I’ve been using both Notion and Coda since 2017 and have fallen in love with these two tools for managing workflows, organizing notes, and tracking all the information in my life.
Digital collaboration is a hot space right now. As many workers adapt to remote/hybrid work, the need for collaborating together while apart ー especially in different timezones, in vastly different functions ー has become a necessity to achieve any business objective. We're seeing tools like Zoom becoming mainstream at companies, and even homes, around the globe.
One area of work that is quickly changing is the document, so let’s see what’s going on withCoda and Notion and what all the buzz is about.
) are two products taking a modular approach to digital documentation. You can do traditional doc things like take notes or write memos, but they both scale as your idea grows, meaning you never have to leave the tool to build more complex workflows and processes such as a project management app or company-wide goal tracking tool.
These tools have fast-tracked companies' distributed collaboration capabilities by blending writing and tables in one space so that teams have a central hub to do their work... or simply share baking recipes. It's like building your business workspace with LEGO blocks.
Each platform takes a slightly different approach, so I've gathered from personal use, working with clients, and watching countless videos and reading many articles and forums (I've included the top
) how their unique designs are benefiting their users.
What is Notion?
Notionentered the world in 2016 as re-imagined wiki. Their insight was that file cabinets and paper were an antiquated way of tracking work, so you shouldn't have to use the same metaphors on your computerーespecially online. They have since raised $340M (
Coda came out of Beta in 2019 as an all-in-one doc for teams. Their observation was that while the physical analogs to documents and spreadsheets might be separate things in the real world, that doesn't mean digital versions must adhere to these constructs. Despite Microsoft (and later Google) perpetuating these constructs, Coda is re-imagining the doc with no barriers between words and data, having raised$240M (
The collaboration surfaces of Coda and Notion feel a bit like documents (Google Docs) or spreadsheets (Sheets), and sometimes like work tracking apps (such as Trello or Salesforce). You canorganize information in a structured way and shape your trackers how you'd like, with inspiration from templates (both small examples as well as full blown examples from other users).
Notion focuses primarily on organization. Everything is a Page, even rows in a table. Within each Page are Blocks which can be text writing, or can become code snippets, embeds, or tables.
Coda’s focus is documentation and spreadsheet equivalents. It comes with building blocksーlike tables that talk to each other and buttons that take actionーso anyone can make a doc as powerful as an app.
As for the setup of your work, both tools house words and data within a Workspace, though there are a few differences that you’ll find in these diagrams:
Using a tool involves your working relationships and partnership with the people behind the product.
Coda has a full-time support staff, thorough onboarding content, and an active community forum where makers trade tips and collaborate. Dedicated customer success, additional security, and admin controls are available for Enterprise Plans.
Notion's support comes primarily from in-product content, video tutorials, and their community of makers.
Coda vs. Notion FAQ
What are the main differences between Coda and Notion?
We’re seeing a great convergence between Coda and Notion as this space gets shaped. Coda has traditionally been a better way to build NoCode apps with buttons, API, and Packs (integrations), though Notion in 2021 launched an API and purchased
to connect other systems to the tool. Notion is usually seen as a better content display surface, but Coda has re-imagined pages, writing in rows, cover images, and publishing to make data and writing more digestable.
In short, it’s becoming increasingly hard to choose between the tools and often depends on how you’re using the tool, so check out the
Can Notion and Coda be used for project management?
Yes, both tools offer a wide range of templates that can be customized to perform as a project management tool for projects of different complexity levels. This ranges from individuals to startups and even enterprise ecosystems.