Notify users only once

Notify users in only once

Christiaan Huizer
4 min readMay 16, 2024

When the row changes and there are multiple users

This little challenge took me a bit more time than expected and so I thought if I have to think about it, maybe others will benefit from the solution as well.

The problem I faced was the following:

One or multiple users got added to a row to review a task. They should receive a notification automatically inviting them to have a look. It happens that over time new reviewers are added. These new reviewers need to receive a notification, those who already received a notification not.

It looks like a simple thing, but it was difficult:

  • we need to feed the automation a filtered list containing only not yet notified reviewers.
  • we need to skip the default and confusing coda notification settings

The solution in three steps

The first and simple part is the sending of the notification when the row changes, but not every column, only the reviewers

the first step

The second part is the configuration of the the notification logic. Here we have to skip the logic coda suggests. You have to open the code editor and start with the automation alternative for thisRowwhich is step 1. This logic tells the automation only to do something for the change that was triggered in step1 which is the row change in reviewRoles. Without this step 1, all rows are affected. I know this very well because first I followed the

suggestions in which no step logic appears at all…. Strange and not good. I had to delete the suggestions and start over again. For me that is okay, I know how to do this, I understand the logic that forms this pattern, but when you do not see that step1 replaces the ‘thisRow’ logic, you are in trouble. After reading this, you are good to go!

use the formula editor to get the notifications right in your automation

Next we modify a row to get a list of notified people.

ModifyRows to get a list of notified people

The third step is to define the users we are going to notify. This is actually the smart part of the solution and the inspiration came from Rickard, he suggested to solve it in the table and not in the automation via ‘If”. You can see that partly in the syntax. He used In() which I never use, I go with Contains(), but the outcome is the same. We chain the people values related to the reviewRoles and check who does not yet live there. You don’t need to type currrentvalue.people in the first part of the filter, the formula editor ‘understands’ this.

Once the automation has run, the column reviewUsers outputs an empty list.

Here we are an elegant solution for a problem that is in itself not too difficult, but gets a bit confusing due to the automation logic.

You can find the doc I created here:

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have questions feel free to reach out. Though this article is for free, my work (including advice) won’t be, but there is always room for a chat to see what can be done. You find my (for free) contributions to the Coda Community and on Twitter.

Coda comes with a set of building blocks ー like pages for infinite depth, tables that talk to each other, and buttons that take action inside or outside your doc ーso anyone can make a doc as powerful as an app (source).

Not to forget: the Coda Community provides great insights for free once you add a sample doc.

My name is Christiaan and blog about

. Since the summer of 2023 often (but not only) about how to with AI. The latest major Coda AI update was on Dec 7, 2023. With the announcement of Snowflake as partner on April 10, I expect to see a new AI logic put in place before the 2024 summer holidays. The current implementation is not sustainable.

Why I focus on

AI you can read here: ⤵️

May 15, 2024:

All the AI features we are starting to see appear — lower prices, higher speeds, multimodal capability, voice, large context windows, agentic behavior — are about making AI more present and more naturally connected to human systems and processes. If an AI that seems to reason like a human being can see and interact and plan like a human being, then it can have influence in the human world. This is where AI labs are leading us: to a near future of AI as coworker, friend, and ubiquitous presence. I don’t think anyone, including OpenAI, has a full sense of all of the implications of this shift, and what it will mean for all of us



Christiaan Huizer

I write about how to Coda . You find blogs for beginners and experienced makers. I publish about 1 / week. Welcome!