10 min read

How to get started with Coda AI

A work assistant to help your team be more productive, be more strategic, and accomplish more—together.

Other AI-enabled tools create content—and silos.

For many teams, context and data are spread across multiple spaces. Instead of increasing productivity and bridging those gaps together, other AI-enabled writing assistants end up adding one more silo. So teams are required to manually find the context for the AI prompt, and they likely need to manually copy-paste the generated content across their tools. Ultimately, AI will be difficult for these teams to use in a meaningful way, since it’s unable to fit within an entire workflow or operate at scale.

Coda AI: Your new work assistant.

In other words, an AI writing assistant can help with a task, but a work assistant, like Coda AI, can drive an entire workflow from start to finish. Like other tools, Coda AI has content creation capabilities. But as your work assistant, Coda AI can also integrate with your existing data to finish tasks that require multiple steps and team collaboration. Because Coda AI is a powerful addition to Coda’s existing building blocks (like tables that talk to each other, integrations with tools like Zoom and Slack, and automations that can send reminders to your team), you can @ reference other pages, tables, and data within the same row. And Coda AI can refresh and generate more content as your doc updates. Here are the AI-powered features that will help you delegate repetitive tasks, rethink content creation, and get insights faster.
  • AI assistant creates content on the page canvas of a Coda doc. AI assistant can draft content, suggest edits, generate tables, find information, reference your data, and more.
  • AI column expands and organizes data. With the ability to reference other tables, or details in each row, add more and watch them populate instantly with a curated output.
  • AI block turns information into insights. Find critical information fast, by creating summaries or finding action items from scattered notes and data. Keep your team on track, as AI block can refresh as you add more context across your doc, and can provide the latest details just for a specific workstream or topic.
  • AI chat is your new virtual collaborator. Brainstorm ideas, iterate on content, or get answers from across your doc.

What's in here.

What you’ll get
  • An understanding of how you can use Coda AI for content creation, summarization, table data, and more.
  • Steps for getting started with Coda AI.
  • Prompt tips & tricks.
What you’ll use
  • AI assistant
  • AI column
  • AI block

1. Get started with AI assistant.

With the AI assistant feature, you can create text or tables, or edit text on the canvas. You can use this feature to generate content like blog posts, briefs, task checklists, poems, taglines, haikus, and more. You can also create tables with AI-populated data, such as 10 restaurants in Paris and their top dish, or suggested targeted audiences & their descriptions.

Create text.

You can use Coda AI to generate checklists, bullet points, paragraphs and more.
  • Type “/” or “Ctrl+Space
  • Select the AI option in the dropdown.
  • Write a prompt of your choice or try these:
    • What are some fun ideas for a team offsite?
    • List 5 potential icebreakers for a team meeting.
    • Create an outline for a brief.
    • Write a list of pros & cons to consider when opening a new office.
    • Write a blog about brand loyalty.
    • Create a checklist of typical tasks to complete your first day at a job.
  • You can @ reference any table or page in your doc as part of the prompt. Just type “@” then what you want to reference. You can also write = to open the formula builder.

Create tables.

You can also use Coda AI to generate tables.
  • Type “/” or “Ctrl+Space
  • Select the AI option in the dropdown.
  • Write a prompt of your choice, but include instructions to create a table. Examples include:
    • Generate a table with 10 potential target audiences.
    • Create a table with 15 questions and answers for a new hire.
    • Create a table with 20 potential names and a short press release for a new editor feature.
    • Make a table of pros & cons to consider when opening a new office.

Edit text.

  • On the canvas or in a canvas column, highlight the text you want to edit..
  • In the inline toolbar popup, select the AI option.
  • Provide instructions in the prompt.
  • Select “Create”.

2. AI columns uplevel your tables.

With AI column, you can generate content at scale, for example to summarize data in each row, or write an email for each contact. Within a table, AI column can be used for for one cell, multiple cells or every cell in the column on a table. You can test your prompt in one or multiple cells before applying to every row in a column.
  • Press the add column button to add a blank column.
  • Choose if you want AI column to fill one, multiple, or all cells in the column.
    • To have AI column populate just one cell, press the AI button in the desired cell to open up the prompt box.
    • To have AI column fill multiple cells, highlight the desired cells and then select the Fill button at the bottom of the table.
    • To have AI column add data to all the cells in a column, choose the AI column type.
  • Write a prompt with instructions—you can choose one of the options provided, or write your own.
  • In the prompt, you can @ reference other data within the same row. You can also type "=" to open the formula builder.
  • Select your desired length, tone and type.

3. AI blocks keep your insights fresh.

AI block can help your team stay on track and in the loop. AI block can generate summaries or find action items across data in tables or pages, making it easy to quickly find important information. As the source data changes, press the arrow button in the AI block to refresh and reflect the updates.


  • Type “/”.
  • Select “Summarize”.
  • In your prompt, @ reference the table or the page that contains your notes. You can also type "=" to open the formula builder.
  • Choose your desired length, tone, and type.

Action items.

  • Type “/”.
  • Select “Find action items from”.
  • In your prompt, @ reference the table or the page that contains your notes. You can also type "=" to open the formula builder.
  • Choose your desired length, tone and type. We recommend checkboxes.

4. AI chat is your virtual collaborator.

With AI chat, you can get help with everything from creating or editing content, to asking specific questions about your doc. You can give as many instructions as you’d like before adding the new content to your doc, and AI chat available at any time, in your doc’s side panel.
Create content or find insights.
  • Open the AI icon, in the bottom right (next to the ? icon).
  • Select one of the prompts, or write your own. Examples include:
    • Where can I find more information about what this team is working on?
    • What are the key milestones and dates?
    • What are the pros and cons with the suggested plan?
    • Write 5 suggestions of titles for this page.
    • Write a closing paragraph for this blog.
    • Create a table with next steps and action items.
  • Choose the context you want to provide: no context, the current page, or the current doc. You can also highlight text on the current page, and choose that selection as the context.
  • After Coda AI generates a response, you can add it to the current page (or open up a new one), by pressing insert.
  • You can also provide more instructions, and AI chat will generate more content.
  • When you’re done, close AI chat, and open it back up again whenever you want.

5. AI prompt tips & tricks.

OpenAI has a useful set of examples and advice on writing prompts thats applicable to any AI tool, which you can read here. Below is a list of tips we recommend:
  • Make sure your objective is clear.
  • Use relevant keywords to help the AI generate accurate responses.
  • Give examples to clarify what you're looking for. If you want to guide the AI towards a certain context, include that information in your initial instruction, or @ reference the relevant table or page (or type = to open the formula builder).
  • Coda AI provides examples of prompts you can use, but feel free to write your own.
  • While Coda AI gives options for length, tone and type, you can also provide specific instructions, such as desired word count. If you want a shorter or a longer response, include that in your prompt.
  • Keep it simple—don't use overly complex language.
  • Use formatting and punctuation to help the AI understand the structure.
  • Try different prompts to get a variety of responses, or ask for a few versions of the same thing.
  • Keep refining your prompts to improve the AI-generated content. You may need to test a few to get your desired outcome.
  • It's important to remember that the AI can have biases in its output, and it's possible to misuse generated content. Let's use AI responsibly.

A few things to keep in mind as you’re writing prompts:
  • While AI tries its best to provide accurate information, it's always a good idea to fact-check important information.
  • Although Coda AI can generate tables and format text like headers, bold, italics, it can’t currently add certain Coda-specific building blocks like call outs, Packs, formulas.
  • Coda AI only knows what you highlight on your page, reference in your prompt, or any select list you’re using. It can’t search your web, docs, or workspace for information.
  • There are limits on how much text Coda AI can use as part of any prompt and its references. A rough guide is to try to keep you input to <10,000 words.

What’s next?

Now that you’ve learned about the current Coda AI feature set, explore how you can use it to help your team collaborate more easily, and focus on important work. Check out our How Coda AI can help with your work guide for ideas and inspiration, or use one of our templates below to get started: