CODA For Architects
There is a new tool that could be a game changer for your firm.
Read on to see what Coda can do for you.
CODA For Architects
Coda is like a suite of apps all rolled into one, and the team orientation makes this really powerful for your in-house processes. I have created an example that you can play with, but more about that at the bottom of the post.
A Quick Look At What Coda Is Like
This is a screen recording of a little project that I’m working on. I started using Trello for this Playroom; then switched to Coda. Coda let’s me view sketches right in the Doc.
Each file in Coda is called a Doc. A Doc can have as many pages and subpages as you need. Any page can contain anything. Lots of issues work best in tables - list of drawings, budgets - and they are easy to build and also very powerful. Any record in a table can have any kind of data - text, numbers, checkboxes, list, image, link, formulas, etc.
I can add checklists anywhere. Collapsible paragraphs are really handy for getting around, or add a live outline like I have here to jump to what you want. With a little effort I added a formula that references my table of Drawings to predict my completion date. The point is: you can do just about anything. You don’t have to learn someone else’s organization scheme.
Let’s address cost right off the bat because ultimately that’s what the decision to get a new tool comes down to. The good news is that most architects can take advantage of Coda for $10 or $20 per month, and that includes the whole firm. You are only charged for the people who “build“ your Docs. Those that edit or view are free.
Coda also has a free version that lasted me two months before I outgrew it with my monster Ochre Doc. You will have plenty of time to see if it is worth upgrading.
When you try Coda using my link both of us get a $10 credit against future charges. I have also become a Coda affiliate to take advantage of additional revenue sharing without having to charge for the architectural resource Docs that I build and post.
Since I have been using Coda for the development of Ochre, here’s some of the things that I really like.
Here are some other features that I have tried. They show you what Coda is like. I am really a fan. Over time I will convert all the ’tool-oriented’ post in Architekwiki into Coda Docs for you to copy into your own account.
You can literally build a website for a project in an hour. Then use it to distribute and collect information. The learning curve is not steep but there is a lot that you can do. For example, after a half hour you can write anything. After investing three hours you can publish your first website. After five hours you can build a table to track your marketing pipeline. The other members of your firm will have almost no learning curve - just show them how to find your Docs.
Getting A CODA Account
The real power of Coda Docs is in the interactive tables. The best way to take advantage of that feature is to get a free Coda account and copy Docs into your account from the Coda Gallery. Or build your own Docs.
Step by step instructions to get Coda:
Now for an example of what you can do. I gathered all the info I had on Bidding. Then I built three pages. An introduction, a description of bidding, and a checklist page to guide the bidding process. Take a look at the embedded Coda Doc below. If you find something useful, copy it and make it your own. Getting a free Coda account will make that really easy, but you can also print or export the Doc.
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