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Switching from Confluence to Coda

Top 5 things you need to know when migrating from Confluence to Coda.

Confluence is a a collaborative writing surface that works for doc and wiki uses cases, but it's limited in the way it handles structured data. Coda is designed to satisfy your team’s doc, wiki, and structured data needs (like trackers and databases) from one collaborative surface. If you’re switching from Confluence to Coda, here are the top 5 things you need to know to hit the ground running.

1. From wikis to hubs.

One of the first things people notice when moving from Confluence to Coda is the difference in how their workspace is structured. Confluence is structured as a traditional wiki, meaning within your workspace you have giant “spaces” where all of your information lives in individual pages and subpages. Coda’s hub model works a bit different. Hubs, like Coda, start at the workspace level where all of your teammates and their docs live. From there, workspaces can be divided into folders that group together different docs. Docs are the atomic unit of Coda. They house everything you need to know about a team, project, campaign, and more in one place, and they consist of endless pages and subpages. The benefit of these additional levels that it is much easier to find and share information, especially as your team grows. We don’t recommend endlessly dumping pages into your Coda docs like you would your Confluence space. Instead, aim to create a new doc whenever you’re creating a new project, product, campaign, or team, for example. Because of the differences in structure, you’ll navigate Coda differently than you would Confluence. First, the doc list gives you a birds eye view of your workspaces, folders, docs, templates, and even Packs (or integrations). In the doc list you can search across workspaces, manage different workspaces, and organize your folders and docs within them. As mentioned above, folders are groups of docs that contain shared permissions. For instance, you can group all of your product team’s core docs in one place. Or your onboarding materials in a folder that is shared with the whole company. Once you’re in a Coda doc, you can navigate the doc in a similar way to how you would navigate a space. Your pages and subpages are located on the lefthand side. And you can search across your current doc or all docs in your workspace from the search bar. To summarize, Coda has a few more layers that make it easier to find what you need when your team grows. This means you’ll navigate and use Coda differently than Confluence; in short, start from your doc list to find the doc you you’re looking for and don’t be afraid to start fresh when starting a new project.

Coda's organizational hierarchy.

One pro tip: Turn on quick nav. If you’re used to navigating everything from the lefthand menu, quick nav lets you do just that—searching across your workspace, flipping back to recent docs, and more.

2. From siloes to collaboration.

The second major contrast you’ll notice when switching from Confluence is how seamless it is to collaborate with your team. Another byproduct of Confluence’s wiki model is its edit/publish modes. You have to switch your page to edit mode in order to make any changes to your page, then publish those changes when you’re ready for your others to see the updates. In Coda, you can collaborate in real time with unlimited teammates, seeing their cursors track and make changes across your doc. Quick tips:
  • If you don't want to see your teammates’ activity (e.g. you’re reading or need space for uninterrupted work) you can hide collaborators activity through the three dots next to the face pile.
  • If you’re working with someone and want to join them on the same page, you can click their face in the facepile to jump to their cursor.

3. From stark to stunning.

You’ll also find that Coda has a lot more options to beautify your doc—and unlike other tools, Coda makes it seamless to do this, so you can spend time where it counts.
We go in to more details in our Design a doc with stunning visuals guide, but you can make a gorgeous doc in no time with things like header images, callouts, and custom icons.

4. From static tables to functional databases.

Although they share the same name, tables in Confluence are quite different than Coda. Instead of simple tables where you can only add text, Coda’s tables are powerful relational databases, meaning you can have connected, customizable views, which let you slice-and-dice the information in any way you like, while still maintaining a single source of truth. A view can filter out noise, or re-visualize your information as cards, calendars, and charts. Similar to Confluence, you can add a table to your doc by typing "/table" anywhere in the canvas. The / command is a powerful tool in Coda. It’s the key entrypoint to adding not just tables, but templates, Packs, buttons, and even Coda AI to your doc.
Tables serve many different purposes in Coda. You can use it to track meeting notes, crowdsource feedback from your team, serve as a true database for structured data and more. You can even turn tables into databases that are synced with outside apps, like Salesforce, Jira, Snowflake, and hundreds of others. To learn more about Coda's tables check out our Getting started with tables in Coda guide.

5. From siloes to single source of truth.

Instead of using macros, extensions, plug-ins, and other add-ons to connect your wiki to the rest of your workflows, Coda uses native embeds, Packs, and automations to sync to external tools and streamline your workflow. This helps you see all of your work under one umbrella, Coda. You can learn more about all the ways Coda syncs with our Sync guide, but one example is our Jira Pack.
You can bring data from Jira into your Coda doc and send data from your Coda doc to Jira. Everything is synced. Now, no matter where your team works, you have a single source of truth for all your data.

Now what?

If you're ready to dive into Coda, check out our Coda 101 course, any of the resources listed in this guide, or unlock some serious Coda super powers with automations and Packs. Want some more resources on switching from Confluence to Coda?

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