I’ve been using coda now for a few days in order to get our project management done via coda.
Before we used Retool to create internal tools, but it was always very messy when it comes to design and usability. And for that reason we decided we don’t want to pay that much money anymore and just move on to use coda for our needs. It looked like coda is able to do the basic stuff we need, like lead management, management of our employee and some project management here and there.
But the moment I’ve started to deep dive, I was in shock. No option to sync with Google Sheets, I should’ve checked that one before. Okay but there are packs for that, right? RIGHT?? There are packs, but they cost monthly and can’t be used as a internal table, it just loads external data into coda, but I can’t edit them then in coda…
After 2h I came across this post and it’s not possible to get the full row that easy, you either have to be better at JS I think, then you could operate even without knowing the columns or your can just use fixed column names, which makes the Pack useless for other users. I did a workaround in the end, but it was just disappointing to see that such a basic feature is missing.
Ok lets move on. After struggling to get nested Profile data up and running, like adding documents for employees within their profile but also separated so that we can use them outside of the profiles as well or the option to add children and partners to the employees (again different table but fully connected without the step of selecting which employee is linked to which partner or child), I wanted to show a Callout Box on top of the Profile if there is an empty but necessary profile field. But only then, not all the time. Easy, there are Formulas and they have the option to use “If” so thats easy. Surprise, its not. You can add a static callout, but where is the formula for creating a dynamic one? Google again, I just stumbled across this post. There @Brian_Klein says:
Good things are indeed coming — no formula necessary though.
And now that statement annoys me! It might not be necessary, but what if I do want to have it via Formula ??? If I want to create a static document, I would use Google Docs or Word. I came here to have dynamic values all over the place.
Remember my text about the partners and children within the profile? I do have a checkbox if they’re married, if so, then show me the column for partner data, if not, I don’t want to see unneccessary column in the profile. So lets find out if we can view those data depending on something else.. If you check the source, you’ll not only see that this feature was requested 5y ago, you’ll also see that its “logged for the roadmap”. 5y ago, very easy feature that could change a lot, not happened. Even though that it was requested by more than just the OP.
I’ve spend now too much time on coda stuff to get rid of it and my coworkers love the app (for lead calls for example). But I as a creator just hate it. Its just full of workarounds if possible, but its not even possible to create a workaround for everything.
For example we use coda now for application management. We have one doc for applications and one for our employees. If I want to move someone from applications to employees, i can’t do that with coda. The automations only work for tables within the doc itself. I have to send my coda data to make.com and then make.com sends it back to coda… that workaround works, but is uneccessary. My google sheet issue from the beginning? I had to throw the idea over board and now i just have to live with a one side sync.
Maybe I am using coda completely wrong, but I don’t see the point of it anymore. Especially the “experimental” or what I call it hidden formulas like Button(). There is no documentation at all for it. Why does coda, which would be pretty good for documenting stuff, don’t use any documentations on most of their features or limitations and so on?