The Ultimate Notion vs Coda Evaluation Guide in 2024
The Ultimate Notion vs Coda Evaluation Guide in 2024

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Noah's spicy takes: When and why Coda wins

My 8 spiciest takes for when and why Coda wins over Notion.
When I first wrote this evaluation guide, I strived for balance as it was meant to help teams evaluate their tool stack. And after all, I was a user and lover of both products many years before I started working at Coda.
Unsurprisingly, I hear time and time again some version of the question, “OK, but why should my team choose Coda?”
So I’ve collected the most common pain points, selling points, and points of contention that I’ve seen lead teams to choose Coda. With my Coda hat on, here are my spiciest takes on when and why I think you should choose Coda over Notion.

Notion is for personal, Coda is for business.”

Notion’s early traction was with individuals trying to manage their own lives—like college students sharing their “second brain” templates on TikTok. Coda’s original traction was businesses trying to manage their teams—sharing company rituals on Coda’s Gallery. As such, Notion now has a very large user base of individual users building their personal productivity systems, while Coda is largely used in the workplace (in fact by over 80% of Fortune 100 companies).
This differing history, and thus current user base, leads each product to a quite different set of priorities. In short, Coda is much better suited for large teams and enterprises across requirements like organization, performance, and enterprise-security readiness. As one customer aptly summarized, “Notion is for personal, Coda is for business.”
For example, what each company thinks an “all-in-one platform” looks like is starkly different. Notion is building a closed ecosystem of interconnected tools that, together, provide a full productivity suite for individuals. Their recent acquisitions of the calendar tool Cron (and the subsequent launch of Notion Calendar) and the email tool Skiff clearly play into this strategy.
Coda, by contrast, is not trying to replace the key “line of business” apps teams rely on. Coda’s not trying to replace your email, your calendar, or your company chat. Instead, Coda is the connecting fabric that brings together all of a business’s knowledge, breaking data siloes in the process.
Both of these visions are working toward an all-in-one place to work but with very different implications. A closed ecosystem with connected docs, email, and calendar is a fantastic proposition for an individual not tied to existing tools. But convincing an enterprise to leave their email or calendar platforms behind is a tremendously tall ask.

Wikis like Notion are “where documentation goes to die.

Products are often defined by their core noun. At the simplest level, Notion is a wiki, and Coda is a doc.
Like intranets of old, Notion works as an infinitely nested list of pages. For individuals and small teams, wikis often feel simple—a single, central place to dump any and all information. But as teams grow, one or several people will begin to spend a significant amount of time managing that content—re-ordering the hierarchy, adding way-finding pages with links to important content, and so on.
As teams grow beyond ~25-50 people, this wiki paradigm quickly devolves into an impossible-to-navigate mess. Nearly every growing team I have worked with feels like they have outgrown Notion—data loads slowly, content is impossible to find, and old data clutters the workspace. As one customer described to me, their wiki had become the place “where documentation [went] to die.”
Coda, on the other hand, is fundamentally designed for scale. The structure of docs as hubs of content, with sync pages allowing sharing between hubs, means that content remains grouped together in useful ways. Finding a needle is much easier when the hay is neatly sorted into piles.

“Coda is Notion on steroids.”

I first heard the phrase “Coda is Notion on steroids” on a call with a Coda customer who had recently switched from Notion. Since then, I’ve heard customers repeat it dozens of times unprompted.
This comparison of power stems from the key promise of an “all-in-one” productivity tool—the ability to work across a wide range of use cases. While both Notion and Coda are extremely flexible tools, there is simply no contest when it comes to comparing their power—Coda wins every time.
While Notion now has features like buttons, automations, and improved formulas, they’re all limited in their capabilities. As a few simple examples, Notion automations can only be triggered by database changes (not at certain times or based on incoming webhooks), buttons have a very limited set of actions (like sending a Slack message or changing the status of a Jira issue), and formulas cannot live in the unstructured content of a page (only in columns of a database).
Worse still, there remains a wide range of key power-feature gaps that Notion has yet to close. Things like forms, charting, conditional formatting, integration-backed actions, canvas formulas, and many more remain completely absent.
Generally, Coda’s philosophy is to simplify and make the best parts of the technical foundation of the product more accessible (while still providing formulaic control for power users). For example, Coda launched a simple-to-use structured builder long ago that means most conditional formatting can be configured without ever having to touch a formula. Anytime you see a little “convert to formula f,” that’s this philosophy in action.
In Notion, power is being stapled on to the minimalistic foundation. But trying to squeeze power into simplicity rarely works. You need the technical foundation to build upon. For that reason, I think it will be many years before Notion users are building the same level of powerful, standalone, app-like docs that they do in Coda.

Notion has 4 true integrations. Coda has over 600.

It’s easy to be fooled when you look at Notion’s Integration Gallery. At the time of writing, the page implies that Notion has 80+ integrations. But if you dig a layer deeper, you’ll learn that only 4 of that long list of integrations do anything more than provide a rich unfurl or allow an external tool to connect to their public API.
Providing an iFrame embed should hardly be considered an integration. And providing an authenticated unfurl of a link (like showing the status of a Jira Issue) is really the bare minimum.
By contrast, of Coda’s 600+ published Packs, over 300 provide richly connected sync tables (versus Notion’s 4). The remaining 300 provide, at minimum, rich unfurls or new formulas to be used in Coda’s formula language. Not a single one of the 600+ listed Coda Packs is simply an external connection (like Zapier) or a simple embed (like Loom). If Coda counted those, the number of “integrations” would be in the thousands.
In addition, not a single one of Notion’s “integrations” can natively take action from within the product itself (i.e., without third-party workflow tools like Zapier). By contrast, over 250 of Coda’s published Packs contain action formulas which can be used in Coda buttons or automations to take action in an external service.
Finally, a note on security: The fact that many of Notion’s “integrations” are really just embeds of a third-party service that get full access to your data (e.g., a ), means that most enterprises will never be able to use most of Notion’s integrations. In Coda, you never have to trust the third-party developer, and you can use extremely precise admin configurations to dictate how the integration can be used (e.g., down to the granularity of limiting which projects you can sync from Jira based on your SCIM user group).

Notion’s AI only knows your wiki—and misses the bigger picture.

Notion AI has many serious limitations, many stemming from the almost complete lack of true integrations with external tools and data sources. The important implication is that Notion AI is largely limited to reason about, answer questions relating to, and take action on the data that lives in Notion. In other words, Notion AI isn’t ChatGPT for all your tools—only for Notion.
Worse still, as of writing, Notion AI can’t even access the data in the few synced databases that do exist in Notion (or any other database view for that matter). So even if you sync in your Jira issues, you can’t summarize a project’s status or ask who has the capacity to take on a new project.
Coda AI, by virtue of its hundreds of Packs that connect to nearly every tool you can think of, works on almost any data imaginable—Jira, Salesforce, Gmail, GitHub, you name it.
And better still, because Coda’s automations are so flexible, and because Packs can provide actions to be taken in external services, Coda AI can be a true task assistant that helps automate your busywork. It can not only draft a message, it can also send it. Whether you use Slack, Gmail, Outlook, or Teams, it doesn’t matter—just pick the Pack that works for you. Notion automations can only send Slack messages.

Paper cuts and unmatched expectations lead to increased friction.

Easily the most common misconception I hear from people who have briefly tried Notion and Coda is that “Notion is easy” and “Coda is harder but more powerful.” I think this is simply conflating the terms “simple” and “easy.”
Notion is a “simpler” product. It doesn’t have the depth of powerful features that Coda does, so there’s simply less to uncover or learn. But when you do compare the two apples to apples, Coda tends to provide a more well-reasoned product and user experience.
I’ve helped many teams migrate from Notion to Coda, and every single one reports the same annoyances, bugs, and confusions—many of which I’ve tried to capture in this guide (see a long list of paper cuts on the page). I know how strongly Coda values craft and attention to detail in our product development (here are a few examples of blog posts from our PMs that show this in action:
). The Coda team sweats every detail because they know that the small things add up.
That doesn’t seem to be the case for Notion. There are paper cuts everywhere. For example, Notion claims to have a real-time, multi-user collaborative editor, but I hear consistent complaints about a lack of offline mode, performance slowdowns, and overwritten edits.
Powerful functionality provides the option for some people to do more (like build full-blown apps or run complex automations). But people who don’t need those features will get deep value from the fundamentals of Coda without having to learn anything even mildly daunting or frustrating.

Coda is light-years ahead in enterprise readiness.

Coda has been focused on building an enterprise-focused product for much longer than Notion, and it shows in three specific areas: reliability, performance, and support.

: Notion’s text editor and databases aren’t fit for enterprise use for three important reasons.

First, Notion’s text editor is a blast from the past. While they finally implemented cross-region/block selections, edits are still not merged. Instead, the last edit always wins. No modern text editor, let alone an all-in-one collaboration tool, should be able to get away with this. It makes it far too easy to lose changes when edits conflict, and essentially prohibits any kind of offline work (here’s a simple of two users editing offline and overwriting each other’s edits).
Second, a long-standing, undocumented limitation in formula dependencies remains a silent killer of data-powered use cases in Notion. When I show evaluators the example of miscalculating 8*4 (see ), they have a hard time ever trusting Notion’s calculations again. This issue has been known and unfixed for several years now.
Third, Notion often does not match user expectations in ways that make the product feel fragile or even broken. For example, when you share a single page that contains a filtered view of a database inline, if the user looking at the page doesn’t have access to the full source database, it will simply disappear. No one involved is given a warning, and nowhere is this limitation documented. Nothing. End users are left confused by this unexpected and unfortunate behavior.
Given our focus on powerful, structured data use cases, Coda has invested heavily in data accuracy and integrity, building a robust and reliable formula language. In the many years I’ve been working with Coda customers, issues around reliability are exceedingly rare.

: Notion struggles significantly as you add large databases or pages to your workspace.

I’ve seen concerns from all sizes of companies, but
tweet from the enterprise search startup Glean’s co-founder encapsulates it well. As soon as you have significant database data or many old pages, load times will start to crawl. According to Deedy, in this example, they were regularly seeing page load times at between 10 and 20 seconds.
And that’s only at a ~200-person company—you can imagine how bad it would get for an enterprise company with thousands of users! Even worse, this is after Notion to have improved all page load times by 15-20%.
It doesn’t even have to be a “lot” of data by most standards—see on how Notion struggles to import a 1000+ row CSV.

The vast majority of Coda customers, across device types and internet speeds, see average load times of under 2 seconds. A load time of 20 seconds for a modern, collaborative tool is simply unacceptable. Being able to view, interact with, and edit data from large datasets is a key part of many database-driven workflows. In Notion, you will very quickly hit the limits of what the platform can handle. And if you don’t believe me, try it for yourself with a side-by-side comparison of a 10k row database in each tool linked on the page.

: Notion’s support has been impacted by their own success in both positive and negative ways.

While Notion has vibrant online communities where users help each other, serious businesses or enterprises cannot rely on platforms like Reddit for support. While top-tier enterprise customers may receive better support, non-paying personal users often struggle to find personal, human support when using Notion. It is not uncommon for users to wait weeks or even months for a response from Notion support.
Coda support, on the other hand, is truly the best in the business. You can expect a human to promptly and helpfully answer your questions. I am constantly stunned by the level of support, empathy, and knowledge that our team displays.
I strongly encourage you to test it yourself. Write into both Notion and Coda support with a little problem and see what response you get from each. I think you’ll find my point quickly proven.

Coda’s Maker Billing saves you money every time.

When the Coda team started pricing discussions, they laid out two guiding principles: (1) make it easy for anyone to start with Coda and get to know it well, and (2) make it easy to share Coda with your team. The result was a broad free tier and a pricing model called Maker Billing where you only pay for people who create docs and pages.
Maker Billing makes Coda accessible to teams of any size. Looking at real-world data from teams who have migrated, teams of 50+ save on average 80% when they switch from Notion to Coda.
Teams also end up saving money on other tools when they move to Coda because of its ability to handle such a wide range of use cases. It can be your team’s collaborative surface, project tracker, and even an interface to build internal applications. Consolidating tools with Notion is usually a non-starter. Notion doesn’t have the ability to handle powerful, structured data scenarios and it’s billing model doesn’t scale with your team.

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Reach out to our sales team to get details about migration, pricing, and more.

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