Using Coda to run meetings - looking for input

#1

Hey Coda community!

We at Coda have been thinking a lot recently about using Coda to run better meetings. It’s something we do internally and get a lot of value out of, but don’t see many external users doing. For example, we use Coda to take basic meeting notes, collect feedback before and during meetings, and manage our meeting cadence.

To get more insight into the scenario, I’d love to hear from you if either

  • You already run meetings on Coda, and are willing to chat about how you’re using it and what could make it better
  • You’re interested in running better meetings and curious about how Coda could help!

I’d also love to know if you’ve used any of our templates on the subject or implemented your own similar flows in Coda or elsewhere. For example this Q&A collector, Lane’s simple meeting notes template, or anything from the Gamestorming doc.

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#2

I’m already running (some) meetings in coda and it has been a pretty good tool. However, there are many things which could be improved to make it easier.

Not sure if this is an invitation to chat, or if you want messages here in this topic…

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#3

Ah, sorry that wasn’t clear! Feel free to post directly here but I’d love to set up a time to chat in person. I’ll reach out directly.

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#4

Hi @gilgoldshlager41,

have you taken a look at this template?

Some minor change and it worked great for both type of meeting (face-to-face or Web)!

Cheers Thomas

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#5

Most of the meetings I have are over the phone or on chat, the former of which means typing a lot of notes while people are talking. It’s very small, but the biggest problem I’ve faced with creating a meeting log is that by nature you need to type into a table cell and while the markdown basics work, they’re clunky in the cell editing format.

For example, create a bullet point by typing:

  • This is a bullet

Naturally, you want to then hit enter, but you have to hit shift+enter or the cell’s contents are saved. Once you hit shift+enter, you pop down to an indented row, have to backspace twice, type another “-” and start that row.

Just an example, and this is hardly a dealbreaker, but for simplicity’s sake I find myself typing in Keep, then transposing the notes over both to the CRM and to coda, which was one extra step I didn’t need.

Again, it’s a very small hitch, you can easily work around it, but having to work around it means that I have to force myself to use coda or I have to switch between apps, which makes coda an extra step I generally won’t take.

If you cleaned up the markdown / content creation UI inside of a cell, even if just in “row-as-a-page” view, it would eliminate this issue for me.

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#6

+1 for text editing parity across as many text editing contexts as possible (canvas, Text column, row modal, etc).

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#7

Great feedback! So @Kevin_McGaffey would you say that if you could open up a cell into a full canvas (equivalent to a section, perhaps), you’d do the whole process in Coda?

Also curious, is this mostly around a bigger space with better typing interactions? Or would you also want collaborative editing of the cell, and possibly other features of our canvas like the ability add formulas, etc?

Thanks again for the feedback!

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#8

Sure thing, Gil. Thanks for getting back.

If the canvas had - as Ander points out - consistent text editing, it would be helpful. Certainly, when taking a lot of notes, having a large space to look at helps. Already, I open the row into a canvas, so I can do that. It’s just the difficulty of editing inside that canvas, which still has the UI for cellular data it feels like. So, bigger space, yes, but that sort-of already exists. Could probably be cleaner, but I really don’t notice it as a hangup, it’s purely the text editing process.

In terms of collaborative editing, I personally don’t need it due to how we work, but I wouldn’t want to speak for everyone else. I’m sure some teams would love that. I’m dealing primarily with people way outside the technology field we’re in and collaborative editing tends to cause confusion for them, heh.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

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#9

Ah I see, good to know! Thanks for clarifying, that makes a lot of sense. Yeah I’m sure there are people on both sides of that but good to know that there’s value to just improving the text editing interactions without really changing the underlying data model.

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#10

Hey, Hi!
I just started making notes/meeting with Coda:-)
A few points/suggestions:

  1. Assuming that I created my own template for running my meeting (a section with formula, tables, buttons etc). It’s a bit cumbersome the duplication part. It would be awesome to create a new section and with one click setting your own template (thread about it => Make a 'template' table for any 'project')

  2. I can’t put objects besides others (charts, text) and or align them => Blocks and easier ways to add great tools in canvas and tables (beware, competitor highlight 🙈)

  3. And of course as someone mentioned here, It would be cool to format a column as a canvas (like Notion :slight_smile: ) It will be a game changer :slight_smile: In this way I structure my meeting with a table and inside a cell I put my notes

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#11

Hey Francesco,

Thanks for taking the time to respond!

On 1., have you seen the new ability to duplicate a section from the dropdown menu in the section list? Hopefully that makes it a bit easier, though point taken on being able to add your own templates to the canvas. Agree that would be an awesome feature!

Overall, I’d be interested to see what your meeting template looks like- would you be able to share a copy of that?

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#12

Hey there,
Yes sure… it’s still at an eraly stage and I started to strip sensitive data out… and some formulas and function are broken now but it will give you an idea… hoping in the future I’ll be able to share a more robust copy --> https://coda.io/d/Meeting-with-Coda_d9BGHdcwKD6/_suqLd

basically the idea is to start a new meeting with one click (and not copy/paste) and most importantly to track the meeting with a dashboard that gives me several KPIs of the meeting (avg duration, avg mood, participants etc…)

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#13

Thanks for sharing! Very cool, and not too different from how we’ve been thinking about it. To be sure, the idea is that this doc is used to track a recurring meeting, and for each occurrence of the meeting, there’s one section, right?

Also curious, what’s the intended data model as you start more meetings? Is it one table to track all meetings across the doc, and one table to track all action items, with filtered views of those per meeting? Or would there be separate tables for each meeting?

Lastly, what’s the relation between the ‘Meeting detail template’ table and the ‘Meetings DB’ tables? I initially expected those to be the same underlying table- any reason not to merge them?

Thanks again!
Gil

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#14

Hey @gilgoldshlager41,
Ok here’s my idea:

  1. The Meeting template is, well, a template (that in the future I would like to add in Coda as a custom template). Each time I have a meeting -all kind of meetings- i copy/paste the template, hence I create a new section, then I rename the section and I insert the name of the section as a reference “@nameOfTheSection” in the column “Title” of the simple table on the top.

  2. Then I fill the table with a some details that will automatically prefill all the fields of the document and I press the start button

  3. Then I put all my notes in the appropriate area

  4. When I’m done, I press the button “Stop” that does a few things (updates status, stops the timer etc,) and ultimately copies all the meeting data into one single master table that contains all meetings

5)The status of this meeting will be “to follow up” that in the dashboard section, using the kanban, I will start to follow up afterwords (identifying and reviewing tasks etc.). Thanks to the section reference in the Title, i will be able to land on the exact section where I have all the meeting notes (that’s why a column that can be formatted as a canvas is important like Notion)

  1. It’s crucial to have one single master table for all meetings so I can search and create reports and statistics…

Hopefully I’ll be able to share something useful in the future :slight_smile:

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#15

Ah thanks for explaining all that :slight_smile: Makes sense on the template section and the archive scheme- neat idea!

Though one thing I’m still not quite clear on- is it necessary to copy those details to a whole different table when you’re done? I could imagine an alternate scheme where the details at the top of each meeting was actually a filtered view of the master table. That way when you make a new section you just add a row there, and when you hit ‘stop’, rather than having to copy the data into a different table entirely, it just marks the row as archived. Does that make sense?

Looking forward to seeing the full version when you get it together!

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