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Imagine Google Docs or Office 365 having a template for just about any purpose. I’m not talking about resumes, inventory, letterhead and other pedestrian documents, I’m talking about more productive ideas, such as project trackers, decision trackers, planning flows, habit trackers, CRM and quarterly KPI reports.

Now, imagine you could easily create any of those items from a single location. That’s Coda. According to the Coda site, it’s the doc that brings it all together. With Coda, you get a set of building blocks to easily create the tools your teams need to remain productive. And because of how Coda approaches this, anyone can launch into creating powerful documents in minutes to effectively collaborate.

SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)

Coda is one of those tools that you can use for basic needs or fairly complex processes from the personal to the professional. Let’s dive into Coda to see what’s what and if it’s the perfect tool to fit your needs.

Jump to:

What is Coda?

Coda is a document management system on steroids that make it possible for you to create documents that include a multitude of objects. You can build simple or complex documents from scratch or even start out with one of the many pre-made templates.

For example, I start with a blank document. I log into my Coda account, go to the Dashboard and click New Doc (Figure A).

Figure A

Image: Jack Wallen/TechRepublic. The Coda Dashboard is your launch point for creating powerful documents.

In the new document, give it a title and then start writing in the body. Once you’ve written your first paragraph, let’s add a few pieces to make this simple document a bit more useful. Click Insert in the top right corner (Figure B).

Figure B

Image: Jack Wallen/TechRepublic. The first document we’ve created with Coda.

From the Insert popup (Figure C), you can select from any number of assets to add.

Figure C

Image: Jack Wallen/TechRepublic. Inserting various types of objects into a document is simple in Coda.

Let’s add a CRM asset into the document. Expand the Templates entry and locate CRM from the list (Figure D).

Figure D

Image: Jack Wallen/TechRepublic. Adding a CRM object into a Coda document.

Click CRM and then in the popup window (Figure E) click Use Template.

Figure E

Image: Jack Wallen/TechRepublic. Adding the CRM asset into the new Coda document.

Here’s what’s happened:

  • We’ve created a new document (in my case, called TechRepublic Test Document).
  • We’ve added some content to the new document.
  • We’ve then added a page within the document using the CRM Template.

What have we learned so far? A document is the bigger picture that can hold numerous pages (sub-documents). Imagine again that you can create a document for each of your projects and then add pages to each document that pertain to each project.

In other words, I could create a document called Project X and then add pages in that document for CRM, Tasks, Voting Table, To-do List, Kanban, Team Sentiment Trackers, Product Roadmaps, Timeline With Dependencies and much more.

So, you see, Coda quickly becomes a very helpful tool to assist your company’s journey to becoming more agile and productive.

How much does Coda cost?

Coda offers four plans: Free, Pro, Team and Enterprise.

  • Free: Basic services but lacks pro packs, custom form branding and version history.
  • Pro: $10/Doc Maker/month and adds 30-day version history, hidden pages, custom form branding, pro packs and access to Coda experts.
  • Team: $30/Doc Maker/month and adds unlimited automation, unlimited version history, doc locking, private folders, sync across docs and team packs.
  • Enterprise: Contact the company for pricing. Adds SAML SSO, Doc Maker provisioning, advanced access controls, audit events, advanced Doc Maker management, SOC 2 report, enterprise packs and a dedicated customer success manager.

Should you use Coda?

To answer this question, ask yourself if your current document management system includes enough of the tools for you to keep your teams productive. If you use multiple tools or platforms for this, Coda might be exactly what you need. With just a bit of up-front work, you could create a powerful collaboration platform and not have to worry about combining tools like Office 365, Trello and Jira. Coda brings all of that together to make for a flexible system that can cover most of those needs.

Give Coda a try and see if you don’t find it to cover every base your teams need to be productive.

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