8 min read

Switching from Airtable to Coda

3 things to know about moving from Airtable to Coda.

Both Airtable and Coda help teams track data, tasks, deadlines, and resources to drive productivity and collaboration. As the name suggests, Airtable centers on structured data, like tables or relational databases. Coda, however, is more flexible, letting tables, text, images, and even third-party content coexist in one workspace. In this guide, we’ll go through three major differences between the two platforms so that you can make the transition to Coda smoothly and successfully.
What you'll get:
  • How to transition from Airtable to Coda
  • Key Coda features
What you'll use:
  • Pages
  • Tables and views
  • Slash command
  • Packs

1. From bases to docs.

In Airtable, you start with a base. In Coda, everything starts with a doc. One of the first things people notice when switching from Airtable to Coda is that they can include structured and unstructured data in a single doc (versus only structured databases in Airtable).Instead of adding interfaces or having an accompanying Google Doc, you can keep everything in one place with Coda. For example, an explanatory write-up can precede your table full of data—right on the same page.
A unique window into your Airtable base. In Coda, pages and layouts serve this purpose. For example, you can create a page in your Coda doc that works as a dashboard or functional team view.
And you can customize your page(s) and table(s) to your liking. Start with the slash command to access all of the formats and features Coda offers, including callouts, reactions, columns, and even AI.
You can also access Coda tables via the slash command.
Tip: If you prefer not to use the slash command, add any of our building blocks (callouts, tables, etc) to your doc using the insert panel in the top right. While tables in Coda consist of rows (instead of records) and columns (instead of fields), Coda and Airtable both have the concept of views.For instance, you might create a table highlighting the data your execs care most about.
In both Coda and Airtable, a view refers to a filtered, sorted version of your data.
When you add a view in Airtable, it will be listed in the lefthand sidebar. In Coda, different table views can go anywhere in your doc—even right next to each, as in a dashboard—or placed on a new page or subpage. To access a specific view, just click the link next to the table title.You can also change how your table looks using the table options menu. With one click, your tables can transform into cards, calendars, charts, kanban boards, and more. Plus, no matter how they look, they’re all synced in real time.

2. From bases and views to pages and subpages.

Navigating a doc is a bit different from navigating a base. In Airtable, bases and views appear in the left-hand sidebar, while tables/datasets are listed in the tabs at the top of the page. In Coda, navigating your information is more intuitive. Because Coda docs contain text and tables side by side rather than just tables, Coda allows you to group chunks of information into pages and subpages. You can drag and drop tables from one page to another, fully customizing and adjusting your data as needed. Your doc can have endless pages and subpages, but you’ll always find them in the left-hand sidebar.

3. From integrations to Packs and embeds.

Airtable and Coda are known for their ability to handle robust datasets and their powerful integrations. Airtable’s out of the box integrations have a few pre-determined actions you can take, but if you want something custom, you’ll need to write your own script. Coda has over 700+ integrations—or Packs—that come with their own building blocks, like sync tables, buttons, actions, and more. Packs allow you to send Slack messages, send emails, pull in structured data from Salesforce or Google Sheets, or even add, update, and delete calendar events. To add a Pack, use the insert panel on the top right or the slash command.
Some Packs, like Salesforce and Jira, have two-way sync built in, so you can easily send updates from your Coda doc back to that application. The best part is there’s no messy setup required. Just add in your sync table, connect your ‘write’ account, and you’re ready to go. If you don’t need to analyze datasets or take action in different applications but still want everything in one place, Coda can do that, too. Page embeds let you bring all the tools you use for work into a single Coda doc. That way, you can see all your work no matter where you work.

Now what?

You’ve got the gist of Coda and are ready to dive a little deeper. Here are some suggested next steps:

Was this helpful?