Organize docs with folders

Learn about the different types of folders and how they can help you organize and share your docs

Updated over a week ago

Every doc in Coda lives within a folder. These folders are a great way to organize the docs in your workspace (think departments, teams, and projects). Not only can you use folders to group docs by topic areas, you can also use them as a way to control access to your docs. Check out the sections below to learn more about the various types of folders and how to use them.

Within this article you’ll find...

Folder settings

If you’re on a Team or Enterprise plan, you may notice that there are two different types of folders: shared folders and private folders. If you’re on a Free or Pro plan, you’ll only have access to Shared folders (with the exception of the My Docs folder, a special type of Private folder; read more about this below). You can read about our different pricing plans and how to upgrade here.

It’s important to understand the difference between shared folders and private folders, since this setting affects who can access the docs within.

Shared folders

Shared folders are public to all Doc Makers and Editors within a workspace. This means any Makers or Editors can browse all of these shared folders and join them as they please - they don’t need to wait for an invite.

Docs that live within a shared folder will automatically be editable by all editors and makers of the workspace. As long as the doc remains in a shared folder, you cannot change this access setting. So if you want to restrict edit access to only certain people in your workspace, you’ll need to move your doc to a private folder (including the My Docs folder). Learn about moving docs in this article.

Frame 16.jpg

Private Folders

For Team and Enterprise plans, you have the ability to create or use private folders. You can change the privacy of your folder by clicking on Folder settings at the top of the folder window. Then, under the Folder access section, toggle on the Private folder option.

make folder private.gif

Private folders are invisible to everyone in the workspace except for the folder members. Workspace members can only join a private folder when invited by another folder member.

Private folder members, by default, have the ability to edit all docs within that folder. Another way to say this: docs that live within a private folder will automatically be editable by all members of that folder. This setting cannot be changed. Therefore, we recommend you only add folks to your folder who should have full edit access to the doc.

Frame 17 (1).png

💡Tip: If you want to have the most granular control over who has edit access to your docs, we recommend creating and using a private folder with yourself as the only folder member. Then, for the individual docs within that folder, you can choose who you share with on a per-doc basis.

Note: If you are on the Free or Pro plan, you can use your My Docs folder to keep docs private.

The My Docs folder

When you create or join a workspace you will see a My Docs folder, indicated by a lock icon. This folder is automatically and permanently set to private, and it cannot be deleted.

This is your personal space where you can create and interact with your own private docs. These docs will have access to the same features and capabilities that the workspace it lives in provides.

Docs in this folder are considered private by default. Other people will not be allowed to join this folder, but you can still share each of your docs in the folder with other people via the Share dialog. Or you can move docs from this folder to other folders, depending on who should have default access. See the Shared folders and Private folders sections above for guidance on what type of folder you may want to move to.

Join or leave folders

If you’re part of a workspace as an Editor or Doc Maker, you can explore folders via the Folders tab (go to, click on your workspace name in the left panel, then clicking on Folders). Here you can see the entire catalog of shared folders in your workspace, including folders that you’ve joined and haven’t yet joined. You can then decide to join or leave folders based on your interests.

Note that any folders you’ve joined will also show in a list on the left-hand panel, under the Folders heading.

To join a folder, simply hover over it in the list, then click the Join button on the right.

Frame 18.jpg

To leave a folder, hover over the folder in the list, then hit the Leave button.

Create or delete folders

To add a new folder to your workspace, click on the + icon next to the Folders heading in the lefthand menu of your workspace. You can also click on the Folders heading, then the + New folder button in the top right corner. If you’re part of a Team or Enterprise workspace, select whether this folder should be private or shared (see Folder settings above), then add a name and click Create.

Note: Making folders private is a Team plan and Enterprise plan feature only.

Next, you can specifically add your teammates to the folder if needed. Head to the members panel of your folder, on the right hand side, and click the Invite button. Then choose who you’d like to add. Remember that if this is a shared folder, all workspace members can find and join the folder, regardless of whether they’re invited.

invite to folders 2.gif

To delete a folder from your workspace, first relocate or delete all of the folder's contents. You can learn how to move docs to new folders here.

Then, go to Folder settings (found at the top of your folder window) and hit the delete button at the bottom of the page. The button will remain disabled until all docs within the folder are relocated or deleted.

Deleting a folder will delete it for everyone in your workspace. If you instead just wish to leave a folder, check out the section above.


What are the default sharing settings for any new doc created?

Generally, docs are created in one of three places:

  • My Docs Folder: Any document created in the My Docs folder is private (no link sharing turned on and not shared with others in the workspace) unless you explicitly invite other people to the doc. We recommend creating docs in your My Docs section and then moving them to a shared folder as needed.

  • Shared Folders: Docs created in shared folders are accessible by default to members of the shared folder. Since anyone can join a shared folder, this essentially means docs created in shared folders will be accessible to anyone else in the workspace. Anyone in your workspace will be able to view, access, and join shared folders.

  • Private Folders (Team plan or above): Docs created in private folders are accessible by default to members of the private folder. Anyone else invited to that doc directly (via the Share dialog) or who has the link shared with them will have access to that doc, but not to the private folder that doc lives in.

When I create a new doc, what folder is it added to?

By default, when you create a doc, it’s added to your My Docs folder. However, if you create a doc from within a given folder (via the + Blank doc button there), then the doc will be added to that specific folder.

What if everyone leaves a private folder?

We have you covered. The last person in a private folder will not be able to leave it. This is to ensure that someone maintains access to the docs within the folder.

How do I remove someone from a folder?

Only Doc Makers within a folder can manage folder membership and settings (and create folders in general). Click on the folder's name, and you should see a list of folder members in the righthand panel. To remove a member, just click on the trash bin icon next to their name.

If I change an existing folder from shared to private, will the permissions on the docs within stay the same?

It depends. If you have directly shared the doc with people via the Share dialog, then that will remain the same. This includes sharing via direct emails as well as the access link. But for docs that hadn’t been explicitly shared via the Share dialog, access will now be restricted only to folder members.

If I invite someone to a private folder, will they then be able to invite others to the folder?

Yes - any member of a folder can invite any other workspace member to the folder. This will grant that new invitee access to all docs within the folder.

If I get removed from a workspace, what happens to the docs in the My Docs folder?

If you are removed from a workspace, the private docs in your My Docs folder will become read-only. If you previously shared any of those docs with other workspace members, they will still be able to access them in the read-only format. If you did not share docs in your My Docs folder with anyone else, nobody in the workspace will be able to access them.

If you are re-invited to the workspace, then your docs in My Docs will look the same as they did before you left.

If you are officially offboarded from a workspace, the private docs in your My Docs folder will be deleted permanently, even if you are re-invited to the workspace in the future.

Related resources

Did this answer your question?