding high precision automation triggers and/or triggers that fire immediately when user data changes (i.e. fire on the client side and not the server side — like pressing a button right after a value is changed) would make this a killer feature, but so far it’s too flaky IMO to totally rely upon.

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Automation is the future , but good static docs (notes, doc, wiki , todo ) is fundanmental.

@Steve_Yang Dark Mode has been solved!!

We need arbitrary event handlers. Until then, it’s not going to be precise. Hand-in-hand with events is webhooks. Then - and only then - can we build highly reliable processes.

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Yeah. I commented use darker reader chrome extension, but not original by Coda.

@Paul_Danyliuk were you referring to the internal automation or automation via some external service (e.g. via Zapier)?

If the internal automation can be that delayed, that should definitely be bugged.

Well I can confirm that the internal Automation feature actions are delayed a bit, but at least it was consistent with a table < 25 elements vs a table with approx 1000 elements.

I have an automation which checks if table “Status” column changes. If so it sets a “Status Modified” Date/Time field to Now().

The delay was 5-20 seconds. @Paul_Danyliuk would be interesting to note what type of rule had that sort of delay.

Hi Paul,

How would you compare Fibery with Airtable, Notion and Coda?

Yes very eager also to hear what some of the community thinks about Fibery once they get a look at it.

I think it has a lot of potential. Their approach is very sound, and I have spent a lot of time with it - much easier to set up on a basic level than Coda. For example, the relationships between tables (which are “Apps” in Fibery I think) are much simpler to set up out of the box.

Never tried it, but interesting to know it exists.

I’m pretty shocked by how quickly the no-code realm grows. New tools seem to appear every week, like mobile to-do apps used to. Lots just repeat each other’s functionality with minor improvements. Does the world even need so many?

I think it is clear that real work management is already the next big thing in business development. Domain-free tools and services offer an unprecedented way for SMBs between the expensive (and less and less justifiable) on-premise development, or using domain-specific tools that force the user to work in ways that are not necessarily compatible with their own.

Coda is for me the most balanced and potential domain-free tool. It serves the needs of more companies than any other. Nevertheless, I think it is important to be up to date with what is going on in this sector and to have elements to compare what I use daily (Coda) with other options.

the new code-free services offer a huge temptation to those who want to launch a company but do not have coding skills. They generate the expectation that they will be able to launch a product without hiring developers or learning how to develop. In addition, and more realistically, they allow SMB managers to create on-premise solutions without the need for development, and are good enough for a wide range of tasks.

However, there is possibly a code-free tools bubble. Now there is going to be an explosion, followed by an intense Darwinian race which will end with a small number of survivors

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I think the winner is Smarter(Action/Automation), Better UI/UX, more convenient, more integrated features. That’s real All in one Place app.

I think the future looks like : All in one place App = Notion + Airtable + Coda + Mind map + AI + AR/MR

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@Paul_Danyliuk, I would say to this that there is definitely a need for these tools to become more “no-code.”
@Juan_Luis_Chulilla I think you’re talking about probably a lot of users like me: I’m a manager of a tech/internet start-up, technical, but not adept with formulas, and not able to spend time to learn them. But I’m the lead in my company who is undertaking getting us on the best solutions for everything we need. And these needs are increasingly handled by cloud-based apps, per my post:

What I found interesting with Fibery - and I have not see anything that does this so well - is an ease to set up a domain that is truly custom to the user, but tailored for Team Management. Tools like Notion and Zenkit are way too general, and in fact are not at all easy to set up for a team! I would really like to see Coda take a lead here as well.

It’s now a big problem for start-ups like mine to manage stuff proliferated across all these apps, when in essence you are working with the same data in all of them: Projects your team works on; assignments of tasks to your team; prioritizing what your team works on within the projects; communication that is sensible - chat, Email, etc.; and so on, and so on.

Here’s an example: I played a good deal with a tool called Aha.io, even bought a license as there is no free version. This is basically another tool that is based on a db, but Aha is about Product Planning. It brought into light a lot of benefit my team could use with roadmaps, company vision, releases, etc… But in Aha, you plan projects and features, dev work, etc. just like in Jira. So now I see something like Aha and benefit for my team, but I’m left with a possible reality of having to manage yet another source of basically the same work, since the other tools I use don’t have what Aha offers, and I want that stuff that’s in Aha.

So I then would turn back to Coda - which I have in a state of perpetual “under consideration” - and try to solve this. In principle, I can do it: Create data structures to represent my products, but also sync with tasks already in Coda. In theory, problem solved - I have it all in one place.

But for me it breaks down with the “no-code” part. It is extremely challenging to get Coda set up. Most of what I read in this community, as innovative and intelligent as it is, is impossible for me to implement without bringing in my engineering team. Much of what Coda support suggest to me is over my head.

So I really look forward to further enhancements by the Coda team to get Coda into a true “no-code” reality. One where I could, for example, set up hierarchies without complex filters in the same table that require me to beware of circular references - Paul you did a good post on this. But I wonder - could Coda build in a native feature so that I could do that without your solution, which, with full respect, I do not consider “no-code”?

I believe the Coda team has in mind continued implementation of methods that will allow users like me - ie technical, but not developer - to do even more. And that was backed up by Maria and Shishir in the recent Webinar.

And as this evolution plays out, I can easily see Coda continuing to disrupt the all-in-one SMB tool space. And most importantly, letting me settle in using it, and ending my days of never-ending searching for a solution that works for my team!

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@ABp, you’re hunch is correct about the desire to bring things considerably closer to no-code solutions. I’d look to how filters evolved where they were formulas for a while and then we added the easy filter builder features. This is a good model for what we strive to accomplish, but many times, getting a working model out there first allows for much better testing and brings to light real-world examples we didn’t previously think of. So launching features early, learning, and iterating, is extremely beneficial.

I appreciate you taking the viewpoint of Coda being a growing product, because it is most certainly that.

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Hey @BenLee, great, thanks. And I just posted another response along these lines…just want to say that although I am pouring out ideas to you guys here in the community of late, I believe you know what your doing about as well as any other team behind any other app I’ve looked at, and you’ll make excellent decisions on your roadmap and priorities! I have a ton of faith in you guys! I just can’t wait for what you guys come up with as there are few things I’m eagerly waiting on, selfishly…

All the best and thanks again for jumping into these convos…

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Markets decide this, so yes - the vast array of no-code tools suggests there is unmet demand for new, shiny blinged-out lures. :wink:

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What is this all about?

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@Bill_French how did you find that? It was kind of pleasing to see them so eloquently summarize the valleys of this wonderful experiment we’re all partaking.

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Quick response to this. Well, a couple of responses.

First, people keep thinking information management is easy or should be easy, but the truth is, it just isn’t, at least once you get past the wedding guest list stage (and to be honest, even that can present challenges). Understanding what types of data you’re dealing with and how best to relate them in the context of the real-life problems you’re trying to solve, involves a combination of pretty abstract thinking with close attention to concrete details and it’s a tricky balancing act. Most people aren’t good at the abstraction – this is perhaps especially true of people who work in the industry, because they really do know the trees (and the rivers and the hills and valleys) so intimately. On the other hand, I know a lot of software developers who are terrific at the abstraction and never quite figure out how to create something that is actually useful. And even when the data modeling is pretty simple, their are often challenges with workflow, user-interface design, and so on. It’s a bit like photography (something I’ve done quite a bit of). A lot of amateurs think the hard part of photography is figuring out what camera to buy. :slight_smile:

Second, I think Coda’s documentation is still pretty limited. Lots of nice videos that explain how to do very basic stuff, but not much on how to build more complicated documents. I am confident that as Coda gets a little more established there will be more help available from various sources. (I’m working on something myself.)

Third and last, learning a tool like Coda is always a circular, inefficient process. I’ve known a fair number of what are sometimes called “knowledge workers” (lawyers, scientists, etc) who get the idea they need an app to solve some problem in their work, and they think the tool they find should allow them to go right to the solution they seek, as if they were using Google Maps to get to Milwaukee. The truth is–and this is a bit Zen, I think–you can’t go straight to the solution you want, at least no beginner can. Instead, you have to spend a fair amount of time aimlessly learning about functions and features you don’t see an immediate use for. Until you have the vocabulary provided by the tool to solve the problem you face, you won’t be able to understand the problem. In my consulting practice I see this all the time. Clients hire me because they think they need X. We meet, we talk, I learn about their business, and in the end we learn together that what they really need is something more like Y with perhaps a bit of Z.

That said, I’m finding Coda pretty darned impressive.

William

p.s. Thanks to you or whoever it was that mentioned Fibery. Hadn’t heard of it before. Looks promising – but has a good ways to go yet.

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