s someone who heard about Notion, Coda and Airtable long before I heard about NoCode and the entire movement around it, it feels strange to include these tools here. These sets of products don't have a specific category but define a class all for themselves. They have been called everything from documentation apps to productivity software to collaboration software, to next-generation spreadsheet app, to modular productivity app and many more names.
Of these tools, I believe Airtable is easier to understand, and a lot of articles are already available about it. So in this article, we concentrate on Notion and Coda, and we believe there are differences between the same. These are just opinions of the authors here at NoCode Journal, and we have played with both tools but are not the experts in either. I understand there are legions of fans on both sides, so please read the below as primarily a primer for someone who might be exploring these two tools for the first time.
Notion is a San Francisco based collaboration, product management, and task management tool founded by Chris Prucha, Ivan Zhao, Jessica Lam, Simon Last in 2016. Notion has raised 10 Million USD in total funding to date. It defines itself as a break away from today's tools blending business workflows into an all-in-one workspace. A user can customize their workspace from dozens of LEGO-style building blocks. A user can solve their problems their way, bounded only by their imagination.
Notion is also famous for simplicity, layout tools, and embedding content from other sites or apps, and it already has more than a million users. From the reviews, if we are speaking in terms of speed, Notion has it. If you're a beginner, no need to worry about it because you can easily navigate and create stuff without going through an extended tutorial, also,you can identify if this fits your purpose since they have the option for Work, Start-Ups, Students, and Educators.
If you are worried about how to organize both from your business and individual task, for sure, this tool is for you. The templates are also categorized based on your needs, and it is interactive since you have drag and drop functionality to fill the pages. Currently, they are accessible through your Android and iOS phones, Mac, Windows, and Web Clipper. The advantage of Web Clipper is you can save pages from the Web to this tool if you have installed Chrome or Firefox browsers. Notion is best for a Cloud-based and on-premise project management system, so if you are a current user of Evernote, you could instantly import your notes into Notion.
New Updates from Notion as of June 29, 2020:
- Underline formatting - The formatting menu has a new addition, underline. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + U to underline any text and combine underline with any other text styling option.
- Math equations such as +, - x and ÷ - this tool can be used for notes, homework, technical documentation, or any project that needs a fraction or equation.
- Better multi-column support for inline databases - you can now tuck databases inside toggles or columns, or create beautiful dashboards with different views of the same database.
- Page mentions (@-mentions) and external hyperlinks are now a bit more polished and eye-catching.
- You now have the option to enable email notification when you’re mentioned in your workspace. Note: If the app was open on your computer or mobile device at the time, you'd receive a push notification instead of an email.
- Nested database filters - combine “and” or logic and nest filter groups up to three layers deep. Here are a few filters you can create now that weren't possible before:
- Tasks where Team = Engineering AND (Priority = Medium OR High)
- Notes where (Type = Standup OR Weekly Sync) AND were created within a week
- Projects where Effort = Low AND (Impact = High OR Medium)
- Insert emoji to make it lively. Try these shortcuts in your team docs.
- Better emoji support on Windows and Android
- If you are paying $5 per month to add more content, now add unlimited content for free.
- Personal Pro Plan - this new plan includes: No limit on individual file uploads (5MB is the limit for free), Unlimited guest collaborators on any page (the limit is 5 on the free plan), Version history up to 30 days, and API access (coming soon). This plan costs $5 per month paid monthly, or $4 per month paid annually. If you were paying for our Personal Plan before you are now automatically upgraded to Pro!
- You can now give editing access to anyone by sending them the link. People will need a Notion account to make edits, but Notion simplified the sign-up process for anyone who will receive your link. This is perfectly useful for crowdsourced projects, classroom collaboration, or just simply sharing a grocery list with a loved one.
- For Team and Enterprise users, you can invite more teammates to join your workspace with a secret link. Navigate into the Members section of Settings & Members in your sidebar:
- Notion refreshed the design and the wording to make it a bit easier to share your pages. Check out the Share menu now!
- There are a bunch new templates for writing, planning and organizing.
- To Android and iOS users, it is now 2x faster start up time on mobile. Notion has simpler design and full width pages on iPad and Android tablet.
- For iPad, the app is more responsive to different screen widths by dragging up from your dock.
- With your current template, you can filter linked databases within a database template for a more automated workflow.
- Notion added Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Cyrillic characters in the Serif and Mono styles.
- Embed a Miro board into any Notion page. This is best use for a collaborative, online whiteboard for distributed & remote teams.
- Embed an Abstract project into any Notion page. Abstract offers version control for design teams using Sketch or Adobe XD (beta). This is best used Version control, Design collaboration and Designer - Developer handoff.
Coda is another San Francisco based document management and productivity tool founded by Alex DeNeui and Shishir Mehrotra in 2014. Coda has raised 60 Million USD in total funding to date. Coda has made it their mission to rip the document down to the studs and build a new set of building blocks that would empower people to make docs as powerful as apps.
Coda, just like Notion but a newer version, is known for giving shape to your data, charts, and API supported by Zapier. The environment and features of this NoCode tool are new. It is like Google Docs and Excel, except you can build apps with it. As a beginner, this tool is easy to start using since it customizes views and builds blocks like tables that act like databases. You can also create buttons that take action to create their unique solutions and makes you more productive since everything is in one place. Coda is also known for its quick templates gallery, fast loading, tons of cool features. The unique feature is connecting your documents with Packs. Packs are integration and plugins such as Slack, Gmail, Google Calendar, Shopify, and a lot more that you could push updates automatically. Just like Notion, it has a lot of templates that you could use, and you could freely explore their features and could access in iOS, Android, and Web as well.
New Updates from Notion as of June 30, 2020:
Transform your doc with new Publishing updates:
- You can now edit your published doc URL. In your published doc, you should be able to click ‘Edit Doc’ in the upper right corner to navigate to the editable version.
- Copy Doc button - this new button generates a copy of doc.
- You can earn Coda credit from your published doc and for sign ups triggered from your docs.
- Teams on Team and Enterprise Coda plans can quickly build tables and tools using their G Suite directory, which includes names, emails and profile images.
- Coda integration with Zoom, this helps you to create, manage and review your videoconference meetings and webinars.
- It is now a more flexible setting for admins to control who can be a Doc Maker in paid workspaces.
- You can monitor users who copy your docs don’t inherit the people selection options from your tables and @-references.
- Pages and subpages can have the same name within the same doc.
- Use the ‘@’ command to mention people, pages, tables and rows. You can also drag a page or subpage from the page list into your typing surface to mention it.
- You can connect Coda Account to your Google contacts for fast and easy sharing.
- Add icons to the folder in your workspace.
- For packages delivery service, quickly insert tables for edEx, UPSm USPS or all three to track package status and other details.
- You can open the same doc in more than one browser tab.
- Coda now shows an icon in your share button to show you at a glance who currently has access to a doc.
- View your docs and add interactivity with collapsible headers, tables and views.
- This Unsplash Pack converts any words into beautiful free images & pictures from the internet’s source of freely usable images.
- Your published document can be given a customized and unique URL.
- You have the ability to control whether or not your document is made available for search engine indexing, increasing its discoverability.
- Connect your documents to Google Drive to easily view all your files, docs and assets in one place.
- Coda increased its TimeZone coverage to be more comprehensive and inclusive.
There are a lot of recommendable to-do lists, project management platforms, or productivity apps like Notion and Coda. But these NoCode tools have the same aim to be helpful not just in organizing but useful for the user every day. Both have a variety of templates and keyboard shortcuts to choose from based on what you need to sort out. The aim is to manage a page with add-ons and come up with a solution based on your needs. It is all about choosing what's the best productivity tool that works for you.