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December 2020

The docs that kept us going.
Mind if we brag for a second? While reviewing our annual numbers, we noticed something surprising. Somehow, despite it all, we doubled our launch velocity this year, shipping 100 features to help our makers get the most out of Coda. Curious about what we did and how we did it?
Usually is where we shout out makers’ docs that we’ve personally read, loved, and copied. This month, we’re sharing the docs that made this weirdly productive year possible.
by , Customer Support and Community Growth
From , Engineering: At Coda, we have for running inclusive meetings that allow for everyone’s voice to be heard. During the meeting, people add questions to a table, and then vote on those questions to prioritize the discussion. By hiding vote counts and authors, Ben’s version of that voting table helps us avoid the influence of others, and allows us to first address the most commonly held comment or question instead of relying on the loudest voice in the room.

by , CEO and co-founder, and , Head of Growth and GTM
From , Product: Shishir and Matt are some of the best problem solvers I know. But learning their secret was... surprising. When I joined Coda, I would come into a meeting about a hard problem with my best answer. But that wasn’t the point of the meeting. Instead, we sat for an hour and passionately debated the best question. What at first seemed like a waste of time has turned into the most transformational thing I’ve learned in my 4 years at Coda, enabling me to make stickier decisions both at work and in life. This doc also starts with my personal favorite story about decision making in Silicon Valley lore—a story that explains why on earth YouTube gave up default distribution on the iPhone. Don’t miss it!

by , Product Marketing Manager
From , Marketing: I can honestly say that I look forward to every Tuesday at 3:00pm because of this Icebreaker bot. For a distributed company, this doc initiates a weekly Slack conversation that leads to spontaneous interactions. It also helps us learn about each otherーfrom beloved films, to cherished family traditions, to favorite condiments and sandwiches.

by , Product Designer
From , Brand: Behold. A fail-proof, all-purpose, patent-not-yet-pending doc for brainstorms. Good for the blue sky variety and for the opposite scenario, when your topic is fogged in with historical context and expectations. Its inventor Helena debuted this technique last year (coincidentally in a brainstorm about the Doc Gallery) and it’s become a much-relied-upon technique for idea generation at Coda since, particularly now that we’re distributed. The sentence starters do double duty: They get everyone’s wheels turning, and they automatically group like sentiments together, structuring the discussion that follows.

by , Product Manager
From , Product: You’ve been there: a project is going great! But... equally there are a few things the team could be doing better. Do others feel the same? How do you raise this? And is everyone else feeling taken care of and supported, especially in these pandemic times? Retrospectives are the single best tool I’ve found for teams to analyze and improve themselves just as they may a product. Glenn’s template particularly shines because it not only uncovers latent feedback, but assigns actions to follow-up and works great for remote teams. The impact? In our last retro, I realized a few others also felt decision making was slower than we’d like, so we’re exploring decision-making frameworks !
Trends in what’s trending.
Last January, we declared 2020 the Year of the Maker. In reality, 2020 was the year of many things: the Year of Unfortunate World Events, the Year of WFH, the Year of Tiger King. Through the tumult, we saw you make resources, alumni lists, frameworks, and remote-friendly tools to help each other and increase our collective wisdom. Here are the year’s 10 most popular docs.
Why not try...
...this if you believe in the power of proper planning, are looking to normalize the meeting follow up, or really want 2021 to be the year of inclusive collaboration.
...this from if you want a peek behind YouTube’s curtain, think that redesigning your team’s communication structure sounds fun, or are tired of eating lunch with only your dog.
...this from if you are planning a virtual team offsite, need to de-stress after hours of holiday IT duty, or look for an excuse to flex your knowledge of 10-letter words.

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