Wondering about Coda

Nice point @Sarah_Arminta!
I think that when people will understand what’s CODA is really about, many companies like Notion and Airtable could take a serious blow!

Check this post to see what was possible for me to do with no coding background in just one year of use.

But you also have to consider this; many people are consumer, not creators, so they would prefer to have a finalized and less “intimidating” product or service, but far more limited than take the time to really master an entire crafting system. Think about a huge Lego set with little instruction on the box and really endless possibilities; the vast majority of apps and services customers aren’t probably yet ready for this kind of mental approach. Anytime I show to someone what you can do in CODA people are amazed but also they are worried about how much time they will need to create something. They didn’t see that it can really start as a simple doc or sheet that eventually could scale up to incredibile complexity levels while you master more advanced architectures and functionalities.

I put great faith on this community, this is the place where I want to be! I am teaching Boolean logic to my 10 years old son while creating documents with IF statements. One year ago I barely know what Boolean logic was about. :see_no_evil:

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This is a deep and interesting analysis of the Coda business model: I work on corporate level of a big organization, but I use 99% Coda for personal use because of the restrictions imposed by the productivity app, hacks and software I can use at work. It certainly helped me out a lot to create fast marketing plans, product roadmaps, project management and very quick and omnipresent bi directional referencing for research and follow ups.

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Love this quote. The Doc Gallery usually shows polished end states and not how a doc evolved to get to that point over many months and versions.

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Many share the same curse of you @Paul_Danyliuk! :relaxed: But we will encourage you to push forward! Done and delivered it will be incredible more valuable than perfect and unpublished. Many famous YouTubers, Bloggers and writers has really started with nothing, with videos or posts that are far from perfect and they always tell the same success story. Also people today tends to prefer original and not so polished content if it’s amazing and useful (think about TikTok with 30 seconds attention lifespan!) Don’t fall entrapped on perfectionism as you will learn and improve incredibly more faster by doing and making some error than passing your time on learning any aspect of content marketing, placement, etc etc. You have done a really interesting job until now! Keep going!

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Hey, @Sarah_Arminta
I couldn’t agree more with you.
It’s very difficult to find good content about Coda.
What brought me here in the first place was this YouTube video below.
This guy is an AirTable expert and his tutorials are really good. He posted this “Getting started with Coda” and I almost immediately left AirTable. (It sucks in comparison).
I wish there were more tutorials like this.
The only thing I dislike about Coda is that it doesn’t handle well tables with more than 10.000 rows or much much less if you have buttons in it.
Overall I think it’s amazing what you can achieve with it and I happily pay for the Team plan

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This conversation is great. I agree with all of you so far, but I’ll chime in with my thoughts. I started testing Coda out at some point, but left before I got hooked. That happened a few times, actually. I can’t recall the specifics of why, but it was mostly just not fully understanding just how useful it could be.

Once I saw the search console pack, I knew I could make something awesome if I had access. I actually paid for Coda on my own before finally getting approval to get the team version for my company. During that few months, which coincided with the onset of the pandemic really sent me into the deep end. I have moved everything I had in Notion and Airtable over to Coda. I use it for several personal projects as well, and I’m a legit Codan through and through.

I think that it’s power is what steers people to more simple things like Notion. But for those of us who can eventually wrap our heads around some of it (thanks to this community of course!), it renders those tools and many others completely worthless.

The ONLY thing I need Coda to improve upon is the handling of huge tables. I want to move everything I have into Coda, but some things would just be impossible because of performance reasons. Oh- I guess, too, app-wide searching. I need that, as well.

I want to post about my personal projects eventually, but sharing and permissions is a little tricky because of how I built them. Once I start fresh, I’ll try to do so. I did post one on Reddit, but like @Sarah_Arminta said, it’s pretty dead.

Overall, if you show the right person the power of Coda- they’re going to be won over. It’s unbeatable. Trying to use Notions formulas after Coda is comical. I was an Airtable early adopter, known at my company as “The Airtable Guy”, but it took all of 15 minutes on a Coda paid tier for me to say goodbye.

I’m rambling, but just know I love building and using Coda, and I hope more and more people realize how amazing it is!

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You could have posted it here :wink: in the How To category :wink: ! You still can :wink: !

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Out of curiosity (and a bit of schadenfreude) what’s the Notion formula language like?

Edit: Looked up some examples. Seems that the major inelegance arises from the use of the prop function. E.g.


thisRow.[First Name] is just much more elegant.


It seems a filter with both AND and OR operations can also be a bit of a mess (unless this have since been fixed).

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I understand well what you are saying and agree. It would be a great idea that you start a YouTube channel about Coda. You do a fantastic job with your current videos.

Excellent videos (3 so far) demonstrating the power and flexibility of Coda. Straight to the point, showing clearly the Formulars etc…

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Hi @Sarah_Arminta I think I saw that you came over from Clickup too. Same here :slight_smile:

I think one reason why is coda’s features are toward business people (the tables, calendars, kanban, those are excel killer features) and we know the slash commands kill word docs as well. Business people tend to just do their work and go home. Take it from me - I run my entire company on coda. We have a massive document for the entire company - >100,000 words in total, hundreds of tables. I think I told in total only a couple of my friends so far about coda, but me being totally focused on work doesn’t mean I’ll actively rave about coda.

Meanwhile notion is for personal use - people who want to feel good organizing their life. Naturally they are going to want to talk about this to their friends. Notion’s customers are probably a lot more social and they gain more word of mouth. Where coda is better is in the workplace - and signing those big enterprise contracts worth hundreds of thousands of users, so it’s a whole different ballgame than notion

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If only cell referencing was in fact bi-directional!

I found Notion first, and it has a certain visual appeal that CODA does not have. I think the availability of columns have a lot to do with that, also the fact the page links in CODA are hyperlink blue. But the columns is the big thing.

But as most of the commenters noted CODA’s implementation of tables is far superior to that of Notion. I liked Airtable but did not spend much time on it as it was too expensive for the people that I primarily have in mind as customers. (Small business in South Africa).

And I experienced the same frustration with the lack of info outside of the CODA bubble. Unfortunately I do not have enough time to learn CODA properly. It is an hour here, and an hour there, and by the end of the week I have forgotten much of what I have learned,

I have worked through most of the topics suggested in the Learn doc, but I feel that there is a lack of a structured set of course(s), aimed at slightly above the real starter level. I am trying to fill that by building out my “Rambling Pete Quick Examples” CODA doc, but it is slow going because of my 9-5 job.

Which also frustrated me - it is a massive international organisation, but we are locked tight into MS Teams to communicate and Box to store files. Without even the ability to create lists in MS Teams. I could increase our project teams productivity by 30-50%, partially by just getting all the various teams from all the consulting houses and regions to work in the same environment… &^^$@^&

Sorry for the side track - I miss a structured course that will take one into the mid-level complexity. There are people here that are doing weird and wonderful stuff. But I would like a 8-16 hour course that will take one from an absolute beginner to familiar with tables, the canvas, some button functionality, maybe the gmail and calendar pack. The structure of CODA is very different to both spreadsheets, databases and word processors, and one needs to be indoctrinated. I would really like to do it, but have two go lives in the next six months.

But @Sarah_Arminta it was nice to hear other people have the same frustrations. Hopefully the community will grow quickly.

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I just had an idea, maybe CODA can implement it, or I could give it a shot using a community building app?

The information in this community is very specific questions and answers, on any topic under the sun. If we could have a group for Button tips and tricks, one for formulas, another for working with tables - joining, filtering, linking etc.

Any feedback?

Time to revive this thread :slight_smile:

@Sarah_Arminta @Connor_McCormick @GiacomoPasini @Breno_Nunes @Joseph_Murphy @JHConsulting and others in this thread —

This year I decided to gradually step down from consulting (i.e. building docs for hire privately,) get back into the Community and create more educational content. My plan for February is to:

  • Start recording a Coda Basics tutorial, which is not really specifically about Coda but the general logic behind calculations, data design, and computer science that one can find in any programming and also Coda (i.e. what @Christiaan_Huizer said here)

  • Finally launch the blog. I think I have a solution for beating my perfectionist’s deadlock: I’ll live record unedited videos about topics I want to write about, and gradually convert them into text form. This means that either way the knowledge will be out there, either in an unpolished video form or in a concise text form.

  • Speaking of the blog, just like @Piet_Strydom said, I want to have it all well categorized like “Everything you need to know about buttons”, “Everything you need to know about layouts” etc. The Coda Basics course will actually be the “Everything you need to know about formulas”.

I’m really going to focus on it now. Strategically for me it’s more important and more rewarding in the long run to be “the one who shared their knowledge and taught everyone to use Coda efficiently”, and not “the one who did paid work for some companies and then got exhausted and surpassed by other consultants”. Especially since we’re at a point now where more people and agencies do Coda freelancing but nobody else is willing to share what they know.

So yeah, aiming for a win-win here. I started a new YouTube channel because YT wouldn’t let me rename the old one:

And I launched a Patreon! If you’d like to support me on my journey and also get some perks please check it out :slight_smile: There’s a video of me explaining why I chose to go this way.

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@Paul_Danyliuk great to hear that, I am quite sure you will have a quick ramp up and I wish you all the best. A good format could also be hosting people from the community to work or showcase some Coda doc together. I am sure you will find interesting insights

Cant wait for it! :slight_smile:

HI All,

I have made the jump, taken the plunge and/or pulled the trigger and created a Community for CODA Education Resources. It is called "Rambling Pete’s CODA Education community. It is built on the Tribe.so Community software. I hope that it will complete what CODA has here, rather than compete with it.

It is early days on how to structure it - but I have created three groups in which to post, or which to belong to - Beginner, Medium and Advanced.

I have created a few product related topics, e.g. Buttons, Tables and Formulas. SO the idea is that if you provide a complicated “button” example. you would post it in the Advanced group, and add the topic Buttons. Etc More than one topic can be added. You can also create your own topics where necessary.

Further, I have created a topic for “Links to other contributors” IN there I currently have links to @Paul_Danyliuk 's YouTube Channel and his Patreon page. I have also added a link to @Christiaan_Huizer 's page in Medium. (Please let me know if you prefer not to have the links published there, and I will remove them.)
I have also provided a link to this community, as well as to the official CODA YouTube channel.

Finally there is a topic where you can make comments, suggestions and complaints.

The functionality exists in Tribe and Zapier to build an integrated Facebook Group, but that costs $85 per month, so maybe a little later down the line. However, I will create a group on Facebook as well, at the moment you CAN share posts on Tribe to Facebook.

Enjoy, and please provide feedback.

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goodmorning @Piet_Strydom ,

I created a profile and entered the community. Why not a Coda doc?

When I follow the official Coda communication, my understanding is that their main focus is on getting teams to work together (posts about Wiki, the examples of Maria and so on). I cannot speak for others, but I do not know a lot about this, I focus on calculations and automations, so I cannot tell what makes Coda great as collaborative tool (besides a lot of hassle linked to sign-up).

My Medium contribution is for free and I hope it inspires others to pick up faster the Coda logic. An important motivation for me writing is trying to understand how to explain Coda in an efficient way to starters. What do you need to know at the beginning, what is good to know second etc… If somebody would have shown me the logic around lists, the difference between thisRow and thisTable and so on, I would have picked it up a bit faster I guess.

Once I have a new article, I’ll mention it overhere, it always contains the functions that helped me solving the issue at hand and I am considering a doc in my Gallery (as @joost_mineur has) to publish the tables I used in my examples.

Best! Christiaan

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Hi Christiaan.

Thanks for signing up.

Why not a Coda doc?

There is always the question about whether one uses “best of breed” or do everything in the same tool. What I put together in Tribe was done in a few hours, over at most two days. To do all of what is currently in there in a CODA doc, would have taken me months, if I could get it to work.

An important motivation for me writing is trying to understand how to explain Coda in an efficient way to starters. What do you need to know at the beginning, what is good to know second etc…

For me this is also important, and which is why I maintain my Doc with examples, I want to give people examples that are working. Also somewhat behind the idea of the community - easily find how to do things, techniques. Problem is, my personal focus is on tables and their manipulations, somebody else might have a completely different focus, say on integration and API’s, etc. But hopefully the community will be able to build some structure to the documentation that is available about CODA.

Thanks, that would be great.