I think use-specific tools are the most under appreciated thing in business. If you’ve ever used a Google Sheet to do something not even remotely spreadsheet-ish, you’re a hero in my book. I could write an essay about epic tools built in Sheets and the low-code and no-code revolution that’s happening right now, but we’ll save that for another day.
I recently discovered Coda which fits into the AirTable space as one of these “docs as an app” platforms. AirTable is pure spreadsheet, Coda is both, and more. Out of the gate it appears almost rudimentary because of it’s use of text docs alongside tables, but it’s not.
The jist of these kinds of platforms, from my perspective, is they add a layer of functionality to the docs and sheets we all live in that make them 100x more useful.
ANYWAY, like I said, I just discovered Coda and I thought it was cool so I built a super simple inventory management tool in it. I think if you click that link you can duplicate and mess around with it.
Here’s what it does
The intro page of the tool explains what you need to do.
First on the Item List page enter in the supply items that you keep and details about each one into the master “Item List” table. Name, vendor, piece price, opening stock level, etc. You can easily add columns for your use case.
Now, you can go to the Inventory page to view just basic info about your inventory. Item, Stock, etc. Remember, you can customize what you see here. It’s a view of the larger master table.
Next, you have the Adjustments page. This is where you would enter -1000 on PartX if you used 1000 of them and needed to reduce inventory. The top section serves as a form for entering a new +/- adjustment. The bottom is a log of previous adjustments for reference. Any adjustment made here reduces the stock level of that item.
You could probably have made this in Excel
Yeah, you probably could with some V Lookups. I’m not very good at those and they’re tough. Especially on the adjustment part. More importantly, adding new features to this will quickly get out of the realm of Google Sheets. The next step is to add automatic email or mobile notifications for re-order points for each item. I’m sure there’s like 1000 more things you could do with this, and it doesn’t even touch any of Coda’s integration features (mainly Zapier, I think), but it’s cool.
Like I said, use case specific business tools are super under rated in my opinion and tools like Sheets and now AirTable and Coda are making it really possible for non devs to build them.
and tell me if you check it out: @landforce on everything