Learn by watching

icon picker
Designing docs

We’ve always believed that process is the product in and of itself. Your doc is a direct result of the attention—and intention—you put into it. So why not design your doc like an app designer designs an app, with careful consideration to what goes into your doc and how others will interact with that content?
The two video series below will help you recognize and leverage the patterns used in so many docs. And equip you with the structure to scale those patterns as your doc evolves.

Common doc patterns

The more docs you build, the more you’ll discover patterns repeated doc after doc (after doc). Many of those patterns are drag-and-drop templates that you can access by typing / in your doc, which you can combine to quickly level-up your doc.

5 Ways: Topic voting

Topic voting is a drag-and-drop template used to add ideas, vote, and prioritize discussions.
Short on time? Jump to the example you’d like to see:
Personal (
) - Book club manager
Freelancer (
) - Audience survey
Product Manager (
) - Meeting manager
Small Business (
) - Employee kudos
Consulting Firm () - Staffing needs

5 Ways: Pulse check

A Pulse is one of the most quintessential drag-and-drop templates—used to gauge sentiment and check in on how everyone is feeling.
Short on time? Jump to the example you want to see:
Personal (
) - Friend check in
Freelancer (
) - Productivity accountability and habit tracker
Product Manager (
) - Team pulse check
Small Business (
) - Feedback survey
Consulting Firm (
) - Client roundtable check in

5 Ways: Populate text with controls

Use a control, like a button, to connect a table to the text of your doc.
Short on time? Jump to the example you want to see:
Personal (
) - Birthday message generator
Freelancer (
) - Invoice generator
Product Management (
) - Launch email generator
Small Business (
) - Dynamic account plan
Consulting Firm (
) - Invoice generator
Take it to the next level (

5 Ways: Convert to table

Scale your doc by moving information out of a column and into its own table.
Short on time? Jump to the example you want to see:
Personal (
) - Workout plan
Freelancer (
) - Pitch record
Product Manager (
) - Projects and sub-projects
Small Business (
) - Vendor and inventory management
Consulting Firm () - CRM

5 Ways: Email a page

Use a table-button combination to send a single page of your doc to a list of emails.
Short on time? Jump to the example you want to see:
Personal (
) - Family trip reminder
Freelancer (
) - Newsletter
Product Manager (
) - Send meeting notes
Small Business (
) - Email certificates
Consulting Firm (
) - Timesheet reminder

Doc schema

There's an infinite number of ways to design your doc, but you don't want to use the same tool for every job. That's where designing docs come into play. Explore the basics of schema design in this video series.

Lesson 1: What is a schema?

Schema is the underlying organizational structure of your doc. In Coda, schemas create relationships between building blocks that repeat doc after doc (after doc). And they activate the power of those patterns to scale as your dataset evolves.

Lesson 2: Set up your doc

Before you start designing your doc, identify its purpose, and think about its content—including how you’d like people to interact with the information.

Lesson 3: Schema 1 - One Big Table

One Big Table schema a single table that houses all of the data in your doc and is ideal for:
Small projects
Small teams
Getting started quickly
Narrowly-focused information tracking

Lesson 4: Schema 2 - Star

Star schema uses lookups to create a series of connected tables and is ideal for:
Larger scale projects or initiatives
You want consistency.
You want to reference the same data in multiple places.
Your data has 1 to 1 relationships.

Lesson 5: Schema 3 - Base/detail

Base/detail schema includes a summary table (base) populated by a larger dataset (detail). Use this schema if:
You have a large dataset.
You need to answer specific questions with that data in a summary or dashboard experience.

Lesson 6: Schema 4 - Multidimensional

With the multidimensional schema, many tables (large and small) that are interconnected via lookups and formulas. No one table acts as the base or overview. Use if:
You have a large dataset and there's no clear hierarchy among your tables.
You have a lot of different questions you need to answer with your data.
Your data has many to many relationships.

Lesson 7: Check your work

How do you know if you have the right schema? It may be time to change your schema if:
You’re making too many updates.
You have something new to add but nowhere to put it.
You’re unable to have a blank cell in your table.

Lesson 8: Base and individual views

You don’t need to make a new table for everything. Filter tables into different views instead. Here’s how to implement one popular schema-view combination using a filter and a formula.

Lesson 9: Base, individual, and team views

The base, individual, and team schema-view combination uses filters and controls. Here’s how:

Lesson 10: Base and time views

Our final schema-view combination uses a filter, a formula, and a time control.

Check your progress.

Here’s a view of your learning plan. What do you want to accomplish next?
Time commitment
Watch the videos.
80 mins
Not Started
Subscribe to the Coda webinar channel at .
1 min
Not Started
Bookmark the links in .
1 min
Not Started
Begin .
Not Started
No results from filter
1 hr 22 mins
Want to print your doc?
This is not the way.
Try clicking the ⋯ next to your doc name or using a keyboard shortcut (
) instead.