[WIP] Learn Coda Formulas in X Minutes — the ultimate formula guide by Paul 🚀

:warning: Heads up!

The work on this guide is temporarily postponed. This offer didn’t get enough interest to let me work on it full time, so I’m grinding again. I’m still committed to making it eventually, I just can’t promise when it’ll happen.

See the last message for the details.



In a nutshell, two things:

  1. I’m making the ultimate Coda Formula guide
  2. …but I really need your support already :pensive:

1. I’m making the ultimate Coda Formula guide

The Coda Formula Language (CFL) is an essential part of Coda. Without formulas, Coda is just a glorified typewriter :slight_smile: Yet so many people still struggle with writing their formulas. There are different sorts of formula lists and many scattered topics and videos on individual formulas. But to this day there is not a single truly end-to-end guide that would build fundamental understanding of the Coda Formula Language and inspire confidence in using it for anything more complicated than a list of tasks.

CFL is very elegant and powerful. It is actually very simple once you grasp a few very basic concepts. And it doesn’t have to take you days, or weeks, or dozens of exercises to learn it.

Hey, I’m Paul and I know just the way to teach it to you!

A few other makers are building their formula guides.
Here’s what’s special about mine:

▸ It’s scannable. Just like this post, no need to read all of it. I highlighted the important bits and illustrated it so that you can get it all in a glimpse, and only read closely into it if you need it.

▸ It’s printable. No heavy interactivity or hidden content behind popups — only well laid out knowledge. Print it out, put it on your desk, and use it as a reference when working on your own docs.

▸ It’s concise. No vast articles or made-up challenges on every individual formula. Instead I’m teaching you the core principles and building intuitive understanding of the CFL. As @adoc_mama put it,

I'm not teaching the formulas — I'm teaching the formula to learn all formulas.

I also reworked and re-grouped the whole Formula list. Knowing the core principles, you’ll never have to learn them in isolation. And I’m including plethora of tips, tricks, common idioms, gotchas and pitfalls, best practices and patterns, and cheat sheets so that you don’t have to memorize any of it.

I wanted to do this for a long time, Initially as a video mini-course. I attempted to record it at least once, twice, thrice. And only now I finally had a revelation as to how I should do it: as a concise, well-illustrated and got-it-at-a-glance doc that you can actually devour in X minutes.*

Just one small thing:

2. …but I really need your support already :pensive:

I wish it didn’t have to come to this, yet here we are.
Bluntly: I’m in debt, and I should cover it asap.

How did it come to this?

At first everything was fine, I got Maker Funded and hoped for a fruitful year.
So what went wrong?

First, the war in my country Ukraine. This put our lives to a halt. From the day one my wife and I organized a massive volunteering force in our city and dedicated all our efforts to providing relief. We spent most of our savings back then, hoping for a quick resolve and return to normal life.

I’m very thankful to everyone who supported me back then through Patreon — this let us apply ourselves to the max in the first few most critical months. Nothing is forgotten — I’m tracking all the cumulative pledges and have made up / will make up for it with good content in return.

Eventually the funds started draining, so I took up some client work. That turned out to be a disaster. I was balancing between gigs, volunteering, running a side business, and still struggling from long covid and stage 4 burnout. My efficiency dropped, so the projects took longer to complete than anticipated — and I wasn’t charging any extra. So I ran myself into debt. To get out I took up another client, only to repeat the same again. And then again. And somewhere between clients I also ran the inaugural live course — it helped for a while and I hope my students can say a few good words about it here in the topic, but ultimately it also took 2x longer than I anticipated and the funds eventually drained.

Finally I’m out of the last big project. It wasn’t even a well-paid one, just the one I couldn’t say no to (it’s related to war relief.) I’m still in debt. And what’s worse, I wasted the time I could rather spend where it mattered: finishing Sync Tables Pro, making some cool templates, rebooting my YouTube, doubling down on educational content — or frankly, having some rest at last.

Asking for help is hard. To the last moment I thought I’d get out of it myself. But then the winter came and so did the blackouts. And then I got some health problems (I’ll live, don’t worry, but it needs to be resolved). That, and a few more matters, did the final blow.

There’s only two paths for me now:

I’m really officially fed up with client work. It’s just more of the same, with no one but client to benefit from. That is why I’m coming to you now.

So — if you’d like this guide for yourself or your team, I kindly ask you to pre-purchase it now.
Or if you don’t really need it but my answers helped you in the past and you wanted to repay me somehow — there’s not gonna be a better time.

To make the guide affordable for everyone I planned several tiers.
All are one-time purchases and there’s a 20% discount on every plan before the launch.

    Saver          Standard    Extended    Personal      + Coaching
Price | $20 $25 $40 $50 $80 $100 $160 $200 $400 $500
Fundamentals | :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:
All official formulas | :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:
Common idioms | :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:
Hidden formulas | Some :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:
Cheat sheets | :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:
Version you get | Rev 1[1] Latest[2] Evergreen[3] Evergreen Evergreen
Your personal copy | No[4] No No :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:
Team discounts | :white_check_mark:[5] :white_check_mark:
1-on-1 time with me | 2 × 45m sessions[6]

[1] — The Rev. 1 of the guide will become the Saver version. After that it won’t get any updates.

[2] — The Standard version will be an up-to-date doc at the moment of purchase. You’ll have access to it forever. But if there’s a newer version and you want to get it, you’ll have to pay again.

[3] — The Extended guide will be directly updated with new content. Those who buy Personal and up will automatically receive new updated docs.

[4] — Saver, Standard, Extended docs are shared view-only docs. Your email will be added to the common pool and could be seen by other readers. The Personal copy provides extra privacy (a dedicated copy of the doc is only shared with you or your team) and you have Editor rights on it.

[5] — If you’re getting my guide for your whole Coda dept., each next copy will get cheaper. Ask me for details at paul@codatricks.com.

[6] — Or it could be 3 × 30m. I’ll be happy to answer any remaining questions you’ll have. You can also use this time to get advice on other things about Coda. Occasionally I may take a quick glimpse at your doc but I will not work on it, make fixes etc. Each such gig requires a lot of dedication and energy from my side, and I simply cannot do this anymore.

I really recommend going for the Extended version at $80. This way you’ll get the most complete version of the doc and I’ll keep updating it with new chapters and extras. I’ve already planned the extra part on Designing Databases, and cheat sheets on Regular Expressions and JSONPath.



Going above the desired plan is also welcome, and so are the tips :slight_smile: (alright, alright, I’m not really in a position to get cocky, lol)

To buy the guide, please follow the instructions here:

In a few days I’ll share the Pipeline doc and keep you updated on the progress. I’ll also share the completed bits with you whenever I can.

Thank you :raised_hands:

* — In “X Minutes,” X is a user-specific variable, not a Roman numeral :slight_smile:



The sneak peek you show here, and the one you showed inside your course, both look amazing and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I know it will be super helpful.



I’m what would you call a power user, but I just pre-purchased the extended version as I am sure it will eventually grow to be the ultimate reference for coda hidden formulas and formula tricks!
Good luck Paul !


Dear @Paul_Danyliuk

Really sorry to understand that you have a difficult time.
Rather obvious living in a country in war and high inflation.

Did you consider / check out if https://opencollective.com/ is a solution for you?

Why I am suggesting it;

Wouldn’t it be great having people supporting you and your family, on a monthly base? It’s also more inflation proof and on the other hand the provider of funds will not feel it that much in his/her/their monthly budget, while on the other hand you provided them monthly deliverables / added value.

This would be a more long term solution, giving you piece in mind and ground to create a way out of this delicate situation.



Really wonderful site! There is so much junk on the internet, but every now and again something like that restores my faith in humanity.


I’m running a Patreon; this seems somewhat the same (continuous monthly support). For some time it was paying my rent but it never grew to the point where I could stop taking clients altogether. One of my big hopes is to actually return to making more content (incl. for Patrons) more regularly. These days it’s the other way around: I’m taking my Patreon content and opening it up piece by piece.

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Paul your Coda knowledge knows no bounds!


I’m pretty new here, Paul, but your insights here have been super helpful to learn from.

Kudos for asking for help, especially after you’ve done so much to help others through the effort in Ukraine (and in places like this!).

I just sent this to our ops person who’s in Scott’s Coda School now as a bolt-on for her learning. I know one more sale isn’t a game changer, but hopefully it helps!

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Thank you so much for your contribution @Paul_Danyliuk , I purchased the extended version)

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I am looking forward to dive deeper into the knowledge about the formulas. Thank you for your teaching.

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First of all — thanks for all your support! You’re amazing! :raised_hands:

Second — here’s an update: basically a thorough plan / table of contents of the upcoming guide

Please let me know what you think. I think I’ve covered it all :sweat_smile:
Is there something you’d add?


hello! is there any news on this document?

Hey all.

Sorry for the delays on the document and thank you for your patience.

Sadly, it didn’t get the traction I hoped for. I wished these sales could cover my immediate needs and I could then exclusively focus on the guide. I tried several other things that could turn me some income without having to resort to burying into client work again, but both those projects were essentially shut down. So in the end I had to urgently take up a few more gigs and start talking to a long-term client :man_shrugging:

That said, I haven’t abandoned the doc and I’m working on it whenever I have time for that. I sketched out the first few chapters when I was visiting our distant family for Easter this weekend. I’m also constantly on a lookout for the next groundbreaking thing that everyone would need so that I could quit client work or at least do a less stressful kind of it. Stay tuned.


After some unavoidable detours, I’m finally working on it full steam :wink:

Stay tuned. My goal is to finish Rev.1 by the end of this month, or a few days into June at latest.


Hey Paul,

Any updates on when the Extended version will be ready or do you have anything you can send in the meantime given I also purchased it back in February?

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Hey @Jay_Japra!

I just sent an email to everyone who supported the guide, and I’ll also include it here for everyone who finds this topic now:

The email

Hey all!

This email goes out to the 27 people who supported the creation of the “In X minutes” guide. It’s time for me to write an overdue update and an apology.

TL;DR: I haven’t given up on the idea to make the guide. But I cannot promise anymore when I’ll be able to make it. I am very sorry that after over half a year it’s still not made and I haven’t shared anything with you. You can ask me to refund you and I’ll do it, no questions asked. Or you can trust me to make it eventually, and I’ll find a way to make it up to you (e.g. by upping your tier, offering some 1-on-1 time or a premium template for free etc.)

So what happened? In a nutshell, I hoped to get more interest in this guide. I made it affordable and hoped more people would buy into it, which would allow me to focus full time on creating it the way I wanted it. Selling as few as 100 copies would’ve already made that possible. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, so I had to take in clients, partake in the AI hackathon, and try other opportunities for a living. And this, sadly, only pushed me further from making the guide. My wife and I, we’ve had a rough winter followed by a rough spring. Now we’ve got a debt to pay and the IVF to undergo before it’s too late for us. We’ve already optimized our expenses as much as we could but there’s still some grind for us — especially since another winter is coming and our power grid will most likely be bombed again. I need to do as much client work as I can before that — I’m dependent on my desktop PC and can’t work efficiently on a laptop. There’s a silver lining though; when all of that happens I’ll finally have plenty of time to work on the guide.

The guide I have in mind cannot just be done in spare minutes between tasks. It requires full focus and commitment. I believe that such a guide only then will be helpful when it’s very focused and concise, and comes with very precise illustrations to go with it. One can’t just dump their brain into a tome of text and expect people to learn from it — this would be unbearable to sit through. I’ve already been there with my 5-hour-long youtube videos and improvised lectures, and I can see it very well that it’s good for nothing. (speaking of YouTube, I am planning a serious relaunch there as well, as soon as I have a dent in my grind — stay tuned!)

So yeah, I am not disappearing anywhere. I’m lucky to still be safe; life is stressful but at least we’re not being bombed here in Uzhhorod. The guilt for this guide still keeps me awake at nights. But I am still committed to the desire to ditch client work and make more educational content as soon as I can afford it.

All that said, if you’d like a refund, just reply to this email and I’ll send the money back to the PayPal you used to pay me, within a day.

Have a great day,

As of what happened in May and June. After failing to get traction on this guide and failing to land a client, I borrowed some money from a friend to pay out in a year. That gave me some runway and I started working on the guide again. Then the AI hackathon got announced, which I saw as an opportunity to win some $ to help me out of that debt. It took up my full commitment then, and it was a lucky call — I won it. With the win came client requests, which after a fruitless winter and spring I couldn’t afford to reject. Now I’m just grinding it while I still can, until I have enough funds to live through the blackouts and stuff. I’m also on a constant lookout for other things that could bring me some passive income and free me up to make edu content, e.g. some innovative packs like this.


Stay strong Paul! Best to you and your family.

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