Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

What to Coda in 2023?

Pick your projects with prudence and keep focus

What do I mean by complex?

Complex does not equal difficult. Complexity implies many interactions going on at the same time and you have to keep track of them in a certain order to keep the proces going. Multiple automations and tables with many columns stuffed with formulas generate complexity.

Coding complexity

The code editor is relatively small. Blending multiple functions becomes a frustrating exercise due to a lack of overview. On top the code slows down and often I feel hindered by the auto suggestions Coda presents. As said, you cannot comment in your code and without notes your future self has a hard time to stay aligned with your present self.

Can we meaningful code complexity in Coda?

Yes we can.

What is the main purpose of your doc?

Is the focus simply presenting or do you want to create a multifunctional application to keep track of employees, stock and finance based on the input pulled into Coda via Packs? The latter is likely to fail. While the Coda Formula Language can handle it, the framework supporting the maker cannot. May the Maker not get lost, she will need a serious amount of time to align her past self with her actual self. Time is money and even the best maker will be beaten by any competition using a dedicated tool.

Complexity & Focus

Working in and with Coda implies that you accept the boundaries the software presents. Maybe you can stretch the limits a bit with tricks, but you cannot bend Coda into a different piece of software.

Solving Important Secondary Problems

One can reduce the complexity of any document by setting clear goals. Focus on one function only and execute this function as good as you can.

No-code use cases

Here are some other solutions you can create on your own with a touch of a button (source):

  • Automate non-customer facing tasks like invoicing or KPIs fulfillment;
  • Save, organise and visualize historical data the way you actually need;
  • Create customer-facing web-applications for anything you need — from booking appointments to processing payments;
  • Get more freedom by making anything into a mobile app that’s ready to go in minutes;

Will Code support power users?

Is Coda concerned about the discussed matters? Based on the richness of the toolbox, one may argue that they obviously are. Why else would you create and improve such a wonderful set of functions? On top it is good to see that the CEO likes using these functions as well when he responds eloquently to a salient suboptimal suggestion.

Shishir demonstrating how to Coda properly
focus on write ups

What to Coda in 2023?

Make up your mind to see what kind of solutions can live in single docs and replace processses living today in a bunch of tools or can be better worked out in Coda like business cases. Spreadsheets are often used because people master the basics, but fail in building sustaining solutions due to the inherent flexibility of Spreadsheets. Do not try to recreate complete solutions (core processes) in Coda. The tool is not made for that. Be modest in terms of focus, be endless ambitious when it comes to create functions in the Coda Formula Language.

Christiaan — Coda Expert — on: “What to Coda in 2023?



I use Coda mainly for (HR) planning & (budget) calculations. Follow me to learn how to Coda with numbers. I blog at least once per week.

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Christiaan Huizer

I use Coda mainly for (HR) planning & (budget) calculations. Follow me to learn how to Coda with numbers. I blog at least once per week.