Good now, only getting better
I've been using Coda since the closed beta, and I've been blown away by their vision for the future and the speed with which they're implementing new functions.
Other than Slack and e-mail, Coda is the main infratstructure for our organization. The flexibility and being able to set everything up and automate exactly to our liking is fantastic
It's a fairly new product, which means that there's (almost) constantly UI changes going on. Performance could be better too, and interdoc connection is missing.
feature impact, ease of use and integration with existing business
Outstanding, see other reviews for further details.
Coda is a fantastic application which has incredibly transformative potential for those who are interested in exploring it. It is feature rich, with a constantly expanding portfolio of API options, built in capabilities and all important 3rd party integrations, this enables easy integration into existing business infrastructure and quickly demonstrates return on investment once things start to get set up. The way I see coda is like word/docs with the functionality of excel/sheets/airtable and the look of notion - take all that and put it on steroids by adding near limitless customisability and a fantastic customer support team who will help you to achieve things that you didn't even know possible - what you end up with is just a doc, the way docs should be
As coda is much younger than its competitors some of its features are still in development, for example the API only recently came out of beta (as of 17/07/20). There are some downsides to this which I'd like to imagine you can assume, however the diligent team release updates extremely regularly and listen intently to their customers, building a fantastic user-centric workspace experience with ever increasing features. The main thing which I didn't like about the software is that the tools in upper pricing tiers are too attractive, making me want to spend more than my budget on this kind of software - which I suppose is a good and bad thing.
Powerful, flexible and rewarding to use
I see its relevance In all my future work in some way or another.
If you like playing around with software or do you need to customize functionality to various projects Coda is a serious contender. There are so many uses and possibilities that it replaces a lot of other software.
It is not always easy to translate your idea into a functional Doc, so be prepared for a step learning curve.
Slows down over time
Ok... but then it just slowed down and became unusable. We need to get critical company info out of heads and recorded fast. Loading up Coda was slow and they messed with the structure of docs too much to the point where we lost track of what went were. It was simple at first then it became docs, folders, sections, child sections. It feels like they're just bloating it with features now.
The flexibility to set things up how you want is great but that also comes with down sides after a while. The data table functionality works ok.
Speed and performance really suffers with time, to the point where it takes 10 seconds plus to open our main doc. Support tried to help but couldn't really do anything to improve it.
It's also very easy to accidentally share your entire doc and make it public without realising. I wouldn't keep confidential information in there anymore because of that.
The future of docs and collaboration
My experience with Coda has been exceptional. I feel empowered by their resources to create exciting docs that have transformed our workflows, and if I ever have questions I know that Coda Support or the Coda Community will be able to help.
Why I *love* Coda
- First and foremost: tables and a writing surface in one doc. Never again do I have to link to a spreadsheet or paste long-form text into table so that all of my Google Suite info is cobbled into one doc.
- Spans personal and professional work. I have transferred most of my professional work into Coda docs and (even more excitingly) moved all of my "life admin" work (moving checklists, auto repair history, wedding planning, etc) into Coda docs. Coda's flexible platform allows you to build docs that suit whatever work you're trying to accomplish.
- Automations. In Coda you can set data and time-based triggers to alert you in email and Slack. These are game-changers when it comes to remembering an upcoming deadline, reminding a co-worker of an outstanding action item, or celebrating a data milestone.
- Doc Gallery. The gallery is a collection of published docs that can be copied for your own use or be used for inspiration for creating new docs. If I'm ever stuck on how to make a doc (like distributed onboarding), I browse docs that other Coda creators have published for ideas on layouts, formatting, and formulas.
Challenges in using Coda
- Onboarding. The power of Coda can be intimidating when onboarding – I would second-guess whether doc layouts were as good as they could possibly be, if my formulas were robust, if I should make a different sub-page or section for content, etc. Thankfully, Coda has a variety of resources like their Community of creators, the Help Center, a YouTube channel (shout out to [SENSITIVE CONTENT HIDDEN]!), and a fantastic support team. It took a couple weeks of watching videos and reading the Community page while transferring docs to Coda for me to feel like I really understood the platform, but now I feel like I really *get* all of the features and feel empowered when making docs.
- Onboarding your team. Getting a team to adopt a new tool, especially something as foundational as docs/collaboration/documentation is hard. We had the full spectrum of people who were elated about using Coda to... not elated. I wanted to give everyone the experience of using a fully built out doc, so we transferred our weekly team meeting gdoc into Coda. In doing this everyone had a direct comparison between old (gdocs) and new (Coda docs), and we won over most people just with that doc. To keep up the momentum, I worked with teams and individuals to transfer over their docs to Coda, and I send out an email every week sharing a Coda feature (like emailing pages, automations, conditional formatting). Coda is the new default for our team after ~1-2 months of transition.
Best app to create mini apps for remote teams
As a remote-first company, we at Getro.com, have been using Coda for over 3 and it's been an instrumental tool to help us scale and stay flexible operating our company.
I love Coda's flexibility. With my team we use it to define roadmaps and scope projects. Personally, I use it to take daily notes and I also run my own public blog with Coda.
It's important to be careful with large documents.
Unlimited power and agility for 0 to 12$/m/team
Amazing, game changer for the business efficiency, speed, agility.
Unbelievably powerful, you can build all the most advanced CRM / ERP / project management tools and features you can imagine in a few hours, integrate with the whole universe, and make your ops people (sales,...) save time and be happy.
Plus it comes with a Google doc killer that will reshape how efficiently your team works in asynchronous docs, it's game changer.
People who are not really at ease with Google sheets / zapier can't build as advanced workflows, but it's okay.
The documenting master tool
We started using Coda as our source of truth for the company, specially for documentation. But as the product has evolved, we have used the product as our task management system too.
I like the easy of use of this tool. It’s like having the best of Google Docs, and Google Spreadsheets all in one place. You can customize almost everything! And it has great integrations with third party applications, plus you can connect through multiple API client libraries.
At the very beginning, our team experienced performance issues. The tool is so robust that needs memory and some browsers were not supported.
However, as Coda grew as a company, performance issues are not a thing anymore and their support team was super diligent at helping us optimize our docs.
Could be a great product, but Not the best for me
Beyond utilizing the initial document/app I was provided, I found my experience frustrating at best. It’s not Coda’s fault, this product could be perfectly ideal for someone with the right skills, that’s just simply not me.
The idea of building up an ‘app’ to be exactly what I need functionality-wise, and based off of an all-encompassing spread sheet was very appealing. I would have access to all the info I needed on desktop and mobile.
Building it out to be what I needed required an ability to code the document in every way, and that’s just not something I’m knowledgeable enough for. Nor do I have the time to figure it out. Even once I did finally build out features, I would easily delete them accidentally.
That said, I got some help early on to get everything set up correctly, but again, without knowing how to do it myself, I couldn’t maintain or expand on what I was provided.
My New Favorite Tool
Having everything about a project live all in one place had saved me a lot of head aches. I'm building out a course and this has become the hub of the entire thing. The face that I could build out all the tabs and pages I needed has kept me organized and on track, not something i could have done on google sheets or any other pm tool for this particular need.
I love that I can sign in with my gmail account, that along makes my life easy. I like that I can easily integrate other apps and build out projects based on my needs. The best part for me is to easily collaborate with others in real time, the feature is really smooth.
Honestly, there isn't much i don't like about it, so I don't have much to say here. Maybe more on the free plan for those just getting started?
Very cool features, but some bumps along the way
I use Coda for individual notes on smaller projects (block limits prevent me using it for longer ones), giving me a single spot to find my notes from meetings, workshops and creative outputs and organise my thinking far better than I could in our G Suite setup. I also love Coda for user interviews and research, helping my to create views of an interview script for each session, but then to be able to review all the sessions side by side, have the videos embedded etc.
Most limitations come from an inability to fully adopt it in my own work enough to justify paying for an account - a lot of my personal use moved to Notion when the introduced pricing strategy killed half of my live documents, and it's just not powerful or reliable enough for me to be able to make a push for it as a team-wide tool yet. This isn't a concern for future users, but the "This doc is too big and will become read only in 14 days" approach to implementing their initially very convoluted pricing strategy was a real pain point and burned a lot of my goodwill.
I don't expect them to pivot that dramatically again (from "A doc as powerful as an app" to "A doc for teams"), but that pivot has made me very wary about recommending it to friends and colleagues in case it happens again and half their work gets frozen in a format that's very tough to extract efficiently.
Coda is, first and foremost, very impressive. It does a lot, especially through their Packs, that can make Coda docs meaningful hubs for projects whether personal or professional. If you can get the buy in from your team or company to make the swap, giving people the tools to create useful tools for themselves is fantastic. The pace of development compared to others in the space (looking at you, Notion) is also very impressive and it feels like almost every other week there's some new feature that I can actually make use of with Coda.
The main drawbacks for me are the pricing model, especially for individual use, and the maths functions.
Pricing: It's very tough to use as e.g. a personal planner with the free product, and it isn't dramatically better at those functions with the paid product than something like Notion. Particularly after Notion made the majority of personal plan free it's just very hard to recommend Coda for individuals unless you have a very specific need for some of their features, as the document size limits can feel very arbitrary, blocking out usage for a lot of hobby users.
Maths/Spreadsheet style functions: While a lot exists, and the idea of focusing on column references rather than cell references initially feels nice, in reality it only makes explaining what a formula is doing once it works easier - getting that formula to work is very tough. Documentation is pretty patchwork around maths functions and sometimes you just want to be able to jot some quick table calculations down that might not suit "Rows as distinct entries" style tables, but everything in Coda is set up to deal with continuous and repeated equations within an entry, which is very tough to deal with.
Good and flexible
Our experience has been very positive so far. We managed to create some internal processes to develop projects around some templates we created in coda and that helped us significantly. At the time we started using coda very few other tools had the customization abiities of coda and that was a winning point for us. Hope they fix their pricing model soon, because having documents locked down is not reasonable at our stage of business.
It's easy to integrate with team processes and also to enable the creation of new processes. Has a lot of integrations, has powerful table functionality, is has some very nice original features like creating a webpage out of documents.
The documents are very complete and have the necessary flexibility to adapt to every teams' needs and specificities. The documents also naturally look good, no need to "beautify".
The collaborative side of the documents is a great feature and works well in small teams.
Most of the integrations with outside software are poor and have very little to no customization/parameterization. For example including google drive documents is very very basic.
The pricing is not very competitive, specially for small teams, considering other softwares out there. The worst part is that they limit the size of the documents in the free tier, and if you go beyond the size limit they lock your documents and you won't be able to work on them any longer. They could use a better model that is not this aggressive.
Low-code at its best!
There's a lot that you can do using just the free version. Paid plans provide useful additions. After spending a little time with the documentation, you can build amazing things.
The learning curve is a little steep. I have experience with database software and I feel it put me at a disadvantage as I had to let go of some old habits. Some parts of Coda are reminiscent of a classic database while others force you to think a little bit differently.
There really isn't a competitive alternative
As I said, it's a surprising powerful app that's still very easy to use and the user/dev community is actually very active and helpful. I discovered and started using Coda in their early days and I have tried every single app listed above and then some since (and still use many for various things). For its unique combination of features, though, I still always find myself coming back to Coda. So much so that, while their free plan is surprisingly feature rich with high limits, I finally decided to pull the trigger and commit by purchasing a plan.
For my needs, it's like the developers took the best features of Google Docs, Airtable, Notion and Confluence and wrapped them all up into uniquely powerful and easy-to-use product. I have to do a lot of off-the-cuff analysis and tracking, and the features they provide around tables exceed even Google Sheets for my uses. I often find myself building little apps that make a task so much easier to get done and with minimal effort compared to other apps (custom scripts in Google Sheets anyone?).
The formula and control options are also second-to-none both in just how much you can do with them and also how they can be brought together into a much more usable interface.
I don't understand why you have to go with a Team plan or above to access document locking functionality. I've got it now that I'm paying, but I've built a lot of tools in Coda in the past that I wanted to share but didn't because I also had to then give folks editing access. If I'm going to trust anyone with editing access, it's my team - I'm trying to lock things down for colleagues, clients and leadership.
Also, they have got to add in the option to import data from a file - this copy and paste from a spreadsheet is a pain and not always reliable.
An extremely flexible and powerful project and data management tool
Flexibility is the number one reason we love coda on my team.
We use Coda for a number of purposes:
-bug tracking for our app
-organizing documents for projects
-indexing and searching our assets database
-backing up text strings for our website
-managing translation strings
-task tracking for consultants
With just a bit of training we have managed to onboard most of our team and to set up dashboards and workspaces suitable for so many different core functions.
It is amazing to be able to accomplish so much without needing to introduce a new tool to our workflow. It also integrates well with Google Docs and Dropbox, which we also use on our team.
The support team is very responsive and helpful. They really provide excellent tips and guidance, and often solve issues within minutes.
The limitation on document sizes for users with free accounts makes sense but at the time we needed to upgrade there was no way to transfer the old document to the upgraded account seamlessly. We ended up having to duplicate our document, which was really bad for continuity and very very confusing to team members less familiar with our file storage systems.
Easier collaboration vs. Notion
Coda is a quick start for anyone familiar with google docs or other collaborative platforms. I use Coda for managing a team of 20 volunteers on web content publishing projects.
I like the templates library and integrations.
I am waiting for a rollup function to include all team comments across documents. This feature is currently missing and makes the software difficult to use for managing a large team with multiple documents.
Using coda to organize
I have been able to set up an online interactive system to organize our activities in a way that would have required much more effort with any other tool. And really nice is that you can modifying/add features with incredible ease.
Coda is super easy to organize information, share it in an app like environment and build a documentation website/app. With the help of tables, action buttons and 'smart' views you can do things that would take much more time to setup with other tools. A lot of functionality can be implemented without ever reading any documentation.
There is a limit to the amount of information (or data) that can (practically) be stored in a (multi-page) doc. The limit is high, but you need to be aware of certain limits.
Great Low Code Platform for SME Businesses
Extremely positive. Support have been fantastic and the software have yielded plenty of benefits for us which we couldn't get elsewhere (and we spent a lot of time trying)
The software is intuitive to use and brings together a combination of tables and word processing features. They have been very proactive in covering the gaps from their Beta setup which has meant we can now use it as our main system.
You don't need to know how to code (although a little knowledge can help you create some advanced features). They have also setup integrations with other platforms, when combined with their automation features, it is a powerful solution.
I think the integrations need to be boosted, particularly with G Drive and G Data Studio.
Some in built features for workflow mapping would be great but that isn't a core part of the software.
Coda is the ultimate Team unifier
Before Coda, we used to have several different programs and databases to keep track of our day to day work. Coda has become the one-stop-shop for most things we do that don't require higher processing capabilities (statistics, image analysis, etc.). I really like how several of us can be on a certain document at one time (similar to the Google docs functionality) and all of us can collaborate in real time without having to jump from one application to another.
We have a lot of data in Coda and I really wished there was a statistical analysis option for our tables and charts. When I say stats, I don't mean high order stats (such as Chi-square tests, T-tests, etc.) but averages and counts based on specific criteria and so forth. Also, though once you know the program it's a breeze to work with, a Doc Maker needs to spend a lot of time familiarizing him/her/themself with the abundance of features Coda has to offer and its language.
A couple of weeks and you'll be in love with Coda
2 weeks are all it takes for you to fall in love with Coda. Starting is not the smoothest process, but the power and flexibility it gives us make it totally worth it. The free tier is more than enough for most solo users. Managers will simply want to get the team plan because it is the one app you'll need to put it all together.
Coda is extremely powerfull. I love the hability to centralize in one document all the data my team uses.
The one feature that needs urgently to be deployed/improved is the 2-way sync of lookups, but for same table and different tables lookups.
Great reinvention of the spreadsheet
Love playing with the new features but is lacking in the mobile experience at the same level of detail they put into the desktop experience.
Love the design and look and feel of coda. Have been using it for 4 years or so. It has come a long way.
Its very easy to use and intuitive. It made creating and organizing data very fun for me.
The desktop experience is amazing. The team is constantly improving it and adding cool new features.
The mobile experience and app is probably one of the worst I've ever seen/used.
They have barely made changes or improved the design and usability of it since it came out. It's very frustrating and irritating to use. It's very glitchy. I initially used coda alit, until I needed to use it more and more on my phone. Eventually I had to move back to Google sheets because the app experience makes it so much easier to view and edit your documents.
Awesome building ground for digital transformation in an SMB
We’ve basically integrated all the customer orders from our contact center with our production and logistics team from a single doc. It’s so versatile. Each week we find more and better ways to build it even further
The possibilities of use are infinite and even with this, they keep improving and launching new functionalities and improvements every week. It’s amazing how tight the community around Coda is and how much they listen to feedback
The only con is a limit in their API that has given me some trouble when integrating docs to other apps through Zapier. Once they get to big (too many rows and elements) the API starts failing. Ut’s easy to solve with a netter architecture of the doc and backup automations
We use coda as a data hub to let the entire team understand where we are and what we are doing. It helped a lot having everyone on the same page.
I love how it is easy to manage data thanks to view.
Very easy to link with external data source.
Our entire team processes are now managed with Coda.
It lacks of export features for graphs.
Exactly what I was looking for
When I came into my position, there was a lot of duplicate data entry and everything was spread across multiple disconnected spreadsheets, emails, word docs, etc. Coda allowed me to create a custom document to contain all the information relevant to each project. It is one of my most valuable tools.
I had always wanted an easy way to utilize the benefits of a database instead of using spreadsheets, so when I stumbled upon Coda, I was so excited. The ability to view, store, calculate and reference so much data made it much easier to find the information needed easily and display the information in the way I want it shown based on who I'm sharing that page with. The complex calculations possible and the ability to easily reference other tables have been a major time-saver.
The mobile app needs a lot of work to catch up with the desktop version. The tables cannot be designed on a tablet, which I found very frustrating. Printing has required quite a bit of workarounds to print anything useable.
Camille's personal experience
I use Coda mostly to personal purposes. I can control my finances and my time appointments (I have to register the hours spent per project in my job) in a very practical way. I love the easily going customization to make docs.
Particularly, I use Gmail integration a lot to send my job appointments. It's very pratical and useful. Also, for teams, I like the possibility to mark another person and send emails when needed.
Once I use Coda to manage the team's tasks. It was very productive. However, when the project was over, I accidentally deleted the doc and then I was unable to recover it. It was really frustrating.
I also dont't like the date formats, whenever I try to pass the data to some spreadsheet I can't because of the date formats.