Beyond Excel I: Coda as Productivity Tool for Lean Startups, Entrepreneurs, and Freelancers | Al Chen | Skillshare

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Beyond Excel I: Coda as Productivity Tool for Lean Startups, Entrepreneurs, and Freelancers

teacher avatar Al Chen, Excel Trainer & Coda Evangelist

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction: Beyond Excel 1


    • 2.

      Intro to Productivity Tools


    • 3.

      Productivity Tool Workflows


    • 4.

      Why Coda and How to Sign Up


    • 5.

      What's Different about Coda


    • 6.

      Using Tables to Boost Productivity


    • 7.

      Custom Views of your Data


    • 8.

      Filtering and Sorting your Data


    • 9.

      Basic Formulas


    • 10.

      Mixing & Matching Data in your Doc


    • 11.

      Comparing Excel with Coda


    • 12.

      Asking for Help


    • 13.



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About This Class

If you have used Excel, you will love this class! This 3-class series dives into Coda, a modern productivity tool powering freelance consultants, lean startups, and bigger companies such as Uber. 


  • A framework for understanding the productivity tools modern businesses and startups use today
  • The basic features of a modern data and project management platform called Coda used by companies such as Uber
  • Skills to build your own tools that don't require you to be an Excel guru or computer programmer
  • How to organize data for your projects including content marketing, HR, operations, and more!


  1. Create a free Coda account by signing in with Google using this special link for Skillshare subscribers
  2. After you have created an account, open the Workbook & Syllabus for this class (copy the doc) with this link or this link


The spreadsheet has not changed much in 40 years, but your team and business have evolved quickly. In today’s Slack-a-fied workplace, real-time updates and collaboration are the norm. Why are we still stuck in Excel and Google Sheets?

This class will explore productivity tools that are meant for today’s modern worker and team.

This class is meant for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and businesses who need to stay productive with SaaS-based tools over expensive software programs. You will need to have an account with Coda to take this class. Coda is in beta and invite-only, but will be free for Skillshare students.


  1. Make sure you have a Google account
  2. Register with this special link for Skillshare subscribers and click "Sign in with Google"
  3. Follow the on-screen steps to integrate with your Google Drive
  4. Open the Class 1 doc for Skillshare via two methods 1) Copy doc from this link or 2) Open the doc directly with this link (It will say "View-only" in yellow)
  5. If you opened the doc via method 2, click "Copy Doc" in the top-left corner dropdown menu dropdown menu next to the doc title):

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Al Chen

Excel Trainer & Coda Evangelist


I have been an Excel power user for 10+ years. I started learning Excel when I was a financial analyst at Google. 50,000+ students have taken my online Excel classes and I have facilitated in-person workshops to over 5,000 MBA students around the the U.S. 

I founded KeyCuts, an Excel training and consulting company to Fortune 500 companies. If it isn't clear I'm addicted to Excel, perhaps my podcast about Excel and data analysis (Dear Analyst) will convince you :). 

Outside of Excel and spreadsheets, I work full-time at Coda, an all-in-one doc for teams. If you would like to read my full journey with spreadsheets and Coda, check out this blog post.

Feel free connect with me on LinkedIn and ask me any questions about Excel, ... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Beyond Excel 1: In class 1, I'm going to explore productivity tools for lean startups, entrepreneurs and freelancers, and I am going to eventually focus specifically on a tool and platform called Coda. I have been an Excel Power user for the last 10 plus years and my Excel classes and Skillshare have close to 10,000 students. Students are always asking me how to do certain things in Excel and also what kind of new tools should they be considered using for their work. After testing on many different tools over the last several years, I've come to realize that all tools boil down to Docs and Spreadsheets. But unfortunately, Docs and Spreadsheets haven't really changed that much in the last forty something years. Coda is a platform and tool that changes this all because it's a blank surface similar to Google Doc, but it gives regular people the superpowers of developers and programmers. But you don't need to be A developer for a programmer to use this tool to build really amazing things. For still Skillshare subscribers you will get free access to Coda by using this special link in the class. If you have any questions, feel free to leave comments or questions in the videos and also follow my profile if you want a step to date on new updates from me as well. Hopefully you enjoyed this class. 2. Intro to Productivity Tools: In this lesson, I'm going to give you an introduction to productivity tools in the workplace. Also what type of users use these tools. We'll also talk about how these tools have evolved over time. From 20-30 years ago up until today, with all the Cloud-based tools we used on a day-to-day basis, so you probably have used Excel, Word, PowerPoint. These tools and platforms have really been around for more than 30, 40 years. I want to give you an introduction to how some of these tools and platforms have evolved over time. The one thing to take away from all this, is that a lot of these platforms are putting data into silos, right? You have all your Excel files in one silo, all your Word data in one file. These go for other tools like Oracle, SAP, so on and so forth. There really needs to be a tool that helps improve transparency and communication between team members in the workplace and also say it can reduce, and this also leads to reducing the number of meetings that you have to go to, because your data is not locked up inside these silos. Now of course, you can share data with Google Sheets, Google Docs, and allow these online cloud platforms. But I still feel like we can be even more, your data can be even more open. If you look at this graph right here, I wanted to show you plotting a bunch of tools that you may have seen or used currently in your job across two-dimensions. One is across the users. Whether you're a very technical user, as you can see here on the right, or if you're a more general user on the left. Then also on the y-axis you have application platforms, which is at the very top. Then document platforms at the very bottom. I'll explain more what this means as we walk through the slide. But if you look at the current tools on this slide here, these are application platform, so things that developers and programmers can use to build other tools, right? You have things like SQL Server, which is a relatively technical platform, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle, which you may have used for various financing budgeting purposes. But these are all application platforms that are meant for more technical users, that an everyday business user or analysts would not use on a daily basis. As you move into more of the general use cases, the general users. These are things that you and I would use on day to day basis. These are more on the document side, right? These are platforms where, platforms and tools that are not necessarily applications, but allow you to keep track and store data. Obviously things like Dropbox, which you may have used, Everyone has probably used Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, Microsoft Office obviously. As you get a little more technical, there are some tools like Tableau and smart sheet. These are again, things where you put your data in and they're meant for more general users. What about if we look at platforms that are document-based, but on the technical side? All these things I just explained are more on the general side. If you move on to the right side, there is not too many tools here, but there are a few things like Box, which is a relatively more technical tool. Then you get more technical with things like SharePoint, which you may have a organization or documentum. Not sure from saying that, right, but it's a relatively older tool. They exists, as you can see, a blank quadrant for tools, application platforms that are meant for more general users. If you remember from the intro for this class, coda is all about creating an application platform that's meant for general users. Giving you, the business person or the non-programmer, the abilities and the superpowers of a developer or a programmer, so you don't need to be as technical as someone that uses SQL Server or Oracle. You can still build really amazing things in coda. Again, part of the reason why I really stress looking at all of these different tools is to understand how certain tools are meant for different types of users, and also that data can sometimes be stored in a silo. My goal with all my students and everyone I consult with is to try to open up your data, so that more people can look into it and this improves transparency across the board. Over time, these are applications we talked about. Application platforms, document platforms. But over time, in the more recent years, in the last five years or so, more tools have popped up that solve very specific problems, right? A specific problems geared towards project management, towards recruiting an HR, towards Operations, towards accounting and finance. A lot of these tools like Trello, Asana, and HubSpot, which you see on these slides here. They're meant to solve a very specific problems in the workplace, where you had to manage projects or manage candidates in your recruiting pipeline. These again, tools like Trello, Asana are all meant for a very specific use cases. HubSpot and Dropbox. Again, HubSpot meant primarily for tracking sales and deal volume, Dropbox for tracking specific files and storage. These are all very tools specific. But at the end of the day, as you see on this slide here, all our data, whether it's coming from Trello, or coming from Oracle, or coming from Asana, or whatever tool you're using to solve a specific problem allows [inaudible] you'd have exporting that data back into a doc, or a spreadsheet that could be in Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. They all go back into these really primitive tools, and a doc, or a spreadsheet. I think, just keep this in mind as you probably already are used to exporting your data, and we'll talk more about what that means for you, and how you can analyze that data over time coming out of these different tools. Finally, to end this class, I want to talk quickly about the different types of users. We talked a little bit about the technical users versus general users. I want to dive really quickly, deep into what those user profiles look like. You may fit along this timeline or this spectrum rather, of users. But take a look at this slide. On the far right-hand side of technical user, we have the, what we call the Elvis. This is the Pragmatic Programmers, so this person is probably the developer at your company who only looks at Code and is using programming languages like objective C, Java, Python, so very, very technical user. Then as you get a little bit more towards the left side of this slide, you have the Mort, so this is the opportunistic developer. He or she may understand how to use Microsoft Access, Visual Basic, so it's not super, I guess, hardcore programming, if you will but they still know how to code to get things done in the workplace. Then if you shift even more left to the general side, now you have the Molly's. These are spreadsheet aficionados. This is where I would probably put myself in and I'm sure a lot of you who are using Excel or sheets are probably fitting into this category. You're very used to using spreadsheets, docs, you probably know how to do a little bit of modeling in an Excel and spreadsheets. You might have some limited macros experience for programming, but you know how to build a system and build things in spreadsheets to solve a specific business problem or for your personal life. You're the type of person who likes to build these systems and organized data, so that's nicely formatted and presentable to your colleagues or to your friends, whatever may be. Then finally we have on the very left, the general user Joe. This is a very casual business application person, spreadsheet person. Who is not in the weeds of creating a spreadsheet, but as more maybe an executive, who is traveling a lot and is more presenting data, and go in business development meetings. Does very basic things in spreadsheets like creating lists and sorting, maybe some basic formatting, but not as advanced or technical as the Molly, who is actually creating the formulas, and running the formulas to create the whole system. Hopefully this gives you a good understanding of all different productivity tools that have evolved over the last 30 to 40 years up until now. Also the type of users that these tools serve. As you walk away from this class, I want you to think about what user do you put yourself in? Also what tools do you use on a day-to-day basis? Also how you end up eventually exploiting your data out of these tools to do further analysis. Hopefully you enjoy this class, and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the notes. Thank you. 3. Productivity Tool Workflows: in this lesson, I'm going to walk you through different productivity tool work flows. Now I break this down into two different types of work clothes. So the first thing we're going to talk about our document were close. So when you're copying and pasting between different docks and platforms where you're storing your data, the second type is communication. Work flows where you're going, where you're typically copy and pasting and exporting data from email, Google calendar and other tools where you're communicating with other people and how that data moves from one place to another place another platform. Finally, I'm gonna talk about how you can get around all this copy and pasting of data everywhere on DSO. Hopefully you'll find this class this lesson useful for your document and communication Work flows. So as I mentioned in the intro video for this class, this lesson they're different types of work flows that you may encounter in the workplace were in your personal life. In the classroom, we're constantly copy and pasting links and data between one platform, another platform. So the first type of productivity workflow is Well, I like what I like to call a document workflow. So here's where your copy and pasting your data from Excel to PowerPoint Google Sheets. And I kind of want to walk, walk you through these type of behaviors I've noticed, or my own work plate for my own work clothes and also for many of my colleagues and friends who have been working in these these tools all day. So if you look at the slide, the first type of workflow you probably are used to doing is copying and pasting a chart from Excel to PowerPoint. Now you probably are aware of all the difficulties with King is done, because if you want to update the part point slide with the new graph, you have to constantly copy and paste from Excel into part point. Right? So always kind of a tricky thing to Dio, especially if you are creating a ton of graphs and you have a huge part point deck with a bunch of slides with graphs and need to be updated on a daily or weekly or monthly basis so things could get a little easier, which was docking were close. You might have seen this before in your workflow where your copy and pasting from Excel. A bunch of data into Google sheets, right? And the great thing about Google Sheets is that now the data is kind of in the cloud. So if you're creating graphs or specific views of the data, things can stay updated. So it's a little better than copy and pasting from Excel and PowerPoint. But as you know, with copying from Google sheets into Excel, you lose allowed that custom formatting that you've done in excel. And so sometimes you spend a lot. You spend another good chunk of time just trying to reformat your data in Google sheets, so that's ready for presentation or for further analysis. So this is also pretty common document workflow that I find pretty frustrating because of the formatting you lose. And also just some of the formulas might not carry over. And especially if your data in Excel is linked to other files, you also have to import those into Google sheets as well. Ah, third workflow in terms of documents is Google drive. So these days you know everything is being stored in the cloud. Most of my work is also start in the cloud, and I have various Google Drive links that I constantly share to people. If I wanted to download a file, open a PdF or Teoh just share a video, right? So I'm costly sharing these videos and files, and we will drive, perhaps entr ello or have to insert a link to Google. Drive in trouble. Oh, eso. Now, as you can imagine, many of these Trela cards are just littered with Google drive links to other files that I watch reference If I want someone no, like hey, on this card, uh, I want you to look at this. Pdf but that pdf happens to be stored in Google Drive in a centralized location. So thistle another another typical workflow I've seen that sometimes gets gets pretty complicated, especially if you have many different links coming from Google Drive. They have to share with your team. Another common workflow, similar Google Drive, is you're putting your gold Google drive links in a Google doc or maybe even a Google sheet , right? So sometimes you can't store the picture of invoice. Or maybe you know the the purchase order for some kind of item in a Google doc, so you have to eventually link back to a Google drive link, which totally works, is it's very it's fine. But, as you can imagine, if you have if you were in a team where you have hundreds of Google drive links, if the cost, they keep track of all these links and whether being copying and paste it into a Google doc , that's the sort of the documentation documents workflow and I want to talk about. A few communication were close, so the 1st 1 is when you are. Sometimes you want to communicate a Google drive or a Google doc rather negotiate to your team. And why is it happening is you have to insert that Google doc as a item in slack, right? So Slack has these kind of import features for Google Drive, and so the only way you can communicate you know, some of the data that you have written down or stored is by inserting that link through through slack and then slack you. Obviously, you you're talking with your whole team and it's quick way toe. Just show them we're working on right. But again, this comes back to the problem of what if you have hundreds of Google drive Google Doc links. How do you differentiate between all these different lengths? What's which, one to use for what s o this one kind of messy if you have. If you're on a team with many people with many different Google docks, the other communication workflow I find pretty interesting is when you're moving from things like a, uh, intercom or from Hub Spot to a Excel file. In this case, you're taking things from a project management platform like asana orgy era, and you have to export that into an Excel file, right? So what do you do that? Well, a lot of times you want to keep. You know, maybe you have a project that is, has a lot of members on it and your constant communicating with these team members. Sometimes it's easier to see and filter that data about your communications about who's working on what projects in an Excel file were. Negotiate file because you can easily sort things. You can kind of see who is working on what, how much time people working different projects. And so this is a little pretty common. Brooke Slicing is where your working on some project or problem specific tools like asana or a zero. But you want to export that data as a CSP into a spreadsheet or maybe a venture into a dock to quickly analyze. You know what? What kind of things were happening on my my platform? A Project Majin platform? So you know, the I see this happening a lot. And so how can we reduce that friction? And we'll talk about that in the next few classes. Extra lessons And another common workflow for the communication wise is, you know, when you're scheduling a Google calendar invite, you have this integration zoom to do video conference, right? So this is an interesting communication work. Well, I found recently where you know you're not perhaps using the regular Google Hangouts link for doing video conferences. Now you have to do these. You have to integrate your zoom with your Google calendar to make sure that the person of their end gets the right invite for the zoom conference. And so I think this is also interesting because, you know, sometimes you want to export this data into maybe into Excel local docks to see how many meetings your scheduling who were staging these meetings with. But right now, all that data kind of lives within Google Calendar and zoom and ah, final communication. Workflow is when you're dealing with customer support, you know, whether you're working zendesk or intercom or some other communication platform with your users and customers. A lot of times you have toe, you know, share that communication. Maybe it's like a series of cats with your team members. They show them, Hey, you know this user is experiencing a bug or this person is having problem with their purchase purchased order. So you have to copy and paste that data into slack or maybe into email for your team members, etc. So, of course, Slack has integration with different tools, like send a scanner and intercom. But this is another kind of communication workflow that happens pretty often in the workplace, where your team members have to see what's happening with when you're talking in the field with a user or a customer for your startup company. And so, having said all this, if you look at the last slide while we have all these great tools and work clothes at the end of day, everything still kinds of still kind of ends up in a spreadsheet or a dock, right? And so these are the original versions of Excel and Word From Way Back Today. Well, when I came out, I think 40 some years ago, and you can notice how Excel is still kind of a grid of numbers and texts, and word is more or less a blank canvas with a bunch of formatting with the ribbon. Now, 40 years later, let's see what these tools look like. Excel still a grid of cells where you enter in your numbers, and Microsoft Word is also a blank canvas with formatting and buttons. You can press the top, and the poem turned make here is that these tools and platforms haven't changed that much in 40 years. If you look at them closely was changes that you know there's some more colorings and better graphics and, you know, buttons air laid out a little differently. But for the most part, the layout of these tools haven't changed that much. Right? And so the less the reason why I walked there all these different work flows and also to show you why things end up show ending data always ends up in Google docks or a spreadsheet . Is that in lieu, in lieu of creating your own applications, you create a hodgepodge of links to all these tools and your copy and pasting them between different between different platforms. It really helps that things are moving to the cloud now so that you can copy and paste really easily and things were kind of shared quickly through your team. But there's still exists this problem of having a copy and paste links to different tools as you're communicating as you're working a project as you're writing a document that project brief, these are all kind of stored in silence. Not much has changed about the document or the spreadsheet in the last 40 years, despite all these advances and cloud computing networking, someone's worth. And so we need to have a tool that we can use for the modern workplace and by default, this tool has to allow for instant collaboration between all the people and teams that you have and across different locations, and we're gonna talk about that in the next few lessons with using coda 4. Why Coda and How to Sign Up : In this lesson, I'm going to talk about why you should sign up for Coda and also walk you through step-by-step how to get access. The only thing you need to use Coda is to have a Google account. There's a special link only for Skillshare subscribers in the class notes for you to sign up so that you can get access to Coda for free. You also don't have to go on the wait-list. Follow along I'll walk you through step-by-step how to sign up in Coda, and you can get instant access for free. In the last lesson, I discussed the various productivity tool workflows you may face in the workplace. We talked about document workflows where you're copying and pasting links from Google Docs into other tools, maybe like Trello, we talked about communication workflows where you're copying and pasting conversations you may have with customers and users into other tools. All this data that you have, whether it's document data or it's with users and customers sits in different silos writing have to copy and paste and open many tabs in your Chrome browser to access all these tools. With Coda, it eliminates all this copying and pasting of data between different platforms because you have one single source of truth that holds all your spreadsheet data, docs data, and application data. There's no more individuals, spreadsheets and Google Docs laying around. You have one single source of truth. That's really the main reason why Coda is awesome and you should sign up today. If you're a Skillshare subscriber, you should see a special link in the class notes giving you special sign in page to access Coda. But before we get into that, I just want to walk you through the website of Coda. This lesson is all about just signing up to use the service. Here's the homepage for Coda. Feel free to scroll down and see some of the problems that Coda looks to solve. Also more importantly, some of the observations that we have on the current state of affairs in terms of different tools and workflows. Once you have that, the only thing you need as a Skillshare subscriber is the special link and a Google account. The great thing about Coda is that it's integrated with Google Drive so all your Coda docs will live right here in Google Drive. You'll see I have a few right here already that's like this nice little red document. Once you open up the link, just make sure you're logged into your Google account. The link should direct you to a page that looks like this where it says you made it. Right now Coda is invite only. If you put in your e-mail here and request an invite, you're going to get on the wait-list and it may take a long time for you to get access to Coda. The great thing about this link that I have provided you in the class notes is that for Skillshare subscribers, you'll get instant access to Coda without having to go on this long wait-list. Once you open the page, you'll see something along the lines of you made it. This is usually reserved for those who have gotten off the wait-list and are ready to use Coda, just click sign in with Google. Remember, you have to be logged into your Google account. Click sign in with Google and you'll get directed to a page to select the account you want to use for your Coda account. I'm just going to use this dummy account that I created for this lesson. Click on that. The next page is going to ask for integration with your Google Drive. Coda does not look at any of your personal information in your Google Docs or Google Spreadsheets, it just needs access to Google Drive so that it can incorporate itself into the folders. You can move your docs in between folders and Google Drive. Once you see this screen, just select allow and you'll be directed to the docs homepage. This is basically the main screen for Coda for now that will walk through. In the main section you'll see all your different Coda docs that you've created in Coda. But again, you can access these docs from Google Drive as well due to the integration with Google Drive. Along the top right, you'll have a few getting started links. Feel free to click through those. Also there's other things along the top. If you want to learn more about Coda, you can go to the learn tab. There's various tutorials you can take. Also webinars you can sign up for. But we're going to be walking through Coda step-by-step in future lessons and also future classes and this beyond Excel series. Feel free to just poke around here, but if you're ready to move on to the next lesson, feel free to go back into the Skillshare platform and click Next. 5. What's Different about Coda: In this lesson, I'm going to walk you through what's different about Coda. We're going to just go very high level and look at the layout of the platform, how you can comment on the platform, formatting and just write text and also I wanted to explore a little bit about building tables and tables are a core concept in Coda with their similar to Excel spreadsheets. This is a lesson primarily to walk you through the high-level key concepts of the Coda platform. By now you should have signed up and registered for a Coda with your Google account and also in the class notes, you should have access to this file as well. It's our Coda class doc. This is where you're going to be using to as we go through every single lesson in this class. You have the class syllabus and we also have the different lessons. You should have already done classes, lessons 2, 3 and 4 and those were more high-level classes about productivity tools and signing up for Coda. But now, starting with lesson five, we're actually going to get into using Coda itself. If I had to describe what Coda is, again, it's like combining Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, and slides into one collaborative tool. Or you can say it's like combining Excel, Word and PowerPoint into one collaborative tool. But this is basically what the layout of Coda looks like. Right when you first open the Coda doc, you're going to see that you have a really empty Canvas space right here, and this field is probably very similar to you as Google Docs, right? It really is. You can start writing text anywhere you want. So, "Hello. This is my first Coda doc." It feels just like writing any kind of sentence, right? "Anything you think of right here." It really feels like Google Docs because you're just be able to write free-form text but there's a lot of key differences. But let's talk about some things that feel similar. First off, you can format your text very similar to Google Docs. Let's say I want to make this bold and let's say I want to make this a sub-header, so make it a little bigger text and let's say I want to make this highlighting it with a yellow background and maybe give it a green font color for whatever reason. Basic formatting stuff you can do in Coda, right? It's just like Google Docs in that regard. You can also do things like bullet points, which are also very similar to Google Docs. You can write bullet point one, bullet two, and I'm going to make these not have colors. Another fun thing you can do with Coda is adding a lot of emojis. We see this a lot with people putting in their Coda docs as adding really fun emojis and this just gives you a Coda doc just a little more character and flavor and just makes it more fun to use. Let's talk about some things that are not the same in terms of Google Docs. Everything here is just a blank canvas but if you look to the left, these are different sections within your doc, right? Beyond Excel class, I have listed out every single lesson into a different section. You can think of these sections almost like individual Google Docs inside your broader Coda doc. You know sometimes you have like multiple Google Docs laying around everywhere into Google Drive. With Coda, you can create one central repository with all your data so that each section represents a different type of data depending on what you have. You can also add new sections, of course, and add folders to organize your sections. Perhaps I can create a folder here called My First folder and you can also drag and drop sections into that folder that you just created. For now I'm just going to delete this folder just to make things a little cleaner on my left-hand side. What else? Another aspect of Coda that's actually similar to Google Docs and you can comment on stuff. Let's say I wanted to comment on this text right here. I can click on this icon right here, Add Comment. I can write something like, "This is my first comment." Similar to Google Docs, I can also mention my teammates depending on who your teammates are. You can mention them here and they'll automatically pop up depending on whether or not they're within your same domain. But this is similar to Google Docs where if you want your teammate to see your comment, you can insert their name there or add reference there named there, and they'll get a notification saying, "Hey, Al has a comment for you." That's basically the layout of Coda doc and you have sections along the left, you have the formatting kind of ribbon, if you will, on the top. You can also collapse this to give you some more space on the canvas, but it feels very similar Google Docs, but there's lot of key differences. Another big one is that you can insert tables which are similar to spreadsheets in Excel. You can click on this big plus sign here, go to table, go new table and here you'll have a table which you can edit that feels like Excel so you can put Excel tables into a Coda Doc. We're going to talk more about tables more in-depth in future lessons but I just wanted to show you all the different kinds of objects and elements you can put into your Coda Doc. At the end of the day, if I talk about some high level things that Coda does is that everything recalculates just like in Excel so if we're putting data into this table, everything will recalculate. You can have multiple sections along the left-hand side. You can have different datatypes. This column can be different data types. So this one's texts, let's say you want to make this a checkbox and we're going to talk more about what these data types mean in future lessons but you can make checkboxes. Another really important feature I like about Coda is that you can edit your doc offline. Let's say you're going on a flight, you can edit your doc offline and when you come back online, everything will stay updated. Those are some key differences about Coda versus Google Docs and Excel. But I'm going to walk you through more in depth in terms of how to do real cool things in Coda in the next few lessons so please go onto the next lesson and hopefully you'll find this useful. Thank you. 6. Using Tables to Boost Productivity: In this lesson, I'm going to walk you through how to use tables in Coda to boost your productivity. Tables are a very core components of using Coda. We're going to talk about different types of column formats you can use in Coda and also how to hide, drag, and drop columns after you've built a table. Hopefully you'll find this lesson useful. We talked about the layout of Coda in the last lesson. Now let's actually start playing with some data. Let's get right into it. There's a few things I'm going to ask you to do in this lesson. But first off, I want you to come look at this table that I created for you called startup costs. These are typical costs you might have for launching a new business or a startup. Some interesting things to notice about this table so far is that there's only two columns, so I'm highlighting over the first column, second column. You notice that there aren't any concepts of column names or like A, B, C, D in Excel, so I'm going to go to Google Sheets really quick and you'll see that here, you have different column headers. I must zoom in right here really quick. In Coda we have different field types, column types, this is a basic text column, and this is a select list column. If you look at this, you can only select between fixed and monthly or blank. But by default, I picked a bunch of fixed and monthly costs for starting a business where you startup. I want you to add a column type of text where you can put in the owner. We want to put who's going to own these individual startup costs for a startup. If you hit this plus sign right here, It's going to give you a bunch of options. Everything from tax, the people, the checkbox, the number, we're just going to do a select list for now. If I click on select list, it's not going to ask me, "Okay, what do you want to put in this drop-down list that your user can select from? " I'm just going to put some characters from my one of my favorite TV shows growing up, Zach, Kelly, Screech, hopefully by now you've figured out what this show is, Saved by the Bell. Now if I click out of this, I've created a select list. I can also rename this column to be Owner. Let's call it owner, Enter. Now, I have a table with a cost type and owner and I can select individual owners for these different startup costs. I'm just going to quickly go through and pick a bunch and feel free to add your own here, there's no rhyme or reason for what I'm doing in terms of assigning an owner. Also, I want you to add an amount column. We have three columns. I want you to add an amount column that has a $ sign. We want to know what the actual $ amount is for creating basic website, creating business cards, stationery. Let's do that, add this and then go to a currency, because that's $4. Let's call this amount. Now you have a column just for the actual $ amount. Let's start putting in some basic costs for what a website might costs. Let's call this, let's say $50. I'm going to format this to remove the decimal places. If you go here, click on this drop-down menu in the column header. Go-to format column. You can remove the decimal places by going to none, so now your $50 will show up as just 50. I'll put in some fake $ amounts here; 25, 30, 40, 50, 100, 200. Again, these are just made up numbers, nothing too crazy here. 50, 100. Now we have a nice table with our cost type, the who owns this cost in our startup, and also the amount for that given cost. Generally when you are creating data in Coda through these tables, you want to have one master table that everyone can see. You want that to stay up to date as well because we're going to talk about views in the next section, which allow you to show the data in different filter conditions. Just a general best practice in Coda, so always have one big master table. You can constantly add that table, because even though you have multiple columns here, you can actually hide columns very easily by going to this right column here and we can hide. You can also click on this owner column here and click Hide. Now you've as much smaller table that just shows you the total cost for startups and the amount. I'm going to unhide these columns for now. Another way to unhide columns is when you hover over the table name, there's like that eye icon, if you click on that, you'll notice that I have two columns that are visible, I'm going to uncheck these hidden columns and that will show back up into my table, but you'll notice that the order of the columns are different now. If you want to just move columns around, you can just literally drag and drop the column and move it left and right as you wish. That's a really nice feature about Coda that's not available in Excel, Google Sheets. I want you to move the owner column before cost types. Just do that by going like this. Now you can see the cost, the owner of the cost type, etc. Another quick way to move column headers back and forth, we'll move columns, reorder the columns within your table, is by holding down the Option key on your MacBook or your Alt key on your PC, and hitting the left-hand arrow keys. I'm hitting option plus left arrow and right arrow, and let me move my columns really quickly between left and right. Now imagine if you had to do this in Excel. I have this same table and sheets right here. Now in order to move the owner before a cost type, I can't just drag and drop, because that doesn't happen in sheets, I would have to cut this and then do an Insert column, it's on your left and actually paste this here. It's not exactly as user friendly in the sheets compared to Coda. This is one of the reasons why Coda does makes the user experience a little better by allowing you to drag and drop columns in your table. Hopefully this gives you a basic understanding of how columns and tables work. The next lesson we're going to get more into using specialized views of your data. Please stick around for the next class. 7. Custom Views of your Data: In this lesson, I'm going to talk about how to build custom views of your data in Coda. Now views are also very core concept to understand in Coda and it gives you a specific view, so to speak, of your data that's filtered for your needs. I'm also going to discuss how data in Coda is constantly live in dynamics. As you're changing data in your tables and your views, everything flows together in harmony. Hopefully you'll find this lesson useful. In this lesson, as I talk about views, I want you to keep in mind one key concept here. In the last lesson, in Lesson 1.6, we talked about how a best practice is to store all your data into one master table. Then we're going to be building custom views off of that master table to filter and sort data as you wish. How we want to do this from a data perspective. Well, typically you want to store all your data in one table, but you only want to view a portion of that data. We're going do that via views. A lot of time the table can get really big and many columns wide. But typically when you are actually viewing the data, you only want to see a portion of that data. But it's important to keep all that data in one big table. I'll be very clear with this in next lesson. So I want you to insert a view of your startup costs here. Notice in Lesson 1.6, we had this table of start-up costs. We had the cost, owner cost up and amount. How do we insert a view of this master table startup costs? Well, if you go back to Section 1.7 in the blank Canvas area, if you go to the plus sign, go to Plus, Table. You'll notice that instead of pulling a new table you'll have inserted view of. This is how you create a view of another master table. Go down to, you should see startup costs somewhere in the list on the third on the list and click on that. Now you have a view of your startup costs. Again, why would I want to have a view of my start-up cost, while maybe only I want to see the monthly costs associated with my startup. What we can do here is let's rename this view to monthly costs only. We're going get more into filtering and sorting in the next lesson. But for now, what I could do is I could filter the list by just fixed equals fixed and you don't have to know exactly what I'm doing here. We're going to talk more about filters and sorts in the next lesson. This is a view of my startups cost table right here. But I'm only viewing a portion of my data. The only portion I'm viewing is just the monthly startup costs. What's great is I can actually hide this column here, hide this owner. I can also hide this cost type because we really know that this is going to be only monthly costs. Now I can see just the monthly costs associated with my start-up. What's really interesting is that this view of my start up costs is connected to my start-up costs. How is that so? Let's say in this view, I change this number to be $100 instead of 50. Right now it's 50 I make it $100. Now supplies cost $100. But if I go back to Lesson 1.6 where my start up costs table is, you'll notice supplies also changes back to $100. Let's say, change of mind again, I want to change this back to $75. This $75 for supplies filters down into the views as well. If I go back to my view, supplies also changes. Basically, tables and views are bidirectional. If you make a change in the table, it gets reflected in view. If you make a change in the view, it gets reflected in the table. This really helps when you have multiple team members working on a table and you want the data that they see to change in the master table. This will become more clear in future sections. Let's actually look at a much bigger table down here. This is like a table of, let's say, investors that you have for your startup. You notice this list is pretty, pretty big. This is more like a pretty big table. You might see in Excel or Google sheets, but it's also across many different columns. The column types are what type of investor is this person, what's their name, their role. You can also rank. We also have these things called sliders as a column type. So you can rank whether or not they might owe you a favor or if they can offer to help you or if they are good for your branding, is there a conflict with another startup in their portfolio? What's a priority request status in terms of whether or not the meeting has been declined or the interested and some additional things related to VCs or angel investors investing in your startup like offer amount, share count, meeting notes, so and so forth. Let's say I want to create a view of this table and I only want to see the investors who have shown interest in my startup. Because right now, this table shows every single investor in terms of all the stuff they care about or in terms of the different request services. Let's say I want to see this investor table only by those that are interested in my start up. So if I go down here, I'm going to scroll down on the very bottom of the coded doc. If we expand this, I'm going to do a plus sign here, go to Table, and then you should go to Investors, View. You want to insert a view of the investors table. Here I'm going to call this view Interested Investors. Again I can filter this by clicking on this filter icon. Where I say request status equals interested investors. No, that's not right. I think the column is called interested investor. Now I see only the investors for my start up that are interested in me. There's only six. I can hide some of these columns so that my table feels a lot more clean looking. I don't have to see every single column because I only want to know who are the interested investors and I want to hide everything else because it just clutters my table and I don't know like cluttering my table. Notice how I was able to pair down this huge table of investors down to just a small little view of the table called interested investors. Now I know exactly who my interested investors are. If I make a change in this view, it gets reflected in this table up here as well. So with the regular pivot table, you can customize it, but you can't change the data here. So change the underlying data. This is a custom view of your data. You can't make changes to the amounts on owner's here to reflect on the main table. With our investor table here, this is what the investor table looks like in Google sheets. I'm just going to make this a little smaller font here. If I wanted to make a view of just the interested investors here, I would have to go here and then I believe it's this pivot icon right here or this filter icon. I can also create a view, a new filter. But the problem is that the filter, I have to give it different names and I can't change data in the filter view to reflect on the main table. I won't walk through this whole example on Google Sheets. But basically to do exactly what I just did in Coda and sheets is a lot more manual. The main thing is that you can't change the underlying data here in the view that gets reflected in the main table up here. Hopefully this shows you a few concepts about how tables and views work in Coda and how everything is bidirectional. As you're planning out your data and your tables in Coda just keep in mind how everything is tied together if you're inserting views. Again the best practice is to create one big master table and not as many views of that table. Hopefully you found this lesson interesting for tables and in the next lesson we're going to talk more about filtering and sorting. 8. Filtering and Sorting your Data: In this lesson, we're going to talk about filtering and sorting your data, and you probably are familiar with doing this already with Excel or Google sheets. I'm going to walk you through how sorting and filtering are a little different and a little better compared to sorting and filtering in Excel or Sheets. Please follow along, this is a very important lesson to understand how to filter and sort. On this lesson, we're going to talk about a very core concept of Coda, which is filtering and sorting your data. You're probably already doing this a lot with Excel or Google Sheets, and filtering and sorting data, and Coda feels pretty similar, but the way you do it is a lot different. They also have a lot of implications if you have views of your table and views for data. For the first to do here, you have this master list of investors which you saw from lesson 7. In the last lesson, we talked about this huge investors table for your sort of. But let's say I want to show only the investors that I have not contacted yet. Again, this is a huge master of list, and if you look here, this is also a view of your data, or this view rather is a view of the table of your investor's table. This is not a separate table, this is the same thing as what you see here, point of view. How do we filter this table only to show the investors that we have not contacted yet? This is also going to be the request status column, you notice that some of these investors have not been contacted. Let's filter that this table to only show the investors who we have not content yet so we know who to reach out to right away. If I go over here, if I cover over the title again of this view, then click on this "Filter" icon. You notice that right away, Coda gives you all the columns that you can filter on right away, so we want to filter on request status. You could also just write in, if you know the filter name off the top of your head. You can start writing in request status, and Coda will auto complete that filter for you. What I have to do is press "Tab" to indicate that you want this filter, and notice how Coda also highlights the column similar to what you would see in Excel or Sheets. This is where the filter for Coda is a little different from how you would apply it in Docs and Google sheets or Excel. You actually have to type out the filter, like formula. We want the request status to equal, not yet contacted. If I start writing in not yet contacted, you notice that as I start typing, it starts auto completing what I want. I can say "Tab" here again, and once I basically set my filter by writing "request status equals not yet contacted", I can hit "Enter", and there you go. I have my table of investors who I have not yet contact that I want to contact, and it's a much cleaner way of looking at your list of data. This is again, unlike Excel, because in Excel once you filter the data. Let's clear all this, I have to actually click on the "Not yet contacted" which is a little more user friendly, but this is a nicer view of my data. But right here in a Coda, my master table is unchanged, my master table is still this big investors table with Excel or sheets. I'm filtering on the master table, and I'll talk more about how you can do views in the sheets here, but this is far along with my lesson for now. Once I've filtered this list, I can actually hide this column. I can hide all these little columns too, I'm holding shift and the mouse right now, if I can hide. I basically created this table of not yet contacted investors down to two columns only. Here are the six investors I have to contact today, because I have not yet contacted them based on this filter I applied right here. I'm going to re-show these columns by going here, just clicking all these very quickly. This is what I want to show another example of how you can sort things now. Let's get rid of our filter here for now too, let's just delete this filter by hitting on that trashcan. Now you'll can come back at square one when this lesson first started which you have an unfiltered list of investors. Now let's try to do some basic sorting. Sorting is actually pretty simple, still it's very similar to accelerate sheets and say I want to sort by the priority, I can just come here, click on the drop-down menu, and this is sort and sort by descending order. Now I can sort nine on my entire list of investors that I need to prioritize, because I've sorted by the priority being at the very top. But what's interesting again is that this table right here is a view of our master table which is back here. You notice how our master table does not get sorted whatsoever. All the sorting and filtering you do on the view here and are not yet contacted investors on this table. That filtering and sorting does not apply to our main table in lesson 1.7. This is another key concept that's different from Excel and sheets, because a lot of times where you have your master table, but you don't want the sorting and filtering to affect the underlying data, you just want it to affect perhaps just the view of the data. On Google Sheets again, you can do this in sheets by doing this thing called, what is it called? Create a new filter view, I believe that's how it's called, and you can say, let's say I want this to be the not yet contacted, and so that go here, I can click "Clear all" and "not yet contacted" and there you go. I have a view in sheets of my not yet contacted investors. But if I want to get rid of the view, I have to click on this x here and it goes back to my original data. But what if I wanted to put that view on a separate tab and sheets? There's no way of doing that right now in Google Sheets or Excel, you have to do it on the master data. If I want to go back to see my not yet contacted list, I have to click on that view and I can now see my data, and I can of course hide columns too just like I can encode up. But again, this is only for a specific view in Google Sheets, and it's not as flexible as Coda in terms of where you can put those views and how you can share those views with other users. That's basically how filtering and sorting works in Coda, and hopefully you can see how powerful views are because the filtering and sorting only applies that view, but it underlying data, which is this masters table over here. Masters table does not get changed. Please stick around for the next lesson where we're going to talk about some formulas. 9. Basic Formulas : In this lesson, we're going to start writing our very first formulas. If you're coming from Excel or Google Sheets, you probably already very used to writing some basic formulas. The really awesome thing about coda is at the formula language is just as advanced as Excel and Google sheets. Key difference is that there are no sale references and we're going to build formulas using named columns or named fields. Please follow along to build your first formulas in Coda. Believe it or not, the most popular programming language is not JavaScript, it's not Python, It's not PHP or whatever programming languages developers and computer scientists use today. I would argue that the most popular programming languages actually Excel formulas. Since there's so many people that use Excel and know how to use the formulas in Excel, a VLOOKUP in some other stuff. Believe it or not, the formula language in Excel is also a very powerful programming language. The formula language in Coda is just as powerful as Excel and sheets are. There are some key differences in the Coda does not. In these tables, we don't have sale level references. You don't have A1 or D3 like you would have in sheets right here. This is the exact same table we have in our lesson for one point nine We have a sales pipeline of company, industry product and the number of licenses and also the per license cost. This is a typical table you might see in HubSpot or if you're working in business development, you might see a similar table like this where you have multiple deals, the close date also who is the buyer of the deal, so on and so forth. In Excel, in order to calculate, let's say the total cost of licenses times per license costs you would do something very similar to this. Actually insert this column here. Let me zoom in a little bit here for you. Let's say I want to find total costs. You do something like B equals D2 times E2, hit Enter. This is not the right compliment. Let's change this to a $ sign and remove some of these. This is a formula of basically the first two sales. So if I wanted to copy this sales down to all these other sales, you can drag and drop and it gets the job done. You probably are very familiar of doing this in Excel or Google Sheets. The problem is that these are individual sale references and that doesn't exist in coda. In coda, we abstract this a little bit by calling them this named columns. Instead of saying B5 times C5 in coda, I would say number of licenses times per license cost. What does that look like in coda? I want you to insert a column in coda called total license cost. The formulas we are going to be a number of licenses multiplied by the per license cost. Let's go over here, hit a plus sign and go to currency. I want you to move this column over and next two per lessons classroom right there. Again, let's call this total license costs. Let's start writing our first formula in coda. Another thing that minds that we also don't have to use $ signs in coda. In sheets or Excel, you probably might have these references changing. You might have to put these $ signs in like that. If these references will change but in this case doesn't matter. There is no concept of $ signs since everything is a named Column in coda. We are going to use the real names of our columns, actually create a formula. Let's go ahead and get started. Let's write equals and let's start typing in our first column we want to multiply with, which is number of licenses. I can actually use my arrow keys down here. You notice as I'm doing this, you can actually hit tab to insert a column. I'm going to number of licenses hit tab. You notice how this kind of feels like Excel sheets which referencing entire column but we're not referencing an individual sale, its entire column itself. So onto number licenses multiplied by per license costs, which is in the next column, per license costs, notice how coda is starting to auto-fill. I hit tab right here, now I can just press enter. My formula is basically number of licenses times persons cost center. Let's see what happens in coda. It automatically calculates the entire cost for every single row without me having to drag and drop the formula down and creating an auto-filling it. Now if I'm looking into every single sale right here, if I double-click, you notice I don't see like D5 multiplied by E5. It's just the column names multiplied by each other. This is actually a pretty key concept in coda where there is no such thing as individual or references is all by the column names. This is one of the big hurdles I had to get over when I first are using coda but once you get used to it, you find how difficult it is to reference individual sales and you're using Excel when you can actually just call the column by its real name, which is number of licenses or per license cost. So everything is named versus individual good references that you have in sheets or Excel with these individual column and row references. That's a really quick example of how formulas work in coda, you use the column names. Out of all the productivity tools I've looked at. There's some other tools out there that have a really basic formula language coda is by far the most advanced from a language, that's almost add parody with Excel or Google sheets. That's what really gives you the ability to build some really awesome tools in coda versus some other tools that have formal languages. Also it feels a lot more natural to use the column names versus just having the sale references. Hopefully you can see how powerful the formulas are in coda and we'll get much more in-depth into formulas in the next few lessons and in the next class but stick around for the next class. We're going to talk about mixing and matching your data in the canvas. 10. Mixing & Matching Data in your Doc: In this lesson, we're going to talk about mixing and matching your data you have in the Canvas. The really interesting thing about Coda is that data doesn't have to live just in your tables. You can actually put them, all the calculations into your Doc or Canvas. We're going to talk about writing formulas anywhere in your Doc and also the special @reference, which lets you reference any single row in a table you have in Coda. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever faced situation where you had this really amazing Google Doc,you're writing a bunch of texts and you just want to insert in like an analysis you did from Google Sheets or from Excel and you can't figure out how to do it and it's pretty clunky when you try to insert like a sheet into a Google Doc? Or if you want to copy and paste like a table, you have in Excel into Google Doc. That whole concept is done completely seamlessly with Coda. I want to walk you through how you can mix and match data from your tables in Coda , like we had here with this sales pipeline or we had here with our investor's table right here. We can mix and match of this data from this table into the actual Canvas itself, where you have free form tags in your writing, like paragraphs and paragraphs of data. I've written this basic e-mail template of what you as a startup founder might talk about with your team as you're raising financing or raising investments from other people to make your sort of grow. We talked about in the very first lesson with the layout, how you can highlight things like I say, I want to highlight this to be yellow and bold. I can do that by doing bold and yellow. Who is it going to be? You can obviously apply texts and font and background colors to your texts. This is basically something that you can do in Google Docs. What's so special about that? Well. What's interesting is that you can actually put formulas right inside the Canvas. Let's say over here I wanted to show you the sum of 5 plus 2. I could do 5. Well, first of all, you write equals because remember how equals, just like an Excel starts the formula, I can do equals 5 plus 2, hit "Enter" and equals 7. This is number that's basically living on the Canvas and you can mix and match it with your texts as you run down here. What's also interesting is like I want you to introduce this notion of an @reference. You know when you mentioned like someone on Twitter or you mention someone on a comment at Google Doc, it brings up that person's name and all their associate information. Let's say we in this e-mail template right here, I've written here, I have team. We have some awesome investors lined up, the board and I went through listed investors and decided on our lead investor, who is it going to be. Lets say the investor we want to put here is Raviga Capital, from this table right here. Raviga is right here. We also want to put like how much they're going to invest in your startup, which is going to be this column right here, I believe offer amount. How do we incorporate this raw data into our letter that we're writing to our entire company and team random enlist lesson? Here's where you can just mentioned their name. In terms of your tables, anytime you do an add reference, it actually brings in the entire row from the table over into your Canvas. It's [inaudible] you're mentioning someone on Twitter or mentioning someone in your Google Doc. I'm just going to start writing in @Raviga. This is a way of bringing in the important rows of data from your tables into your Canvas. If I start typing in @Raviga, you notice that Coda will automatically auto-filling the data. I can actually see some of the data associated with Raviga Capital from the investors table here and this one down here. I'll say hit "Tab" right here to input Raviga into our e-mail. There you go. You notice how like Coda basically plus just the name of the investor into the free-form text. If I actually hover over this, I can see all the data associated with Raviga Capital from whether what category they're in, what the priority is. Basically everything on the table I can see in this hover view of that @reference. This is how powerful @references are in Coda. If I click on this, it brings up what we call the row detail page and actually can change aspects of underlying data right in the row details. Let's say I change this, this is actually not a Big VC, this is actually a small VC. I can change this right here. Guess what? All the changes I make here flow back into the master table and our Investors table right here, it's now [inaudible] VC now there are small VC. What if I wanted to say how much they're going to invest in us, next to it would be a capital. They are going to invest how much in us? We're going to talk more about advanced formulas in the next class. But here's how we'd actually pull in the dollar amount that this Raviga Capital is offering our startup. I could do something like this where I write formula equals investors.filter, where the name equals Raviga Capital. I'm pulling in the offer mount. Again, we'll walk through what this formula means and future in Class 2, but I want you to see how powerful it is to put numbers and data from your tables into your Canvas. If I enter here, there we go. Now I know exactly how much Raviga Capital is going to invest into our startup. If this number changes on this back master table right here, if Raviga now increases their investment in us to a million dollars, guess what? That number, $500,000 will also change the million here. Everything recalculates and flows into each other. You can see how beautiful data flows in and out of a Coda Doc between free-form text into a table and all that data here is right at your disposal to see and using formulas in the Canvas, using formulas in the table. This is something you can literally copy and paste and put into your G-mail and send off to your team. This is how awesome mixing and matching data is between your tables and your Canvases. Hopefully, this was really useful to show you how @references work. To show you the entire detail of the row here, overview capital, and also using filters and formulas to actually pull data from that table into the free form text that you're writing your Canvas. Stick around for the next lesson. Where I'm going to compare Excel and Coda at a very high-level overview. Yeah. Hopefully, give me questions. Feel free to leave me some questions and comments in the class. 11. Comparing Excel with Coda: In this lesson, we're going to do a final comparison between key core concepts in Coda, and also how they are compared to concepts in Excel or Google Sheets. By now, you should have a pretty thorough basic understanding of Coda, and we're just going to wrap things up and talk about how, Coda compares the platform to Excel and Google sheets. All right, hopefully all the lessons in this class so far have given you a high-level overview of productivity tools, of some problems that exist in current to our workflows on the workplace, and also a little overview of Coda on how things work in Coda in terms of data, and moving data in and out of your tables, and into the canvas. In this lesson, I want to do a quick high-level overview of key differences between Excel and Google Sheets and Coda, and give you an analogy of concepts you might see in Excel and Google Sheets and what they mean in Coda. First off, we're going to talk about, the common notion of a grid in Excel or Google Sheets. When I talk about a grid, it's like this A1, B2, C3 stuff. These are all individual cells. This is basically what you get in Excel or Google Sheets but don't get me wrong, I love looking at data this way. But there are times when I want things to be a little more flexible, and that's where Coda comes in. You don't just have a grid of cells, you also have tables and texts. You go back to Lesson 1. actually any of the lessons. If you look at some of these lessons, you notice how I'm able to mix and match texts like a Google Doc and also with the table, that looks and feels like a spreadsheet within the Google Doc. That's the core concept, that's core difference between the Excel and as we saw, a grid in Excel or Google Sheets is like tables and text in Coda, in terms of how you can format and write stuff within your doc. What about sheets? In Excel or Google Sheets, you have individual spreadsheets that correspond to your data. Notice how here I've organized my data by lessons, but in Coda the cost of sheets is more about sections and folders. Our section list is all here along the left, right? We talked about folders briefly where you can say, lesson 10 and 11, and I can drag and drop, lessons 10 and 11 into this folder. Let's move, reorder that here, so you can see how sheets in Excel or Google Sheet are basically sections or folders within Coda. What's very nice about folders that you can collapse them if you have a bunch of ways to organize your folders, mixing is really nice and tidy for your Coda. I'm just going to drag these out for now because I wanted to maintain the order of my sections. Finally, the Ribbon, in excel or sheets, you probably all know what this looks like, so the Ribbon is this nice, huge drop-down menu right here, with all your File menus, Insert, Format, Data, and also all your nice pretty buttons up here. This Ribbon right here, is present in Coda but I'll explain to you what that means in three different components. Ribbon again, this one big toolbar at the very top of Excel or Google Sheets. In Coda, there's actually 3 different menus, there's 1 for the doc, 1 for the table, and 1 for the column. Those are the 3 main menus or toolbars you'll see in coda. What does that mean? In the doc, you have these guys right here. These are some of the Google Docs or in Excel, you'll have different buttons you can click to ''Format'', and to ''Indent'', things and to add ''Bullet points'', but within the table, you also have a menu. If you hover over above the table right here, you notice I have a separate menu just for my table. I'm going to click on this and just show the title for now. These are the menu buttons for just the table itself. In every single table I have these buttons for you to play with. This is layout, this is Hidding columns, this is Filtering, This is sorting and grouping, this is Conditional formatting, which we'll talk about in the next class. But that's the Table menu. Now, the column also has its own menu. Notice how we are going from high level down to the nitty-gritty of the tables. Within each column header, you have more venues to customize and to format your column within a table as you need. You can do things like Format the column. You can do things like Grouping and Sorting and Filtering, Adding a formula, Summarizing, and you can play around with all these different things, but the core idea is that there's 3 different menus. Whereas in Excel, there's 1 giant Ribbon where everything is hidden inside these different menu-Items. Coda is a lot more simpler where you have 1 big menu for the doc, 1 for the table, and then 1 for the individual columns. Finally, the one big advantage I love about Coda, and we talked about this a lot in lesson 10, where you were able to put the Formulas and Add references to these investors inside the text, is that formulas in Excel and sheets basically live within the cell or at the Formula Bar. That's it. That's the only places you can put the formulas. You obviously drag and drop the Formulas like we did here with the total cost, but with Coda, you can write formulas anywhere. I can write a formula right over here, equals 5 plus 10. I can do advanced formulas like equals Table 1. Count. This actually counts the number of rows in this table right here. There's no notion of the Formula has to be in a cell or the Formula has to be in the Formula Bar like Excel or Sheets or here. Your Formulas can live literally anywhere in your table, in the Canvas, anywhere you want. That's a really powerful concept. Hopefully this high-level review of concepts in Excel and Sheets, and how they translate into Coda, gives you an idea of how things work in Coda, and we'll give you a better idea of how you can structure your doc as you are building your next tool. Thanks for taking this lesson, and move on to the next lesson, where we'll wrap things up. 12. Asking for Help: This lesson is just going to be about how you can ask for help. Obviously here is a resource, you can e-mail me, or tweet at me, or ask me questions in the class and the class notes themselves. But there's also different ways you can get in touch with the team at Coda if you're having any issues with building out your Doc or writing out your formulas. Hopefully you'll find these resources useful for you as you go along with the rest of this class. As you're going through the different lessons in this class, I'm sure you came up with a lot of different questions and maybe you aren't sure how to structure your Coda Doc if you're thinking about building a tool in Coda. I wanted to dedicate a lesson just for ways you can ask for help. I put my e-mail in every single lesson and feel free to e-mail me directly at Or tweet at me or leave questions in the video on Skillshare. Definitely feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions as you're going through the lesson and if things don't make sense or if you weren't able to follow along exactly with what I did in Coda when you're doing this on your own on SkillShare, when you're doing self-paced learning. I would love to help you and support you to make sure that you understand all the concepts that I went through in every single lesson. Additionally, if you want more immediate support, you can e-mail and the entire team at Coda would love to help you troubleshoot any issues that you're having with your Coda Doc. Additionally, there is a big question mark in the bottom right-hand corner of every single Coda Doc. You'll see this right here, if you haven't noticed it already. You click on that. There's many different ways you can get help. In addition to just looking at video courses, bring documentation or formula list. There's another way you can contact us or just by clicking that contact us button. You can say "New Conversation" and feel free to start typing whatever question you have right into this chat box. Someone at Coda team will respond back to you and help you with whatever questions you have. If you're not big into e-mail and you're more like an instant message kind of chatty chat person. This is a quick way to get some help about Coda Doc and the promise that you're facing with any of the lessons in this class. Finally, there is a big community on this course. The link is here because this will open up this link called The Coda Community. The URL is just You can feel free to ask questions here, there's doing different categories like tips and hacks. As a community, a lot of people post questions and ask in this section. I have a section that I focus on which is just talking about, how do you escape from Excel, Google Sheets, and SQL? If you're using these different tools. I talk about different ways that you can or different solutions that you can build and Coda use when you're used to doing things in Excel or Google sheets. There's many different ways to ask for help. You can you ask me through e-mail, through Twitter, through the class video outlines, and the comments. Obviously the big question mark I mentioned over here, and the community which we just talked about. Hopefully this class is really useful for you and you complete the first class here. But the main thing I want to get across with this lesson is that, definitely reach out to me or the team for help. We're here to help you learn about Coda. I personally would love to help you troubleshoot any questions you have. 13. Outro : Thank you so much for taking this class Beyond Excel: productivity tools for lean startups, freelancers and consultants. Right now you should have a pretty good understanding of different productivity tools and a landscape of tools and how they've evolved over the years and you also have a basic understanding of coda and how it's revolutionizing the way that you store an allies data for your team and for your company and also how you can build a really simple application encoder that lives in the Cloud. In the next class, we're going to do a deeper dive into coda and how you can analyze it a better and faster compared to Excel and Google sheets. I hope you'll stick around for class two and feel free to ask me any questions through email or through the comments on the class page. Thanks for watching.