Why I am going back to Notion and why you shouldn't

So, to give a perspective, let me explain a bit how I get to Coda.

I was always an avid user of productivity tools, jumping from one to other. Here are some tools I used before Coda to organize everything:

  • Wunderlist
  • Todoist
  • Evernote
  • OneNote
  • Toggl
  • Hubspot CRM
  • Bitrix
  • Notion

In 2017, the company I worked for, started to use Notion and, in a period where I was frustred with Todoist because it wasn’t anything else than a task manager, I decided to migrate to Notion and, oh boy, that was another world. When you understand that, to achieve good data records you need good database structure, everything changes. Notion became my daily driver, although, at that time, the app was slow and the platform had even less features than it has today. Because of that, I was always searching for a substitute. I saw Coda in it’s embrionary phase when it resumed to a simple “Word” page style, but with huge capabilities. After a few years, in the begging of 2020 I decided to give Coda a shot. By the end of the year I migrated my entire life from Notion to Coda.

From start, I saw so much potencial. I built elaborate automated systems from a time tracker to replacing Toggl, a super CRM to replace Hubspot, a task manager to replace Todoist, a note taking inbox to replace OneNote and a complete dashboard of everything to replace Notion. This is a supertool that can do it all.

But somethings pissed me off. The mobile app is barely usable. Nothing on a phone that takes more than 5 seconds to load is tolerated. In the begging, I think Coda took around 30s to open what I wanted it to open. Also, new features were being launched, but always looking kinda unfinished, made in a hurry.

But, while Notion was launching a new feature every month, Coda was launching new features every week. No way of going back, right?


Coda never fixed the simplest things. Like jotting a note in the phone is really important for a fast paced day life, but it’s a frustrating experience on Coda. The pace of updates where slowing down while Notion was going faster. And my last perception of the new super tools came like a hammer: I spent a huge amount of time perfecting those systems, generating more and more data, but I didn’t use even half of all that information. I noticed I was spending more time building systems than using them.

I decided to simplify. I don’t care anymore about complex numbers and data. Instead of creating crazy dashboards to investigate client’s behavior and build an automated email system, I noticed a better conversion rate If I just send them a simple message. So I don’t need anymore all the features Coda has to offer, but simple and efficient small features I can find in Notion.

So, my main take is: If you need a tool for a complex company operation, go with Coda. But if you just need a more simpler control of your own business and your daily life, go with Notion.

I am leaving this community by the end of the year and I grateful for everything I learned here. Hope I can come back one day. Thanks for the journey and I whish everyone here prosper!


Cool post @Guilherme_Salles. Apart from the poor mobile experience is there anything else coda lacks that you find Notion does better ?

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Some other things would be:

  • Design: the aesthetic of Notion is more appealing to me. But in terms of usability, the database design (small font and cleaner structure) is better for more loads of data.
  • Reminders: the ability to set a reminder for a task is really important. I tried a few workarounds in Coda, but none of them were good enough.
  • Speed: Notion is faster for some essencial things.
  • Free: Notion free tier has more freedom. The 1000 rows cap in the free tier of Coda creates a big limit.

Let’s hope the moderators don’t shut this down for being honest. I criticized the mobile app and was told I don’t understand what is really important. It seems that either the moderators or Coda developers can’t accept hurt feelings. I don’t think your post was intended to hurt anyone’s feelings and if it does that’s on them. But, Coda doesn’t want to listen. Coda is a great product with great data features and much better embedded programming features–for the desktop browser. Mobile is just bad and document support has gotcha’s that make it too hard to navigate to notes and create new notes. Oh, but what about packs? But what about comments in code? OK, there are no “bad” features being implemented. On the other hand, important areas have been neglected for too long.


I can agree on this.
I love Coda. Its use when you’re on desktop it’s great, and i see few things of the actual features that could be upgraded or do any QoL change.

But, when you’re using it on mobile? That’s way too different.
I think Coda has tried to keep most, if not all, of the features that Desktop Coda can offer, and that’s making the app slower, and with every new update for features, it’s more and more slow. That’s the only problem i’ve found when using Coda and i really hope that can be developed further.


Notion: Better UI/UX
Coda: Better features, better functional but… somehow something didn’t feel right


If I use it alone, I can ignore everything but if you introduce to your company and let people using it, i’m afraid, especially low-tech people, it’s hard to explain and make them use it effectively


Great perspective @Guilherme_Salles. I agree that sometimes the simple solution (despite being less automated or 100% efficient) is the best solution. I used to create templates that had a bunch of bells and whistles, and just like you, realized that 90% of the features weren’t being used. Nonetheless, they were fun to build and helped me learn new formulas and workflows in Coda. These days, I try to have my templates do one thing and one thing well. My general takeaway is that similar to consumer apps, for example, people don’t care how much time you spent setting up the database or builing features to handle edge cases. All that matters is the UX and and that the app can solve one problem well. This could be jotting down a note, getting today’s weather, etc.


I like the simple idea:

  • Notion for wiki and documents

  • Coda for tables and automation

If you can use both for each case, it is the best option, but I understand that it is complicate.

Good post and I agree. Mobile app is lacking and keeps me looking back at notion wondering if I made the right switch myself.

For me, I switched to Coda when I saw the video on YouTube “Notion vs Coda 2022” - I was literally laughing out loud as I started playing around in Coda and was discovering all the powerful table features and related formulas vs Notion.

Seeing this post and a few others, I briefly opened Notion, but I immediately ran across all those little Page icons in my table cells - UGH, I closed it - I’m not sure how others see Notion as looking better than Coda but beauty is in the eye

I have always agreed about Notion having the best mobile experience - I even have a “Quick Notes” Notion widget on my Galaxy’s home screen - which points to a simple page w/check lists and text - really nice and handy!

It helped a bit when I was told to just use a browser vs the app - I was using a HUGE Galaxy Ultra tablet which Coda always forces into holding it in portrait mode (try holding an 80" TV in portrait mode!! :rofl:) - I also set the browser to “desktop site mode” as well.

If Coda straightens out the mobile situation, and I could do similar with widgets, I will honestly never need to look back at Notion with all my needs being met…


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